The length of the boating season in Minnesota is primarily based on the thickness of a person's skin and blood. We saw a number of boats and docks being pulled out of the water during our September tests. At the same time, we were reminded how a boat with high freeboard and a full windshield, like the Ventura 220 WS, can give owners several more weeks of use on the front and back ends of the season. Plus, the outboard automatically and fully drains, protecting it from unexpected freezes.
Princecraft builds the Ventura in Quebec, where they know not only how important it is to extend the boating season, but also how crucial it is that a boat be made for different conditions. The hull of the 220 has a deep keel for a deck boat to smooth the chop and reverse chines to knock down spray. We can vouch for the design after running the boat through white-capping water. Princecraft uses 5052-H36, a marine-grade aluminum alloy strong and flexible enough to be shaped around the stringers, minimizing welding seams for added strength and sleeker sport-boat lines.
The 220 is a midrange model in terms of price per foot, and because of its aluminum construction, the boat is lighter on the trailer, which reduces the need for tow-vehicle horsepower on the highway and outboard horsepower on the transom. We tested it with a 200 hp Mercury Verado and might consider a 175, if the difference made a significant dent in the price.
Key Note: Opting for the wakeboard tower means buyers will need to remember to opt for plenty of power to make it useful.
• A split-level storage compartment under the sun pad is the best place to stow watersports accessories.
• Seating on the passenger side is a long lounge rather than a bucket seat, forming a roomier group-setting seating arrangement.
• Long bow means the seats accommodate tall adults, and the boarding deck is easy to use from the beach.
* Length Overall: 22'2"
* Beam: 8'1"
* Dry Weight: 2,208 lb.
* Seating Capacity: 12
* Fuel Capacity: 50 gal.
* Maximum HP: 200
* MSRP (test boat w/ Mercury Verado 200 and custom trailer): $53,607
* NMMA Certified: Yes
* Test Engine: Mercury Verado 200
* Test Prop: Vengeance 19-inch
* Test Load: People (420 lb.); Fuel (25 gal.)
* Top Speed: 46.4 mph @ 6,300 rpm
* Time to Plane: 3.3 sec.
* Time to 30 MPH: 6.8 sec.
* Minimum Planing Speed: 16 mph @ 3,000 rpm