The 190 MTX first appeared at our test dock, sweeping in from across Lake Wawasee in northern Indiana and presenting that peculiar, but popular, pickle-fork bow. The captain, Kim Slocum, president of Rinker Boats, performed a crisp turn, giving us the boat's starboard profile and its lines stretched to a sleek bowrider gliding smoothly on a contrail of spray. From a distance I judged the boat to be 21 feet.
“Nope, it’s a 19-footer,” Slocum said in that matter-of-fact Indiana way. “We wanted a large cockpit in a good-value boat and sporty performance on an economical engine.”
When I took the helm and the boat topped out at 46 mph, I was betting on a 5.0-liter MPI 220 hp engine. Wrong again. It was a 4.3-liter V-6 carbureted 190 hp motor. At the end of the test, I had to concede — they’d hit the mark.
The compact V-6 motor, Slocum said, allowed them to add four inches to the cockpit — a significant amount for a 19-footer. Seating was ample with forward buckets for captain and passenger and an aft lounge for more crew. At rest, I settled into the bow lounge, stretching my feet forward and leaning back comfortably on the backrest. The boat held its bow-up attitude.
Throttle in hand, the 190 MTX stepped on plane in 2.9 seconds with no loss of horizon, showing the boat is nicely balanced with the fuel tank exactly on the center of gravity, which enhances rock-solid handling. The MTX carved turns suited for quick recovery of wakeboarders without complaint, staying hooked up in all but the fastest, tightest turns — all with a less-pricey Alpha drive (instead of a Bravo).
All told, we found exciting performance, satisfying standard equipment and extraordinary design to make it a beautiful 19-footer to consider.
Contact: 574-457-5731; rinkerboats.com