We spent the better part of a day looking for some warts on the232 Captiva. They’re inevitable on any foxy 23-footerthat’s loaded with standard features and retails for a baseticket of $28,000.
The 5-foot-long stern companionway, carpeted, is where westarted — impressed already. Then we stepped down into thecockpit. Way down. Rinker recently deepened the cockpit liner onthe 232, so the freeboard is shoulder-high in all passenger seats.The traffic areas are recessed two more inches for added securitywhile under way.
And this boat gets under way in a hurry. Some midsize bowridersthis deep and heavy crawl out of the hole. That, remembering theprice tag, is what we half expected. Wrong. The optional MerCruiser6.2 MX with the Bravo III outdrive had us hooked up right now, withslim bowrise. Sunk deep at the helm at 57 mph, the ride felt morelike a cruise than a race. Only a flip of the optional CorsaPerformance Exhaust Cutoff indicated this was a top-end test.
The balanced weight of the Captiva hull, combined with theneutral steering system, made the 232 take turns like a go-kart. Itwas one of those boats we wanted to take for an“unofficial” drive throughout the day.
We looked for clutter and unfinished edges in storage areas. Wefound just the opposite. The double gas-shocked sun pad doubles asan engine-room hatch and opens into a ridiculously clean enginecompartment where hoses, battery cables and fluid levels are easilyaccessed. A cooler fits under the starboard passenger seat in afloor recess to eliminate rattles. The helm has two rows of gaugestucked in deep, protected from the sun’s glare, withaccessory switches aligned to the right.
OK, the portside head in the walk-through is a little tight forbig guys. But we could honestly mention 100 more positives, whichmeans the 232 Captiva is one of the best boats out there for themoney.
Final Take: Boat and price are stunning
We Also Like …
1. Jump seat on port side is contoured for a real comfortablefit.
2. Trash receptacle next to stern entry is hidden andremovable.
3. Huge storage tub inside the roomy engine compartment.
4. Wet storage area, cockpit light and optional stereo remote incompanionway.
5. New graphics and through-hull exhaust with chrome vents makeit a sporty ride.
6. Danforth compass completes a regal dash panel.
Length Overall: 23’6”
Dry Weight: 4,100 lb.
Seating/Weight Capacity: 12/1,885 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 75 gal.
Max HP: 320
MSRP (test boat): $35,000
Test Engine: MerCruiser 6.2L MX Bravo III
Test Prop: 28-pitch stainless steel
Test Load: Fuel (20 gal.); People (380 lb.)
Top Speed: 57.3 MPH @ 5,500 RPM
Time to Plane: 5.4 sec.
Time to 30 MPH: 8.6 sec.
Minimum Planing Speed: 17.5 MPH @ 2,300 RPM
Noise at Idle: 63 db
Noise at 30 MPH: 84 db
Cruise Stats: 88 db; 41.5 MPH @ 4,200 RPM