What we think: Stability is the hallmark of Splendor’s 239 Sunstar. You’ve heard that before. But stability really is unique in this case because Splendor builds the Sunstar on its own performance-oriented catamaran hull.
The cat design made this one of the only boats we felt comfortable taking across our wind-whipped test lake. It makes sense that Splendor’s deck boats are popular in the Gulf Coast region, where rough water is the norm. Don’t be confused by the catamaran designation. Whereas the big offshore versions make large arcing turns, the Sunstar turns as tightly as a sport boat. We reached a modest top speed in the mid-40s, but the boat (rigged with a 225 hp Yamaha) scores points for its quickness to plane and time to 30 mph.
We noticed the hull also allows for a huge 87-inch storage compartment in the center floor. And that trend continues to the transom, where an outboard motor configuration allows Splendor to build another big storage compartment where an I/O would be located.
A ski tow bar comes standard, and the Sunstar can be outfitted with a wakeboard tower as well. It also has a Bimini to cover the entire boat. When outfitted in this configuration, the boat has its own look. It’s an instance where function trumps fashion in the boating industry.
Splendor builds about 50 boats per year and works with each of its customers to build boats specifically for them. Buyers can trick out the Sunstar as a fishing boat, water-sports boat or long-range runabout. However it’s rigged, the boat is likely to stand apart on any waterway.
Who should buy it: Boaters who like the stability of a catamaran hull, but want the handling of a sport deck — with the ability to do some personal customizing.
Vital Stats * Length Overall: 23’11” * Beam: 8’4″ * Dry Weight: 3,500 lb. * Seating/Weight Capacity: 12/3,100 lb. * Fuel Capacity: 50 gal. * Max HP: 250 * MSRP (w/ Yamaha 225): $48,250 * NMMA certified: Yes
Yamaha 225 hp four-stroke $48,250
Yamaha 250 hp four-stroke $48,950
Max HP: 320
It’s a cat, just like the 239, but in a stern-drive with standard Bravo 3 prop, which steers the boat a lot nicer.
Max HP: 250
The 259 has a bracket mount for the motor, which allows for a two-foot-wide swim platform.
Notable Features * Faucet pulls out of sink-top holder to aid in wash-downs. * Twin-hull design provides great stability in rough water. * Boarding ladders are located at both bow and stern. * Large heard compartment makes for spacious changing room. * Front storage compartments measure a hefty 37 inches.
Test Drive * Test Engine: Yamaha 225 hp four-stroke * Test Prop: 17-pitch salt series * Test Load: People (260 lb.); Fuel (13 gal.) * Top Speed: 44 mph * Time to Plane: 3 sec. * Time to 30 mph: 7 sec. * Minimum Planing Speed: 15mph