With a backpack in one hand and a bottle of water in the other, this tester strode onto the 240 Sunstar as if it were an extension of the dock. A long, wide boarding platform forward of the bow makes the boat easy to load (imagine, with the ladder out, how simple it would be to carry gear back aboard from a beach). Adding to that ease is how the boat doesn’t pitch to one side with a boater’s weight, and that starts to explain the true uniqueness of Splendor’s boats.
Splendor is a custom builder, though it specializes in a handful of models, including the 240 Sunstar, its most-popular boat. It, like all Splendors, is built on a performance catamaran hull. The cat design, as we found on a rough test lake and in previous tests along the Atlantic coast, literally cuts a smooth swath when other deck boats are getting punished. With two hulls essentially, the depth of the head on the portside is unmatched. So is the bowrise in the lower power range — there is none.
What sets the Sunstar apart from traditional catamarans is the performance nature of the hull. Most cats turn slowly on a flat plane, but this is a full planing hull, so it banks into turns like a sport boat. This quality makes it practical to order the wakeboard tower we had on our test boat. Yet boaters can also meander into unchartered waters for bowriders because the 240 drafts a scant 12 inches.
Key Note: MerCruiser’s SeaCore engines resist corrosion and are ideally suited for the saltwater areas where Splendor’s boats thrive.
• The cockpit is eight inches higher than the foredeck to give drivers clear visibility over bow passengers.
• Each hull carries a fuel tank for balance and for an extra source of gas on longer outings.
• Center of swim platform is raised, with the port and starboard corners closer to the water.
* Length Overall: 24′
* Beam: 8’4″
* Dry Weight: 3,700 lb.
* Passenger/Weight Capacity: 12/3,100 lb.
* Fuel Capacity: 50 gal.
* MSRP (w/ MerCruiser 350 Mag SeaCore, Bravo 3): $45,500
* NMMA Certified: Yes
* Test Engine: MerCruiser 350 Mag SeaCore, Bravo 3
* Test Prop: 24 pitch
* Test Load: People (660 lb.); Fuel (12)
* Top Speed: 46.4 mph @ 5,100 rpm
* Time to Plane: 3.3 sec.
* Time to 30 mph: 7.8 sec.
* Minimum Planing Speed: 17.5 mph @ 2,600 rpm