If ever there was a match made in heaven, it’s the marriage of the 4.3-liter MerCruiser Alpha sterndrive and Starcraft’s 220 LS. Featuring the Star Step notched hull, this boat brings big-block performance out of just 262 cubic inches, shuttling me across Lake Wawasee at 48.2 mph when I mashed the throttle and trimmed the drive. There’s another payoff: At top end, the V-6 burned 15.6 gph , easily 20 percent less than what a V-8 would drink.
Though this deck boat accelerates like a sport boat, its huge, unobstructed cockpit and extended swim platform allow it to vie with pontoons. From the platform, I lifted the sun pad to reveal a walkway. No clambering across a cushion to board this boat. Conveniently, there’s a wet stowage locker here, perfect for ski lines, masks and fins, or for use as an ad hoc cooler convenient to the water. And the sun pad flips up to become a chaise lounge.
Seating capacity suits big crews or simply those who covet elbow room. The aft bench seats three, the port-side lounge seats six, and another lounge forward of the helm seats three more. That’s a baker’s dozen when you count the deep, plush swiveling helm chair. I admired the feel of the pebbled upholstery as much as I liked its sporty, graphics-style aesthetics.
Swim ladders fore and aft, a slide-out cooler and a sink with retractable shower head-cum-faucet are features that make long days on the water a reality. Snap-in carpet over a fiberglass liner, a fiberglass stringer grid and transom, and through-bolted hardware are features that make for long-term durability.
Can’t decide between a ’toon and a sport boat? Take the 220 LS for a spin.
Star Step hull makes this open boat a real “sleeper.”
The sun pad converts to a reclining sun lounge.
So much seating you’ll have room for the inevitable friends of friends who show up.
Snap-in carpet makes maintenance … a snap!
» Test Engine: 220 HP MerCruiser 4.3L MPI Alpha Stern-Drive
» Test Prop: MerCruiser 14½” X 18″ Four-Blade SS
» Test Load: People (380 LB.); Fuel (51 GAL.)
» Top Speed: 48.2 MPH
» Time to Plane: 4 sec.
» Time to 30 MPH: 11.6 sec.
» Most Economical Cruise Speed: 30 MPH @ 3,000 RPM, 7.2 GPH, 4.16 MPG
» Length Overall: 20’4″
» Beam: 6’6″
» Dry Weight: 2,305 LB.
» Seating/Weight Capacity: 12/1,700 LB.
» Fuel Capacity: 51 GAL.
» Max HP: 260
» MSRP: $30,513 (w/ test power)
» NMMA Certified