Starcraft 191 SVX Boat Test

Check out this deckboat, our September 2019 coverboat!

Starcraft 191 SVX Running Shot
LOA: 18'9" | Beam: 8'2" | Draft (max): 26" | Displacement: NA | Transom Deadrise: 14 degrees | Bridge Clearance: 4'0" | Fuel Capacity: 48 gal. | Max Horsepower: 200 | Available Power: Yamaha, Mercury, Suzuki, Honda, BRP | More Information: starcraftmarine.comTod Martens

The new Starcraft 191 SVX’s elevated sheer brings the boat’s widened beam farther forward than that of previous models, bringing functional and aesthetic benefits, including more space for passengers and stowed gear.

The higher hull sides seem to beg for the bright big-block green graphics we saw on our Sport Package test boat, the detailing carried over to piping and panels on the bench upholstery.

Within the slightly downswept and stylish bow are cleverly embedded dock lights. Upon inspection, the anchor locker proved roomy; its top is a secure step to the bow’s folding boarding ladder. A small but handy baitwell is within the step-up. Abutting corner cushions, facing bow seats offer ­plentiful storage. Courtesy lights illuminate the cockpit throughout.

Starcraft 191 SVX Aft Seating
An L-shaped lounge offers massive stowage.Tod Martens

Considering the spacious interior, I was truly surprised that the aft swim platform is generously large. Like the cockpit, it’s topped by comfortable, nonslip MarineMat. It offers a second folding boarding ladder, and a step across makes service and access easy.

Ahead of the transom, an L-shaped lounge offers massive stowage, including space formerly reserved for a cooler. Dedicated cooler space is now within the helm; always on the prowl for potential hassles, we stuck our snout beneath the console and found ­rigging and wiring gathered neatly, but we still worried that an over-­exuberant push on a cooler might jar wires or cables.

As for construction, Starcraft starts with 22 mils of ISO-NP gelcoat, followed by a blister-resistant barrier coating to help ensure long-term good looks. For durability, Starcraft fully encapsulates the integral stringer system, using alternating layers of 24-ounce woven roving and 60-mil fiberglass matting. An 8-inch overlap is made along the keel to ensure the boat is the strongest where it needs to be. The deck incorporates Coremat, a nonwoven product that provides bulk and extra stiffness, and prevents print-through, further enhancing the looks and durability of the boat. Our test boat gleamed proudly in the morning sun.

Moving within the boat, we never found anything in the way or out of reach.

Starcraft 191 SVX Helm
The plush captain’s chair’s bolster provided a great perch.Tod Martens

The pontoon-inspired console, roomy without hogging space, protects the captain from wind and spray. A panel (maybe a bit too obviously) covers a space perfect for a fish finder. We nested our decibel-reading smartphone in the handy and secure on-dash holder. Four speakers distributed fore and aft seemed plenty, with an entire dash panel dedicated to their feeding.

The tilt wheel adjusted smoothly, and the plush captain’s chair’s bolster provided a great perch for putting the boat through its paces.

And oh, is it fun to run this boat. During our test on Indiana’s Tippecanoe Lake, the 191 SVX snapped onto plane in a sprightly 3.1 seconds, the 200 hp Yamaha four-stroke purring so softly, we could hear few wake splashes and carry on a normal conversation clear up to the 50 mph top-end speed. At no time did we lose visibility forward. A Starcraft designer told us he’d had to consciously slow down when pulling his tubing kids behind the 191 SVX with a 150 hp, so eagerly does this boat seek speed.

Starcraft 191 SVX Having Fun on the Water
The 191 SVX is fun at speed or at rest.Tod Martens

Similar performance may be expected from Tracker's Tahoe 1950 ($33,740 powered by a 150 hp Mercury outboard), a boat comparison shoppers should take note of. It is 19 feet, 5 inches in length overall, and is sporty for family fun on the water.

Cruising, the 191 SVX quickly and smoothly picks up speed as demanded. It loves 35 mph, and when pushed beyond, it takes on the boost with a cheerful “Sure, thanks for asking!” attitude, for a swift and smooth run-up through the mid-40s. Fifty mph comes with a bit of trim tweaking.

Near top speed, we swept the wheel (hydraulic steering, but very smooth) to rotate the boat with no loss of comfort, let alone control. Its small-pad hull held the line ­securely throughout.

Starcraft 191 SVX Bow Seating
Facing bow seats offer ­plentiful storage.Tod Martens

That kind of fun comes at a fuel thirst of 16 gallons an hour or so; you can try to baby your fuel budget, though, by running 32 mph at less than 7 gallons per hour. Willpower, willpower…

We weren’t successful in measuring the running angle, but it was clear there was not a great change as we moved through the rpm range.

Starcraft’s new 191 SVX offers big deck-boat fun in a compact, affordable deck-boat package.

Starcraft 191 SVX In-Floor Storage
There are numerous spots to stash gear.Tod Martens

High Points

  • Upholstered benches are hinged, and hardware seemed sturdy.
  • Family-pleasing sink at the aft end of the starboard bow benches.
  • Affordable boat with rugged ergonomics.

Low Points

  • Analog-style gauges feel out of date on this in-style boat.
  • Button for raising the floor panel seemed balky.

Price: $48,672 (with Yamaha 200 XB)

Available Power: Outboard

Starcraft 191 SVX Certified Test Results
Starcraft 191 SVX Certified Test ResultsBoating Magazine

How We Tested
Engine: 200 hp Yamaha XB
Drive/Prop: Outboard/14 1/4" x 18"
Gear Ratio: 1.86:1
Fuel Load: 32 gal.
Crew Weight: 420 lb.

Starcraft Marine - New Paris, Indiana; 866-772-4538; starcraftmarine.com