Much of the popularity of Starcraft’s EX 23 C SG is traced to its additional starboard gate. Located right in front of the helm, it increases the docking options for those who don’t always pull up portside. That gate isn’t a skinny afterthought, but a full 2 feet 6 inches wide, just like the gate across the aisle. That dimension not only makes it more usable, but it is also wide enough to handle passengers in wheelchairs. Once aboard, though, the comfort and convenience of the Cruise layout seating clearly steals the show. It includes a 5-foot-5-inch-by-1-foot-10-inch sun pad aft, directly behind an L-shaped lounge with over 8 feet of linear seat space. Pivot the helm chair and you’ve got a social floor plan with room for at least half of the boat’s 12-passenger capacity. Forward, parallel lounges stretch over 4 feet, with forward-facing backrests for those who want to stretch out in comfort.
Starcraft keeps the price point in check by leaving seat bases in their natural, roto-molded plastic, but the color matching is so spot on that it’s easy to overlook. Seat-cushion hinges, however, are above average. Their double-hinge style allows the cushions to open and then pivot down and out of the way to access storage. A molded trough around compartment openings funnels away water so that rain or end-of-day washdowns don’t get the contents within soggy. The standard equipment list includes courtesy lights, pop-up changing room, Bimini top with storage boot, Infinity PRV 19 stereo with MP3 port, a removable table with screw-in base, and Sea Weave vinyl on the aft platform.
A tilt wheel awaits the captain at the straightforward, full fiberglass helm. Gauges are rimmed in chrome and set off against a wood-grain accent panel.
With a pair of standard 25-inch pontoons carrying the load, the EX cruised in comfort while displaying the moderate outside lean typical of twin pontoons in more aggressive turns at speed. The maximum horsepower Yamaha F150 pushed the boat onto plane in 2.6 seconds, passing the 30 mph threshold in 6.6 seconds. The top speed of 37.2 mph was enough to get back to the dock in a hurry, as well as pull those watersports-loving passengers; add the optional stainless-steel ski tow arch to enhance towing duty.
* Upscale touches include two-tone accented vinyl, generous bolsters at seat edges and full fiberglass helm.
* Attractive options include Sea Weave flooring, two-tone side panels, stainless-steel ski tow arch, four-step stainless-steel boarding ladder, and high-backed helm seat.
* Comes standard with an Infinity PRV 19 stereo.
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F150
Prop: Reliance 14½” x 15″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
Fuel Load: 15 gal.
Crew Weight: 310 lb.
$34,399 (with Yamaha F150)
Starcraft Marine New Paris, Indiana; 866-772-4538; starcraftmarine.com