The MDX 191 outboard from Starcraft is a family craft that’s also light on the checkbook. It’s a well-mannered boat that’s easy to trailer, launch, start and pilot — great for newbies as well as seasoned salts. With its low freeboard, boarding and debarking are no hassle for the family either. The styling is sweet and sleek, with a curvaceous foredeck that cheats the wind.
While it’s rated for a 200 hp outboard, our tester was rigged with a Yamaha F115 four-stroke outboard; with this power, top speed was a tick over 40 mpg at 6,000 rpm, spinning a standard Yamaha 17-inch-pitch aluminum propeller. Best cruise speed for ultimate mileage was achieved at 4,000 rpm, where the Yamaha sipped unleaded regular at just 4.4 gph and 5.2 mpg. With a 44-gallon fuel tank, that’s a 206-mile range, leaving 10 percent reserve in the tank. With the 115, we hit 30 mph in 10.6 seconds.
The workmanship on this Starcraft is very good; the stainless-steel hardware is high quality and secured well, the rigging under the dash and the transom is clean and executed nicely, and there are no sharp edges anywhere. While you’ll likely never see it, the Starcraft’s understructure uses an integrated interlocking stringer system for strength and stability fore and aft. A full fiberglass inner liner is standard. The Bimini top, also standard, provides sun protection, and it doesn’t rattle or sway at speed when stored for a run on the lake.
Passenger space in this Starcraft abounds. The entire interior, fore to aft, is a wraparound lounge — interrupted only on the starboard side by the pilot’s console and amidships on the port side by a small console with a built-in sink/faucet/storage combo suited for entertainment. Need more space to hide your gear? There’s bountiful storage under all the seat cushions. Snap-in SeaDek flooring (optional) and a walk-through transom gate make watersports a natural part of its repertoire. Note the telescoping ladder on the aft swim step, essential for getting back inside the boat after a dip.
* Low speed and midrange handling is sure-footed and secure, with no prop slip or ventilation even in tight turns; great for watersports.
* Helm seat is plush and comfortable; driver can spend hours behind the wheel.
* With the Yamaha 115 outboard, cruising is economical; you’ll spend time on the lake instead of the fuel docks.
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha 115 hp four-stroke
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha 13¼” x 17″ 3-blade aluminum
Gear Ratio: 2.15:1
Fuel Load: 17 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
$29,499 (as tested)