Deck boats aren’t often thought of as choice wakesurfing platforms, but Starcraft’s Star Step 221 E I/O Surf proves itself a worthy candidate for even the most serious recreational rider. Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive provides the propulsion, keeping surfers out of harm’s way by relocating the prop to the front of the drive where it’s tucked well underneath the hull. Nearly 900 pounds of plumbed ballast and Wake Worx surf tabs boost and shape the wake to surf-worthy stature, especially when you also take advantage of this deck boat’s 12-passenger capacity. Zero Off speed control and an elevated watersports tower complete a surf package that also proves beneficial to the wakeboarders in your crowd.
The E in the title stands for Entertainer, a nod to the boat’s social layout and amenities. Seating essentially rings the perimeter, interrupted only by a convenient starboard transom walk-through and portside entertainment center. The latter includes a sink with faucet, along with a pair of lighted cup holders and stowage below. Additional stowage is found below nearly all seating, along with a 36-quart Igloo cooler in an open nook below the center seat. The 3-by-4-foot sun pad aft offers an inviting place to stretch out flat or recline, with backrest cushions that open either lengthwise or widthwise to accommodate nearly any state of repose. It also makes a great staging area for your boarders to get ready for a surf or wakeboarding session.
The Star Step’s unique name comes from the design’s vented hull chines, a feature that Starcraft notes will not only help shape surfing waves but also improve overall performance by introducing a layer of air bubbles below the hull to reduce friction. Equipped with the 240 hp V-6 version of Volvo Penta’s Forward Drive, our test boat planed in 4.3 seconds and peaked at 44.8 mph while displaying the quick and nimble handling inherent to Forward Drive. The Forward Drive system still employs Volvo Penta’s Duoprop system, giving it extra bite for improved slow-speed handling around docks.
* Standard extended swim platform stretches a full 3 feet, further distancing the prop while offering welcome space for both relaxation and gearing up for watersports.
* Color choices include bold electric blue, red, yellow, orange and lime; more conservative shades include white, charcoal, gray and black. The hull accent color is carried over into accents on both upholstery and the steering wheel.
* Standard features include a Bluetooth AM/FM audio system; Bimini top with storage boot; docking lights; and removable table.
Price: $64,199 (as tested)
How We Tested
Engine: Volvo Penta V-6-240-CE/FWD
Drive/Props: Volvo Penta Forward Drive/K4 Propset
Gear Ratio: 1.95:1
Fuel Load: 44 gal.
Crew Weight: 320 lb.
Starcraft Marine – New Paris, Indiana; 866-772-4538; starcraftmarine.com