With the do-everything CX 25 DL Bar, Starcraft takes a novel approach to pontoon boats, developing a convertible bar-turned-lounge arrangement on the aft deck of this new single-engine 25-footer—and boy does it turn heads. Raft up to the fleet at the cove or island, lower the bar, then recline and tan yourself awhile. When the sun drops below the yardarm (a phrase denoting cocktail hour aboard boats the world over), convert the arrangement into the entertainment bar and watch as crowds of friends and family belly up to it. It’s impossible not to notice this cool arrangement, just as it’s impossible not to enjoy it.
Cruising across the water on the way out, this Starcraft won’t leave you wanting. With a Yamaha F250 outboard bolted to the stout transom bracket, it rockets to 30 mph in a cat-quick 6.7 seconds, and tops out just under 44 mph.
The best economy we recorded comes at a nice 21.6-mph clip, turning 3,500 rpm and burning 5.9 gallons per hour—that’s nearly 3.7 miles per gallon. This ’toon rolls through turns with finesse and sure-footedness. It’s a nice ride, to be sure.
The foredeck layout is conventional, with two inward-facing lounge couches that feature nice curved sections in the bow. The diamond-pleated, tufted-top upholstery is plush; it feels great to sink in and feel the comfort in the wind. And it’s a bit windy, because the console offers just a low, sculpted Lexan screen for the driver.
Behind the windscreen is a fully outfitted dash console, with Starcraft electronic instruments that sport a classic analog appearance. The optional blackout perimeter rails add a sleek touch to this performance cruiser, but as mentioned, the real magic is abaft: Once your crew gets a look at that convertible bar/lounge setup, they’ll think of nothing else.
But this craft’s fit for watersports as well; besides the amidships party pit with removable table and the out-back bar setup, there’s a spacious aft deck for swimming, hanging out or diving in with a tube or wakeboard.
The best part, perhaps, is the value: This rig, even with the big-power Yamaha outboard, sells for a reasonable $90,000.
⋅It accelerates quickly, providing pleasure and thrills.
⋅Major innovative thinking in the aft deck’s convertible bar/lounger arrangement.
⋅Bar seating for four, coupled with the center party pit, plus the cool foredeck lounges.
Dry Weight: 2,471 lb.
Seat/Weight Capacity: 14/2,590 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 60 gal.
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F250 four-stroke 250 hp
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha Saltwater Series 15.75″ x 13″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 45 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Starcraft Marine – New Paris, Indiana; 866-772-4538; starcraftmarine.com