Rich Sutphen Jr. continues to develop new models at Sutphen Powerboats despite the sluggish economy and the slow performance-boat market. A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of testing his Sutphen 21 with small- and big-block power. The little 5-seat hot rod handled like a dream with a small block and blistered the water at speeds topping 70 mph with the big block.
His newest creation is the Sutphen 16, an outboard-powered 16-footer that tops 40 mph when pushed by a Mercury 40-hp four-stroke outboard.
This boat could be a great first speedy trainer for kids or, if I owned a yacht, I’d use the Sutphen 16 as the coolest play tender you could get. The four-seater would be great for boarding or tubing and it still has enough cockpit space that you can use it to run errands to grab provisions for the host yacht.
When the practical stuff is done, go out have some fun with the Sutphen 16. If the 21 is anything to go by, this boat will handle like a sportscar in maneuvers and, in true family tradition, if the water kicks up, its deep bow entry can handle the seas.
I have to admit, I pull for Rich Sutphen Jr. It’s never easy being the son of a well-known performance-boat builder and designer. But he just goes about his business, building high-quality boats and the Sutphen 16 is the latest example. If you want a play boat for the kids or the coolest tender around, you can’t go wrong with this boat.
OTHER COOL SPEEDSTERS: