By Walt Jennings
The most popular boat type in all of the Americas is the deck boat and when we started to look at deck boats for this review, the name Starcraft kept popping up and it didn’t take us long to realize that Starcraft is the largest manufacturer of deck boats in the world.
This Northern Indiana company has been building boats since 1903 when they started manufacturing galvanized steel row boats. Then in the late 1950’s a new buzz word appeared in the boat building world, and that word was “fiberglass,” and the owners of Starcraft began experimenting with its use in building boats.
Today Starcraft manufacturers 13 different boats out of fiberglass, along with 37 models of aluminum boats, and 81 pontoon models. Their deck boats, and specifically their line of SVX deck boats are as best we could determine, the most popular line of deck boats in the world, so we decided to take a look at their SVX 171 outboard model – Starcraft’s entry level deck boat.
The Starcraft SVX 171 outboard is constructed with a two-piece hull where the top cap and dihedral (think cathedral or tri) hull are both screwed and bonded together, creating the added strength needed for Starcraft to offer a lifetime hull warranty. We liked the boat’s low profile which also allows for easy ‘trailerability’.
Boarding Starcraft’s SVX 171 from a dock is easy due to its low profile as you can easily step over the gunnel or onto the boat’s spacious bow or stern deck, both of which are covered with non-slip Marine Mat. There are recessed and concealed four-step stainless-steel boarding ladders on the forward and aft deck for safety and convenience in entering or departing the boat. Two stainless-steel cleats on the port and starboard side complement the bow area and there are two more on the aft corners.
Moving from the bow down into the forward cockpit you will find heavily bolstered 32 oz vinyl upholstery that is self-draining with ample seating for four adults, two on the port side and two to starboard all with cup holders within easy reach adjacent to the seating. Storage abounds under all the seating on Starcraft’s SVX 171 model.
Athwartship in the middle of the deck the SVX there is an in-deck hatch large enough to hold a pair of water skis or a wake board. On the starboard side amidship you will find the ergonomically designed dash with a flip-up bolstered helm seat, all while looking at the consoles two multi-function gauges, with more room for gauges or a chart plotter, and just above the helmsman’s left knee is the Jensen stereo controller (four speakers come standard).
The 171’s cockpit L-Lounge seats have identical heavy vinyl seating (for five), like the bow area and aft of the cockpit, there is a large swim deck aft of the transom with a recessed four-step telescoping stainless-steel boarding ladder starboard, and storage locker/battery locker hatch on the port side. A four-bow Bimini top is standard on the 171, but if you are a skier, you will need to opt for the ski pylon at $709.
Outboard power is available from Honda, Mercury, Suzuki, or Yamaha, and our MSRP is listed with a Yamaha F115 HP Outboard, although the Starcraft 171 is also available with Honda, Mercury or Suzuki outboard power.
LOA: 17 ft 4 in
Beam: 8 ft 6 in
Dead Rise: 14°
Fuel Capacity: 21 gal
Water Capacity: N/A
Boat Weight: 2,126 lbs w/o engine
Max Horsepower: 115 hp
Passenger Capacity: 10 | 1,400 lbs
Engine: Honda, Mercury or Suzuki
Approx. MSRP: $43,958.00 USD
For more information: www.starcraftmarine.comKeyword : 2023 Starcraft SVX 171 OB, deck boats, Honda, Mercury, new deck boat, Starcraft, starcraft marine, Starcraft SVX 171 OB, Suzuki, Yamaha 2023 Starcraft SVX 171 OB, deck boats, Honda, Mercury, new deck boat, Starcraft, starcraft marine, Starcraft SVX 171 OB, Suzuki, Yamaha