Photos and Test Report by Brad Roberts
KingFisher Boats, based in Vernon British Columbia, is an unsung Canadian success story. With over 38 models in their lineup of lake, jet, coastal and offshore boats, there’s something for everyone.
We had the chance to test one of their fishing-lake models earlier this summer at Marsh’s Marina in Waubaushene. The KingFisher Flex 1925 Sport was powered by a Suzuki 200hp 4-stroke outboard. On a hot, hot, did I say hot?, summer day, I had the good fortune to work with the owner of Marsh’s Marina, Mike and his always accommodating team.
Whether on the trailer, or in the water, a KingFisher boat is unmistakeable in her lines and features, even from a distance. One glance and you can tell, this is not your typical aluminum boat. Each one is hand built in the Vernon factory on a steel jig that pre-flex’s the aluminum pieces with the correct tension & strength before being welding into the exact design every single time. Every hull is the same. Every time.
The Flex 1925 SPT model is 19 feet long and features engineered reverse chines for a stable and dry ride in any water conditions, and compound angle box stringers welded into the hull. The hull and sides are a single piece with no underwater welds or seams. An engineering feat to say the least. Even the windshield frame is welded aluminum, as are the decks, floor and storage boxes.
Layout wise, the 1925 features a large bow casting platform with a pedestal chair, and a triangular bow deck that’s pre-wired for a trolling motor. There’s a locker for the anchor rode, 2 mesh hanging bags and two poly-lined lockers with drains. The centre mount navigation light is an LED.
Behind the welded windshield, the helm was simple but well-appointed with digital Suzuki gauges and the optional Suzuki troll mode, and room for aftermarket electronics. The companion seat features a large in-dash storage box, three cupholders, a Jensen stereo and foreshadowing some fun performance, a well-placed stainless grab bar. Between, in the walk-through, under the aluminum hatch you’ll find storage for up to eleven rods, with room for up to 3 batteries under the false floor.
The grey vinyl floor is easy to clean, and the optional flip-down aft bench seat turns into a large rear casting platform and gives access to the starting battery and a aerated 24 gallon live well.
Power for our KingFisher 1925 test boat was supplied by Suzuki’s DF200A four stroke outboard. The spec sheet on this engine told me the facts. It’s based on an inline four cylinder 2,867 cc, 175 cubic inch powerhead that features electronic fuel injection, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, a High Compression Ratio, Direct Air Intake, and Variable Valve Timing for what the manufacturer claims collectively results in impressive acceleration and great low end torque. It’s also 12% lighter than its 200hp predecessor V6 outboard, weighting in at just 498lbs, which means it beats all the other 200hp four stroke outboards out there all of which exceed 500lbs.
The inline 200hp DF200A outboard also features Suzuki’s exclusive Lean Burn Control Technology for the best fuel economy in the industry. Plus, it’s the first outboard on the market available with Suzuki Precision Control drive-by-wire controls for silky smooth throttle and shift operation, and Suzuki Selective Rotation which allows dealers to set up engines in either standard or counter rotation, thanks to specially-designed gearing in the lower unit and the engine’s electronic shift controls.
A water test would tell me much more than the facts. It would tell me how that potential performance really feels. And that’s what matters to any boater. So, with a turn of the key the DF200A fired instantly and I headed out the long narrow buoyed channel onto Southern Georgian Bay for my test protocol.
I repeatedly recorded a time to plane of just 2.4 seconds. The number alone doesn’t describe the feeling of a light boat that pops up fast and effortlessly given the 200hp and a Suzuki 3 blade 16×23 stainless prop. It was “throttle down, pop and you’re up and gone”. Acceleration from standing still, through the mid-range and all the way to the top end was consistent and strong. From any speed, when I put the throttle down, the effect was instant and I felt pushed back into my seat. The Flex 1925 was quiet and solid. No tinny water noise. No shakes or rattles. Impressive!
I recorded a top speed of an exhilarating 51 mph at 5,600 rpm trimmed right out with one person, safety gear, empty live wells and 1/3 fuel. Over 50 mph in an under twenty foot boat is fun no matter how you slice and dice it. The 1925 makes you feel secure and safe.
At more family friendly speeds, for touring or water skiing, the Suzuki DF200A was surprisingly quiet and I wouldn’t have found myself shouting to carry on a conversation if someone had been out there with me. I would easily be able to hear the spotter’s instructions if the kids were skiing or tubing.
My test notes read “quiet hull, turns extremely tight, but relatively level, very secure, no cavitation, all around fun!!”
I didn’t want to go back. But with three more boats to test on this hot day, and my cold water bottle empty, I reluctantly headed back east to Marsh’s. Down the channel, as I literally put-putted back, the outboard was there, but almost a dull hum in the background. I had to focus on it to really hear the little noise it was making.
If you’re looking for something different, something more than the average fishing boat that offers far better than average performance and fuel economy for years to come – go test a KingFisher Flex 1925 Sport with a Suzuki outboard.
Time to Plane: 2.4 seconds
Length 19′ / 5.7 m
Beam 96″ / 2.4 m
Height of Sides 29″ / .72 m
Bottom Width 82″ / 2.05 m
Approx. Dry Weight: 1625 lbs / 738 lbs
Deadrise Variable 18º
Fuel Capacity 35 gals / 133 L
Maximum HP 200
Transom height 25″ / .62 m
Livewell Capacity 24 gals / 92 L
For more information:
Center of Excellence
8160 Highland Road
Vernon, BC V1B 3W6
Test Boat provided by:
Photos and Test Report by Brad Roberts