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Deck Boats for the Cabin

Four deck boats for the cabin that offer the maximum capacity for family, friends and fun!

Written by Dan Armitage
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We all know that part of the fun of cabin ownership is sharing the “away from it all” experience with family and friends. Aboard a roomy and stable, broad-beamed deck boat, you can welcome a boatload of guests to accompany you on a ride. With plenty of seating room fore and aft, deck boats maximize usable deck space atop traditional, semi-V-shaped hulls to offer optimum performance for tow sports and comfort for cruising.
 
 
Here are four 2014 models that are particularly appealing for cabin dwellers.
 

Starcraft Star Step 220 IO

For Cabins:

The reverse-chine hull offers great acceleration, enhances handling performance in turns, and keeps spray at bay when boating on choppy water (your passengers will appreciate this!).
 

Best Feature:

The extended swim platform aft is great for gearing-up for tow sports and is actually big enough to serve as a sunning deck – or a fishing dock.
 

Accessories & Amenities:

Standard features include a ski-tow pylon and a freshwater sink with a pump faucet. The orientation of the standard bench seats on the deck allows passengers to face each other, and a wakeboard tower and board racks are options for boaters who expect to engage in active tow sports. Boarding ladders are located at the bow and stern, and Sport Star and Fish packages are offered to allow owners to customize the Star Step with accessories to complement their favorite water sports.
 
 

Princecraft Ventura 194

For Cabins:

The aluminum hull is lightweight for easy trailering and better fuel efficiency, and it’s more rugged and forgiving than fiberglass. This makes this 19-footer better suited for beaching on gravel shorelines and easier to repair in the event of damage while boating on lakes with rock and wood obstructions, or from docks exposed to wind, waves, and boat wakes.
 

Best Feature:

A great feature is the wide-open bow deck, where a pair of pedestal seats let anglers sit practically on top of the water while casting and pulling in fish – and they provide wildlife watchers front row seats with unobstructed views. Two more pedestals fit in elevated bases aft.
 

Accessories & Amenities:

Standard equipment includes four fishing pedestals, separate cooler and ski/rod storage compartments built into the floor, and a 20-gallon live well in the bow. Noteworthy options include Minn Kota or MotorGuide bow-mount electric trolling motor, Lowrance or Humminbird fish-finder, underwater lights for night fishing, wakeboard tower or ski pylon, halogen docking lights, and an inflatable bow filler cushion.
 
 

Sea Ray 220 Sundeck Outboard

For Cabins:

The outboard version of this popular deck boat model has more room in the cockpit and allows more options for service should the motor need attention. It also allows for easier power upgrades over the life of the boat, more so than stern-drive-powered models.
 

Best Feature:

Plush padded seating with integrated armrests throughout are super-comfortable for cruising, and extra-deep bow seating means passengers don’t have to hunker down to avoid exposure to the elements.
 

Accessories & Amenities:

Custom SmartCraft diagnostics instrumentation with glass lenses and low-glare blue night lighting are standard, as are a level walk-through to the swim platform from the cockpit. Optional wakeboard tower and bow filler cushions are notable choices for cabin tow-sports enthusiasts. A water system with a transom shower, bow pullout sprayer and a 6.5-gallon tank is another possible addition.
 
 

Four Winns F224 Funship

For Cabins:

With a passenger capacity rating for a baker’s dozen, you can bet that, realistically, up to about eight guests will find comfort aboard this beamy, well-appointed boat. This means that most – if not all – of your cabin guests will be able to enjoy cruising together. Standard docking lights make for safe and easy after-dark water departures and arrivals.
 

Best Feature:

A dedicated, enclosed head built into the passenger console features a chemical toilet, sink, screened port and overhead light.
 

Accessories & Amenities:

Showers and boarding ladders at the bow and the stern lead the list of standard amenities that also include a side-mounted portable cockpit table; a wakeboard tower (radar arch) is also a notable option.
 
 

Deck Boats for the Cabin


 

Dan Armitage is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captain and a freelance writer who owns no fewer than nine boats that he and his family of three “mess about” in.