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Summer Sports

There's a bowrider for every taste and budget. Here are nine of the newest models for 2013.

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Bowriders are the crossover athletes of the boating world. Need convincing? Just take a look at what their owners ask of them. Wakeboarding, skiing, tubing, fishing, joyriding, beaching. It’s all in a day’s work for these prolific runabouts. At the same time, they’re expected to carry a heavy load of people and gear — and to do so with sleek looks and exuberant performance. Good thing today’s boat builders know what it takes to coax the most out of these open-bow family fun boats. Here we take a look at the some of the newest models for Heartland waters.

Rinker Captiva 236 BR
It’s the clever design features, and the way they enhance the usability of the boat, that set this new bowrider apart. The port-to-starboard cockpit bench can convert to an “L” or “U” shape with modular extensions that fold right out of the sidewalls. There when you need them, gone when you don’t. In a similar way, the aft sun pad can become a four-position lounger with a backrest that hides away when not in use. Our only objection is that these features are options. Of course, the standard 236 BR shows some smart thinking, too, including a cooler that can be accessed from above, through the seat top, via a small port. No need to get up when you want a cold one. Stereo speakers and cup holders are recessed into the coaming, taking up less space, and a transom walkthrough with a hinged cover eases flow to and from the integrated swim platform.

Rinker Captiva 236 BR
Length Overall: 23 feet, 6 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Draft (drive up): 1 foot, 10 inches                                  
Dry Weight: 4,170 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 41 gallons
Max. Power: 320 horsepower
Base Price: $48,615


Bayliner 185 Bowrider

Bayliner 185 Bowrider

This builder contends that its new 185 Bowrider is one of the roomiest in its class based on the fact that the widest part of the boat extends farther toward the bow. Bayliner calls this Beam Forward Design, and combined with high gunnels, it provides more passenger space as well as enhanced under-seat storage and safety. The 185 Bowrider comes with a portside back-to-back seat that converts to a lounger, plus a pair of jump seats and a motorbox aft. Optional Sport Seating changes this to twin bucket seats and a full-width transom bench and sun pad. Two available packages — the Flight Series and Fishing Package — allow owners to customize the boat to suit their needs. The former includes a wakeboard tower, swim platform extension and special graphics; the latter a trolling motor, bow and aft casting platforms and seats, livewell, Garmin fishfinder, rod storage and tackle bag.

Bayliner 185 Bowrider
Length Overall: 18 feet
Beam: 7 feet, 7 inches
Draft (drive up): 1 foot, 9 inches
Dry Weight: 2,368 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 28 gallons
Max. Power: 220 horsepower
Base Price: $19,999


Yamaha AR192

Yamaha AR192

New for this year is the AR192, which along with its SX192 sibling is the first Yamaha boat to come with the supercharged 1.8-liter Super High Output Marine engine. (This is the go-to engine for most of the brand’s WaveRunner lineup.) The result is a boat with impressive speed and a compact propulsion system that sits low in the hull. Designers have used the extra space to create a roomy interior with twin bucket seats and a L-shaped bench in the cockpit — in addition to a stern lounge that merges seamlessly with the molded-in swim platform. This area includes integrated cup holders, wet storage, deck matting, upholstered backrests, a ski tow eye and a swim ladder. An available table and transom stereo remote complete the “patio on the water” feel. The AR192 also comes with a standard, folding wakeboard tower with optional racks, speakers and a rear-view mirror.

Yamaha AR192
Length Overall: 19 feet, 2 inches
Beam: 8 feet
Draft: 1 foot, 2 inches
Dry Weight: 2,176 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 30 gallons
Max. Power: 235 horsepower
Base Price: $30,999


Cobalt R5

Cobalt R5

The new R5 reflects Cobalt’s reputation for building boats with superb style and craftsmanship. The exterior profile is raked and aggressive. Inside, the finish is yacht-like, incorporating high-end materials and textures. The seating is made to be multifunctional, including an aft sun pad with adjustable backrest, a doublewide passenger bench with reversible backrest, and a bow configuration that allows for either a full wraparound bench or a forward-facing seat and lounge. A head in the portside console adds convenience. The helm could be straight from a luxury town car — exotic wood trim, stainless-steel switches, five-inch gauges, top-stitched accents, leather-wrapped wheel. The equipment list is deep, too, with a Rockford Fosgate stereo, swim platform with flip-down swim step, Porta Potti and Kevlar-reinforced hull, plus options like a Garmin GPS/chartplotter and underwater lighting. One nit: For the price, shouldn’t the cockpit table be standard?

Cobalt R5
Length Overall: 25 feet, 8 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Draft (drive up): 1 foot, 9 inches          
Dry Weight: 4,880 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 50 gallons
Water Capacity: 10 gallons
Max. Power: 430 horsepower
Base Price: $87,333


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