Captain's ReportThe Uncompromised CompromiseMy dictionary defines compromise as something intermediate between two things; a balance between two competing ideals. Rinker Boats has strived for such a balance in designing their 23 foot cuddy cabin cruiser, intending the boat to be compact enough to be easily trailered and practical for watersports, yet large enough to include a functional cabin as a retreat from the elements or for an occasional overnight expedition. If consumers are the ultimate test of the effectiveness of a design, then the Captiva 232 has been a resounding success, as this model has been one of the manufacturer’s strongest sellers since being introduced in 1994.While the cabin is roomy for her size, she is only a 23-foot boat. It is intended that most time aboard will be spent outside. With this in mind, the boat comes with a bimini top that can be deployed or stowed in seconds, and a convenient table that easily inserts in the aft part of the cockpit. Surrounding the table, a large L-shaped lounge sits across the stern and along the starboard side, and a small jump seat sits to port. Aft of the jump seat, a small island contains a sink, beverage holders, and a concealed trash bin. Storage for an Igloo cooler is also provided. Just aft of the lounge, a large sunpad sits atop the engine compartment taking up most of the width of the boat, with a walk-through along the port side for access to the swim platform. The platform includes a recessed folding ladder and handrail for easy boarding, a freshwater shower, and a ski tow eye. At the helm and passenger’s consoles in the forward part of the cockpit, the twin bucket seats swivel and slide, and are equipped with flip-up seat bottoms, providing plenty of room to stand in front of the seats. The lock for the seat mechanism is easily operated yet out of the way. The cockpit also includes an indoor/outdoor carpet liner, which seems to fit better and snap into place more easily than I’ve found on most boats. The helm is equipped with full engine instrumentation, a depth sounder, speedometer, compass, and tilt wheel. A stereo with CD player is mounted on the console, with the option of a six-disk compact disk changer mounted just inside the cabin. Immediately to the left of the helm console, steps molded into the fiberglass and a hinged windshield panel provides access to the foredeck, which includes an anchor locker, bowrail, and a hatch.The cabin is entered through a sliding companionway on the centerline of the boat. With the bed insert removed, the foot well is larger than typical on this size boat, making the cabin surprisingly comfortable. The cockpit table can be installed here as well, with more than adequate head and leg room for dining. With the filler cushion inserted, the bed is reasonably large. Tucked beneath the companionway, the porta-potty hides behind a curtain, although I found the snaps that secure the curtain difficult to fasten. A hanging locker sits just inside the companionway on the port side, and a pair of convenient shelves lie to starboard. One nice touch that I’ve found in all of Rinker’s boats, the storage lockers under the bed are fitted with plastic tubs, keeping items stored here out of the bilge. While running on Sarasota Bay, I found this boat to be quite responsive to helm and throttle commands. The 260 horsepower Mercruiser 5.0 liter engine in our test boat seemed an excellent match to the hull, with enough reserve power for watersports or a heavy load. Available engines for this boat range from a 220 horsepower 5.0 liter V-8, through a 320 horsepower 6.2 liter engine. When the wind picked up, she handled the choppy water well.While compromise implies sacrifice, this boat doesn’t give up much. For a sporty, trailerable boat, she offers a lot of creature comforts. While this may not be the perfect weekender or watersports boat, the Captiva 232 Cuddy fulfils both rolls well.by Vincent Daniello
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Rinker 232 Captiva Cuddy (Not in Production ) is 47.1 mph (75.8 kph), burning 19.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 71.92 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Rinker 232 Captiva Cuddy (Not in Production ) is 25.9 mph (41.7 kph), and the boat gets 3.08 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.31 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 208 miles (334.74 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 260-hp MerCruiser 5.0L MPI.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!