Rinker needed to fill a gap on their lineup that existed between their 18' (5.5m) and 21' (6.4) models and were able to do so with the new 196 Captivas, of which there are two versions, one a sterndrive and the other an outboard. The separate versions also help Rinker appeal to a wider audience. We recently tested Rinkers latest offerings against the gorgeous backdrop of the historic Portage Point Inn just off of Lake Michigan and came away with an interesting mix of the old and the new.
Rinker 196 Captiva IO (2012-) Specifications
19' 6'' 5.9 m
3,150 lbs. 1,429 kg
8' 0'' 2.4 m
34'' 0.86 m
42 gal. 158.98 L
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
With a LOA of 19'6" (5.9 m) and a beam of 8' (2.4 m) the 196 Captiva is one of the beefiest sportboats in class at 3,150 lbs (1,429 kg), and the 200-hp Volvo Penta 4.3 L engine made her into a nice performer.
A Courteous Welcome
First impressions mean a lot, and as I stepped aboard the 196 Captiva I was glad to see that I didn't have to step on the upholstery. A starboard side flip-up section of the aft sun pad revealed a walkthrough with molded non-skid that led to a second, lower non-skid step under the seat cushion. I found the seat cushions a little awkward to remove as they had pins that fed into sockets in the seat base, but it didn't take long to get the hang of it.
The aft swim platform was 20" (50.8 cm) wide which didn't bring it out past the outdrive, and to starboard there was a 3-step reboarding ladder under a flush mounted cover that had a handhold cut into it's surface.
The sun pad has a walkthrough to starboard. Cleats are up and away from the trip zone. Notice that the outdrive is still exposed past the swim platform. The 3-step ladder is concealed under the hatch with the hand hold cut into its surface.
The engine compartment was quite roomy, and notice the trash receptacle in front of me. This is a common feature on Rinkers, but here it would help if they had put a small hatch in the sun pad for accessing it. I'd put cargo netting to the port side to hold plastic milk crates full of “stuff.”
At the walkthrough, there's an oblong hatch in the decking that opens up to reveal a large storage compartment that shares an access with a hatch under the seat cushion. The two access points are clever as this compartment runs all the way back to the transom.
The aft sun pad measures 35" (89 cm) x 6'2" (1.9 m) and lies just above and behind the bench seat. I've mentioned the boarding step under the starboard seat, and under the port seat is another storage compartment. The center seat is a bit wider than the outside seats and covers a 36qt (34L) carry-on cooler that is recessed into the deck to keep it secure in its place. The front of the cooler storage is open to the cockpit so you can see the cooler. To access the cooler, just raise the seat.
Under this cooler is an access port to the fuel lines at the top of the tank. The cooler is recessed into the deck to keep it in place. Lift the seat to access the contents of the cooler.
To both sides of the bench are lengthy stainless grab handles at a 45-degree angle. Nestled in the bulwarks is an open area for the two cockpit speakers and three drink holders per side. For safety, the wrap-around windshield runs well aft and raises the height of the bulwarks to 38" (96.5 cm), a feature that will bode well with families with small children.
In the center of the cockpit are dual bucket seats that wrap-around, are open in the lower backs for improved ventilation on hot days, and they both swivel and slide. Flip-up bolsters are optional and I wouldn't want to live without them on any boat. The observer gets a stainless grab handle just over a spacious glove box that measures 10" (2.4 cm) x 18" (45.7 cm) with a 4" (10.2cm) opening. Just above was a standard stereo with a 12v supply right next door to power your MP3 player that plugs into the stereo.
Dual bucket seats and a bench aft make up the layout of the 196. Look at how the windshield wraps around the whole cockpit. And as it's nice and high, I wasn't staring at windshield frame when seated, but rather, under it as it is supposed to be. This is an important feature, and one unfortunately missed by some builders.
The skipper gets a basic and functional helm with the now common Faria gauges with chrome bezels. The center gauge is a four-in-one to reduce panel clutter. Options allow for tilt steering, a depth gauge, and a stereo remote to starboard of the helm. To the right of the wheel are the circuit breakers and the Italian Isotta wheel is flattened at the bottom to facilitate swinging your legs past without having to feel squished.
I'd like to see a higher footrest molded into the deck, just abaft the consoles, as my short legs didn't quite reach the deck and I felt like a kid with my feet swinging. (My popliteal measurement is 16”/40 cm.) I also found the engine control to be mounted a tad high when seated, but up on the bolster it was more natural feeling.
The wheel is flattened at the bottom to allow you to swing your legs past. The depth gauge to the right is optional and notice the contoured space for a stereo remote at the lower right of the helm.
The space between the consoles was about 21" (53.4 cm) which is plenty for a boat in this class. Our test boat wasn't equipped with the optional twin doors below the opening windshield, and I didn't miss it on the 70-degree day on Lake Michigan. However, with the doors and windshield closed they should do a nice job of blocking the wind on cool mornings. I'd like to see a strap and snap holding the windshield in the open position, the doors will be held open by magnets.
A magnet holds the optional walkt-hrough doors in the open position. We recommend that you get them.
The sole storage locker is huge and accessed by a hatch with an irregular geometry that is hinged from the front rather than the sides. While the compartment is certainly large enough to hold all your gear, and possibly even the next boat's as well, I'd like to see a surrounding gutter to channel water away, perhaps a rubber gasket surrounding the opening too, and the compartment should drain, at least into the bilge.
The sole storage is huge but I'd make a few changes. The snap-in carpet is optional.
The bow seats were separated from each other by roughly 20.5 " (52.1 cm) which is enough space to allow two adults to sit facing each other without knocking knees. When lounging, I couldn't quite stretch my legs out their full length but I was still comfortable. The usual storage lies beneath the seat cushions. The storage compartment is fiberglass lined which is certainly better than having carpet on the raw hull side as some low-price point boats are made. 14" (35.6 cm) of combing height keep everyone secure, and lengthy stainless grab handles are functional and comfortable to rest your arm on.
The bow seatbacks are reclined nicely and the lengthy stainless grab rails are comfortable to rest your arm on. I couldn't quite stretch my legs out when reclining.
Note the seat back on the bow as some builders put nothing there.
Performance and Handling
Driving the 196 was a joy and it had a smooth feel throughout the turns. The power steering made handling effortless as well. What most impressed me was the way the boat carved through the self-generated chop, and when catching air, it exhibited a gentle re-entry that had spray thrown well to the sides. Try as I might, I couldn't manage to soak the windshield. That has a lot to do with the way the chines continue to the bow to form spray rails.
You can see the dual lifting strakes, and how the hard chines carry forward to form spray rails. They were very effective at throwing water out to the sides.
The hull extends well past the transom, and I found that this gave us a quick time to plane, along with the 200 horses, of course.
With an empty weight of 3,150 lbs. (1,431 kgs.), two people onboard and full fuel we had a test weight of 3802 lbs. (1,728 kgs.). Powered by a 200-hp Volvo Penta 4.3 GI we reached a top speed of 41.8 miles per hour at 4800 rpm. At that speed we were burning 13.6 gallons per hour while getting 3.08 miles per gallon for a range of 117 statute miles. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm with a speed of 29.7 miles per hour. Now we were burning only 7.9 gallons per hour while getting 3.8 miles per gallon for range of 143 statute miles. Our time to plane was 4.6 seconds we reached 20 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds and accelerated through 30 miles per hour in 9.5 seconds.
This was hull number one in a series, and that means that Rinker has a few small items to iron out, but I found the 196 to be a comfortable boat and a nice handler. The advantage of the heft of the Rinker 196 is that it gives you a solid feel and she will ride better in a chop, all things being equal.
Rinker 196 Captiva IO (2012-) Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Rinker 196 Captiva IO (2012-) is 41.8 mph (67.3 kph), burning 13.6 gallons per hour (gph) or 51.48 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Rinker 196 Captiva IO (2012-) is 34.8 mph (56 kph), and the boat gets 3.43 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.46 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 130 miles (209.21 kilometers).
Tested power is 1 x 200-hp Volvo Penta 4.3 Gi.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Rinker 196 Captiva IO (2012-) Standard and Optional Equipment
= Standard = Optional
Rinker 196 Captiva IO (2012-) Warranty
Rinker 196 Captiva IO (2012-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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