Captain's Report by Captain Steve Larivee--
Powered by an Evinrude E-TEC 115 outboard our test recorded a top speed of 39 mph and a best cruise range of 179 miles. The engine was turning a 13.5" X 15" SSP.
The mission of the Starcraft Limited 1915 OB is to provide a roomy deckboat with excellent capacity as well as plenty of storage capability. She's a designed to be a stable platform both at, and away from, the dock and handle easily. Most important, she is designed to be economical both at the time of purchase and under normal operating conditions. Because of her warranty, she should give owners peace of mind.
• 6-Year Stem-to-Stern Warranty. This is the longest warranty that we know of in boating industry. According to Starcraft it includes everything on the boat: components, carpet, upholstery, and even electronics. Parts and labor are paid for and the program is handled by Starcraft staff and not an outside service company. That’s important. It is also transferable to a second owner. There is a limited lifetime warranty on the hull and structure.
• Seating for 10. Thanks to having only a single console, there is seating surrounding the cockpit that can accommodate 10 people.
• Modified Dihedral Hull. The 1915 OB is built with a modified dihedral hull with vented chines. In other words there is a deep-V hull down the centerline with two outer sponsons leading with reverse chines outboard. This creates a very stable boat.
• Docking Lights Standard. Typically an option on other boats, but a "must have" on all boats which will be used at night.
• Creative Fender Storage. Located in the outboard well, this makes an excellent spot for storing fenders, and I'm surprised it isn't seen on more boats.
• Full-length Sole Storage. This compartment will literally swallow up nearly anything desired to bring aboard and is easy to access.
Our test boat was powered by an Evinrude E-TEC 115, but the 1915 OB is rated for a maximum of 200 horsepower.
Specs and Performance
The Starcraft 1915 OB has an LOA of 19’ (5.79 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). With an empty weight of 2,250 lbs (1021 kg), 26 gallons (98 m) of fuel and two people on board we had a test weight of 3,201 lbs (1452 kg). She is designed to hold 10 persons or 1,400 lbs (635 kg).
Speed Numbers. With an Evinrude E-TEC 115 turning a 13.5 x 15 SS propeller we reached a top speed at 6050 rpm of 39 mph. At that speed, fuel burn was 10.7 gph giving us a range of 168 miles. Best cruise came in at 5000 rpm and 32.3 mph that reduced the fuel burn to 8.27 gph which the 1915 OB could keep up for five hours and 36 minutes or 179 miles. These are respectable numbers and clearly show that this boat does not need to be rigged to the maximum 200-hp rating.
The Starcraft 1915 OB takes chop well and throws the spray out to the sides.
Hole Shot. The modified dihedral hull, together with the 2-stroke Evinrude E-TEC engine, gave us a quick time to plane of 3.2 seconds. We reached 20 mph in 5.7 seconds and continued accelerating through 30 mph in 9.5 seconds.
Was She Propped For Max Speed? The folks at Starcraft tell us that typically the 1915 OB runs over 40 mph with an Evinrude E-TEC 115 and suggest that a slightly greater pitch in the prop would easily accomplish that. This may well be true as props on 115-hp engines tend to have a pitch from 17” to 21”, typically. The prop on the engine in our test had a 15” pitch which maximizes low-end performance but reduces top speed.
Indeed, during our test the Starcraft 1915 had a very quick time to plane – 3.2 seconds, something that is rare even in far lighter boats with 18” to 21” pitched props. Further, since we were able to wring out the 115 to 6050 rpm it certainly wasn’t over propped.
Max Speed or Hole Shot? This is a good example of matching the prop to the boat’s mission. With the 13.5 x 15 SS prop on out test boat I’d say she is propped for towing watersports, and for novices at that, people who need to get up fast. Boaters who want to max speed out of the engine will want to go for a slightly greater pitch on their SS prop.
The ride and handling of the 1915 OB were not out of the ordinary. That is to say that even though the hull shape is dihedral, it did not pound in the choppy conditions (with winds to 20 mph) in which we tested the boat. I had expected some pounding but we did not get it, just the bump, bump, bump that is normal in the conditions we encountered.
Turning also was unremarkable, which in this case means pretty much what we experience in other boats of this size. As we always say, all boats are a compromise and the 1915 is no exception. Her hull shape makes her stable, but her low freeboard will allow sprag to come aboard in sloppy conditions. Her steering system is hydraulic which is standard and a big plus in this size boat.
There’s a modest foredeck which basically serves for boarding from the bow. Standard docking lights are mounted into molded recesses to port and starboard of the recessed four-step beach reboarding ladder. A latch for the hatch cover over the ladder wouldn't be a bad idea as there is a handle cut into the hatch that not only aids in lifting, but for climbing aboard. There are two cleats to either side of the bow, the first of four on the boat. Naturally, I'd like to see midship cleats added to the mix.
The foredeck facilitates boarding from the bow. Docking lights are recessed into the molded hull. Notice the handle cut into the hatch over the beach reboarding ladder.
Starcraft went with a single console design for the cockpit of the 1915 OB and as a result was able to utilize nearly the entire port side for lounge seating. A second lounge is forward of the helm console with a bench seat running across the stern. It's in this manner that this 19’ (5.79 m) boat is able to easily accommodate 10. A round table on a pedestal comes standard.
Just inside the cockpit is a step atop an insulated self-draining cooler. Note the size of the footwell that has plenty of room for large feet from both sides of the boat. Captain Steve has his left foot on the base for the pedestal table.
There are three entries to the 1915 cockpit: from the bow, the stern and portside at midships. A portside cushion lifts to reveal a step so there are no worries about stepping on the 35-oz prefix treated three-tone vinyl upholstery.
A midship entry allows boarding while docked side-to. The cushion is removable to expose a step.
Cockpit Details. At the bow, the step into the cockpit is actually a hatch over a built-in self-draining insulated cooler. Storage is underneath all the seats and channels direct water away from the cushions, which are held in place by Velcro tabs. A modest stainless railing 3” (7.6 cm) surrounds the cockpit and is a good place to hang on. A pedestal base lies in the center of the deck for the standard cockpit table with screw-in base.
A cooler has its lid strapped to the seat cushion so it lifts with the cushion. Notice the lip at the bottom to hold the cooler in place.
The portside seat is not only long, running from the bow to midships adjacent to the helm seat, but it accommodates storage beneath and a 36 quart (34.1 L) carry-on cooler. The cushion snaps to the lid of the cooler so when the cushion is lifted the lid of the cooler opens as well. The cooler is held in place by a molded lip at deck level.
A Boat with Sole
Our test boat was fitted with the optional snap-in carpet lining the deck. The sole storage compartment lies between the helm console and the port side lounger. The compartment runs the entire length of the cockpit deck so it's inevitable that items will move out of reach. For that reason I would like to see, at least, a second deck hatch.
The 1915 OB has a gentle 10-degree lean into the turns thanks to the wide dihedral hull.
The bench seat lies across the transom and includes storage underneath that is partially occupied by the outboard engine oil tank and battery. There is room at the portside for an 8” (20.3 cm) step-up leading to a modest gate and out to the swim platform. A three-step reboarding ladder is recessed into the platform.
The stern features a bench seat, and a step to the aft swim platform through a small gate.
The hatch is huge and the compartment can handle skis and other equipment.
Clever Idea. At the front of the engine well there are two recessed areas framed with stainless railings intended to be used as fender storage. This is an absolutely brilliant idea for storing the fenders and I would be surprised if we didn't see this design get copied from other builders. An optional ski tow pylon was fitted to the top of the transom.
Clever fender storage is at both sides of the front of the engine well.
Wet Locker Storage is located to the starboard side and is best accessed from the water. For that reason it is a handy place to put towing lines, goggles, swim fins and other small diving accessories. The swim ladder is located to port.
However, accessing this compartment from the boat is another matter. If I try to open the hatch from inside the boat, I have to reach way down to the bottom to undo a barrel bolt and then lift straight up. Opening from a dock or from the small swim platform is also problematical.
Wet locker storage on the stern for tow lines, diving goggles or fins is a clever idea, but this one could use a little bit of redesign because it is hard to reach from the water and very difficult from the boat.
The helm features a two-tone bucket seat that swivels and slides and includes a flip-up bolster. There's plenty of foot room underneath the console. The engine control is a side-mount just beneath a wide caprail that doubles as an armrest.
The helm offers good leg room, a comfortable placement of the wheel and engine control.
The helm itself features a three-spoke leather wrapped steering wheel mounted to a tilt base. Two switch panels are to either side of the wheel with the horn switch prominently noticeable thanks to its red color. The helm console itself is a bright white and I'd like to see a more off-tone color to reduce glare.
Gauges are mounted to a grey panel and all have white faces with chrome bezels. A modest windscreen is forward that seemed to do a fine job of deflecting the wind over my head. There's a storage access door to the port side of the console.
The clear windscreen did an excellent job of deflecting the breeze up over my head while having zero effect on visibility.
Thoughts on the Sink
At the forward end of the console there is a drink holder and a molded-in sink plumbed to a freshwater tank inside the console. The sink is a basic and foolproof setup operated by pumping the black handle at the faucet. My only thoughts on this clever setup are with its placement. It's a bit hard to access the sink located so far outboard. I'd like to see its location swapped with the drink holder located on the inboard side. That would make it more easily accessible, and much more functional.
High points for putting a sink in the cockpit, but we go for different placement.
It appears that Starcraft hit the nail on the head with the Limited 1915 OB in terms of room, stability, and price. Further, she handles well, even in the choppy conditions of our test. Powered by the Evinrude E-TEC 115 she has a quick time to plane which will be appreciated by novice skiers or wakeboarders.
Starcraft is an old company, perhaps best known for its aluminum runabouts and fishing boats. But the company now builds several lines of fiberglass boats. The 1915 OB deckboat is large inside and for people who want room for lots of passengers at a reasonable price, this boat could be the answer.