Like all Hurricane models the SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB is intended to seat many people, and in this case has a rated USCG capacity of 11 persons and a EC capacity of 9 people. She is intended to be an affordable watersports platform on small lakes and rivers. Like all Hurricane deckboats it can be used as a swim platform both at the bow and at the stern, making her decks a great place for kids. Mom and dad will love all of the room for socializing. She’s available in both an outboard and an I/O version, and she can easily be used as a fishing crossover with the optional fishing package.
Immense Seating Capacity.
Seating is much like that found on a pontoon boat and in this case the seating capacity exceeds both USCG and EC ratings, which are 11 and 9, respectively.•
Huge Deck Space.
Because the deck is rectangular and bench seats are against the vessel's gunwales there is a large deck area in the middle, permitting guests to move around easily. •
The 201 OB, like many other models in the Hurricane family, sports a design that lends itself to safe boating while maintaining easy boarding. The bow is designed to be a second watersports launching platform, or maybe even the primary one.•
Low Deadrise Bottom.
Because the boat is intended to host many people, and because they will be moving around, Hurricane has designed a moderate V-forward to maximize stability by taking the max beam from the forward all the way to the stern. That means that she does not have an aggressively deep v-hull which by its very nature can be rolly, and its forward shoulders are broad to support the weight forward.
Things We Like
Standard Bimini Top.
We know, this is nothing new, but Hurricane has finally found a way to keep the top from the shake, rattle, and roll that they usually exhibit while underway. A simple cross member anchored to the aft caprail secures this top in a way that seems to escape other builders. And it’s perfectly executed. Additionally, it’s a relatively high Bimini top providing a clearance underneath of 6’7” (2 m). •
Having fresh running water onboard makes a difference in so many ways. Sure we may not be drinking it, but what a great way to rinse off the hands before serving up the sandwiches, or for cleaning the plastic-ware before packing it all back into the cooler. •
Standard is a Sony CDXM-20 with MP3 and 2 speakers. And what’s a day on the water without some music. Of course stereo upgrades are certainly available. •
Clever Seat Backs.
The seat cushions to either side of the drink holder/seat separator are removable and include posts that fit into sockets to convert from flat cushions to comfortable lounge seat backs. •
Max, Wrap-Around Seating.
By drawing the beam out to the bow, the Hurricane has a rectangular shape on deck and is able to have a U-shaped lounge that can easily seat five people with remarkable knee room. By having a portside L-settee in the stern, the boat seats still another five people.•
The 201 OB comes standard with both a livewell and a pump to circulate water. For those not interested in fishing the livewell can simply be a cooler or a storage bin.•
Just the Basics.
Part of what makes this an attractive boat is its simplicity. The systems consist of little more than fuel and electrical and there’s little that can go wrong. The panel has only two gauges. Clearly this is a boat that would not only make an excellent family boat, but one that the kids can easily get introduced to the water in.
Things We’d Like to See
Raised Edges at the Foredeck.
With the lip surrounding the foredeck being raised just a bit, it would make an easy deterrent for anyone walking the deck to not step off the edge. Such an addition gives a clear indication of change, even without having to look down. And with the fishing seats, this is sure to be a well-used spot on the boat.
Slightly Higher Windscreen.
The height of the current windscreen did little to deflect the wind over one's head, and instead directed it right into the face. Not a problem on a hot and humid day, but on the cool days of the shoulder season it can be inconvenient. A simple fix, and a welcome one, would be to add a higher windscreen to the build list.
The Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB has a LOA of 20’1” (6.13 m), a beam of 102” (2.59 m) and a fuel capacity of 47 gallons (178 L). With an empty weight of 2,710 lbs. (1,229 kg), 30-gallons (114 L) of fuel, 3 people and the 428 lb. (194 kg) test engine we had an estimated test weight of 3,923 lbs. (1,779 kg).
With the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. turning a 16” Revel propeller, we reached our top speed of 41.4 mph at 5700 rpm. At that speed we had a fuel burn of 13.5 gph.
was reached at 3500 rpm and 22.7 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to only 5.6 gph giving the SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB a range of 171 miles and an endurance of over 7 ½ hours while still holding back a 10% reserve.
We reached planing speed in 4.4 seconds and accelerated to 20 mph in 7.4 seconds.
The Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB clearly has the characteristics of a boat designed for protected water. She has relatively low freeboard at 32” (81.3 cm) and a flat entry, but having said that she seems to take light chop surprisingly well. She showed little signs of pounding when crossing wakes and presented a dry ride throughout.
Once on plane
, just 3-4 shots of up-trim on the outboard put her into her 5-degree bow high cruising attitude and that was accompanied by an additional surge of power. While she’s rated for up to 200-hp, this Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. seemed to have more than enough power to utilize the 201 as a family boat as well as a water sports platform. While wakeboarding may not be the plan since she presents such a little wake, skiing and certainly tubing are right in the game plan for a boat such as this.
Compare and Contrast Engine Options
The standard engine on the Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB is a
. The Hurricane SunDeck 201 OB we tested was powered by the
Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. 2-stroke
outboard. Following is our analysis of how we would compare and contrast virtually any 4-stroke 115-hp engine with the 2-stroke Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. in this application based on our study of 12 tests conducted by 4-stroke engine makers themselves--
After surveying test data we can say don't expect anything like the WOT top speed of 41.2 mph that we got in our test with the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O.. In other similar type boats that we looked at, which were from 200 lbs. to 1,000 lbs. (90.9 to 454 kgs.) lighter and half had less beam, their 115-hp 4-stroke outboards were all 1 mph to 7.5 mph slower at WOT. (No attempt was made to compare prop geometry or bottom shape.)This disparity is not surprising since the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. is actually a "de-tuned" 150-hp engine. We can only imagine what their WOT speeds would be if they had the 3,923 lbs. (1,783 kgs.) tested weight of the SunDeck 201 OB.
Our test boat’s 0-to-plane speed of 4.4 seconds was faster than 9 of the 12 boats (75%) we studied with 115-hp 4-stroke engines -- even though they were from 200 lbs. to 1,000 lbs. lighter. When looking at 0-to-30 times we found that our test boat at 7.4 seconds was faster than all but one other 4-stroke, 115-hp powered boat, and it weighted nearly 600 lbs. (272 kgs.) less. Again, the smaller 4-stroke engines were at a competitive disadvantage against any 2-stroke engine because for them every stroke is a power stroke. Further, the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. has far greater displacement and can -- and does -- simply have more powerful combustion, which is particularly noticeable in the low rpm range.
The flip side of the coin of more displacement and more powerful combustion is more fuel consumption, and the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. had that, too, when compared to the 115-hp engines. But since all of the 4-stroke-powered boats we studied were far lighter, and boats are quite weight-sensitive, this is not surprising.
Other 135-hp Outboards?
Certainly it would be better to compare other 135-hp outboard engines' performance with our test boat, but unfortunately there is only one. And because this 4-stroke engine is 60-lbs. (27.27 kgs.) heavier, it is not used much in this class of boat.
Swimming and Tubing
Without a doubt, this boat will be spending as much time underway as it will at a beach or on the hook. For that reason, Hurricane accommodates getting in and out of the water easy. At the portside stern there is a storage compartment that is easily accessed from the water and makes a great place for tossing the masks, snorkels and swim fins into before sliding over to the reboarding ladder to the starboard side.
At the bow
, there’s a dedicated anchor locker with an anchor keeper recessed into the foredeck. The hatch is held in place with a stainless piano hinge and a cleat is included for securing the rode. To the starboard side is a second reboarding ladder. Cleats and nav lights are mounted well to the outside of the deck clear of the trip zones.
What a Drag
Several methods of towing are offered and all are optional for the SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB, and that makes sense since there are so many choices. The standard tow points are the rear tow eyes. The ski tow pylon that our test boat was fitted with that fits into a socket in the stern caprail.
This keeps the tow point high enough to bring the towline over the top of the outboard. Another choice is the Turbo Swing that wraps around the back of the outboard and connects to the towline via a roller that slides back and forth.
No Wake Please, We're Skiers.
Finally, a tower is available for wakeboarding and options include additions for wakeboard racks and speakers. However, our testing on this model shows that she puts out a minimal wake so dedicated boarders will probably not be gravitating to it, but the kids in the family will likely love it.
Seating is maximized throughout the SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB by wrapping nearly all the way around the cockpit. It starts with L-shaped seating across the aft end of the cockpit and an optional table will make a great addition to the al fresco lunches that we can serve onboard.
On the port side
, there are two cushions separated by a drink holder/armrest. Three stainless drink holders are recessed into the armrest and the cushions to either side are removable. However, Hurricane added a clever touch to these cushions. There are two pedestals underneath that easily fit into dual positions in the seat base. The first position has the seat back in a reclined, chaise lounge position. The second has it in more of an upright position of a normal seatback. This is repeated of course with the second cushion. We’re surprised that we haven’t seen this before but no doubt we’ll be seeing it more in the future as it’s such a clever addition to an otherwise basic seating arrangement.
The seating continues wrapping around
the bow with the exception of a space occupied by the forward step to the foredeck. The entire bow can be filled in with optional filler cushions to turn the entire space into a huge sun pad. And of course a second table, or for that matter a repositioning of the stern table, will add dining functionality to the forward seating. There’s no worry about knocking knees together with 38” (97 cm) separating both seats. Drink holders are flush mounted into the forward caprail, and stainless steel grab rails are also surrounding the bow at 2.5” (6.4 cm) off the caprail.
Fresh Water Aboard.
Just ahead of the helm is a manual pump sink connected to a 2.5 gallon water holding bag. The optional pressurized galley will connect to a 13 gallon holding tank. It’s in a convenient position, not only from an easy to access standpoint, but it doesn’t interfere with the seating whatsoever.
The realm of family fishing was not left off the planning for the Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB, but because of the variety of options available, only one item is on the standards list and that’s the livewell. It’s located at the bow, just at the step to the foredeck.
A major element of the 201 OB's appeal is her relatively low price. In order to keep it low, Hurricane provides a basic boat, without loading up with much of anything that people won't use. As available options, Hurricane can add an optional Lowrance Elite 4X Color, a Lowrance 4X Pro, or a Garmin 50S, up to two pedestal fishing seats or deluxe fishing seats, rod storage clips and a trolling motor harness with plug. The foredeck comes out 29” (74 cm) providing plenty of room for moving about while casting.
The helm console really identifies with this boat being elegant in its simplicity. The panel has only two gauges, one a multifunction, and that’s typical of an outboard powered boat. Basic electrical switches are to the left side of the panel. The seat is a bucket style with a flip up bolster and it swivels around to join the conversation, or the dining at the optional table. In another nod to the fact that this would be a good boat to start the kids out on, the steering wheel is mounted to a tilt base.
The windscreen is a little too low
to effectively deflect the wind over the head. It was pretty much in the face for the most part and a slightly higher version would be an easy fix, and a welcome one.
To the side of the helm console is a hatch leading to storage underneath. Inside is a standard 25-quart carry-on cooler that makes lunch prep so much easier than with a built-in cooler. We love being able to load a cooler at home and simply bring it onboard. And then take it home full of trash at the end of the day.
Additional Options to Consider
We would give serious consideration to adding the optional depth finder. It’s simply a digital gauge in the dash and such information makes a big difference when operating out of the main channels as this boat is bound to be doing.
The tilt wheel
was an option on our test boat but the steering was a little stiff. We’d like to have the optional hydraulic steering to make life a tad easier.
A snap-in carpet adds a touch of class when adults are heading out, and it makes "docktails" a much more pleasant affair. Of course two tables are a must-have for any big get-together and this boat has the deck space for guests to move around easily.
is on the option list along with a canopy-supported changing curtain. Depending on use and guests this might be something to consider. Since there will be such a focus on swimming the changing curtain will provide a little privacy when getting in a and out of wet bathing suits. Several dockside restaurants require more appropriate clothing. And if this is going to be an adequate family boat, a Porta-Potti is a must.
A Boat Cover.
It is on the option list and we recommend it for every sportboat. Not only do they keep the boat cleaner they also virtually eliminate UV degradation of the vinyl and will keep the boat's interior looking like new so long as the cove is used religiously. It is the best investment one can make.
This is probably the second best investment one can make because it makes the boat look so much better. But remember, gel coat oxidizes, so the hull needs to be compounded and waxed a couple times a year.
The SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB has a MSRP of $37,334 when powered with a 115-hp outboard.
We think our test of the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. and comparison with the likely performance of a 115-hp 4-stroke is pretty compelling for boaters who want performance. Skiers will appreciate the 135's extra oomph, and the owner will be spared the embarrassment of having his boat struggle to get on plane with a boat load of people. Also, the Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O. probably has a WOT speed of 4-8 mph greater or more depending on load.
For Sedate Boaters.
Boaters who plan to use the 201 OB mainly as a swim platform and for casual, sedate evening cruises and entertaining, the standard 115 4-stroke should do just fine. For them there is no reason to go for the extra power and higher price.
Hurricane invented the deckboat to be used in places where pontoons boats go, i.e. protected water such as rivers and small lakes. The idea was to have a boat that could hold as many people as a pontoon boat and be competitively priced for people who didn't want to own something that wasn't a "real" boat. While times and attitudes have changed, Mother Nature has not, and Hurricane deckboats are still designed for the same kind of conditions as they were 20 years ago. The bow on the SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB is low so that it can be easy to board from a beach or even from the water. That is the genius of the design. But sloppy conditions in large bodies of water is not part of that calculus.
The SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB and many of its near sisters have so much seating aboard that the avail place actually exceed the USCG rated capacity, which is even greater than what we find in the more conservative EC rules. That's a good thing for parties and entertaining as it means there is plenty of room in which to move around and people don't have to sit like crows on a wire.
This is made possible by the boat's rectangular deck which maximizes deck space as well as seating. In order to make the boat stable forward with weight so far outboard, the shoulders of the hull forward are wide. This is a calculated trade-off between both deck and sitting room vs. performance. We think the Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB is a good boat for beginners to get the hang of how boating works, and she’s equally well-suiting for veteran boaters looking to keep things simple, and expenses minimal. For retired folks living on the protected lakes and rivers it’s a sure-fire way to keep the grandkids coming by for regular visits.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB (2014-) is 41.4 mph (66.6 kph), burning 13.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 51.1 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Hurricane SunDeck Sport SS 201 OB (2014-) is 17.4 mph (28 kph), and the boat gets 3.7 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.57 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 173 miles (278.42 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 135-hp Evinrude E-TEC 135 H.O..
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Carpet: Cockpit||Optional Snap-in|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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