Princecraft Venturas Are Different
Princecraft classifies its Ventura models as deck boats, but we think that they are really in a class by themselves. They ride on deep-V hulls that have reverse chines to add lift and knock down the spray and carve turns like an expert slalom skier. One of the Ventura's series most notable aspects, to our mind, is that wide beam at the transom. We like it because it adds stability, buoyancy, and space just where it is needed. Why pinch the stern in, when that is where so much of the action is?
The 192 Ventura is an affordable boat that can be used by the whole family for virtually any waterborne activity on a lake or river. She is set up to be a fish and ski boat, but she is also probably the largest entertainment platform on the market in a monohull boat.
* Seating capacity.
The 192 Ventura is one of the few boats on the market which actually has more seating available than what the boat is rated for by governing bodies. In Canada where the boat is built it is rated for 8 persons. In the U.S. she is rated for 10 people. (However, both countries agree on how much passenger weight is the max -- 1,323 lbs. /600 kgs.) We count seating for 11 average-sized people.
Another unusual aspect of this boat is the design of her seats. They are more like what might be found on a pontoon boat. Aft there is a L-shaped settee on two sides of a handy café table. Forward, there are two facing bench seats, both of which are about the size of love seats. The starboard one has a recliner back. On the bow are two seats for casting, but they make a desirable place for sight-seeing or just watching the sun go down at anchor.
*Optional privacy curtain.
In the stern there is a place for an optional privacy curtain for changing clothes and we suspect that even a porta-potti could be added. This is an important detail that is rarely found in a 19' boat.
*Cured urethane paint.
Construction is aluminum, finished with oven-cured urethane paint.
Fishermen will appreciate the 20-gal. (77 L) aerated livewell under an anti-spill, insulated cover. It drains overboard, and will make a fine cooler for drinks when there's no bait onboard. Princecraft installs a Lowrance X-50 fishfinder as standard, and wiring and battery tie-downs for a trolling motor – either 12v or 24v. As noted, rod holders are in the sole compartment. Two folding fishing seats are also standard. We think this is a nice level of fishing gear for a multi-purpose boat like the Ventura 192.
Premium Aluminum Construction
Princecrafts are aluminum boats, but you have to look hard to see that. The high gloss, oven-cured urethane finish is smooth and shiny, and looks like fiberglass to most of us. But scratch it and you’ll find marine-grade 5052-H36 aluminum alloy; H36 is 25% harder than alloys used by many other builders, and provides increased strength and stiffness. Plates are cut precisely by CNC machines, and supported by longitudinal and transverse frames. Thickness of both hull and sides is 2.8 mm, or .110”.If you do scratch your Princecraft, or any aluminum boat, you can ignore it – the raw aluminum will soon form an aluminum oxide skin that’s harder than paint. Some people, notably French long-distance sailors and Pacific Northwest fishermen, don’t even bother to paint their aluminum boats above the waterline; they just let them oxidize into a gray patina. However, to keep your Ventura looking nice, touch up any dings, please. It's an aesthetic thing.
The Aluminum Advantage
If you boat in an area that has a lot of glacial rocks (like the northern U.S., all of Canada and parts of northern Europe) on the beach or in the shallows, we think you should give aluminum serious consideration because it is so durable. We think that boat operation is a great confidence-builder for kids, but our experience is that they aren't quite as mindful of damage to the hull bottom as we are. When they scratch the bottom of an aluminum boat for some reason we don't have the angst that is generated when the same thing happens to a fiberglass boat. Then we come to maintenance. As noted, aluminum boats can get by quite nicely with nothing more than a hosing down after a day on the water. No need to wax and compound it a couple of times a year to keep the surface bright and shinny. The deck is pressure-treated wood, carpet-covered – and it hides a lockable 7'-long ski stowage compartment with rod holders, so both skiers and fishermen have a place to keep their stuff. There's also a built-in cooler, and an anchor locker forward. (Too many builders omit the latter, and the anchor ends up under a seat, covered with other gear.)
Power Choices and Costs
The Ventura 192 is rated for a single 150-hp outboard, max. Princecraft, a Brunswick company, rigs their boats only with Mercury OBs – Mercury is another Brunswick company. Power options are 90-, 115- and 150-hp, 2-stroke or four. No-feedback steering is standard, but Princecraft recommends upgrading to optional Sea Star hydraulic with engines over 135-hp. Verado 150-hp OBs also get digital throttle and shift.We haven't tested this boat, so can't provide any performance numbers, or a critique of the handling qualities.In the U.S., a Ventura 192 with a 115-hp four-stroke, a popular engine choice, lists for $31,000; if you want a bit more speed, upgrade to the 150-hp Optimax two-stroke for $33,400. In all cases, a trailer is extra.
In the perfect boating world, we'd have a different boat for each activity, one that's set up just right for fishing, skiing, whatever. But in the real world, that's not going to happen. We know some families who fish and ski and board all on the same trip, while the moms spend the whole day sprawled out catching rays. Having one boat to do it all makes great economic sense. If there is one big thing that sets this boat apart from virtually all others on the market it is "room." Only a pontoon boat will have more. All of that space is due to the beam being carried all the way aft and pretty far forward. The clever seating makes the boat ideal for entertaining, in our opinion. And as we mentioned, aluminum hulls have more advantages than just light weight. For all of these reasons we think the Princecraft Ventura 192 should be on your short list.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Optional Snap-in|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|