Because Ventura 220 WS is low to the water and has a dropped deck at the bow, the she can be classified as a deck boat, but because of the seating arrangement, helm, and aluminum construction, she also has elements of a pontoon boat -- perhaps capturing the best aspects of both.There is nothing on the market that we are aware of that is quite like the Ventura line of aluminum boats made by Princecraft. They range in length from 19' (5.79 m) to 22' (6.70 m) and all have an 8'1" (2.46 m) beam and all are pretty much the same abaft the helm.
The Ventura’s mission is simply having fun on the water with a minimum of fuss. That means you can tow most anything behind her, and because she's so light, you won't have to have 350 horses driving her. Because she is low to the water and because of her bottom shape she is surprisingly stable. Those are some of the things that set her apart from most boats that we cover, and it is a refreshing change.
The Back Story
Princecraft is a highly-respected Canadian builder of aluminum fishing, pontoon and deckboats. For more than 55 years, Princecraft has been building boats in Princeville, Quebec, Canada; the company was founded as Aluminum Boats and Canoes in 1954. From the start the builders chose the right material – in ’54, fiberglass was unproven, wood was on the way out as the pre-eminent boatbuilding material, and aluminum was the material of choice. Back in those days the high-tech crowd was betting on aluminum, usually riveted; aluminum boats were light, durable and easy to build.
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. The thickness of both hull and sides is 2.8 mm, or .11”.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. Many people, including French long-distance sailors and fishermen in northern latitudes don’t even bother to paint their aluminum boats above the waterline; they just let them oxidize into a gray patina.
The Hull Truth
Don’t let the squared-off bow fool you: The Ventura 220 WS rides on a hull with reverse chines that, the builder says, “increase lift, efficiency and agility.” We haven’t tested this boat, so can’t affirm or deny those claims, but we’ve found wide chines to improve the stability of similar boats. There is a slight V in the bottom that leads up to the chine. Wider chines build buoyancy quicker, and that is one of the secrets of this boat which has an 8'1" (2.46 m) beam. Note that the Ventura 220 WS, like all deck-style boats. is intended for sheltered-water use, not open-sea adventures.
The Bottom Line
Princecraft offers the Ventura 220 WS with most of what you need included as standard, but most buyers will want a few options. Other than what we’ve mentioned above, we’d add halogen docking lights for after-hours adventures, a tilt steering wheel and a mooring or trailer cover. An enclosure would be nice if the weather turns bad, although a Bimini top is standard. A head is also optional, but if you have one then you'll probably want to add the pop-up privacy enclosure, too. We’d upgrade the helm seat for one with a bolster, add a windshield wiper and, just for fun, underwater lighting. At night the underwater lights will attract all kinds of fish and, frankly, watching them is surprisingly entertaining. Then we could crank up the stereo and enjoy messing about on the Ventura, doing absolutely nothing – except enjoying life and the great outdoors.For pricing and specific ordering info for the Ventura 220 WS, contact the nearest dealer. You’ll find him on the Princecraft website, www.princecraft.com.
Standard and Optional Features
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