Captain's Report by Capt. Steve
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!