A Boat For All AgesTest by Capt. Brandon De NataleThe 242LS Bow Rider from Caravelle is sure to turn your neighbor’s head with its sporty lines, while satisfying young and old alike with its many convenient features. A favorite model of 30-somethings all the way up to grandparents enjoy this boat, not just for its good looks and high performance, but for its comfort and loads of room. This is the perfect boat for taking the family or grandchildren out for the day or for entertaining guests in the large cockpit. SpecsThe 242 measures 23’7” in length and 8’6” wide and has plenty of storage and space for up to 10 adults and for stowing all your gear. The Volvo Penta 5.7 Gxi 320-hp engine enabled us to reach a top speed of 52.6 mph. Her best cruising speed was 26.1 mph at 2,500 rpm, giving us a range of over 190 miles before refueling.Good Platform for Water ActivitiesOne of the nice features that appeal’s to most people is the walk-through transom. This enables small children and others to enter into the boat by way of the swim platform, and eliminates having to climb down the side of the boat or over the sun pad. And if more room and safety are on your list you should consider the optional extended swim platform. It adds around 3 feet to the transom and provides a great platform for staging water sports. There are pop-up stainless steel cleats and a built-in ski hook that gives the boat a clean sporty appearance. The EngineJust forward of the transom there is a large sun pad, which covers the top of the engine compartment. This is the place where you’ll want to relax when at anchor. One of the first things I noticed when getting onboard was the amount of space in the cockpit. The boat is only 8’6” wide, which makes it very trailer friendly, but the layout is well executed perfectly creating loads of usable space. The L-shaped settee that wraps around to port can seat 4-5 adults comfortably. The back part of the seat lifts up to reveal the engine compartment. On our boat there was plenty of room around the 320-hp Volvo and there was even a storage bin right in front of the engine for storing small items. Over to starboard and behind the helm seat is the cockpit galley with sink and removable cooler. And her 9- gallon water supply should get you through the whole day. Two tier drink holders and snap-in carpet finish off the space. At the HelmUp forward at the helm station the adjustable flip-up bucket seat provides comfort and an excellent vantage point while underway. The custom dash is laid out very well and all Faria gauges and controls are within easy reach. The standard Sony CD player and other less important switches are placed well out of the line of site, keeping the dash uncluttered. Another nice feature is the standard digital depth finder, which makes sure you’re always running in deep water. Our boat also had the optional trim tabs, which I would recommend if getting the best performance is important to you. Enclosed HeadOver to port we find what I believe is the best innovative feature onboard. The enclosed head is built into the hull and with the door closed is concealed without taking up any needed space in the cockpit. The compartment comes with a portable marine head and cabin lighting, and there’s plenty of room in this space for easy access. Set back from the compartment is the port helm chair which also had the optional adjustable flip-up bucket seats.The Bow AreaUp forward we find plenty of seating and storage. There are drink holders and stainless steel railings to ensure support. Under the cushions there’s storage to both port and starboard and up forward there is a built-in anchor locker. And when you don’t need the extra seating you can use the filler cushions and turn the entire forward section into another sun pad and lounge area. We took the boat out for our testing on Lake Lanier in Georgia. After completing our test run I found it hard to stop smiling. With a top speed of over 50 mph and excellent performance and handling this boat is truly a pleasure to drive. The hull features all wood free construction and sports a molded fiberglass liner with built-in nonskid. The 21 degree deadrise in the transom and the hard reverse chines in the hull make for a safe and very dry ride.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Caravelle 242 LS Bow Rider is 52.6 mph (84.7 kph), burning 22.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 84.03 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Caravelle 242 LS Bow Rider is 26.1 mph (42 kph), and the boat gets 4.08 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.73 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 220 miles (354.06 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 320-hp Volvo Penta 5.7GXi.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Standard Sony CD player with 4 speakers|
|Carpet: Cockpit||Standard Snap-in cockpit carpet|
|Ice Chest||Standard Carry-on cooler|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
|Swim Ladder||Standard Telescopic three step stainless steel swim ladder with grab handle|
|Swim Platform||Optional Transom platform with swim ladder|
|Tower: Watersports||Standard Stainless steel cleats & ski tow|
|Transom Door||Standard Walk-thru transom|
|Wet bar||Standard Cockpit galley with sink, faucet and 9 gallon water supply|
|Bimini Top||Standard SunbrellaTM acrylic bimini top|
|Full Canvas||Optional SunbrellaTM acrylic cockpit cover and SunbrellaTM acrylic bow cover|
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