Top speed for the 262 Captiva Bowrider was 54.3 mph at 4500 rpm.

Top speed for the 262 Captiva Bowrider was 54.3 mph at 4500 rpm.

Some might say a bowrider is a bowrider is a bowrider. We tend to disagree. While there are similarities among all bowriders, there are also differences that, shall we say, separate the men from the boys.

Caption: Top speed for the 262 Captiva Bowrider was 54.3 mph at 4500 rpm.

We were reminded of this notion of distinguished bowriders during a recent test of Rinker's 262 Captiva Bowrider on northern Idaho's Lake Coeur d'Alene, which is the centerpiece of one of Idaho's most picturesque resort towns.

The 262 reinforces Rinker's reputation as a solid boat builder with serious attention to spacious deck plans and beautiful, sleek lines. Like many of Rinker's other boats, the 262 actually has a somewhat futuristic look to it. It might even be fair to say Rinker builds a unique craft.

The conditions on Lake Coeur d'Alene were far from perfect. A significant chop was being pushed by the wind, and the testing assistant was fairly new in her position. She was a bit nervous when we told her we would be opening the boat up to full throttle at certain points during the test.

We were confident that the 262 Captiva could hold its own — indeed, it proved to be a seaworthy craft. At idle the boat pushed forward at 4.5 mph at a relatively quiet reading of 82 dB.

With an overall length of 28 feet, 2 inches and a beam of 8 feet, 6 inches, this is a good-sized bowrider, so we were more than a little impressed when we learned the 262 was able to do 0 to 30 mph in only 7 seconds — and was able to get up on plane in 4 seconds.

As it was when we were idling, the acoustical foam lining Rinker uses in the engine hatch cover really keeps the cockpit noise to a minimum. At full throttle the cockpit noise was only 99 dB (with wind noise being a possible contributing factor as well).

In the handling arena, this boat is a confident turner with significant power in the corners. With some boat and engine packages it's common for a decent amount of speed to be scrubbed off when holding a hard turn for an extended period from the increased load being put on the engine. The 262 Captiva's Volvo Penta 8.1 Gi powered through the hard turns like it was nothing.

In addition to being solid in the corners, the 262 totally kept blowout out of the equation, even in a chop. When we opened the boat up to full throttle, it handled like a trouper, even in the rough, and we reached a top speed of 54.3 mph at 4500 rpm. We were light with only two people on board and a quarter tank of fuel — still the hull did not pound, and its deep-V design cut through the waves smoothly.

The only thing we didn't like about this boat was the fact there was a squeak coming from the helm area where it meets the windshield. This was annoying; however, the Rinker technicians let us know that the boat we were testing was a prototype and they assured us the production models would not have this problem.

Taking a closer look inside, the 262 Captiva is obviously made with comfort in mind — right down to the bucket seats that fit like a glove. The sturdy seat design uses roto-cast polymer bases, which provide a solid platform with no slop.

The upholstery on this boat is top notch — and it's all hand fit into the boat. Rinker does all of its own sewing with the help of highly skilled craftsmen. It also has in place a quality-control system that ensures quality is maintained uniformly throughout the entire construction process.

Aft of the helm seats is a large U-shaped bench seat that serves as the main gathering area, especially when cruising slowly, while beached or at the dock (and barefooted crewmembers will appreciate the snap-in carpet). There's also a spacious sunpad aft of the bench seat — one of the biggest we've seen on a bowrider. The sunpad, which doubles as the engine hatch, has a low profile and fits into the sleek design of the boat. The hatch opens up to reveal an acceptable amount of room to access certain components on the engine.

Just starboard of the sun platform is a walk-through area that leads to the swim platform, which is accessed from the main area by removing a cushion in the bench that reveals a step down to the walk-through area. The swim platform is spacious and it has a telescoping ladder that folds up flush with the deck surface. There is also a transom shower for wash down before re-boarding the boat.

We also liked the fact that behind the driver's seat is a small food/beverage service center that has a sink and an integrated trash receptacle, which come standard. Another standard item we were glad to see is an enclosed portable head with an access door just forward of the port helm seat. Both the galley and the head help keep the good times right there in the boat.

A walk-through windshield accesses the bow, which has comfortable chaise lounges with backrests and four cup holders (plenty of cup holders throughout this boat). Also at the bow is a decent-sized anchor locker and two pull-up cleats. All of the hardware is constructed of 316 stainless steel.

The gauges, which are all easy to read from the driver's seat, consist of the standard gauges as well as a depth finder and a Sony AM/FM stereo with a 160-watt power amplifier with six speakers (a Sony six-disk CD changer is optional). There are two separate cockpit remote controls for the CD player and there's also a 12-volt DC electrical outlet.

For those dark nights headed to the dock, this boat comes equipped with bright halogen docking lights. However, these shouldn't be used while under way. They could make it difficult for other mariners to navigate.

Also, to keep things quiet, our test boat was equipped with the optional Corsa Quick & Quiet exhaust system, which allows the operator to choose from loud open exhaust to suppressed exhaust. On some boats with the exhaust open, we have noticed a 1 to 2 mph increase in speed; however, most people like opening up the exhaust for the gut-rumbling sound the boat makes with the exhaust open.

Rinker 262 Captiva Bowrider Specifications
Draft (drive down2'10"
Weight (w/engine)5,800 pounds
Fuel capacity85 gals.
Maximum power425 hp
Base price$49,299
Top speed54.3 mph at 4500 rpm
Cruising speed32.9 mph at 3000 rpm

Standard Features

Anchor locker, curved tinted safety glass windshield, dual horns, transom shower, halogen docking lights, 316 stainless steel hardware, pull-up cleats, extended swim platform, walk-through wind blocker, fiberglass liner, snap-in carpet, courtesy lighting, sink, integrated trash container, stowable snack table, enclosed storage area, mooring line storage locker, depth finder, 12-volt DC electrical outlet, cockpit lights, enclosed portable head, color-coordinated Bimini top, 17 drink holders, backlit instruments, compass, automatic bilge pump, 36-quart cooler, and Sony AM/FM CD stereo w/: 220-watt power amplifier, six speakers, two cockpit remote controls.


Full canvas package, cockpit and bow cover, Special Edition package, Liberty Edition package, PerfectPass speed control, Corsa Quick & Quiet exhaust, Sony six-disc CD changer, bow filler cushions, XM radio.

For More Information

Rinker Boat Co.
300 W. Chicago St.
Syracuse, IN 46567
(574) 457-5731