On any given day during our annual Performance Trials, we test up to seven boats. The daily mix can include anything from custom catamarans that deliver triple-digit top-end speeds to production-built bow riders that top out well shy of the national highway speed limit. The trick, of course, is maintaining perspective—you have to evaluate every boat relative to its class and cost.
And that's what most impressed us about the Rinker 192 Captiva. After a morning that included a fast cat and wave-crushing V-bottom, our test team still found it entertaining to drive. That was especially surprising given that the 19'2"-long, 8'-wide boat didn't quite reach 50 mph on radar. Credit great handling, which is at least as important as top speed in any boat's overall performance.
Base price for the 192 Captiva with a MerCruiser 4.3-liter engine, which powered our test boat, was $19,995. A six-disc CD changer and a cockpit cover added $950 to the price. Talk about a bargain.
The 192 Captiva rode on a 20-degree, delta-pad bottom with four strakes. The outer strakes ran the length of the hull, while the inner pair ended about 4 feet from the transom. The boat's chines were about 5 inches wide and 5 degrees negative.
Rated at 190 (prop shaft) horsepower, the V-6 was matched to an Alpha drive with a 1.81:1 gear reduction. For a propeller, the manufacturer opted for a Mercury Turbo 14 1/2" x 20" three-blade aluminum model.
Top speed on radar for the 192 Captiva was 49 mph at 4,800 rpm, just one mile per hour slower than what the manufacturer estimated. To gain a few more ticks on the speedo, buyers might consider upgrading to the 220-horsepower MerCruiser 4.3-liter MPI or the 220-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8, both of which are offered.
Time to plane for the 2,790-pound bow rider was a snappy 3.6 seconds. In 15 seconds, the boat reached 45 mph and it ran from 20 to 40 mph in 6.6 seconds.
Those numbers certainly were solid for a mildly powered, production-built bow rider. Beyond solid, even exceptional, were the Captiva's handling characteristics. The boat knifed through slaloms at various speeds, leaning into and through the turns appropriately and exiting them without rolling hard to the outside. Ever-tightening circle turns at cruising and full speeds were smooth and steady.
Tracking was precise at all speeds. The 192 Captiva also delivered a surprisingly smooth and rattle-free ride.
The 192 Captiva's white-and-red gelcoat exhibited ample shine, and its mold work was smooth. All other graphic details were applied in vinyl tape. To protect the hull from harm at the docks, the builder installed a plastic rubrail with a stainless-steel insert.
Backing the 20-mil gelcoat (beefed up to 25-mils for added protection below the waterline) was a 2-ounce-chop skin coat, Coremat in the hullsides and chopped strand mat. Additional lamination materials included three layers of 2415 Fabmat, which also was used to encapsulate seven-ply pressure-treated plywood.
The hardware assortment began with a color-matched nav light, a four-bolt cleat and stainless-steel horn on the nose. A stainless-steel handrail was mounted on the gunwale on each side of the open-bow seating well. Another cleat was mounted on each side of the walk-through windshield, and two more were bolted to the aft gunwales. A tow-eye was mounted on the transom, and the integrated nonskid swim platform was outfitted with a folding ladder.
Under the manual engine hatch, the small-block-minus-two-cylinders was secured with lag bolts driven into stringer blocks. Wires, cables and hoses were adequately supported and up to or even above (in some areas) production-boat standards.
A price-point offering by definition, the 192 Captiva boasted superb welted snap-in Berber carpet over its sole. That included the open bow area, which had two small lounges, each with a hinged bottom cushion over a stowage locker and four cupholders.
Rinker kept the bow confines fairly cozy so the majority of the boat's limited interior space could be devoted to the cockpit. The layout included flip-up bottom seats for the driver and co-pilot, a U-shape lounge with stowage lockers under the bottom cushions (the boat also had an in-sole ski locker with a hinged lid) and a starboard-side transom walk-through.
To port, the co-pilot's position was outfitted with an elliptical grab handle on the gunwale and two cupholders. The dash included a glove box and a Kenwood AM/FM cassette stereo.
Across the way, the helm station featured a Dino tilt-steering wheel and full instrumentation in simulated woodgrain panels. A multifunction four-in-one analog gauge provided readouts for oil pressure, fuel level, volts and water temperature.
In addition to the ignition to the left of the wheel, there was a 12-volt accessory plug and a rocker switch for the blower. Rocker switches for the other accessories were to the right of the wheel. A Mercury throttle-and-shifter unit was mounted on the gunwale.
Both of our inspectors were impressed with the boat's interior features and appointments.
There's a sea of compact, production-built bow riders on the market, and beyond the brand name on the side, there's not much difference among most of them. Sure, the 192 Captiva presents solid value at a low price, but exceptional handling is what lifts this pleasantly surprising model above the pack.
Rinker 192 Specifications
Hull and Propulsion Information
|Deadrise at transom||20 degrees|
|Hull weight||2,790 pounds|
|Lower-unit gear ratio||1.81:1|
|Propeller||Mercury Turbo three-blade 14 1/2" x 20"|
|Price as tested||$20,945|
MerCruiser 4.3-liter V-6 engine, curved, tinted glass windshield with walk-through, Bimini top, integrated swim platform with recessed ladder and grab handle, transom-mounted ski tow, anchor stowage locker in bow, walk-through transom, complete marine instrumentation, depthfinder, compass, 12-volt power plug, cockpit lights, automatic bilge pump, blower, single-lever shift and throttle control with trim and tilt in handle, rack-and-pinion steering, Kenwood AM/FM stereo with four speakers, tilt steering wheel, 10 dash and cockpit drink holders, glove box, bow filler cushions and removable 36-quart Igloo cooler.
Options on Test Boat
Upgrade to cockpit cover ($600) and six-disc CD changer ($350).
|3 seconds||19 mph|
|5 seconds||28 mph|
|10 seconds||41 mph|
|15 seconds||45 mph|
|20-40 mph||6.6 seconds|
Rpm vs. Mph
|Speedometer||50 mph at 4800 rpm|
|Radar||49 mph at 4800 rpm|
|Nordskog Performance Products GPS||47.8 mph at 4800 rpm|
|Time to plane||3.6 seconds|
|Minimum planing speed||17.5 mph|
|At 25 mph||4.2 mpg|
|At 35 mph||4.1 mpg|
|At 45 mph||3.5 mpg|
|At WOT||3.3 mpg|
|Fuel capacity||42 gallons|
For More Information
300 W. Chicago St.
Syracuse, IN 46567