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Ashburn, VA
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2012 Rinker 196 Captiva Bowrider

Reviewed by Richard Crowder

Rinker 196 Captiva Bowrider GOF2635 1764

Rinker, "Since 1945, the oldest boat brand in continuous production in the USA," for 2012, offers sixteen Captiva models of sterndrive and outboard powered bowriders, cuddy cabins, and MTX-series from nineteen to thirty-one feet, plus six models of mid-cabin express cruisers from twenty-nine to over forty-one feet. The 196 Captiva bowrider is a new model for this year and is available with both Volvo Penta and MerCruiser sterndrive power up to 260 horsepower and outboard power up to 200 horsepower.

Whether you choose outboard or sterndrive, the interior and exterior layout, design, and dimensions are identical with the sole exceptions being the gaining of more sunpad and swim platform with the sterndrive version and the gaining in less draft and less weight with the outboard version. This review will concentrate on the sterndrive version of the 196.

The neat thing about Rinker is that the standard base boat gives you pretty much everything you would need and want with great value and then you can choose from a wide selection of optional upgrades of individual items or packages to personalize the 196 exactly how you like it in looks and amenities.

The cockpit of the 196 is deep with padded bolsters all-round with storage below. Bow seating has one removable cushion on each side rounding forward and meeting together at the bow providing full seating and lounging, again with padded side bolsters and back rests and finished storage below. Recessed, molded-in stainless steel grabrails and molded-in drinkholders with two side-mounted stereo speakers add comfort, safety, and entertainment to this area. Bow filler cushions are optionally available. All vinyl upholstery is GX48 – treated to be stain, mildew, and microbial resistant.

The cockpit offers a full-width stern seat with storage below plus dedicated storage for the carry-on portable cooler. At the helm are two stylish bucket seats with optional flip-up forward bolsters available for either or both of these buckets. A huge in-floor storage locker will accommodate all of your watersports toys plus safety and mooring accessories. Snap-in, stain-resistant carpet is available to dress up the full fibreglass inner liner of the 196 as are latchable bow doors for the walk-thru to block the wind into the cockpit on those cool spring or fall days and evenings. An integrated, composite, removable trash container is standard.

The passenger helm console is practical and stylish with a large glove box, stainless steel grab handle, molded-in drinkholder, 12-volt DC outlet, and AM/FM/CD with MP3/iPod® dock and auxiliary stereo input. A stereo upgrade is available as is a transom stereo remote control with digital readout. Sirius® satellite capability is also available. The driver's helm includes a molded footrest, backlit Faria® jeweled face gauges with stainless steel bezels, and a sport wheel which may be upgraded to a 5-position tilt wheel. A digital depth gauge is available separately or as part of the Deluxe Sports Package.

The sterndrive version of the 196 has a large sunpad, the starboard side of which hinges up to allow a handy walk-thru to the integrated swim platform with concealed folding and stainless steel telescoping boarding ladder. Beneath this walk-thru section is a very handy large and deep finished storage compartment. The standard two-tone hull can be customized from seven different colour and graphic choices to create the look you want plus you can choose from a variety of other options including a wakeboard tower, underwater transom swim light, a colour coordinated bimini top plus full canvas enclosure and much more to complete your 196.

Rinker calls its all-new 196 "a sleek and sexy sport boat packed with features." Check it out for yourself and you will no doubt agree.

Length: 19' 6" 5.94 m
Beam: 7' 10" 2.39 m
Draft: 3' 0" 91 cm
Deadrise: 19 Degrees  
Dry weight: 3400 lbs 1546 kg
Fuel Capacity: 42 US gals 159 l
Engine / Drive: Mercury 90 DFI OptiMax Outboard
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