Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Princecraft calls its very new Sportfisher LX 23-2RS, “the best of both worlds in the middle of a lake.” In fact, if you’re an ardent fisherman yet want all of your cruising amenities too, then this boat is like having your cake and eating it too. It combines both activities while maintaining an onboard separation between them.
For 2015, Princecraft Boats of Princeville, Quebec, a Brunswick Company, offers a total of thirty-four models of pontoon boats ranging from fifteen to twenty-seven feet in eight series. Princecraft also offers forty-six models of aluminum fishing, utility, and jon boats from ten to twenty feet in ten series plus another six models of Ventura aluminum deck boats from nineteen to twenty-two feet.
The Sportfisher LX 23-2RS is the smallest of three models in two lengths, twenty-three and twenty-five feet, in the Sportfisher LX pontoon series, not to be confused by the five models in the Sportfisher series – without the “LX” designation. The “LX” designation denotes not only “luxury” but that the three models in this series are not just upgraded boats – they are different in many ways from their straight Sportfisher (with no designation) siblings.
The aft approximately one-quarter of the total floorplan length of the LX 23-2RS is dedicated to the fishing enthusiast. Centred and immediately forward of the outboard motor well is a large compartment with a preparation table top that includes built-in drink holders, rod holders, and a top-loading 26-inch long, 10-gallon (39L) electric-filled aerated livewell. A modern looking raised and weather-protected control panel at the back of this table top contains a livewell control switch plus a 12-volt receptacle. The front panel of this compartment offers vertical storage for three fishing rods.
Centred within the floorspace on each side of this unit is a swivel, folding fishing seat. An angled starboard-side transom gate gives fast access to the aft deck with its standard folding boarding ladder. A starboard side lockable dedicated storage compartment holds up to seven-foot fishing rods.
The forward approximately three-quarters of the total floorplan is immediately recognizable as a popular cruising floorplan layout. The bow area with its centre opening entrance gate features two facing curved-front lounge seats, each a comfortable two-seater. Aft of the portside entrance gate is an L-shaped comfortable three or perhaps four-place lounge seat with standard removable snack table with built-in drink holders serving it.
Aft of this lounge and ahead of the portside aft fishing seat is a single-wide padded sundeck with lots of storage below. This sundeck very effectively separates the aft “fishing” section from the forward “cruising” section of the LX 23-2RS. All furniture bases are constructed with synthetic Roto-Cast bases and backs and have storage beneath the cushions.
Ahead of centre on the starboard side and opposite the L-shaped lounge is the fibreglass helm console with molded-in footrest plus an integrated portable cooler compartment. The molded dash panel with black pearl woodgrain inserts behind a standard sport, tilting steering wheel comes complete with tachometer, speedometer, voltmeter, trim and fuel gauges plus a 12-volt receptacle. Standard entertainment is supplied by a Bluetooth compatible Jensen 160-watt AM/FM stereo with auxiliary input and four speakers. A quick-release tinted windscreen tops the driver’s console. The captain’s chair has slide and swivel adjustments.
Standard power for the standard two-log configuration is a Mercury 4 Stroke outboard from 30 to the rated maximum of 150 horsepower. This standard 2-log configuration includes a V-shaped engine pod plus full-length pontoon keels and skirting. An optional Speed package provides lifting strakes and an under-deck spray shield. The Sport Package adds to this a bow central half third log. The Performance Package adds a third log plus a larger gas tank and allows the maximum rated horsepower to increase to 200.
Notable additional standard equipment includes a colour co-ordinated or taupe bimini top. Three standard fence colour choices are available in Black, Aztec Red, or Galaxy Blue with matching upholstery accenting colour. The optional Elegance Edition upgrade includes monochrome upholstery, LED lighting on logs, speakers, and cupholders, plus a stern swim platform plus upgraded table.
Other notable optional features include vinyl flooring with or without snap-in carpet to replace the standard 24-ounce carpet, built-in porta-potti on slider, pop-up privacy enclosure, reclining captain’s chair, in-floor ski storage compartment, removable bow table, inflatable bow filler cushion, gas barbeque, console sink and faucet, docking lights, underwater lighting, stereo upgrade, Mercury SmartCraft gauges, hydraulic steering, a wide selection of Lowrance or Humminbird depth/fish/GPS units, lots of canvas options from covers to full enclosures, plus galvanized trailer options.
As Princecraft says, “Sportfisher LX combines relaxing luxury with a host of practical fishing details.”
|Length:||23' 9"||7.2 m|
|Beam:||8' 6"||2.59 m|
|Dry weight:||2041 lbs||926 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||27 US gals||102 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury Outboard|
|Engine HP:||Max. 150|