Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Starcraft’s CX series of pontoon boats is one of eight series comprising dozens of models and floorplans in its Pontoon Boat category, one of four categories of aluminum boats plus another three categories of fibreglass boats offered by Starcraft.
This CX series alone offers sixteen models from twenty-one to twenty-five feet. The CX 23 Q, subject of this review and its bigger sister, the CX 25 Q are unique in this series in that they are the only two to offer a “Queen-size” aft convertible lounge.
The backrest at the head of this aft-facing queen lounge swings back to provide a forward-facing backrest for an L-shaped lounge that continues forward on the port side. Ahead of this L-shaped lounge is a forward-facing two person bench seat located just aft of the port side entry gate.
Ahead of this gate on the port side is a two or three person couch with chaise lounging style backrest. Opposite on the starboard side of the bow and ahead of the driver’s console is a three or four person chaise lounging style couch. All furniture bases are Rotocast with integrated drains to help keep stored contents dry. All seating has storage beneath the seat cushions. A standard pop-up change room with or without the optional Porta-potti is housed within the aft portion of the bow portside couch.
The large, molded driver’s console with tinted windscreen features a sporty, tilting steering wheel with storage within the console. Standard gauges include speedometer, volt, fuel and trim and a 12-volt accessory outlet is also supplied. This console also has the control unit for the standard KMC 10 AM/FM Bluetooth compatible stereo with auxiliary MP3 port.
Docking lights are standard as is an adjustable helm chair with slider. Also standard is a colour-coordinated bimini top with storage boot. Sea Weave flooring is standard on the aft deck while carpet is standard in the interior. Seven optional flooring choices are available including snap-in carpet.
A pair of 25-inch diameter pontoon tubes comes standard allowing a rated maximum horsepower up to 150 of your choice of Evinrude E-TEC or Mercury Four Stroke. This standard package provides a 30-gallon built-in fuel tank. The horsepower rating increases to 250 if you opt for one of the third tube choices. A PR20 center tube increases the fuel capacity to 40-gallons while a PR25 center tube increases the fuel capacity to 60-gallons.
You may also choose several tube performance upgrades including HMX Performance Strakes, a performance shield, or a PTS tube among other upgrades. You may wish to simply choose one of three Performance Package upgrades. The addition of a third tube also gains you an in-floor storage compartment suitable for watersports accessories.
There are many single options and option packages available from Starcraft to equip your CX 23 Q just the way you want it. On the dash, you may add an in-dash Humminbird Helix 5 or Lowrance HDS 7 GPS/fishfinder and/or a separate depth sounder. If you choose the Lowrance unit, you may also add the “Biggie Vision Camera System.”
Also at the helm, go for the raised helm platform and perhaps a real comfy looking high-back helm chair. Hydraulic steering and an “Extreme Tilt” steering wheel are also available. For a “cool” look, go for the various lighting upgrades including underwater lighting, Babbito underdeck lighting, lighted cupholders, and/or colour coordinated mood lighting.
Canvas upgrades include a double top, power canopy, and half or full camper enclosure. Add a wakeboard tower to which you may want to add a mirror, board racks, or a light bar. All of these are included in the Wake Tower Package. More single options include a gate seat, extra table kit, a cooler table, raw water washdown, an extended rear deck, and a stainless steel grill.
A Premium Sound Package provides a Polk stereo upgrade with Polk speakers, amplifier and two subwoofers while a Weekender Package combines three separate upgrades. There is a Big Water Edition Package, a Salt Water Edition Package, a GLS Interior Package providing a gray interior theme, and finally, a CX Super Sport Package which provides snazzy Electric Blue, Lime, Orange, or Red accent graphics on the interior.
Starcraft’s CX series of pontoon boats offers countless sizes, floorplans, and available amenities to satisfy almost any on-water lifestyle and in addition, the unique “queen” lounge of the CX 23 Q makes this pontoon boat stand out from all the others.
|Dry weight:||2,100 lbs||953 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||30-60 US gals||114-227 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Evinrude, Mercury Outboard|