Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Starcraft’s new for 2021 EX 24 Weekender pontoon boat ticks off all the right boxes for many new boaters coming into the pleasure boat marketplace, as well as existing boaters too. It satisfies almost every need of family boating enjoyment including cruising, exploring, watersports activities, fishing, entertaining, and even overnighting. It seems appropriate the “Weekender” moniker given to this model.
The new EX series with eleven floorplans in four lengths from eighteen to twenty-four feet is part of nine series’ of pontoon boats from Starcraft totalling ninety-five floorplans from sixteen to twenty-five feet. Starcraft also offers a huge selection of utility and fishing boats as well as deckboats.
The EX Weekender is available in twenty-two as well as this twenty-four foot layout with the only difference being the two-foot longer foredeck ahead of the bow rail fence, to which a pair of fishing (or relaxing) chairs are conveniently added as standard equipment.
Through the centered bow entry gate are a pair of beautifully upholstered and padded lounge seats. As with all the seating on board they have rotocast bases with integrated drainage and storage beneath the seat cushions. The driver’s molded helm console abuts the starboard side lounge while the port side entry gate is aft of the port side lounge.
A short L-shaped lounge on the port side with a standard flip-up change room is opposite the adjustable captain’s chair with flip-up armrests. This short L-shaped lounge can be converted to a much larger U-shaped lounge by flipping the seatback of the aft four-seater facing lounge seats cum dinette. This dinette may be converted into full fore or aft facing seating or into a full double bed cum sunlounge simply by adjusting the seatbacks accordingly.
Aft of the captain’s chair is a molded storage cabinet with a food preparation surface and a molded in sink. Aft of the captain’s chair is the starboard side stern entry gate providing access to a large stern deck cum swim platform with its standard 4-step, stainless steel boarding ladder. Standard flooring throughout is marine grade UV stable carpeting.
The straightforward driver’s molded helm console is complete with a large protected storage compartment and features standard rotary tilt steering and a snazzy Gussi Italia® Torcello steering wheel. Power Assist, Xtreme, or SeaStar hydraulic steering are also optionally available. A short, tinted plexiglass windscreen is provided on this console with a two-tiered dash.
The upper portion of the dash houses a large diameter tachometer to the left and a speedometer to the right, leaving lots of room for the optional Humminbird Helix 5 GPS/fishfinder between them. Several small diameter knockout covers are just below, of which two are standard with a voltmeter and fuel gauge. You may optionally add the available trim gauge and digital depth gauge. A Bluetooth® compatible Jensen MS3A stereo is also standard.
A pair of 25-inch diameter tubes are standard and rated for up to 150 horsepower of the outboard of your choice. To these you can add a Performance Shield, extruded strakes, and a protective coating. Or you may choose the PTS Performance Package which gives you those features plus a center tube that ups the rating to 300 horsepower. You may also add a convenient in-floor storage compartment to the center tube. Or you may want the ultimate HMX Performance Package which gives you all of the above plus a larger gas tank, ski tow bar, and hydraulic steering.
Docking lights and courtesy lighting are standard but concealed mood lighting, lighted cupholders, underwater and/or Babbito underdeck lighting can also be added. A colour-coordinated bimini top with storage boot is standard, but if weekending and overnighting is in your plans then go for the available full camper canvas enclosure. You may also choose a half camper with bow cover or a double top, or simply a larger single bimini, a power canopy, and a playpen cover. Available canvas colours are black, blue, gray, burgundy, and champagne. Upholstery colours are either tan or grey and nine standard panel colours are available.
Starcraft offers several additional options to personalize your EX 24 Weekender for more pleasurable extended trips with family and friends. For entertaining and meals, choose the stern deck pole-mounted stainless steel propane barbeque, the extra table, a cooler table, the ottoman cooler, and a porta-potti for your change room.
The dual-battery system will come in handy and if you love music, go for the upgraded JL Audio MM50 Bluetooth® compatible stereo and the rear-facing speakers. You may want to upgrade the ski tow and the boarding ladder and perhaps choose the high-back helm chair. You may also upgrade the flooring with seven choices of vinyl, Sea Weave, or Teak Weave and add black anodized rails, deck trim, top frame and even black painted tubes.
However you equip it, this Starcraft EX 24 Weekender pontoon boat is destined to provide boatloads of fun and great times for your family and friends.
|Dry weight:||2,425 lbs||1,100 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||38 US gal||144 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Honda, Mercury, Suzuki, Yamaha Outboard|
|Engine HP:||Max 150 or 300|