2024 Starcraft MVX 230 Surf

Boat Reviews

Boat Review by: Rick Layzell

starcraft-mvx-230-surf-surfing

With over 120 years of boatbuilding experience at their fingertips, and an incredible team of 700 passionate team members, Starcraft is a natural fit to enter the burgeoning wake surfing market. Add to this fact they’ve been building fiberglass deck boats for many years and the wake surf market entry makes even more sense.

Enter the Starcraft MVX 230 SURF. I would immediately define this as a mid-level, multi-purpose family deck boat with excellent surfing capabilities. The crossover potential here is seemingly endless – from cruising to entertaining to all types of watersports, the MVX 230 is designed to do it all while keeping surfing at its core.

Sporting a length overall of 20’10”, an 8’6” beam and a passenger payload of up to 12 people, the MVX 230 hits right into the peak retail volume of the wake surf category. Add to that the standard 2,600 lbs of ballast, a rider-focused electronics package designed to simplify wake set ups, and this boat is really going to hit some home runs out there.

Let’s first take a look outside before we go inside this package. Her two-tone colour combination packed a powerful dockside punch. The red and subtle grey tones play beautifully off each other. Starcraft has designed a colour break line at about midship that really makes her look larger than she is. The optional stainless steel rub rail adds a tasteful dash of ‘bling,’ and the standard surf tower sweeps forward with aggressive styling. Wakeboard racks and tower speakers are standard on this model – nice competitive advantage and great consumer value!

Her interior is, first and foremost, deep with an incredible amount of freeboard to keep guests and gear safely on board. The flooring in the cockpit and up on the swim platform are outfitted in colour matched marine mat floor with the Starcraft logo proudly displayed on the swim platform.

A pair of generously sized rear loungers adorn both port and starboard with an easy access walkthrough positioned in between the seats for guests, riders, and gear. The deep reboarding ladder on the platform makes reboarding after a swim or a ride a breeze, and the transom shower will be well appreciated by all guests. The seat cushions themselves have a multi-position backrest that can readily be deployed to your preferred viewing position. There’s an ‘open’ feeling to this section of the boat as the loungers rest at the same height as the interior backrests. It’s really all about watching the kids or friends surf.

The cockpit area is well appointed with endless device chargers, plush seating, and loads of storage options. The captain’s helm station is designed to create an immersive experience - just sit down and feel the technologies wrap around you. Tuck into the luxurious helm seat behind the well-positioned windshield and you’ll find a sea of electronics at your fingertips. Here you’ll also find a dedicated surf controller where you can readily input rider preferences for speed, wake, preferred riding side, and ballast tank settings. You’ll also find another controller dedicated to engine and drive vitals for the standard Mercury 6.2 Litre 300 HP engine with forward facing drive.

I was quick to point out to our camera crew that the standard heaters were positioned at both the captain and co-captain stations. The captain’s heater is a vent that can be turned or angled to your needs, while on the co-captain side you’ll find an easy to deploy and return extendable hose. These value-added innovative features are found on many high end surf boats – but generally as options. They are standard on the Starcraft MVX 230.

With smiles on our faces and a modest amount of wind and boat traffic, we ventured out to put the Starcraft through her paces. The Mercury power plant was read to deliver and quickly yielded hole shots in the 5 ½ second range as well as an excellent range of cruising speeds. We found that on our test day speeds from 22-26 mph proved ideal. Top speed consistently showed us right around the 47 mph mark at a mere 5,390 RPM – there’s definitely a little more top end to be had here.

Ultimately, the true test of any surf boat is surf speeds. Our on-board technical advisor was quick to guide us through the surf control functions and capabilities. He readily displayed how simple it was to fill or empty a ballast while also giving us the experience of a pre-set rider setup. All you do is key in the selected rider, hammer the throttle, and the electronics do all the heavy lifting. Within seconds the ballasts were filling to the rider’s preferred capacity and the throttle was systematically restricted to the riders preferred speed. Ease of use is an understatement.

There are some great brands that are laser focused on building boats designed for one purpose only. If your family’s checklist is a little longer than one activity and you find yourself desiring time on the water for cruising or participating in other boating activities, then the Starcraft MVX 230 SURF might be just what the proverbial doctor ordered. Check it out at your local Starcraft dealer or boat show.

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Length: 20'10" 6.35 m
Beam: 8'6" 2.59 m
Dry weight: 3,435 lbs 1,558 kg
Fuel Capacity: 73 US gal 276 L
Base Engine / Drive: Mercruiser 6.2L BRV
Engine HP: 300
Fuel Type: Gas
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