2024 Starcraft RX 25 Q DC

Boat Reviews

Boat Review by: Rick Layzell


The Starcraft brand is one of the oldest independent boat brands in North America, having taken their start all the way back in 1903. While their competitors were building their models out of wood, Starcraft succeeded in their own direction as the first brand to build maintenance free aluminum boats. Fast forward 120 years to 2023, and there is simply no denying that the 800 employees at Starcraft know a thing or two about building boats. The fact that the family behind the brand now boasts fifth generation members speaks volumes to their long term commitment to their people and their products.

Enter model year 2024, and Starcraft is introducing a stunning pontoon package in the upper reaches of the pontoon market. The RX 25 Q DC is sure to be one of many in this new category for the brand. There are multiple uniquely appealing features that are designed to satisfy the demands of today’s most ambitious pontoon wish list.

She rests in the water at 27’8” length overall and carries an 8’6” beam. On board she’s willing to welcome up to 400 HP on her transom (yes, you read that right), she weighs in at 4,300 lbs / 1,950 kg, and she holds 60 US gal / 227 litres of fuel.

But first, let’s talk curb appeal because this is where she really stands out from the crowd (or at the dock). First and foremost is her exterior. Unlike most aluminum fenced pontoons, the RX utilizes ABS for her fencing. This affords the engineers endless design flexibility to add contours and unique designs – which equals an awesome appearance. What really stands out is the paint process on these panels, which I quickly learned is finished in a factory-owned, state-of-the-art plant used just for this purpose. There’s also an additional level of confidence in the ABS technology because it will not be subject to dents and abrasions like traditional aluminum. Then there’s the sheer curb appeal that the engineers have created. The soft grey tones in our test boat were beautifully accented with stainless steel enhancements (more on that in a moment), and our test package also featured black painted tubes with a beautifully powder coated black power arch. The eye candy was exceptional. Wrapping from the side panels on her stern were a set of white ABS panels with beautifully appointed stainless steel gates and rails on the transom. Throw in an SS watersports tow bar and a multi-step retractable reboarding ladder, and there were some serious bling on the transom.

Moving into her interior is where passenger comfort meets exceptional helm design with guests in mind. From the stern there’s a massive lounging area featuring multiple backrest positions, charging ports, and cavernous under seat storage capacity. Moving to the starboard side of the boat, we were greeted with a rotomoulded user-friendly sink and food preparation section with storage and cup holders.

The dual raised helm stations nestle comfortably behind black trimmed high windshields, which give both the captain and co-captain a perfect perch. Both seats are crafted using ultra plush materials and both readily adjust to a variety of seating positions. The co-captain dash features a small ice chest with a lid, while the captain’s station is a piece of art. Here you’ll find access to the upgraded JL Audio sound system, push button breaker switches for onboard electrical needs, Yamaha digital gauges tucked neatly underneath an automotive style cap which offers up protection from sun glare, a smartly positioned covered storage compartment for your devices, your choice of graph on the starboard side, and a beautifully appointed black and SS multi-spoke steering system with full tilt capabilities. The captain’s ergonomics were clearly at the forefront here as the layout is very well executed and comfortable.

Moving into the bow section, we are greeted with a pair of sumptuous loungers dressed in soft touch vinyls enhanced by double stitched diamond pattern treatment. This very tasteful look is used throughout her interior and really makes the boat stand out.

The power arch option gives you great watersports capabilities for the kids and guests, and the arch speakers ensure that all riders are in on the sounds while behind the boat. When it’s time to store the boat or simply ease under a low height bridge, the power arch slides down at the touch of a button.

I was blessed with the opportunity to take the RX 25 out onto Lake Wawasee on what can only be described as a perfect boating day. We had temperatures in the mid 20’s C / 75 F, and calm waters with limited boat wakes other than a few other testing crews. We eased away from the dock with two of us on board, a full tank of fuel, and smiles on our faces as we anticipated the performance capabilities of the Yamaha 300 HP 4 stroke engine on her transom.

We have stringent testing protocols that first require time for me to get comfortable at the helm. All testing is completed away from other boat traffic or shoreline structures. We begin with a variety of throttle position take offs where I quickly learn the feel for the boats ability to get on plane. Doing so isn’t always about hammering the throttle. When we have a boat full of guests, we want them to experience smooth take-offs and usually that’s done by using half or less of the throttle. She repeatedly eased on step in a supple way, which was impressive.

We also do aggressive hole shots that are timed. After multiple attempts and time trials, we were very pleased with 4.4 second results. There’s 4,300 lbs / 1,950 KG of boat plus crew, fuel and engine here. 4.4 second hole shots are fantastic.

The range of cruising capability is endless – we found she would easily stay on step and ride just above the water at 18 mph at 3,200 RPM using just a touch of trim. Pushing the throttle a little further we were very pleased at 26 mph at 4,200 RPM.

Finally, top speed trials yielded results of 41 mph at 5,500 RPM. While I do suspect there may be a little more here after that super quiet Yamaha is fully broken in, there is no shame in 41 mph on this package. For me, it’s ultimately about the cruising speeds and they were excellent.

A word about testing - all captains must take time to learn their boat, respecting that water conditions, ambient air temperature, passengers and gear will all affect your results. Get out on the water and drive your boat! Be sure to do so in a safe environment and you’ll become a better experienced captain who will deliver smooth experiences for your crew.

Starcraft has truly done an exceptional job with the RX 25. This model looks, feels, and rides like a product built with passion from people who care about your boating experience. If a larger-sized pontoon package with luxurious appointments and a wonderful on-water experiences is your goal, then get into your local dealer or boat show and check this one out.

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Length: 27'8" 8.43 m
Beam: 8'6" 2.59 m
Dry weight: 4,300 lbs 1,950 kg
Fuel Capacity: 60 gal 227 L
Base Engine / Drive: Yamaha
Engine HP: F300XSB
Fuel Type: Gas
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