Reviewed by Richard Crowder
The Princecraft name has for many years been synonymous with aluminum boat building in Canada. In fact, it was twenty-five years ago in 1987 when Princecraft designed and built its "luxurious, innovative pontoon boat called the Meridian. It was immediately popular, and was considered in the industry as a ‘veritable floating palace'."
Fast forward ahead to 2012 and Princecraft offers a full line of aluminum pontoon boats for fishing, cruising, watersports, and everything in between and beyond. Some have two pontoons; the bigger ones three pontoons. A Speed Package can be added to some which incorporate lifting strakes to the double pontoons to increase top speed by 25 to 30%. A Performance Package can be added to some which adds a third pontoon to further increase maneuverability, stability, and buoyancy allowing the boat to handle more horsepower – up to 300 – to provide more speed and fun for watersports.
For 2012, Princecraft offers a full line of basic up to luxurious pontoon boats in six series from 15 to 29 feet. Some are geared more to fishing; some more toward everyday family boating and watersports; and some loaded with luxury features to suit the most discerning of boating tastes. Princecraft also offers six models of aluminum deck boats in its Ventura series from 19 to 22 feet. Within all of this is a model just right for your boating desires.
The Vectra series is promoted by Princecraft as "great value for the money." "These comfortable, high-performing pontoons won't break the bank and are equipped with all sorts of amenities that meet our high standards." Let's check this out a little closer. There are a total of six models in the Vectra double-pontoon series in 17, 19, and 21 foot lengths. These three models labelled as such, are equipped for all-round boating needs and cruising fun. Then there are the sub-series of three models, the Vectra 19-2S, 21-2S, and 21-4S. These three are more geared toward fishing by adding 2 or 4 fishing seats and shortening or removing some of the lounge seating to fit.
Our mission here is to review the Vectra 21, but just keep in mind that if fishing is a priority for you, you can have virtually all of the amenities reviewed below but then add specific fishing-friendly amenities plus two or four specific fishing seats – two forward and/or two more toward the stern.
The Vectra series incorporates all of Princecraft's construction features including Z-aluminum cross channels, pressure-treated wood deck with 20-oz. "cut loop" marine carpet, full-length extruded aluminum pontoon skirting, sealed pontoon bulkheads, V-shaped aluminum engine pod, 1 ¼" anodized aluminum rails, walk-thru rear, side and forward access gates, plus full-width rear and forward platforms.
Seating pretty well envelopes the entire perimeter of the boat. An L-shaped lounge starts at the portside boarding gate and continues aft along the entire side and across the transom to the starboard rear access gate. A sunlounge comprises the transom portion of this lounge. Beneath this sunlounge is storage or fit it with the optional pop-up privacy enclosure, which itself can be part of a Leisure Package consisting of the enclosure, stern boarding ladder and stern snack table.
Another lounge seat fills the balance of the portside from the boarding gate forward and around to the bow access gate. An even larger lounge continues from this bow gate down the starboard side to just ahead of the rotomolded helm console. On this console are all the essential outboard gauges, a smoked windscreen with quick release, an AM/FM/CD stereo with iPod controls, satellite radio compatibility and four 6 ½ " speakers. A premium stereo is optionally available. A bucket seat with swivel serves the captain and may be upgraded with a slider and tilt steering. All furniture has roto-cast bases and backs – not wood. A chemical toilet is also optionally available.
Many other very useful options are available including full or half-camper enclosure, mooring cover, stainless steel waterski tow bar, various boarding ladders, several tables, halogen docking lights, an inflatable bow cushion, plus various "packages" of options including a speed package which includes pontoon lifting strakes and an under-deck spray shield. The Vectra 21 is rated for maximum 90 hp.
The main point of the Vectra seems to be that the base boat with all standard equipment can be purchased very reasonably and provides all of the basic niceties for family fun on the water. However, you can optimize it for your particular on-water enjoyment by selecting from a myriad of great options according to your own particular enjoyment objectives. Sounds like a great plan.
|Length:||21' 6"||6.6 m|
|Beam:||8' 5"||2.56 m|
|Dry weight:||1704 lbs||773 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||33 US gals||125 l|
|Engine / Drive:||Mercury Outboard, Max 90hp|