Boat Buyer's Guide 2014
Author: Alan Jones
It’s amazing what a difference a seemingly small tweak can make to a boat, and in the case of the Hurricane SunDeck Sport 201 OB, removing one item changed its whole character. Previous models had a large port-side entertainment console with a sink and a spigot amidships that bisected the forward and rear seating areas. By doing away with it, the designers at Hurricane were able to encircle the entire boat in a near-continuous bench seat that creates a huge arena for passenger socializing and sunning. This is one 20-footer that can actually seat its 11-passenger capacity, and with storage underneath all the seat bottoms, it can haul all the passengers’ gear.
There’s still a sink with a spigot, but it’s been repositioned to just in front of the helm station, consuming a fraction of the room of the previous console. Where the old console used to reside, there is a built-in cupholder module, and two pull-out sections of the seat bottoms can be removed and inserted into receivers to form recliner seatbacks for people wanting to go feet-up. There’s even room for an optional Porta Potti under the stern bench.
Our test boat is powered with an Evinrude E-TEC 150, a direct-injected two-stroke that exhibits great low-end acceleration. It pushed the SunDeck Sport on plane in 3 seconds and to 30 mph in 7.8 seconds. Top speed was 38.5 mph, which seemed a bit low for this rig. It’s possible it wasn’t propped correctly, but the tach wasn’t working for our test. Our best cruise speed was 26 mph, where the boat seemed to ride nicely and the engine seemed to be effortlessly pushing it along.
One of the clever innovations of the new-and-improved SunDeck 201 is the optional wakeboard tower with an integrated Bimini top. The tower tilts down to access towable tube storage under crisscrossed straps to keep giant inflatables out of the cockpit. For watersports participants needing a lower tow point, there are optional ski tow solutions including the Turbo Swing, which is a hoop attached to the outboard that keeps the tow rope behind the engine. You can even equip the SunDeck 201 with a pair of fishing seats on the giant foredeck and add a trolling motor as well as electronics at the helm. A livewell comes standard.