Princecraft boats are built in Quebec, and being up north means a shorter season, so boaters want to cram as much fun as they can into a short span — much like Princecraft did with the 22-foot-long Ventura 220 WS deckboat. The major advantage of its deckboat layout is the beamy bowriding section that has overstuffed chaise lounges. Boarding is easy via a centerline walkthrough at the bow. Its nonskid surface keeps guests off the beautiful upholstery. Despite a cool, rainy day of testing at Lac William, the full windshield (the WS in the boat’s name) kept us comfortable, and we didn’t even have to deploy the optional full camper enclosure.
The big difference between the Ventura 220 and conventional deckboats is its hull. It is made from aluminum alloy H36, which is ultra-strong and significantly lighter than fiberglass. With a dry weight of 2,108 pounds, this 22-foot, 2-inch-long hull is 1,301 pounds lighter than the similar-sized Hurricane 2200, which means it can be towed by most anything with a trailer hitch. It’s rated for up to 12 passengers, and there a seat for all, beginning with an L-lounge in the cockpit that has storage underneath. An unusual feature is a huge stern sunpad that spans the beam; it has a raised trailing edge to keep sunbathers on deck. Its entertainment factor can be ratcheted up with the addition of a portside galley ($304) with a sink and an electric faucet and an oversized rectangular bow-mounted table that augments the one in the cockpit. The stereo on our test boat was upgraded from the standard 160-watt Jensen Bluetooth system to a 200-watt Clarion ($541). For watersports, get the Entertainment Package, which includes a ski tow, a starboard-side swim platform and a bolstered captain’s chair ($1,320). Skis will fit in the standard in-floor locker.
A lighter aluminum hull means less horsepower will still deliver great performance. Take the Mercury 175 Verado, for instance; it is midway through the power options, which include the 150 FourStroke and 200 Verado. Thanks to the Ventura 220’s oversized reverse chines and relatively flat 13 degrees of deadrise, the 175 Verado got it on plane with very little bowrise in just 2.4 seconds, pushed it to 30 mph in 6.8 seconds and reached a top speed of 46.2 mph.