By James Corns
Starcraft Galaxy 2000 SD: Performance Test
Starcraft Galaxy 200SD: The deckboat with the heart of a pontoon boat.
“You got your deckboat in my pontoon boat!”
“You got your pontoon boat in my deckboat!”
It’s as though life is paralleling those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials from the 1980s, in which a guy or girl holding an ordinary bar of chocolate would invariably bump into someone who was carrying an open jar of peanut butter. Just when it looked like the two parties might come to blows, they would both taste the gooey concoction and discover that this new creation was better than the sum of its parts.
The new Starcraft Galaxy 2000 SD is like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup — except the 2000 SD auspiciously mixes a pontoon boat layout with a deckboat hull. It’s not exactly chocolate and peanut butter, but it’s a delicious combination nonetheless.
Pontoon boats are know for their luxuriousness, deckboats are known for their maneuverability and both types of boats are known for providing liberal amounts of space, so putting the layout of a pontoon boat on the hull of a deckboat should, in theory, give you the best of the worlds. With its new Galaxy 2000 SD, Starcraft has proven that theory true, taking the model from concept to reality and coming out the other side with a winning hybrid.
Go Boating was the first magazine to test the Galaxy 2000 SD, which was so new when we tested it that we were aboard the initial prototype. The helm console on production models will be slightly different from the one on our test boat, because the Starcraft team felt it was too large; therefore, the revamped version of the console will be a bit smaller and have a slightly different look. Any other changes to the boat will be minor.
We tested the boat on Lake Wawassee in the northern part of Indiana, an area referred to as Michiana by locals, due to its proximity to Michigan. We were lucky enough to find a flat day on the lake, and we had three adults aboard for our run. The fuel tank was full, and there was little wind to stand in our way.
Our test boat had a Mercury 115 OptiMax outboard at its transom. The 115 remained relatively quiet throughout the test, but it wasn’t quite as hushed as a Mercury 115 four-stroke we ran on a different boat that same day. The 115 OptiMax topped out at around 100 dB, whereas the 115 EFI four-stroke only went up to 94 dB. Not a huge difference, granted, but we thought it worth mentioning.
The 115 OptiMax on our test boat did a nice job, taking the boat to a top speed of 35.7 mph (at 5,800 rpm), but we’d spring for a larger engine. The 115 was adequate, but it didn’t let the 2000 SD perform as well as it might have. It was the equivalent of taking your best batter and giving him a wooden bat when he could be playing with an aluminum one. The wooden bat is fine, but if you can do better with a high-tech bat, why not go for it?
Turns were good on the 2000 SD. The boat’s wide reverse-chine V hull gave us a dry, stable ride. With the 2000 SD, you get more maneuverability than you’d get with a pontoon boat, but not quite as much as you’d get with a deep-V hull — and you get more stability than that of a typical deep-V hull but not quite as much as you get with a pontoon boat.
The boat went to plane at around 4,500 rpm, at which point it was running at 25 mph. After hitting plane, we pulled the throttle back a bit and cruised at around 23 mph (at 4,250 rpm), although Starcraft puts cruising speed at around 3,500 rpm.
The great thing about the Galaxy 2000 SD is that you get the luxurious pontoon boat layout, but you also get a boat that goes faster than most pontoon boats. The SD 2000 isn’t a hod rod, but it’s fast enough for most families’ needs.
Not a Pontoon in Sight
The 20-foot-long Starcraft Galaxy 2000 SD has a large swim platform at the bow. A telescoping boarding ladder built into the platform lets you climb back onto the boat with little effort — and far away from the propeller.
Two long, straight settees take up the port and starboard sides of the bow, with the port settee being slightly longer than the starboard one. (The starboard settee is slightly shorter than the port one because it has to make room for the helm console, which it is butted up against.) Both settees have leaning backrests along their stern sides, allowing you to face forward as you lie back on them.
Stainless steel railing wraps around the cockpit of the Galaxy 2000 SD. It gives the boat a clean, neat appearance. Part of the backrest on the port settee can be removed and the railing can be recessed, creating a port entrance to the boat. With this new portal in effect, stepping aboard is a snap.
We won’t comment too heavily on the helm, since it will be changed on production models, but we liked the layout on our test version. The production model will have faux burlwood dashes with domed gauges. A tachometer, a speedometer, a fuel gauge and a voltmeter will all be standard, as will a 100-watt AM/FM stereo system with CD player and four marine-grade speakers.
A stern bench is placed behind the helm. It can seat up to three people. Some captains might miss having a bucket seat to themselves, but we didn’t mind because this seating option lets you work in a little cuddle time with your significant other when you’re behind the wheel. A 25-quart removable cooler is hidden under the bench.
A large sunpad is attached to the back of the bench. It can be lifted up to create a personal changing room. Fender stowage and two small swim steps (one with a telescoping ladder) fill out the back side of the boat.
Docking, navigation and courtesy lights are all standard on the 2000 SD. A color-matched Bimini top, a 750 gph bilge pump, in-floor storage and six drink holders are also included.
The boat is rated to carry up to 12 passengers (or 1,700 pounds) but we’d be more comfortable with a maximum of nine or 10. That number is notable given that this boat is only 20 feet long.
The Galaxy 2000 SD also gives you one more thing that’s welcome in both a pontoon boat and deckboat — and that’s a handsome design. The sporty graphics that run along the side of the boat are outstanding.
Whether you’ve always loved pontoon boats but wanted more speed or you’ve always loved deckboats but wanted more space and amenities, the Starcraft Galaxy 2000 SD is made for you. Much like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, the Galaxy 2000 SD is one sweet treat.
Starcraft Galaxy 2000 SD Specifications
|Weight (boat only)||2,315 pounds|
|Fuel capacity||51 gallons|
|Maximum power||200 hp|
Large changing room, portable head, full fiberglass innerliner, two (bow/stern) telescoping boarding ladders, stainless steel rub rail, 750 gph bilge pump, 25-quart cooler, four mooring cleats, tachometer, speedometer, voltmeter, fuel gauge, lanyard safety switch, horn, docking lights, courtesy lights, navigation lights, five deluxe rocker switches, five circuit breakers, solar-heated shower bag.
Removable snap-in carpet, mooring cover, tilt steering wheel, tilt hydraulic steering, plumbed kiddie pool, color-match custom frame trailer.
|Top speed||35.7 mph at 3500 rpm|
|Cruising speed||12.2 mph at 3500 rpm|
|Miles per gallon at cruising speed||2.44|
|Gallons per hour at cruising speed||5|
|Estimated range at cruising speed||124 miles|
Speeds as Tested
For More Information
201 Starcraft Drive
P.O. Box 517
Topeka, IN 46571