By Go Boating
Hurricane FunDeck GS202 I/O: Go Boating Review
Hurricane FunDeck GS202: Feeling good in the middle.
Many people think that a boat’s quality tends to decrease with its size —as if manufacturers are in the habit of giving their smaller craft less attention than their larger craft. If that’s the case, we sure haven’t noticed.
One boat maker with a reputation for attention to detail is Hurricane, which happens to lend all of its attention to deckboats. People from the company even joke about how they’re in the business of making SUVs for the H2O.
While we’re always excited to get out there and test any boat for our readers, we’re especially excited to test something that a company specializes in. This was the case a few months ago when we had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Hurricane’s Fundeck GS202 I/O.
Before getting into the 202 in detail, a little information on all of Hurricane’s boats will help put this craft into perspective. Hurricane offers three basic lines of boats: the SunDeck, FunDeck GS and FunDeck models. The main difference rests above the waterline.
The FunDeck can best be described as a deckboat hull matched with a pontoon boat deck —complete with a flat deck and aluminum rails. A FunDeck GS, on the other hand, replaces the flat deck with a true deep-V runabout-inspired sunken fiberglass deck plan —which has plenty of advantages over the basic FunDeck layout. A SunDeck takes it one step further with the addition of a walk-through windshield —making it about as close as you can get to a traditional runabout without placing the entire deck on a deep-V hull instead of the modified-V hull deckboats rely on.
With a length of 20 feet, 1 inch and a beam of 8 feet, 6 inches, the FunDeck GS202 falls into the middle of Hurricane’s 2005 product line, which comprises 33 craft in total. As a result, we felt we were getting a chance to test a craft that would really tell us what a deckboat, according to Hurricane, is all about.
Anyone will tell you that room, for people and all their stuff, is near the top of a deckboat’s list of priorities. After all, a boat intended to perform somewhat like a deep-V craft while offering the spaciousness of a pontoon boat should certainly pony up in the roominess and storage department.
The GS202 offers room for 10 people (or a capacity of 1,400 pounds), and it has room for all the stuff 10 people would need for a day out on the water. In the center of the bow area is a cooler box compartment with drainage that can be rigged to double as a livewell to keep bait and or the catch fresh (this boat comes with an extensive optional fishing package).
The chaise lounges in the bow are custom-crafted and utilize Hurricane’s GX48 expanded vinyl. On the starboard side there is a popup changing locker that you wouldn’t typically expect to find on a boat this size. It deploys easily and even leaves some extra room in the bottom when folded for additional storage.
Down the middle of the boat is a nifty walk-through between where the bow seats would normally meet —the walk-through allows easy access to the forward casting/diving deck. The deck itself has receivers for two fishing chairs (with the fishing package), a standard telescoping stainless steel ladder that folds up into a small compartment covered by a hatch and a standard anchor locker (an anchor is optional).
Moving aft we noticed the snap-in carpet that covers the enter deck —it fit well and was easy to snap in and out for cleaning. Right in the center of the boat above the keel we found the large waterski/wakeboard locker, which is constructed from a rotocast tub unit (this isolates items stored from the rest of the bilge area).
To port of this area is a small entertainment center with cupholders, a sink with a pressurized faucet, a 12-volt outlet and a trash receptacle. There is an area in the lower portion of the center for a cooler that is secured using a bungee-cord system. To starboard is the helm, which caught our attention immediately with a doublewide bolster chair and a removable windscreen.
Moving aft to port is the corner of an L-shaped bench seat that wraps aft from the entertainment system and along the back of the engine compartment (which has a standard electric-lift lid that doubles as a sunpad). All of the seats, including those in the bow, reveal storage underneath and use a hinge system rather than having the seat cushion just placed over the storage compartment (including room to stow the fishing chairs that come with the fishing package). At the end of the bench on the starboard side is a walk through that accesses the stern, which is where we found another telescoping ladder that folded flush into its own compartment as well as a dedicated compartment for the battery.
At the end of the day, we were satisfied with how the GS202 made use of space for people and gear. Our next task was to get the craft out on the water and give it the gas.
Immediately we found the Fundeck GS202 a blast to drive. However, when we tested the boat, it was so new that the tachometer had not yet been calibrated, and the company hadn’t quite figured out what the best prop for the boat would be.
We first tested the boat with a 21-inch stainless steel three-blade prop, but we noticed that at full throttle the boat was over revving a bit. Even with the under pitched prop we pulled a top speed of 49.5 mph —but that wasn’t good enough. Switching the prop to a 23-inch pitch aluminum three-blade brought the top speed up to 51 mph revving at 4,960 rpm. Nice! The boat did 0 to 30 mph in 9 seconds with a time to plane of 4.5 seconds. The engine we used was a Volvo Penta 4.3 GXi, and the controls were smooth and confident.
From a performance standpoint, we found the boat to be quite maneuverable, and we couldn’t get the prop to blow out no matter how sharp and hard we turned. The boat felt good on plane and was pretty responsive at high speeds —even while trimmed out (sometimes boats get a little squirrelly, but the Hurricane was stable).
Our last bit of attention was drawn by the 202′s stainless steel Bimini frame, which has quick-releasing stainless steel brackets. There is a feature on the frame that allows you to lower the Bimini and use a shorter stubby bracket post on each side to secure the Bimini low while towing. This not only reduces drag, but also lowers the profile and thus reduces the forces the Bimini imparts to its mounts during side-to-side motion on the trailer. The Bimini uses Sunbrella material and its cover splits down the aft section so you can avoid having to fumble around when trying to get it over the masthead/anchor light.
Hurricane’s FunDeck GS202 I/O Specifications
|Draft (drive down||2’6″|
|Dry weight (w/engine)||3,745 pounds|
|Fuel capacity||52 gallons|
|Maximum power||300 hp|
|Price (as tested)||$33,323|
12-volt receptacle, brushed aluminum gauges, Jensen CD player w/MP3 input and 2 speakers, quick-release windscreen, trim gauge, 25-quart insulated portable cooler, fire extinguisher, galley pressurized water system, interior courtesy lights, stern table, stainless steel cleats, ski tow bar/eye, stainless steel re-boarding ladder, power lift engine lid.
Color coordinated playpen cover, stainless steel rub rail. Clarion CD system w/4 speakers, Berber snap-in carpet, changing room w/curtain, pull-up cleats, Fish Package: 2 bow fishing chairs, livewell w/pump, rod holders, trolling motor plug, extra battery tray.
For More Information
P.O. Box 1158
Elkhart, IN 46515