Rinker Captiva

The smaller of two Rinker boats in our test rally, the Rinker Captiva was anything but small on performance and features. Available with either a closed bow, this sporty performer is a true head-turner.

I missed the company’s Rinker 236 boat. When I took the helm in my hands, I realised that this boat is really wonderful. Completely tuned drive, 454 Magnum smoothly very quickly, reaching speed in just over 3.5 seconds. After 500 revolutions per minute, it was possible to get a higher speed and a more comfortable attitude to ride in the middle of the hump trim, and all this when changing the throttle setting.

You don’t have to be a specialist to see that this boat was made for fast swimming. All thanks to the Rinker hull.

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Rinker Captiva 186 – this bowrider model is still alive

The bowrider model is available with either the standard or sport interior. The standard version offers fore-and-aft facing helm seats, twin jump seats, and a traditional padded engine box, while the optional (300$) sport version covers the engine completely with full-beam sunpad, and mounts an aft benchseat (for three) in front of it. There are also dual bolster-style seats forward and a plush bowrider area that can seat three.

The helm has been designed for ergonomics and comfort. Easy-to-read black-on-white Teleflex instruments, standard power steering, and a Momo tilt-wheel make the Rinker 186 Captiva a pleasure to operate. The Quicksilver binnacle control with in-handle tilt and trim makes trimming a simple matter. The driver’s seat in Rinker bowrrider is fore-and-aft adjustable and perfectly positioned for seated helmsman, but it could use a few more inches of range alt for those of us six-plus-footers who like to handle a boat from a standing position.

Engineered for The Best cruisers

To port, you’ll find a convenient glove box, along with a built-in AM/FM casstette deck, both standard. Aft, the benchseat (with easy-to-reach drink holders) has ample stowage beneath. Engine access on the 186 is superb. Lift the aft sunlounge pad, fold down the twin fore-and-aft side stowage panels, and the MerCruiser 4.3L Alpha One is ready for inspection. And the Rinker 186 Captiva comes standard with an integral swim platform, two-step ladder, and centerline ski tow ring. That, combined with in-sole ski stowage and highly responsive handling sets you up for plenty of waterskiing action.

Black-on-white Teleflex instruments are easy on the eyes. The wheel tilts for comfort.

Speaking of action, our test package yielded more permormance than you may need. Once on plane (only about 2.5 seconds), the 186 grabs the water and really takes off, but without giving you the feeling that she can get away from you. Rinker Captiva carves a circle almost within her own length at low speed, and she handles even a nasty chop (especially dead into it) with surprising grace for bowrider of this size. All this performance and styling make the 186 a hard package to beat.

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