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The Ultimate Speed Boat

We've done some boat reviewing in the past, including models ranging from Manitou Pontoon Boats to Hobie Cats. Today we'll step on the throttle, and review the ultimate speedster made by Carvelle.

Caravelle’s 232 Interceptor Sport Cabin can run with the best of them and still carry a family along for the ride.

So this must be what it feels like to be a fighter pilot. The mantra “Hurry Up And Wait,” a rallying cry for pilots and military folks, never rang more true than today. You've been “waiting” for four hours in a car ride from the city to the banks of the Flint River in south Georgia to take Caravelle’s 232 Interceptor Sport Cabin for a spin. Now that you've pulled up to the river, you’re hurrying, because they’re about to shove off without you!

You hop on board just in the nick of time, thankful to be out on the water with a cool breeze kicking up rather than having your car’s air conditioner try to create the same feeling. This is what boating is all about. A little breeze, a little sun, some friends to go along for the ride, and a sleek-looking boat at your command.

First impressions can be tricky with some boats, but not the Interceptor 232 SC. Caravelle wants you to think one thing at first glance — fast. The red and black trim, checkered cockpit design, curved windshield and pointy hull say it all. The 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG aft will call anyone’s bluff who wasn’t a believer till that point.

Your crew of four heads out to the middle of the Flint. With the water level a bit down, the depthfinder becomes your best friend. The Caravelle rep gives specific instructions to stay as close to the middle of the river as possible ... and be on the lookout for debris. You frown slightly, wanting to go wide open whenever and wherever you choose with the 232 SC, but once you start visualizing a speed track with this test run, your mood picks up. You take one look around the cockpit to make sure everyone is strapped in ... er ... seated. Fortunately, there are three grab handles in the cockpit, just in case the ride gets a little bumpy. The U-shaped lounge is large, and to top it all off, the 232 SC is designed with gunwale cushions on each side, so you won’t get sore from brushing up against fiberglass with spins and turns.

Go time. You push the throttle controls forward, anticipating a quick acceleration. In about four seconds you’ve planed, and 9.6 seconds into the run you've crossed the 30-mph threshold. But the 232 SC can do so much more than that. Running downstream, you top out at 55.8 mph. You take off your cap and flip-up your helm seat to get the full-on wind whip. Within seconds your hat hair is replaced by a more frazzled look, but you’re just grinning at this point.

It feels a lot faster than that, too. Caravelle’s extended running surface, pad bottom, deep vee (XPV) hull gets the credit here. With the extended running surface, you get quick planing times, without having to put the engine through full throttle to get it to that point. The pad bottom part of this tandem package hull means a little extra stability when you’re up at top speeds. It’s evidenced in the turns you make with the 232 SC. Once you adjust the trim accordingly, you’re really flying down the river. Even though the water’s not particularly choppy, you try a few waves, and the Caravelle answers the call. It’s rarely choppy on board, which your passengers love. You get to enjoy the turns. You’re able to pivot, reverse course and peel water with the MerCruiser’s throaty roar sending adrenaline rushes to your hands. The 232 SC drives like a bona-fide race car, and you’re happy to oblige its persona.

But it’s not all fast and furious on the Interceptor. Caravelle doesn't mention the 232 SC’s family features in passing, because the boatbuilder designed the 232 SC as a family boat. A very fast family boat, but a family boat nonetheless. The sport cabin is the main attraction for family needs, providing a place to get away from the heat or take a nap, although you still have the option of breaking out the standard full Bimini top. The cabin holds a quaint V-berth, with a standard portable head underneath it. You’ll need that if you plan to stay out on the water for an entire day for sure. There’s also a CO detector, rail storage for little knick knacks, more storage under the V-berth, and reading lights. The V-berth gets the job done as a quick hideaway from the elements, but it’s a little small on head room, and not necessarily a viable overnighting option. Two adults might feel cramped trying to make a sleep-over of it. Along with ample storage under the V-berth are lots of places all around the 232 SC to put your gear. Cooler access is granted underneath the U-Shaped lounge, and there’s even room for stowables beside the engine. Access to the MerCruiser is easy, and you have engine divider boards on either side so you can use the available space as compartments for things like extra lifejacketsor watersports gear.

The stereo is also a nice plus, located where the passenger in the other bolster seat has command of the tunes, so you can just concentrate on the driving. There’s four speakers on board, plenty to get the job done, and a 12-volt receptacle for assorted electronics needs.

Caravelle wants its customers to enjoy the 232 SC for a long time, and that’s why it boasts a no-wood construction. That should make long-term maintenance costs lower, and having a fiberglass floor and snap-in carpet makes short-term cleanups go much smoother.

The base price is smooth as well. For a wood-free, go-fast boat with family amenities you pay just under $34,000.

The Verdict:
The Caravelle Interceptor 232 SC is a fast boat with family features. The captain will love the quick planing speed and performance. Loungers will enjoy the large sunpad and the V-berth, although the V-berth is a little too small for comfortable overnighting. All in all, a capable family speedster.

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This post first appeared on The Noiseless Patient Spider, please read the originial post: here

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The Ultimate Speed Boat


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