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  1. #1
    Commander Expidia's Avatar
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    Default Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    I'll probably use my 2007 Lund for next season, but I'm thinking of moving up in size to a bigger aluminum boat with a cuddy for some weekend stays.

    I've been searching around and I found that Starcraft still makes the Islander model. The only ones I've seen were 20 years old, so I thought they stopped making them years ago. But then I found they still make them!

    This model has this motor bracket that allows the motor to sit off the transom and leave the deck nice and clear. I'd like to find the 06 version as that's the first year they started this design. I'd go for an 07 too. The 150 Merc looks like it gives it plenty of power, but it's also rated up to 200 hp.

    They also make a 19.5 model, but I know if I went for that one I'd never be happy knowing there was a 21 too.

    I like to trailer, so I'll have to get a third vehicle for towing probably a few years old like a V6 Jeep or similar. I want to stay with aluminum for it's lightness and trailer ability and to get away with towing it with a Jeep instead of a truck.

    I think this 21 with the 150 Merc comes in around 2500 lbs.

    I hate to leave the Lund line cause I like the exceptional quality and the way the hull handles any water I throw at it. It has a lifetime warranty which is sweet too, but they don't make an aluminum cuddy.

    This Islander model 221 BRKT looks to be a nice fishing, cruising and some occasional close off shore kicking around when I trailer down to a shore.

    They look to list new at around 28k new with the 150 Merc.

    So some questions I have initially are: has anyone had any experience in the seaworthiness of this Starcraft model. I usually equate Starcraft with freshwater use (95% of my use will be in freshwater anyway).

    What are your thoughts on how strong that bracket off the transom is going to be as the design is only 2 years old. It's available with an IO drive but I prefer outboards. That bracket looks to be a great idea to free up deck space but it makes me nervous thinking about hanging a 200 or a 150 off that bracket?

    Anyone know of an upcoming boat show in the NY area where I could check this model out?

    Do you think this cuddy is going to be too small and it's mostly to throw gear into?

    Looks like the boat over all is about 24 feet (with the Bracket modeL) so it should be seaworthy enough like for cruising around in say Newport Sound?

    So I'm most concerned with how some of you might have already experienced this model on the open water?

    I'm really interested in hearing other opinions . . . Or should I start my search for another aluminum brand with a cuddy?

    Here is a link to the specs: starcraftmarine.com/?page=seriesdetails&hullid=1&serid=6&tab=modeldeta ils&boatid=437&section=specs

    Here is a video on the model: starcraftmarine.com/video/Islander/Islander-221.html

    Here is a pic of this model:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    I have a similar transom extension on my Crestliner and love the way it opens up the rear of the boat. It also makes for a much quieter ride because the outboard is below in a pocket so the sound from it is mostly blocked by this. At full throttle I can carry on a normal conversation with my passengers. These extensions are made for the purpose of supporting the outboard so that will not be a problem. I think Crestliner has smaller cuddy's in the lineup ( same MFG as Lund I think), so you may want to look at those. A 22 foot cuddy will be a little tight but good enough for a weekend.
    1996 Crestliner 2160 Phantom, 1996 Evinrude 130 HP

  3. #3
    Commander Expidia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Thx RNDN, I'll check out the Crestliner models. I too like the bracket idea. Even now with my Lund, if I don't have the motor trimmed just right it'll throw up quite a spray back towards me and any passengers. If I had someone in the back seat position they would get soaked. Pretty noisy back there too especially with the enclosure up on anyone sitting back there. Seems to be worse to for spray when the enclosure is up since there is less wind blowing the spray off the back. Seems to swirl back onto me at times.

    I figured that bracket design could solve these types of issues and give me a little swim platform to boot. I wonder if it's part of the boat's construction or if it's just added on when you order that model?

    I'd like to see one up close to see how tight that cuddy would be. Probably not any worse then pitching a tent on an island for the weekend.

  4. #4
    Commander Expidia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    I've also already read the 5 older posts that came up when I posted this Starcraft Islander thread when I scrolled down to the bottom.

    Many were positive. Some said the light hull and high free board causes it to get blown around in the wind a little more than a heavier fiberglass model.

    Several said they had some seepage but the bilge pump took care of that but I would expect that from a 20 year old riveted hull.

    Here is the Starcraft warranty:
    Life Time Limited Warranty on Double Riveted Seams
    Life Time Limited Warranty on Floor & Cabin Bunk Tops
    10 Year Limited Hull Warranty
    5 Year Limited Warranty on Marine Grade Carpet
    3 Year Limited Warranty on Upholstery Vinyl

    I don't think Lund covers leaking rivets either now that I've looked at their warranty again:
    Lifetime Warranty on double-riveted seams.
    Lifetime Warranty on all plywood panels, related materials and labor.
    Three Year 100% Bow-to-Stern Parts and Labor Coverage with applicable exclusions - ask your Lund dealer for details.
    Transferable.

    But they also said it was a trade off for it's lighter trailer-ability.

    I'd like opinions from more recent owners though especially 2006 and 2007 of the same model and how popular this model is.

    Funny another poster asked my exact same question a few years ago here. Wanted to know how seaworthy the hull was . . . my exact concerns!

    RNDN: I could not find much on a Crestliner cuddy. Might be an older model, maybe even fiberglass. Either way, if I can't pull any info it tells me their cuddy models if they still make them are probably not too popular and that would hurt their resale value.

    Here is a link to past comments: http://forums.iboats.com/starcraft-boats/starcraft-islander-163734.html

    DJ's comments from Oct/03 seems to be right on the money from what I expected about the pros and cons.

    I just wonder why this model has not grown in popularity over the years I've only seen a few on the water and they looked to be 20 year old models (that in itself probably tells a lot, owners seem to be really happy with them).

    One would think with the innovation of using the outboard bracket it would bring up the popularity of this model yet it's been out for 2 years and I've never seen any on the water.

    How popular are they in other parts of the country?

    Any other opinions are appreciated.

    Anyone know if two more seat posts could be added to the deck? Or is the gas tank position preventing that?

    Thx

  5. #5
    DJ
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    You cannot go wrong with the Starcraft Islander or any of their aluminum boats, for that matter.

    My family has owned several aluminum Starcrafts, over the years. We still own two Starcraft pontoons. One is operated in salt water. I have also owned Alumacraft, Lowe, Crestliner and Lund. The Starcraft beat the Alumacraft/Lowe and Crestliner, hands down in quality and was as good as the lund without being overpriced, like the Lund.

    All of the Starcrafts have been absolutely flawless.

    I have operated an older Islander, in the Great Lakes many times, with no issues whatsoever. I have also operated a Starcraft open bow-Super Sport-in the same conditions. The Islander cuddy made sloppy weather tolerable. It is a very safe boat with high sides that give a sense of security. It handles rough weather very well. They do not ride like a fiberglass boat but they are half the weight. My Boston Whalers do not ride that great either and there is nothing safer.

    I would not hesitate to buy another one if it meet my needs. My boating, now, is all smaller inland lakes. An Islander would be overkill, for my needs.

    The outboard bracket was a recent addition to the line. The Crestliners had that feature for many years. It is a good idea. It keeps the cockpit open and makes the hull more efficient.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Have a good friend with an old Starcraft Islander. He loves it and I think it is a good boat for all the reasons you have heard above. It is a saltwater boat and gets into some rough water through Charleston harbor and offshore. I would consider the purchase of a new model myself. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Commander Expidia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Quote Originally Posted by Willyclay View Post
    Have a good friend with an old Starcraft Islander. He loves it and I think it is a good boat for all the reasons you have heard above. It is a saltwater boat and gets into some rough water through Charleston harbor and offshore. I would consider the purchase of a new model myself. Good luck!
    Thx, that's what I was thinking too. The 2006/07 models since they have the outboard bracket. Would hate to have to deal with any leaky rivets with older aluminum boat. First model year of the bracket was 2006 anyway.

    I read another review that said that bracket adds to the stability in rough water.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ View Post
    You cannot go wrong with the Starcraft Islander or any of their aluminum boats, for that matter.

    My family has owned several aluminum Starcrafts, over the years. We still own two Starcraft pontoons. One is operated in salt water. I have also owned Alumacraft, Lowe, Crestliner and Lund. The Starcraft beat the Alumacraft/Lowe and Crestliner, hands down in quality and was as good as the lund without being overpriced, like the Lund.

    All of the Starcrafts have been absolutely flawless.

    I have operated an older Islander, in the Great Lakes many times, with no issues whatsoever. I have also operated a Starcraft open bow-Super Sport-in the same conditions. The Islander cuddy made sloppy weather tolerable. It is a very safe boat with high sides that give a sense of security. It handles rough weather very well. They do not ride like a fiberglass boat but they are half the weight. My Boston Whalers do not ride that great either and there is nothing safer.

    I would not hesitate to buy another one if it meet my needs. My boating, now, is all smaller inland lakes. An Islander would be overkill, for my needs.

    The outboard bracket was a recent addition to the line. The Crestliners had that feature for many years. It is a good idea. It keeps the cockpit open and makes the hull more efficient.
    Thx DJ . . . I liked your first post back in 03 too. Both very informative

    This might sound dumb but being the cabin causes the center of gravity to be higher with this model do you think it's possible since it's of aluminum construction that this model could get blown over? Unlike a sailbaot with a keel do you think the weight of a 500 lb motor hanging so far off the transom would be enough to keep the boat upright in high winds?

    Sounds like a dumb question I know, but I don't know what would happen in that scenario. If it did go over, the weight of the motor could also keep it upside down too Hey, I saw the movie the "Perfect Storm"

    If gas prices remain high I'm sure the boat values are sure to continue to decline. I figure I could get 10k out of my 07 rig and the 28k list for the Starcraft Islander (with a 150 merc)would be in the 18-20 range for a used 06 model year. It would only cost me about 10k to move up from the 15 footer to a 21 footer and still be in the 2-3 year old boat age range!

  9. #9
    DJ
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Expidia,

    Anything is possible. However, blowing one of those over would be quite difficult. They have a good deadrise and good wide beam. They do not roll in a beam sea like many narrower beam boats do. If it's that windy, you've got other problems.

    I will say that they do tend to get blown around in a stiff side wind. They tend to sit higher in the water than other boats that size that are glass. There are tradeoffs for everything. I'll take the weight savings for the other benefits it provides.

    As mentioned, I have been way out in both lakes Michigan and Huron in one of those. On many occasions we were in some very lousy weather. Many times there were swells high enough to make the boat disappear. I never felt unsafe. Plus, there were plenty of other Islanders and Cheiftains around. That in itself says something.

    Let's be honest, the boat is not going to ride like a Mako, Grady White or other offshore type boat but they weigh at least twice as much. The Starcraft is just as durable, in my opinion.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy one at all. I would own one if ity met my needs.

    Good luck in your hunt. Keep us posted.

    Merry Christmas.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Thx Dj. I'll earmark about 20k in a separate account so I can be ready to pounce on one if I locate an 06 or 07. I see in the NADA marine book that an 06 with a 150 (but that was an I/O) retails for 18k which is what I guessed it would be. If a boat was preamo I'd be willing to pay up for it too.

    It might take me longer to find a buyer for my rig depending on the time of the season so I know I'll need to stash away 20k to take the one I find away and then worry about selling mine.

    I bring up the point about the lightness of aluminum because last season I was on Lake Champlain and the wind kicked up suddenly and my bimini was up at the time. All of a sudden the boat was moved about 20 feet off my course. It scared me cause the next gust I pictured my boat para sailing away, so I quickly lowered the Bimini.

    I know if I had the 21 I'd be venturing out into weather that I would never go out in with my 15 foot Lund. The most I've been caught in was about 3 foot seas. Nice to see your comment about you've been in 6 or 7 feet seas and it took them OK. I don't expect to be out in weather like that but one never knows.

    My guess is I'll have to snag one from around the great lakes area where this model is probably more prevalent. I'd drive out there to pick it up cause I don't want one that was floating in a marina for the past two seasons and used in salt water.

    My worst case scenario is that I buy one and have to keep it in a marina on the Hudson River for the first season until I get a tow vehicle.

    ** I have a 2005 Mercury 9.9 4 stroke which I only used 4 times on another boat I had for a few months before I bought the Lund and was going to sell it because I can't run the 40 hp and the 9.9 on my Lund due to it's weight limits. So I use a 36 lb minn kota for trolling and the battery is upfront so not so much weight is hanging off the transom.

    Do you think the 9.9 would move a 21 foot aluminum as a kicker and to use as an emergency back up motor? If you think it's too small I won't mind selling it because it does not have electric start anyway and I'm spoiled now. If I buy a bigger kicker it will have electric start.

  11. #11
    DJ
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Expidia,

    The 9.9 is about minimum, as a kicker. It would help if it was propped right, with a low pitch prop. I wouldn't sell it-yet.

    You won't have a bimini on an Islander. A bimini is a big sail. The convertible tops attach to the top of the windshield.

    As mentioned, you may get blown around a bit but you have a lot of boat under you. No worries, as far as I'm concerned.

    It sounds like you have a good plan. Selling a boat is best done in the spring. So that's good for you. I agree, the Great Lakes area is the place to find good used ones.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Starcraft makes a fine boat. I did like Crestliner better but they no longer make any boat I would recomend for the Ocean.

    I fish out of Bodega Bay where the seas most of the summer are 4 to 8 feet.
    I have a 21 foot Crestliner Closed bow runnabout but a good friend I met in the ocean campground has a older 19 foot islander. He and his Wife have been fishing the Ocean for at least 20 years in his 19 foot Starcraft. Many times we have fished side by side drifting for rockfish. The Starcraft catches a little more wind and he will pass me up slowly. The gunnels are a little higher than my boat and the top catches more wind. His is and inboard with a 3.0L Merc. He is like me and does not pound it into the swells which is what loosens rivots.

    We have both been out in 8 foot seas with 30 knots of wind. While it not nice it is safe with an experence skipper. He launches very early in the AM if the fog is not too thick. Seas at that time of day usually around 3 foot. He has radar and GPS for navigation but he still does not go until can see from one bouy to the next in the bay. They are about 100 feet apart.

    Anyway I think Starcraft is a fine boat and actually like better than Lund because it lighter and does not have as much wood in the boat. Less maintenance. Like all Aluminum boats in salt water good idea to wash hull when you pull out of the water. If it leaks at all flush the inside also.

    Starcraft like most Aluminum boat with a canvas top will drift with the bow down wind. Jim has a 9.9 HP Merc kicker. My boat has a 15 Hp Johnson kicker. I use a 4 blade high thrust prop and use mostly to slow our drift in the very strong winds and back into the swell. Top foward speed is about 5.3 MPH on a calm day. If my kicker ever needs to be replaced I will go with a 20 HP. I use a EZ Steer for steering and it works good except trying to turn up into the big swells and wind. Turning up into the swells and wind very slow. I test it from time to time for practice just in case ever need to use the kicker to get in on a bad day.

    Both Jim in his 19 foot starcraft and me in our 21 foot Crestliner do not launch if the seas are over 8 feet or closer together than 8 seconds. Jims is retired and sometimes will not launch if over 6 feet as he spends a lot of days on the coast. In My boat we have been out in 9 foot seas every 6 seconds but usually headed in by the time it gets that bad.

    http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=46013
    Have some fun and enjoy the Great Outdoors.
    Love to fish out of Bodega Bay, California.

  13. #13
    Commander Expidia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Thx Boatist . . . now that's what I call a review! I wanted to hear from posters with experience with the Islander not from some BS'ing boat salesman that's never even been out on one.

    The higher the gunnels the better for my liking. Radar would be on my list of first accessories when I find a 221. I had already invested in a $1000 combo Hummingbird 997 side scan for the Lund and that will be transferred over to the new boat.

    It's amazing how the prices for a decent radar set up are now. Years ago when I was looking for another boat it was an investment over $4000.

    I'd only be on the salty coastal waters for brief vacations. Most of our time would be on Lake Champlain which is 132 miles and we can go up through locks on the North and South ends. Up to the Saint Lawrence in Canada or out down the Hudson River to the Ocean around NYC.

    The upstate NY region is a boating paradise, but one needs a decent size boat to do any traveling due to the sudden weather changes in the Northeast.

    So my first thoughts for the next rig was to invest in a 25 foot cabin cruiser that's within 10 years old and keep it in a marina but I'm not one to hang around the dock yuking it up. I need to be on the water either cruising or fishing "at all times". So marina life is not for me anyway, then I came across the Islander model and thought that being aluminum I could still trailer it where ever I want to go and still have the safety factor of a rig that could take bad weather if it hit unexpectantly yet light enough to trailer.

    I'd like to trailer to areas like the Finger Lakes, the Great Lakes and the Thousand Islands region which is another amazing area for boating as it's on the Saint Lawrence River which runs up through Canada (connects into Champlain too) and runs South into Lake Ontario.

    Venturing out on Lakes like the Great Lakes can be the equivalent of off shore boating, so radar and GPS (and back up paper charts) are a must IMO.

    So trailering is my cup of tea and the Islander model seems to fit the bill.
    I'll also test drive one at a dealer or catch a ride with someone that owns one now. As DJ has said: through the years it's the same hull design other than the higher windows.

    I'll re-prop the 9.9 before I sell it and try it out. Most of my trolling is done on Lake George for Lake Trout and that's done best at speed 1 mph. Land Locked Salmon is only around 2 mph. It starts with a tug or two anyway and it's the 20 inch long shaft model. I'll upgrade it at some point (if it's out on the 221's bracket it's going to be a stretch to start it manually). Since it's only a 9.9 it won't do much for me getting off the water if the main outboard conks out. Like you say . . . a 15-20 would be more appropriate. The 15 is the same block as the 9.9 I think on the Merc line.

    Thx for taking the time for your post

  14. #14

    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Check post "Starcraft popping paint below the water line" & "Starcraft leaky glove box"

  15. #15
    Commander Expidia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Thx for the heads up. I already saw those posts as they came up when I did my original Starcraft Islander search as to what the reviews were here.

    I suppose the glove box leak could somehow be caulked up with some marine silicone. The paint coming off the rivets is troubling though and if I find a used one at least I'll know what to look for now!

    They have pretty strong warranty, but getting them to actually follow through on repairs can be another issue . . . as with any boat company.

    Since Starcraft is once again privately owned, one should have a better shot at getting them to warranty stuff as I'm sure they wouldn't want bad press in a forum as big as iboats where many come to get opinions here before they buy.

    When they were owned by Brunswick, I'm sure Brunswick could care less about their rep. since they tend to flip companies from year to year.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Here is a thread from another site talking more about the paint issue around the rivets issue.

    Seems Starcraft won't warranty it as they say they don't warranty the paint.

    This guy has a 2007 boat and Starcrafts explanation is that it's due to electrolysis.


    thehulltruth.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=185458

    Looks like he selling his boat now.

    This issue should be a class action suit against Starcraft in my opinion.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    and Starcrafts explanation is that it's due to electrolysis.
    Ayuh,... I Agree completely,......

    That same poster was here saying,+ asking the same things.....

    This issue should be a class action suit against Starcraft in my opinion.
    That's right up there with the Liberals sueing Gun Manufacturers for 3rd party violations of laws that were followed by the defendants.....

    I think Stupid should Hurt,......

    That original poster didn't want to hear about stray currents, or Try to find the Actual Cause of his issues,......
    I Guess it's just easier to Blame everybody But the cause of the issue.....
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Quote Originally Posted by Bond-o View Post
    Ayuh,... I Agree completely,......

    That same poster was here saying,+ asking the same things.....



    That's right up there with the Liberals sueing Gun Manufacturers for 3rd party violations of laws that were followed by the defendants.....

    I think Stupid should Hurt,......

    That original poster didn't want to hear about stray currents, or Try to find the Actual Cause of his issues,......
    I Guess it's just easier to Blame everybody But the cause of the issue.....
    Actually he PM'd me if I wanted to buy his boat. I can't blame him with Starcraft's attitude.

    I suggested he have the dealer clean off a strip of paint over the rivets just above the waterline.

    Surprising that you would just eat their explanation like one of the sheep type consumers would unless of course it was "your" $40,000 spent.

    I totally agree with the poster and if electrolysis is part of the problem then Starcraft should correct the issue and re-paint the area of his hull that is peeling.

    This hull design is over 30 years old. We are not even talking salt water here. My guess it's probably some type of cheaper painting process allowing this to happen.

    I would never "bend over" an allow a boat manufacturer to get away with this.

    If there is and "actual cause" for this issue then the rep from Starcraft should come down and find that cause.

    We are tallking about a 2007 rig here. Not some hull that's been bounced all over the waves for the past 10 years.

  19. #19
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Ayuh,....

    I believe I remember we covered the Electrolisis issue,+ the op didn't respond to inquiries about any aftermarket Wiring jobs done on the hull......
    He's got threads running on most of the forums that I check out..... He's getting some sympathy,..
    But not Much.....
    He won't Answer questions,.. He just throws accusations.....

    I own a 1974 model of the same hull,....
    It was in Pristine condition,.. Til I got it of course,....Quite Literally a Little Old Lady's boat.....

    I experinced the Exact Same symptoms as that guy did,......
    But only after I had wired abunch of lights into the cockpit for night time fishing,....
    Anywhere there was something other than a smooth surface, such as along the rivet lines,+ Anywhere there was a scratch in the paint,......

    My boat was just plain Disappearing...... But it was All My Fault,+ I Fixed it.....

    Again I ask you,....
    WHY should Starcraft be responsible for actions taken by a 3rd party,..??..??
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  20. #20
    Commander Expidia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Opinions on a Starcraft Islander 221 BRKT

    Quote Originally Posted by Bond-o View Post
    Ayuh,....

    I believe I remember we covered the Electrolysis issue,+ the op didn't respond to inquiries about any aftermarket Wiring jobs done on the hull......
    He's got threads running on most of the forums that I check out..... He's getting some sympathy,..
    But not Much.....
    He won't Answer questions,.. He just throws accusations.....

    I own a 1974 model of the same hull,....
    It was in Pristine condition,.. Til I got it of course,....Quite Literally a Little Old Lady's boat.....

    I experienced the Exact Same symptoms as that guy did,......
    But only after I had wired a bunch of lights into the cockpit for night time fishing,....
    Anywhere there was something other than a smooth surface, such as along the rivet lines,+ Anywhere there was a scratch in the paint,......

    My boat was just plain Disappearing...... But it was All My Fault,+ I Fixed it.....

    Again I ask you,....
    WHY should Starcraft be responsible for actions taken by a 3rd party,..??..??
    Good answer Bond-0 . . .

    But I too plan on buying a 2006, 07 or 08 of the same model shortly and I would want to know of the possibility of this issue since it is of aluminium construction.

    If fit means the dealer should be doing the accessory wiring to avoid this issue, then that should be the way it's done.

    I've done all my own wiring on my aluminum Lund and not seen any paint damage from electrolysis yet.

    Again, seems like a known issue by the factory and they should make a buyer of one of their new boats aware of the possibility of after market wiring that can cause a reaction with the paint.

    I don't see how a rep from the factory can just write the issue off over the phone as electrolysis without sending their rep to check it out?

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