What Our Customers are Saying
Cruising the Bahamas in a Splendor SunStar
(Splendor Boat on History Channel Show)
It was with specific purpose that my wife Lora and I decided to buy a custom built Splendor SunStar 259. We have been actively engaged in a search of the Bahamas for lost planes, archaeological sites, and other ruins since 2003. After chartering local boats until 2009, with the total expenditure well over the cost of several Splendor’s top-of-the-line boats, we started a serious search for the right boats. We needed a safe boat (think unsinkable), a fast boat (think cruising on the Atlantic Ocean from 15 -50 mph), a fully enclosable boat that could, if needed, be used for sleeping, one that had lots of storage space, one that was comfortable on long cruised (think 10 – 12 hours), and one that had long range(think 200+ miles). Safety, redundancy, speed and comfort was our goal, and we also needed a shallow draft to cope with the shallows and reefs of the Great Bahamas Bank.
Our 259 has a fully enclosed head with both over-the side and shore discharge, and a 250 hp outboard with a 9.9 backup motor. The 9.9 pushes the fully-loaded boat at a respectable 6- 8 mph, but the 250 outboard will reach 50 in the same conditions. We have crossed the Gulf Stream in 20 mph winds in 4-ft seas.
While my first option was to have an enclosed front on the boat, my wife convinced me that the front needed to be open for storage and to be used as a work area. For us, that was a good decision. We once tried to cross the Gulf Stream in 6 -8 ft seas and discovered, to our relief, that the boat is indeed unsinkable as a stupidly looked away for a moment and drove the boat into a huge wave, In perhaps a second, the front of the boat was engulfed in a huge wave and the entire interior was instantly filled with salt water. It was disconcerting seeing the front of the boat tip down but as soon as I turned the water started clearing and the bulges did their job. But of course, I don’t recommend doing that.
The boat handles well in all of the conditions we have encountered, but like any smaller craft, the seas determine what can be done and the speed. In winds of 15 and up, we typically run at 15 -20 mph. Our Gulf Stream crossings (a 55-mile trip), a very dangerous excursion by any account, have been uneventful, with our fastest crossing averaging 25 mph. In higher winds and larger waves (2-4 feet) we have averaged 15 -20 mph. We have made excursions with as many as 9 people, carrying 4 dive tanks, scuba and snorkeling gear for 6 people, and with film crew sound gear and large HD video equipment.
The scuba tanks fit snugly under the front sea cushions, and we actually could put 8 tanks in that area. The rear storage space with the outboard motor is immense, and numerous “boating “ people have commented that they have never seen another boat with as many comforts and as much storage space. Not counting the gear that other bring, we always carry several underwater drop videos, several recording devices, a portable side-scan sonar, and back-up GPS and radios. Unexpectedly, we found two earlier versions of the Splendor 259 SunStar ant Bimini, where they take people on quick trips between and around the Bimini Islands and Cat Cay.
There have been few problems with the boat, but all have been caused by our own running of the boat in conditions most people would never venture into. We have dutifully repaired any cosmetic problems cause by mangrove swamps, dropped equipment, and the occasional pounding we create when moving into rough seas and high winds. In essence, this boat can handle most ocean conditions easily and is comfortable in all conditions.
Those considering ocean use would be wise to have a back-up engine, marine radio, and other safety equipment. For those interested, I’ll mention trailering. We pull the boat from Memphis to Florida with a Chevy Suburban and utilize a safe marina to put in and pull out the boat. I had initial concerns about both putting in and retrieval, but the job is extremely easy.
As a final note, you can catch some of the documentaries we have made with the boat. The History Channel, MysteryQuest. “The Lost City of Atlantis”
By Dr. G. Little, Memphis, TN
Splendor Boat has 10,000 hours on it and is still going strong.....
I just talked to Amy at your customer service and she was just a DELIGHT. Very helpful and professional. She is helping me replace a broken seat pedestal.
I was telling her how "bullet proof" your boat is and she asked me to write a note about the Splendor Boats. I bought my Splendor in 1995. I have/had 3 teenage boys and between them and me--we've run this boat to death--but it is still living and strong as EVER. I BET THIS BOAT HAS 10,000 HOURS ON IT. I live on Old Hickory Lake in TN, so this boat is in the water about 8 months a year. Plus I've hauled it all the way to the Keys and all over the south. We’ve skied, we've fished, we've pounded this boat in the roughest ways imaginable and it just keeps on going. I've replaced the upholstery twice, had it buffed and re-stripped twice, it still looks good, rides better than any 24 footer afloat. I can't say enough about how good this boat rides, handles and it is one tough boat in all types of water. You make a great product and I bet it will last me another 15 years.
Thanks, Larry R.
You probably don't hear this enough, but I must say it's a real pleasure dealing with your company and people. The boat has been one of my greatest pleasures and perfectly suited for Norris Lake with its 33 miles of navigable waters. We've been very pleased and look forward to many years of great boating in our Splendor Cat.
I want to thank all of you for delivering a quality product. We received delivery of our 239 SunStar on Tuesday, and we could not be happier. I also want all of you to know – and I hope you pass this on to Doyle - that I am as impressed with the folds I have dealt with as I am with the boat. Adam, Brandon, Andrew, and Amy have been great to deal with. Competent and responsive. Thanks for making a great product and for having people around that do business with integrity and care and respect for the customer. I did research for three years before I decided to buy from Splendor. I believe I made the right decision.
Thank you, Dick B.
Ten Reasons I love my SunStar:
1) Handles rough water like a dream
2) Performance: 55 mph top speed and handles wonderfully. Can make tight turns even at speed.
3) Very little bow rise opens up cruising speeds that weren’t viable in a bow rider
4) Has lots of room, can carry 12 people
5) Easy boarding front and rear
6) Easy cleanup with waterproof electronics, snap in / out carpeting, and floor drains
7) Can fish from it easily
8) Shallow 12” draft increases fuel efficiency as well as allowing maneuvering in very shallow water
10) Workmanship: fit and finish is as good as can be found
I am the proud owner of a 26 ft, 2008 SunStar that I bought brand new in 2007. I bought this boat because my husband's Baja was too fast and my pontoon was way too slow and unpredictable on the bay. Both my husband and I LOVE the design of the deck/catamaran. Now when I am on the water in bad weather I always feel safe driving my baby. We are pleasure boaters and have an island near our home. We enjoy going to the island and taking lots of people and supplies for a day in the sun. My boat can hold 12 to 14 people, coolers, grill, water toys, etc... in just one trip to the island. At least once a year we take her to the Keys to sight see and snorkel. We stay at a hotel with a marina so we play all day on the water, pull up to the hotel, and enjoy our evening on Duval St. which is within 2 blocks. My favorite color is purple so that is the boat I have, and have had many compliments over the years. If you are ever in Tampa on the bay and see Becky's Little Toy feel free to come aboard and say Hi. If you are trying to decide to buy one of these babies and have any questions please feel free to call, 813-760-1702.
Apollo Beach, FL