I find it a bit odd that as popular as these boats were back in the day I have never actually been in one. I'm going to actually say something now as well, that you will have never read in any boat review of any publication anywhere. I actually went into this boat, and article with a somewhat of a predetermined dislike for the model.
I came away with a different opinion after spending even a few minutes in it. I suppose that comes from the idea that the only time I constantly see one in modern day times is when the San Bernadino Sheriffs are rolling up on me on the water, which can make anyone feel a little uneasy.
So lets jump in and take a look at this particular 21 SR, and why Advantage brought it to the boat show.
Advantage brought this particular boat to take a crack at the "Entry Level" market, and to find a buyer who is looking to purchase a new boat that is the three "F's" : Family, Friendly, Fun! As I mentioned earlier, I have never been in one of these so I can't comment on the handling ability, or rough water ability of the boat. What I can say is the salesman "Bill" (known as Advantage Bill on RDP) said very confidently that this is one of the best (In his words "the best") rough water 21's out there on the Market to this day. With an exceptionally aggressive entry, tapering back to a 15 degree deadrise at the transom, I'm inclined to believe it would certainly hold it's own on a windy day.
Lets start with the drivers seat. The dash was laid out with what I believe to be "Beede Stainless / Platinum Guages" that are made with the advantage logo on the face of the gauge. These gauges have been used by many manufacturers over the years and look the part without breaking the bank. The steering wheel is of the cheaper variety as well, but again looks the part without breaking the bank. Shifter Throttle is stock Merc, and the switch plates are of the Dana/Eddie Variety. I did find it a little odd that they added the hatch switch to the left side of the steering wheel and is a polished switch plate, everything else was on a powdercoated blue switch plate on the other side. I later found out this was a "dealer ordered" boat, and they added the single hatch ram to the boat and a few other options to dress it up a little for the show.
Here's a pic of the single hatch ram installed. There is a bit of a "lean" with the engine hatch which is common in most single applications. I'm not sure why, but that lean has always driven me nuts when I see it.
I really liked that Advantage "finished out" the engine bay with the Vinyl sides and the large pockets and ample storage in this boat would come in extremely useful for a long day out on the water.
The motor was a 5.0 Liter / 260 Horsepower Merc which should push this boat to the mid 50 mph range with a load. I can't remember if this boat had swim steps on it or not, but for some reason I'm thinking it did. Looking at this pic, and not seeing any through bolts to them would make me raise an eyebrow.. Again though I'm not 100% that it had swim steps. The rest of it was just average rigging for an entry level boat(much better then some of the lower tier builders to be clear)
Single battery with plenty of storage ahead of it. (something kind of weird going on with that blower hose down in the bildge. I didn't notice this at the show, just saw it in the pic)
The other side of the engine bay with the trim pump, and again a large storage area ahead of it.
The bow of the boat had a bit of a narrow beam (mostly because of the sharp entry on the boat) so you could put two big guys up there pretty handily, but much more then that it would start getting pretty crowded. I'd rate it to a four for the sandbar girl variety, but that's packing them in their like Sardines. Over all on big dudes, you are looking at about seven comfortably. With a mix match party crowd I picture nine for shorter distance trips.
The boat had an interesting little locker in the front of it. It was different because usually in an open bow like this there is a giant ski locker that either pulls out, or flips up. It was stylish, but I'm not sure as functional as a larger storage compartment. (Note the LED cabin lights)
The interior of the boat fit the styling of the hull perfectly. The interior work was actually one of the pivoting points on the boat for me! I'm not sure if they are rubbing fabric softener on the carpet, but I can say it felt like heaven between my toes.. LOL Made me want to re-carpet my own boat.
Storage under the back seat. It was nice they finished the storage area off with carpet, makes it so much nicer then just splatter painted wood backs, etc.. (Also note the LED cabin lights under the seat, and in the bow area in pics above)
The last couple of storage compartments I photographed are the sides (gunnels) on either side of the driver and passenger seat. I would imagine these would get used quite a bit for smaller items, purses, day bags etc..
The ski locker in between the driver and passenger seat was finished out, and I love the way they did the reinforcement on the bottom and integrated the pole light into it as well. It really shows that they put a little extra time and effort into some of the things that will make it last a life time of fun for some lucky family.
My only complaint about it would be the price. At 59,000 it is definitely at the upper eschelon's of "Entry Level" but that could be also be just a starting point for Negotiations.