Rinker Boats Q3 Boat Test

April 24, 2019, by , under Powerboat Reviews

Pairing a family bowrider with outboard power makes sense because it frees up interior space for the crew and can be trimmed up for beaching. The Rinker Q3 fits that mission and displays instant curb appeal at the dock thanks to its sporty lines and pretty gelcoat, along with the optional forward-raked ski and wakeboard tower. But that form is also built with serious function. You’ll note that the Q3 has some of the deepest, most secure freeboard in the cockpit and bow lounge that you’ll find on a comparable runabout. Rinker calls the bow area “hot-tub-style,” with plenty of seating, forward-­facing backrests against the consoles, and strategically placed stainless-steel grab handles.

The main cockpit has wraparound-style seating with cutaways in the backrests that reveal inset cup holders and storage. The co-pilot seat in front of the portside console features an adjustable “swingback” backrest to face forward, face aft, or lounge. The port console also hides a head with the option for an MSD. The helm is ergonomic and well-arranged to maximize ease of use for the driver. There’s even a simple smartphone holder on the dash. Note the throttle armrest that improves comfort. All the amenities are there for practical purposes that boaters appreciate.

The center section of the transom bench cushion folds down and away thanks to clever stow-and-step engineering, creating a walk-through to the aft swim platform. To each side, Rinker deploys patent-pending Stow-n-Step rumble seats that are great lounging spots while at anchor or prepping for watersports.

On the water, the Q3 made the most out of its 200 hp Mercury outboard. We climbed onto plane in 4.6 seconds en route to a 44.7 mph top-end at 5,800 rpm. Our zero to 30 mph runs averaged out at 6.9 seconds. If you’re looking to boost those numbers, Rinker offers the Q3 with Mercury, Yamaha and Suzuki outboards to 250 hp. Underway, the boat displayed crisp and predictable handling through a small lake chop and in hard-over turns at 30 mph.

High Points

  • High freeboard around the bow seating keeps everyone safe.
  • Stow-n-Step seat flips to create a passageway from the cockpit to the swim platform.
  • Swingback lounge allows you to convert the port console seat into a rear-facing lounge.
  • Helm features a nifty smartphone holder.

Low Points

  • Wiring in the anchor locker could get nicked by the anchor and rode.


Toughest Competitor
The Chaparral 23 H20 Sport OB starts at $52,025 with a 200 hp Yamaha outboard engine.

Price: $60,294 (base boat with test power)

Available Power: Outboard

How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 200 FourStroke
Prop: Enertia 14″ x 16″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 24 gal.
Crew Weight: 365 lb.

Rinker Boats – Syracuse, Indiana; 574-457-5731; rinkerboats.com

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