Boat Test: 2016 Pioneer Venture 197

Boat Tested2016 Pioneer Venture 197
Price As TestedNot Available
Category Bowrider
Manufacturer Pioneer
Length19ft 10in / 6.05 m
Beam8ft 2in / 2.49 m
Drive TypeOutboard
Engine MakeYamaha Outboards
Fuel Capacity55
By Mike Milne
Leisure time, especially on the water, is valuable. So many boaters don’t want to spend any of it cleaning and maintaining. For them, there’s the Pioneer Venture 197.

It’s got good looks, with a touch of Carolina flare in its bow and a sheerline that drops just aft of amidships. It’s also got good behaviour, easy-clean seating and cockpit, plus an easily maintained Yamaha 200 four-stroke outboard. All the boat and motor will need at the end of the busiest day will be a good hose-down, perhaps a touch of the brush and a quick engine flush if you’ve been out in salt water.

With a twin-console and full windshield layout, the Venture 197 has a spacious, well-padded bowrider-style seating forward, a swiveling helm seat, fold-down back-to-back lounger on the companion side and a bench seat aft.

An all-round performer, the 197 comes complete with a livewell aft, an insulated fish-box and four rod holders. Our test boat also comes with a sturdy welded aluminum ski or wakeboard mini-tower over the outboard engine. A small swim deck and boarding ladder provide access to the water.

There’s lots of room to store picnic supplies and water toys along with fishing tackle. The bow compartment, with recessed grab rails, is very comfortable.

The Venture’s 18-degree deadrise hull handles waves easily but also ensures soft landings and stability. With the Yamaha 200 on the transom, performance is assured.

With trim tabs down, the boat is on plane and running at 20.2 miles per hour at 3,000 rpm. It cruises comfortably at 25 mph at 3,000 rpm. You could run effortlessly at that speed all day, or go faster. Top speed in GPS testing is 47.8 mph at 5,800 rpm. Cornering is precise. Trim tabs will likely be needed only to balance loads.

The bolstered seat at the helm is rarely found on specialized fishing boats, but the stainless steel steering wheel has a “spinner” that’s usually only found on southern fishing boats. Like the rest of the boat’s features, they are a welcome and wise combination.

Test Boat EngineYamaha F200 four-stroke, 2,785 cc (163 ci), 200 hp in-line four-cylinder, four-stroke gasoline outboard with multipoint EFI, driving three-blade stainless steel prop
ACCELERATION (mph/sec)0-20/ 4.5; 0-30/ 6.15
TOP SPEED (rpm/mph)5,800 / 47.8
3,000/ 20.2; 3,500/25; 4,000/31.8
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