Sun Tracker makes sure the Signature Series Party Barge 20 DLX gives a great value per dollar spent. The sheer buying power of the world’s largest maker of pontoons gives the company a boost when it comes to adding standard features — like plush carpet, wraparound bow seats and a thickly padded swivel helm seat. Usually only more-expensive pontoons have the vinyl-surface swim platform aft. And, the platform itself stretches across the full beam width, easing docking duties. Control cables are tucked beneath.
Another surprise on this compact cruiser is the pop-up changing room near the transom. Tucking that into a 20-footer was a trick Tracker mastered. To maximize performance, Sun Tracker sets the engine pod back from the pontoons, letting water re-form to give the prop the strongest bite. Setting it back gives the clear walkway noted above too.
Storage abounds under the seats and, if you choose, in the pop-up changing-room compartment. If you want more comfort and bigger performance, swap up to the 22-footer and spread out with your friends. We liked the fishing-barge versions that shelved some of the lounges for three swivel seats, drink holders, rod holders and a livewell, while still leaving seating for seven or more passengers.
-Vinyl is supple, and cushions are lush and resilient.
-It boasts an enormous fuel tank in case you bling up to a bigger motor.
-Boarding ladder adds safety and convenience.