What we think: South Bay introduced the 922CR in late 2006 with a big splash. At that time our test team thought it was one of the best-appointed pontoons right out of the starting gate. It was so successful that the boat comes into 2008 with only minor changes. And that's just fine with us. In fact, we wish more manufacturers wouldn't change things when a superior design has been landed on. Why, for example, did spinner wheels on steering wheels go away? We believe they should be standard equipment on all boats, as the knobs greatly aid handling at any speed. South Bay's 922CR TT I/O has one, as do all of South Bay's 900 series pontoons.
Some manufacturers mount their deck tables on a single pedestal. South Bay's 900 series uses two mounts, making its tables much more stable. A granite look is achieved with gelcoat finishes on all tables and the console as well.
As refined as the boat is, South Bay takes as much pride in the workmanship that went into it. The deck's cross members are placed on center at 16-inch intervals, so South Bay's boats have seven more cross members than many other pontoons. This eliminates flex from the deck, making for a smoother ride and solid traffic areas. Also, South Bay uses a process called TIG welding on its tubes and rails, which creates a cleaner look than conventional MIG welding.
South Bay smartly mounted the fuel tank on the center tube amidships, placing the center of gravity where it belongs. It made a noticeable impression during our tests, as the boat moved gracefully, even as we neared the 50 mph mark.
Who should buy it: Boaters who value durability and luxury will gravitate to this model, as will those who like the idea of traveling nearly 50 mph with a 5.7-liter engine.
Vital Stats * Length Overall: 22'6' * Beam: 8'6' * Dry Weight: 2,935 lb. * Seating/Weight Capacity: 13/2,805 lb. * Fuel Capacity: 39 gal. * Max HP: 300 * MSRP (w/ 5.7L MerCruiser): $54,479 * NMMA Certified: Yes
MerCruiser 4.3 MPI w/Alpha drive $49,422
MerCruiser 5.7 350 Mag $54,479
925CR TT Trifecta I/O EXP
Length: 26'4' (w/ platform)
Max HP: 525
The EXP package is built around a chassis that's specially designed for the wakeboard tower and rated for 525 ponies.
825CR TT Trifecta
Max HP: 275
Everything on a typical options list comes as standard equipment on the 825.
Test Drive * Test Engine: Mercruiser 5.7 350 Mag * Test Prop: 24-pitch Bravo 3 * Test Load: People (180 lb.); Fuel (35 gal.) * Top Speed: 47.7 mph @ 4,950 rpm * Time to 20 mph: 6 sec. * Time to 30 mph: 9 sec.