Pontoons have always been synonymous with entertaining, but the Mandalay Bar takes it to the extreme. As the name implies, an actual bar occupies the boat’s aft deck. It features a faux-granite countertop, three stools and stainless-steel cabinets. Click a switch, and an optional wineglass/plate holder rises from the bar top. Another counter sits behind the helm, with an optional refrigerator below. Someone’s living large.
There’s plenty of function behind the form. Seating includes two bow couches along with twin bucket seats — separated by an insulated cooler — flanking the helm. Bow cushions fold out on double hinges to facilitate access, and the low-maintenance, roto-molded stowage below is guttered to keep water at bay.
Sylvan’s Revolutionary Planing Technology, with its patented RPT tubes, tweaks the running surfaces of the pontoons. Its 27-inch tubes aren’t round. Instead, these feature a V-shaped bottom with a pronounced keel and chines. Our test boat featured an optional center tube added to that mix, resulting in a craft that carved aggressively while retaining some of the outside lean typical of pontoons. Acceleration onto plane was almost instantaneous, with the 8525 passing 30 mph in 7.6 seconds before topping out at 35.7 mph.