We say a regular Boating reader might be startled to see a pontoon boat between the covers of a magazine formerly focused solely on fiberglass, but we can no longer ignore some of the advancements made in the design of a craft like the Grand Mariner. Stately? Not at nearly 45 mph and definitely not when MerCruiser's integrated power steering brings this crowd pleaser around in the precise turns we experienced.
The Grand Mariner definitely sets a standard in body pampering. The best view forward is at the helm, set on a curving fiberglass platform. Seated there in a reclining, swiveling armchair, I was at command of the ship and in the center of my on-board social network. Instrumentation is arrayed for easy split-second scanning to get the full picture of engine, speed and fuel level.
Nestle your passengers into one of the many deeply padded seating options on the Grand Mariner. Particularly remarkable was the convertible aft-facing lounger on the transom. Drop a hook, let your kids do cannonballs from the swim platform and watch it all in comfort from these lounges.
Harris FloteBote blinged up its 'toon with a premium stereo, stainless-steel hardware and a standard Bimini top. Luxury, speed and fun make the 250 Grand Mariner impossible to ignore.
Who'd Want One: If you want luxury, easy dock-to-deck access and sporty fun, the 250 Grand Mariner fills the bill.
Another Choice: Premier's Grand Majestic 235 LTD offers comparable performance and bling in an outboard model that gives a broad choice in power options.
Bottom Line: $58,670; www.harriskayot.com