South Bay’s S224SB2 3.0 offers construction and features rarely found on value-minded pontoons. Examples include everything from the builder’s unique ³/₄-inch honeycomb decking, which is 50 percent lighter than marine plywood, to full-length extruded risers to 16-inches-on-center crossmembers. There’s even a 10-foot Bimini with a dome light.
Passenger-friendly seating, however, remains a pontoon’s bread and butter. The S224SB2 3.0 provides a Transformer-like lounge/sun-pad combo aft. Its forward half consists of an L-lounge with nearly eight feet of seat space. Adding the pedestal table lets captain and crew gather for food and drinks. Behind, a 5-foot-2-inch-by-3-foot-9-inch sun pad awaits those who want to chill or mix things up. Pivot the backrest forward and reclining depth increases nearly 20 inches. A separate backrest with five positions of recline can also be lifted from within the pad to create two back-to-back lounges and prevent occupants from bumping heads.
Naturally more space awaits forward. Twin lounges span 4 feet and 4 feet 8 inches along port and starboard perimeters respectively. Convenient stowage is found beneath nearly all seating in the roto-molded, vinyl-covered bases. Inside, protective covers wrap four standard speakers spread around the living area, a feature often missing even at higher price points.
South Bay introduced a slim-profile, roto-cast helm for 2019. It offers stylish upscale lines with matte woodgrain accent panels, and that accent theme carries over to the steering wheel. South Bay’s Deluxe Package adds a Kicker KMC10 stereo to that dash, as well as lighted speakers and several performance-minded additions below deck, including 25-inch diameter pontoons. The 3.0 Performance Package also affords the S224SB2 3.0 a full-length center tube, four large 4-inch extruded strakes, full aluminum under-deck skinning, SeaStar hydraulic steering and a 37-gallon fuel tank.
On the water, the end results with our test boat’s Mercury 150 outboard included a quick time to plane of just 2.8 seconds, time to 30 mph of 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 34.9 mph.
- Blackout Package adds anodized Bimini frame, boarding gates and fence-rail floor shims.
- Stainless-steel ski tow bar.
- Open aft deck includes chrome stainless-steel rail, four-step aluminum boarding ladder.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 150
Prop: Mercury Enertia 15.6″ x 13″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.92:1
Fuel Load: 28 gal.
Crew Weight: 330 lb.
South Bay Marine – Middlebury, Indiana; 574-825-8696; southbaypontoon.com