Berkshire’s 25 Sport RFX9 is a quick-performing pontoon boat with the Mercury Verado 300; we dropped the throttle handle and had it planing at 14 mph in just 3.75 seconds, and we hit 30 from a dead idle in just 6.9 seconds. Ours was a 50 mph performer, and we achieved our most economical cruise at 3,500 rpm, 22.5 mph and 7.7 mpg. At that speed, the 52-gallon tank (mounted in the center tube) yields a range of just over 118 miles, with a 10 percent reserve. That’s solid performance from a boat that’s competitively priced. Below deck, three 25-inch diameter tubes with four stepped lifting strakes and two outside spray rails give the Sport RFX9 3.0+ a sturdy ride at cruising speeds without sacrificing comfort or rough-water capability.
For the pilot, the helm is raised 4 inches off the deck for easier egress and better visibility all around, especially if someone sits in the lounge in front of the helm. The steering wheel is a solid stainless-steel unit with spinner knob, a nice touch for around-the-dock handling. The boat is equipped with hydraulic steering with electronic power steering assist. The audio system features 165-watt interior speakers, two exterior aft speakers, and two aft-facing Kicker can speakers mounted on the arch. LED floor lighting and exterior rail lights along with LED rail-mount docking lights come standard. Dual batteries with shut-off switch and onboard charger are also standard.
The Sport is well-equipped to handle its rated 14-person capacity. The interior furniture is nicely stitched with plush vinyl, and it matches the brown vinyl teak-look flooring. Crew are protected from the sun by the 10-foot Bimini top mounted to the sport arch. For watersports, there’s an extended stern deck with transom washdown, stainless-steel boarding ladder, aluminum Sport Ski Tow, plus a combination anchor light/tow pylon mounted on the arch. For dining, there’s a removable faux mahogany table with a lighted base. Options include the teak floor, LED underwater lighting and a rearview camera.
* Murphy 7-inch dash display with GPS is user-friendly.
* Powered arch sports four speakers, ski tow, anchor light.
* Furniture features 28-ounce soft-touch vinyl over triple-density foam.
* Dual aluminum framed captain’s chairs with adjustable aircraft-aluminum arms.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 300 hp Verado L FourStroke
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury 14.7″ x 16″ pitch 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 13 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
$107,400 (as tested)
Forest River Marine Elkhart, Indiana; 574-825-8696; forestriverinc.com