2024 Vanderbilt 500S

The 500S is a well-built, feature-packed performer with a competitive price.

Vanderbilt brings a refreshing, straightforward approach to pontoon boats with just two models (single and twin engine). Everything is standard but color and outboard choices.

Powered by Suzuki’s DF300, the 500S went from zero to 30 mph in 6.6 seconds. Top speed was 46 mph. Our best fuel economy of 3.1 mpg came at 18 mph and 3,000 rpm, burning 5.9 gph.

Vanderbilt 500S running
The 500S features stylish perimeter fencing with raised LED docking lights. Bill Doster
Vanderbilt 500S bow seating
Twin facing lounges grace the bow and the stern. Bill Doster

Vanderbilt pontoons feature a standard Big Water package with triple 25-inch-diameter pontoons with lifting strakes, reinforced nose cones, a ­heavy-duty transom and engine pod, and a performance-shielding underdeck. Assisted hydraulic steering makes steering easy.

The 500S features stylish perimeter fencing with raised LED docking lights and built-in storage for dock lines, the anchor and fenders. Backlit mesh lights the sides, a cool touch. Twin facing lounges grace the bow and the stern. The futuristic helm with a framed safety-­glass windshield and digital dash provides control of all boat functions ­using CZone switching. A Fusion stereo with a remote pushes sound through six ­6 1/2-inch speakers, a 10-inch subwoofer and a 2,000-watt amplifier.

Vanderbilt 500S helm
The digital dash provides control of all boat functions using CZone switching. Bill Doster

Multizone RGB lighting allows control of four different zones. The 500S features in-floor ski storage, an aft deck great for watersports prep, and a tow pylon. The Lillipad Revo easy-boarding ladder works for people and pets.

Vanderbilt’s seats feature wireless charging, and the Rotocast vinyl-­covered bases look great. Uniquely, the cushions open lengthwise to access ­storage ­below and are gas-shock-assisted for ­one-hand operation. Armrests fold on billet hinges with backing plates, a small touch that makes for a strong armrest. The in-floor storage is ­well-thought-out; there’s a sump in the bottom with a bilge pump, so items stored there won’t sit in ­standing water.

Vanderbilt 500S engine
The aft deck is great for watersports prep. Bill Doster

This well-designed boat has ingenious features and touches everywhere. For $162,000, Vanderbilt offers a well-built, feature-packed performer at a competitive price.

Vanderbilt 500S aft ladder
The Lillipad Diving Board adds even more excitement. Bill Doster

High Points

  • Most everything is standard.
  • State-of-the-art design delivers  competitive performance with 300 hp.
  • Premium interior features include billet-aluminum hardware, phone chargers, and wood-free construction.
Vanderbilt 500S performance data
Vanderbilt 500S Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

How We Tested

  • Engine: Suzuki DF300 four-stroke 300 hp
  • Drive/Prop: Outboard/Suzuki 15″ x 21″ 3-blade stainless steel
  • Gear Ratio: 2.08:1 Fuel Load: 35 gal. Crew Weight: 260 lb.

Pricing and Specs

Price:$162,000 (as tested)
Dry Weight:3,850 lb.
Seat/Weight Capacity:13/1,950 lb.
Fuel Capacity:46 gal.

Vanderbilt Luxury Pontoons – Fort Wayne, Indiana; vanderbiltpontoons.com