For a dozen years, stern-drive sport boats with lush sun pads flowing over to a broad transom platform could lord over the pontoon boat, which, at best, boasted an aft-entry boarding ladder. Aqua Patio changed all that with this new model, and they even took it up a notch or two.
Aft seating can convert in seconds to a double-wide sun-pad lounge. Flip the seats again, and they can convert into aft-facing lounges or seats. Even better, underneath the transom seating is a pop-up changing room so convenient that we think boaters will actually use it for stowing a portable head. Also remarkable is the full-beam transom platform, nearly four feet deep and with its own drop-down boarding ladder. Our test boat had vinyl teak, an imitator that looks just like teak but requires far less maintenance.
On the main deck, comfortable, thick vinyl upholstery pampered us as we thumped over chop and wakes on our test lake. The captain’s bucket seat adjusted fore and aft for ideal legroom, and the steering wheel tilted so we could adjust our grip. The Aqua Patio is a smooth operator, but that firm grip on the helm came in handy when we pressed the throttle.
The Aqua Patio sported a wakeboard tower, something more and more popular on pontoon boats, as they step up to higher-horsepower platforms. Horsepower came into play well beyond wakeboard speeds, as this boat clocked nearly 45 mph with a three-man load and a generous tank of fuel.
Key Note: Aqua Patio boasts a quality build and a superior brand. Now, with horsepower and speed too, the boat might be the ideal family watersports rig.
• Synthetic teak is an option that lasts and lasts. When it does show dirt or scuffs, just like real teak, it can be sanded down to a warm glow.
• Electric hatch lift raises the aft-seating module giving easy access to the motor for service.
• The stereo system is factory tuned for optimum listening from any sound zone on board.
* Length Overall: 26’8½”
* Beam: 8’6″
* Dry Weight: 3,110 lb.
* Seating/Weight Capacity: 15/2,047 lb.
* Fuel Capacity: 56 gal.
* Maximum HP: 320
* MSRP w/ MerCruiser 350 MAG Bravo 3: See local dealer
* NMMA Certified: Yes
* Test Engine: MerCruiser 350 Mag Bravo 3
* Test Prop: 22-inch
* Test Load: People (550 lb.); Fuel (35 gal.)
* Top Speed: 44.1 mph @ 5,000 rpm
* Time to 30 MPH: 9.2 sec.