What we think: There’s more to building a performance pontoon boat than hanging a big motor on the transom. It takes creative engineering to make such power not only possible, but also safe and practical. When the 2570 Caribbean came to our tests with a 300 hp Suzuki, it gave us a chance to see how Crest goes about this whole concept differently from anyone else.
Start with the Taper-Toons. They’re 24 inches in diameter at the bow, widening to 26 inches at the stern, with lifting strakes on all sides. The extra size on all three tubes translates to added flotation to support the heavier motors. The boat also has an adjustable transom, which can be moved up or down depending on the size of the motor. Crest also drops the fuel tanks into the bottom half of the middle tube for balanced weight distribution. The results in our test were astounding: top speed near 50 mph, 3.5 seconds to 20 mph and less than 9 seconds to 40 mph.
This high-end model was equally praiseworthy when we dawdled along. The furniture has high backs; the stern seat is rounded; and the helm seat is designed with multiple adjustability. And Crest uses some inventive touches, like a power lift on the Bimini top, a ladder secured to the back of the starboard tube for strength and a privacy curtain that lifts from the rounded stern seat (nothing is disrupted when it’s in use). Our test boat also had stainless-steel safety rails, an amplified antenna for better radio reception and strip lighting, all to make the everyday experience that much better.
Who should buy it: Boaters who want a simple pontoon boat need to look at other Crest models. This one is for the demanding buyer looking for performance possibilities, luxurious touches and seating for as many as 17 people.
Vital Stats * Length: 25′ * Beam: 8’6″ * Dry Weight: 3,995 lb. * Seating/Weight Capacity: 17/2,364 lb. * Fuel Capacity: 42 gal. (standard), 24 gal. (optional) * Maximum HP: 300 * MSRP (test boat w/ Suzuki 300): $62,155 * NMMA Certified: No
Suzuki 200 four-stroke — $53,866
Suzuki 300 four-stroke (base boat, no options) — $55,552
Mercury 250 Verado — $61,684
Caribbean 2570 (two tubes)
Max HP: 150
By cutting out a tube, you get a lighter boat with less high-end potential, which for some is perfect.
Upper Sundeck 2770
Max HP: 150
This is for serious party boaters, with the extra-long main deck and elevated second deck (for at-rest use only).
Test Drive * Test Engine: Suzuki 300 4-stroke * Test Prop: 16 x 18.5, 3-blade * Test Load: People (340 lb.); Fuel (45 gal.) * Top Speed: 48.7 mph @ 6,000 rpm * Time to 20 mph: 3.5 sec. * Time to 30 mph: 5.6 sec. * Time to 40 mph: 8.8 sec. * Most Economical Speed: 30 mph @ 3,900 rpm, 9.0 gph