The first stern-drive offering from Cypress Cay, complete with the T3 performance package, did not come to our tests to whip the nose cones off every other pontoon boat in a lake-long race. Its 43.5 mph top speed with a MerCruiser 350 Mag is plenty of giddy-up for most pontooners who will spend far more time – and save a lot of fuel money — at 30 mph.
When running in that 25-40 mph range, the 260 Cozumel exemplified another angle of pontoon “performance” that should supersede all others. The ride was velvety smooth, and stood out from the field. The weight of the motor kept the stern sitting down just enough to raise the front of the three tubes off the lake, so the water was breaking back near the helm station. This happens with some pontoon boats as you climb toward 5,000 rpm. But we noted that it took very little trim to lift the Cozumel, giving us almost no spray in the low-to mid-20s…and that buttery ride.
We could have run all day and through the weekend had we kept the motor running in that sweet spot. The T3 package includes an 81-gallon fuel tank between the middle tube and the motor pod, giving optimum balance and long-range capabilities. Cypress Cay stepped it up in other areas, too, with one of the biggest changing rooms we’ve seen, a heavy-duty ski tow pylon and a fiberglass swim platform. All of these help to showcase another area of performance – that of the passengers.
Key Note: Cypress Cay is a sibling of Harris FloteBote pontoons, which has a sterling reputation, and it’s markedly evident in this latest Cozumel model.
• Engine compartment is big enough for a big-block engine, plus extra storage space.
• Transom area has an optional vinyl entryway to keep water off the carpet when entering the boat from the fiberglass swim platform.
• Optional blue track lighting around all the cupholders further encourages the evening dinner cruise.
* Length (w/ platform): 28’7″
* Beam: 8’6″
* Dry Weight: 4,600 lb.
* Passenger/Weight Capacity: 17/2,493 lb.
* Fuel Capacity: 81 gal.
* Maximum HP: 425
* MSRP (w/ MerCruiser 350 Mag): $51,950
* Test Engine: MerCruiser 350 Mag, MPI Bravo 3
* Test Prop: 21-pitch
* Test Load: People (380 lb.), Fuel (27 gal.)
* Top Speed: 43.5 mph @ 5,300 rpm
* Time to 20 mph: 4.45 sec.
* Time to 30 mph: 6.7 sec.