When an engine and boat are mated properly — meaning gear ratio, mounting height and propeller dimensions are dead-on — you get the confident feel of everything clicking from the helm. So it was when I pushed the throttle into a turn aboard Parti Kraft’s Celebration 250 Wet Bar. I got plenty of bite and a satisfying rush of acceleration. This boat just plain feels better than many pontoons.
I can back that up with more than subjectivity. Time to 20 mph was five seconds flat, and the Yamaha F115 outboard turned a maximum rpm of 6,100. Slightly over the specified range, this shows that Parti Kraft propped this ’toon right, allowing for the weight of crew and gear in real-world use, which will drop the rpm back down to spec.
Then there’s the standout appeal at the dock. Name your favorite team and Parti Kraft will create sidepanel graphics to match the team’s colors. Aft is a bilevel bar, complete with high-backed swivel chairs, sink and ice chest. The bar is complemented by the “Parti Center,” a decoratively topped console aft of the bar that hides a portable cooler. We also found illuminated cup holders and this unique extra: speakers that pop up from the acrylic top and swivel to direct the sound.
The combination of plush lounges fore and aft, a pair of bow swivel chairs and a chaise lounge provides the seating variety required for entertaining while still allowing the crew to mill about and mingle. Bow, side and two stern boarding gates, coupled with fore and aft decks, also encourage mingling and make tying up on either side or either end of the boat a breeze.
Seated atop a highbacked chair, swiveling betwixt bar and Parti Center, I envisioned family and friends aboard and in the water, with the pop-up speakers blaring “touchdown!” to mark another score. This pontoon has a sister ship with a slightly different mission and layout called the 250 Sandbar Editon. But performance, sociability and personalization may make Parti Kraft’s 250 Celebration Wet Bar the ultimate tailgate boat.
Contact: 574-522-8381, www.partikraftboats.com
Comparable model: Sylvan Mandalay 8525 RE