PlayCraft Powertoon Xtreme 2800

Go-fast speed comes wrapped in living-room comfort.

PlayCraft pontoons are built just 50 miles from the site of powerboating's most storied shootout, the Lake Rescue Shootout at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. So, it's really easy to see why the adrenalin-loving founders of PlayCraft broke the first ground in performance pontoons. Now, years after PlayCraft's Dorris family made national news cranking out 100 mph with — oh, my gosh — a pontoon, nearly everyone rolling aluminum tubes has gotten into the act. But few do it as well as PlayCraft with its Powertoon Xtreme 2800. The triple-tube bottom slices over waves and chop, giving a soft, stable ride completely unexpected by non-enthusiasts. We were pleasantly surprised by the thrills it wraps in comfort.

Comfort starts with the Flexsteel helm seat that reclines, sports adjustable armrests and cushions your body from whatever vibration and chop the performance tubes couldn’t overcome. Performance strakes on the bottom give the Xtreme 2800 additional lift but also serve to “hook up” the bottom, giving it V-bottom-style turning capability and eliminating that uncomfortable outward lean synonymous with standard tube boats. Close your eyes on a test ride and whip the helm to port or starboard, and you would think you were in a go-fast rocket — except for the living-room comfort in which you ride.

PlayCraft’s in-house furniture crew constantly upgrades upholstery and tweaks color and stripe designs to keep the line fresh each year. Choose your colors, and they’ll be matched on the side panels in upholstery (they keep the ride quiet, dampening vibration, while adding luxury) on the inside and the graphics on the outside. We’ve seen University of Tennessee, University of Florida and Missouri state colors on PlayCraft boats.

Add a premium stereo with powerful amp and subwoofer, and your visual impression — already coupled with thrill-ride G’s — will be spiced up even further by the beat of your favorite tunes. Play them through an iPod or MP3 interface or CDs.

Play, in fact, is the key word for the Xtreme. Play hard and fast.