The 722CR TT that showed up at our test sporting a 300 hp outboard was just back from the annual Lake Rescue Shootout in Missouri. There it had set a class record by topping 60 mph. That’s nice for the resume, but don’t let the numbers fool you. We admit it was a thrill to get the boat up and running across our test lake. But we also found that during leisure cruises, this boat provides luxury plus performance in a combination that avoids compromise.
With the engine throttle set at wide open and with three people aboard, the 722CR TT still hit 57 mph, and looked good in the process. South Bay has earned a well-deserved reputation for quality, as anyone who treads the 30-ounce Berber carpeting and sinks into the soft-touch upholstery can easily surmise. Underneath the comfort is a rugged chassis that’s designed to handle the higher speeds and higher stresses of a large engine.
South Bay’s answer is to set cross members on 16-inch centers as opposed to the 24-inch industry norm. This, plus corrosion-resistant fasteners, creates a significant increase in longitudinal rigidity.
The addition of a full-length aluminum underdeck performance skin and lifting strakes creates lift as speeds increase, and allows the boat to bank into turns — we noticed the effects as early as the 15 mph range. At higher speeds, the combination of lift and power-assisted hydraulic steering makes for a very enjoyable driving experience.
Key Note: Premium appointments are a bonus in this pontoon experience, but the real story is the underlying construction and the performance potential.
• Center-mounted 54-gallon fuel tank will slake the thirst of a big outboard while keeping the weight balanced.
• Helm includes a premium MP3/iPod-ready sound system and a Humminbird depth finder and GPS nav system.
• Driver sits in a reclining, adjustable seat with spring-backed upholstery.
• Passenger seats are topped with premium soft-touch vinyl.
* Length Overall: 24′
* Beam: 8’6″
* Dry Weight: 2,590 lb.
* Seating/Weight Capacity: 14/ 1,915 lb.
* Fuel Capacity: 54 gal.
* Maximum HP: 300
* MSRP: See local dealer
* NMMA Certified: Yes
* Test Engine: Mercury 300 Optimax
* Test Prop: 21″ Revolution
* Test Load: People (350 lb.); Fuel (35 gal.)
* Top Speed: 57.1 mph @ 6,000 rpm
* Time to 30 MPH: 9.5 sec.