When boarding this 22-foot-3-inch boat from the forward platform, we thought, “It sure looks like a long walk to the driver’s seat.” What appeared to be a lot of space in the bow was no illusion. The helm is pushed deep toward the back of the boat, and because there’s no boarding gate on the starboard side, what you get is one of the longest couches you’ll find on a pontoon boat this size — and lots of Berber carpet leading to it. An adult can lounge in front of the driver, and there’s still room for three more passengers on the same seat.
This layout gave us a clear view of all passengers, including little ones, without constantly swiveling our heads. Another safety feature we noted is the pair of stainless-steel rails just over the top of the seat backs in the bow. They add exterior form and are easy to grab when necessary.
Someone will grab them too, because as noteworthy as the topside features are, what we found in the tube design under our test boat made it truly unique. Only the top two-thirds of the tubes are round, and then, at the waterline, the tubes angle straight in and down into V’s, giving planing characteristics to the tubes themselves. Sylvan calls this Revolutionary Planing Technology (RPT). The idea is to reduce the friction from the displacement of totally round tubes. In our test, we felt the boat lift at 3,000 rpm. Powered with an Evinrude 200 hp High Output (HO) motor, the test boat played with the 45 mph mark and went from 0 to 30 in a ski-boat-quick 5.7 seconds. If you don’t plan to pull skiers, we think a 150 hp motor would give sufficient power and showcase the RPT even more clearly because of the lower weight.
• Molded-in cooler forward of the helm is a fiberglass piece under the reclining lounge.
• Navigation and dock lights are installed in pods nested into the front quarter panels.
• Underskin covers the cross members and helps water flow under the boat instead of “catching.”
• Double cup holders and speakers are recessed into seat backs to keep them dry.
Test Drive * Test Engine: Evinrude 200-HO * Test Prop: Mirage 17 * Test Load: People (190 LB.) Fuel (20 GAL.) * Top Speed: 44.6 MPH @ 5,950 RPM * Time to 30 MPH: 5.7 sec. Vital Stats * Length Overall: 22’3″ * Beam: 8’6″ * Dry Weight: 2,100 * Seating/Weight Capacity: 14/2,400 LB. * Fuel Capacity: 35 GAL. * Max HP: 200 * MSRP: $33,574 (as tested) * NMMA Certified: Yes