Mercury Marine was founded on performance, so it wasn’t surprising that Voyager engineers turned to Mercury to power their Extreme SLDE 28 pontoon.
Yes, OptiMax engines were a little more “vocal” than other outboards when we firewalled the throttles, but there is no denying the authority in their voice — or the test data we recorded in speed runs on a cool fall day. Just 3.5 seconds to 20 mph — the typical planing speed of monohulls — showed us that this boat was powered and propped for strong hole shots. Then, in just six seconds we reached 30 mph and had to wonder, “Was it underpropped to hit good, skiable acceleration numbers?” Not a bit, as upwind and downwind runs of 55.9 and 56.2 mph indicated. This boat was a runner.
We wondered about the construction of such a performer and ducked our heads under the deck. There we found a combination of C-shaped and Z-shaped beams to support the power and passengers. C-beams were laid like cordwood behind the helm to support the transoms and deck. Z-beams carried forward, tying pontoons to the deck and maintaining the solid feel underfoot. Twin 41-gallon fuel tanks were tucked away on board, each one feeding its own engine to keep the rig balanced.
At nobler speeds, the steed still retained the comfort for which pontoons are known: all-around lounges, a fiberglass helm and a granite-surfaced entertainment galley. In addition to interior bling, our test boat had the stainless-steel package that included deck hardware such as cleats and fender clips. Bling, sturdy bulk and bang for the fuel buck are what made our Voyager test noteworthy.
• Chrome and stainless-steel fender releases make preparing to dock easy.
• Tow pylon is standard, adding fun and convenience for skiing or wakeboarding.
• The entertainment galley is authentic granite — not “granitelike.”
• The 12-volt refrigerator is an added convenience and the only option on board.
Test Drive * Test Engine: Twin OptiMax 200 HP * Test Prop: Enertia 21 * Test Load: People (235 LB.) Fuel (75 GAL.) * Top Speed: 56.1 MPH @ 5,500 RPM * Time to 30 MPH: 6.0 sec. Vital Stats * Length Overall: 28′ * Beam: 8’6″ * Dry Weight: 2,720 * Seating/Weight Capacity: 16/2,900 LB. * Fuel Capacity: 82 GAL. * Max HP: 300 * MSRP: See Local Dealer * NMMA Certified: Yes