Lowe Retreat 230 RFL

Lowe's Retreat 230 RFL offers a rakish look and plenty of fun.

When we slapped the throttle down and the engine pushed us back in our reclining captain’s chair, we grinned wryly at this pontoon’s name. At 47.4 mph, this was a high-voltage thrill, not a retreat! But there’s a more sedate meaning to that name as we sampled the comfort of every lounge and wraparound seat and pressed our toes against the padded sea-weave flooring. This was a pontoon designed to ­recreate, relax and unwind ourselves for ­Monday’s battles.

With a powder-coated wakeboard tower sporting powerful speakers and an amplified Polk audio system with a subwoofer pumping tunes, kids will be rocking to the music and rolling on the waves behind the boat on wakeboards.

Nobody said a retreat had to be stately.

Lowe Retreat 230 RFL
LOA: 23'7" | Beam: 8'6" | Dry Weight: 3,042 lb. | Seating/Weight Capacity: 14/1,608 lb. | Fuel Capacity: 50 gal. | More Information: loweboats.comBill Doster
Lowe Retreat 230 RFL
Lowe Retreat 230 RFLBill Doster

But this one sure is luxurious. The vinyl seats are thickly padded with multidensity foam that cradles the body in softness, but the seats won’t bottom out in rough water, so the ride is always ­secure and comfortable. The upholstery itself feels buttery like fine leather, but it’s water- and mildew-resistant vinyl, and you can have it in the latest shade of gray or a warmer-looking tan. Either color will complement the black or white ­exterior. Choose white if you want, but our test crew leaned toward the more menacing black to back up the excitement of the tower and stereo.

Lowe Retreat 230 RFL
Lowe Retreat 230 RFLBill Doster

While the stereo may thump in your chest, the triple 25-inch-diameter tubes on the model we tested will tame rough water and return a soft ride on the padded vinyl deck. Lifting strakes help it climb on top, surfing over the slop with ease, and we appreciated the rattleless way it took the waves, allowing us to hear the shush of the water rushing under the tubes.

You’ll look cool in the Retreat, especially sitting on your reclining lounge chair behind the wood-tone wheel and the array of precision engine gauges and LED-lighted toggle switches.

Yep, the Retreat is well-named for its intended purpose, but when our team grabbed the throttles, we yelled “Charge!”

Lowe Retreat 230 RFL
Lowe Retreat 230 RFLBill Doster

High Points
* Wakeboard tower with Bimini and board racks adds rakish look and plenty of fun.
* Mercury's 250 hp outboard is exciting, but many pontooners will be pleased at 30 mph with a 150 outboard.
* Powder-coated side rails are elegant and highly corrosion-resistant.

Price: $70,344 (with wake tower, Polk speakers and racks; does not include optional trailer)

Lowe Retreat 230 RFL
Lowe Retreat 230 RFL Certified Test ResultsBoating Magazine

How We Tested
Engine: Mercury Verado 250
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Enertia 15" 3-blade
Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
Fuel Load: 28 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.

More Information
Lowe Boats - Lebanon, Missouri; 417-532-9101; loweboats.com