It takes more than flashy colors and cushy upholstery to make a luxury performance pontoon that can keep a boating family happy. But Lowe knows how to combine those two attributes, plus reliable durability, and has been doing this for 40 years. Its new Xtreme 230, a part of the Xtreme series, builds beautifully on the company’s expertise.
Triple tubes are fastened and welded to channel beams, giving the Xtreme 230 added buoyancy, lift to operate like a planing boat, and the rigidity needed to manage high horsepower. Its all-welded engine pod is secure, holding the motor at the optimum level for solid hookup of the prop. That’s what made it jump to 20 miles per hour and corner like a slalom skier during our test. And while the Verado outboard was expected to be quiet, the low sound numbers we got also attest to the rattle- and squeak-free chassis.
We piloted the boat from the new fiberglass-reinforced acrylic console with chrome bezels on the instruments and a chrome-accented helm. The tunes were easily monitored and changed on the Jensen MS30 stereo with AM/FM tuner and the ability to receive Bluetooth transmission from pods and phones — so anybody can be the DJ.
Our deck was covered with sea-grass flooring, a wovenlike vinyl that looks so much like sisal mat that I had to get down close to be sure of what it was. It’s a luxury look, for sure. More important, it offers great traction even when wet but hoses or sweeps off easily, fending off the stains of spilled Cokes or smashed Cheetos.
Upholstery was cool to the touch and inviting to the body, hugging passengers in a soft embrace and molding to them in a way that enhances their confidence in the boat’s solid ride. Naturally, storage abounds below the seats.
Whether you are hitching a line to the custom tow point or putting along for a sunset cruise, the Xtreme has the comfort and the performance to meet the demands.
*We were impressed with the logical, organized manner in which all components were wired together beneath the helm — it’s the mark of professional experience in manufacturing.
*Our stereo featured a subwoofer to add depth to the crystal-clear music from the Jensen stereo.
*Passenger and skipper get custom reclining and swiveling chairs that include armrests.
*Internal side-gate frames add a sleek look to the deck.
*Beams and pontoon connection points are hidden behind contoured skirting.
*Aluminum sheeting beneath the deck prevents water from forcing up through the decks and eliminates “surging” from wakes interfering with the ride.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury 250 Verado
Drive/Prop: Mercury Enertia 15″
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 35 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
$47,671 (with Verado 250, subwoofer, sea-grass flooring and deluxe ski tow)
Lowe Boats Lebanon, Missouri; 417-532-9101; loweboats.com