The Marker One ML4 is the latest edition of the revolutionary Platform Series concept from the maker of Cobalt Boats. Yes, it’s a Platform Series boat, not a pontoon, even though it runs atop three aluminum hulls. What’s the difference? In a word: fiberglass. The ML4 has a fiberglass deck attached to those aluminum hulls, which means its seat bases and components are molded fiberglass. It’s really a hybrid boat with the space and utility of a pontoon boat.
The ML4 features a new strake design for its hulls, and they act like reverse chines on a fiberglass V-hull to provide more lift when climbing out of the hole and more stability when underway. On test day, we could see the results. Powered by a 300 hp Evinrude E-TEC G2, the ML4 climbed onto plane in less than three seconds and reached 30 mph in less than eight seconds on its way to a 46.2 mph top-end speed. Moreover, it exhibited inboard heel in turns and more closely mimicked a fiberglass V-hull than its outboard-heeling pontoon relatives.
Above deck, Marker One uses fiberglass and gelcoats in multiple color combinations instead of aluminum side panels. The L-shaped cockpit seating features adjustable backrests on both the chaise lounge and the portside passenger seat. The bow cockpit features wrap-around seating with plush vinyl cushions. The wrap-around grab-rail recess on the exterior of the gunwales and the high freeboard add security. A center walk-through leads to the nonslip bow platform. There’s plentiful storage under the seat bases fore and aft, finished with gaskets and gutters to keep your gear dry.
Another feature that sets the ML4 apart is the tempered-glass windshields mounted atop both consoles with beefy stainless-steel supports. It’s rare to find such protection from the elements in the pontoon class. It’s also rare to see a swim platform with swim steps at water level. The port side features an electrically actuated drop step that lowers into the water for easy reboarding.
*Stainless-steel tow bar on the swim platform elevates the pivot point for boarders and skiers, and also keeps the tow rope away from the outboard engine.
*Hinged seat cushions lift up to reveal tons of stowage in the fiberglass seat bases.
*Molded nonslip fiberglass is a feature not seen on typical pontoon boats.
How We Tested
Engine: 300 hp Evinrude E-TEC G2
Prop: Rebel 15″ x 19″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 27 gal.
Crew Weight: 380 lb.
$91,610 (with test power)
Marker One Neodesha, Kansas; 800-468-5764; markerone.com