We Say: Trade in your engine for exercise with an Apex Marine Paddle Qwest 616 Sport Cruise. One of six Paddle Qwest models, the 616 is a hybrid manual/electric model. We tested this 18-foot (length overall) pontoon with a crew of two. During testing, we documented manual power speeds at WOP (wide-open pedal) approaching 4 mph. How long that pace can be sustained is a matter of fitness, stamina and pride, as well as wind speed, because the Paddle Qwest 616 Sport Cruise presents a classic boxy pontoon profile.
Features include a helm console with a stainless-steel wheel, Teleflex by Sea Star Solutions steering, a full-width bench-style seat facing two pedal stations, a pair of half-bench seats forward and two pedestal seats on the bow. Overhead is a Bimini top while underfoot is a vinyl-covered deck spanning pontoons constructed of 0.08-inch-thick aluminum.
The optional Electric Assist Package includes a 24-volt, 0.75 hp electric motor and a 110-volt charger for a pair of deep-cycle batteries that allow cruising for two passengers at a steady 3 mph for up to four hours. The solar charger option offered by Apex adds an hour of run time for each two hours under full sun.
Who’d Want One: Boaters seeking quiet, leisurely outings on calm waters.
Another Choice: Check out the ElectraCraft 182 TR ($36,500), an all-electric fiberglass trimaran.
Bottom Line: $13,595 (as tested) with optional Electric Assist and solar-charging packages; qwestpontoons.com