Here is the ultimate crowd pleaser. Why? It boasts speed, racy looks to go with it, and on-the-water party capabilities that will be appreciated by all when rafting up on the sandbar or in the party cove.
This is PlayCraft’s first boat of the Daytona series, and it grabbed our eye as we spied it rolling down the highway toward our test site. We couldn’t help but notice it — and that’s part of its charm. Exterior graphics are PlayCraft’s own creation, expertly applied to brightly enameled side panels and complementing the color-coordinated powder-coated rails and gates.
Under the deck its pontoons sport lifting strakes — PlayCraft claims to be the first to use them, though they appeared on one other brand at around the same time. The debate over who was first rages on today, but this part is undisputed — it is the strakes that made the new revolution in performance pontoons successful. Additonally, sacrificial anodes make this ’toon saltwater-ready.
You always could have loaded up the transom with horsepower, but round tubes still slushed through the water like logs, and when the boat went into a turn, it lurched uncomfortably to the outside of the turn. Strakes, fitted to the tubes almost like the chines at the edge of a V-bottom boat, served to broaden the boat’s running surface so it could ride on top, nearly planing. But it is in the turns that PlayCraft’s invention shines. The strakes on the inside of the tubes cut into the water, giving the boat a comfortable attitude, leaning inboard, so that it curves through the water as smooth as a confectioner’s spatula through frosting. The turns are crisp, delightful and exciting.
Above the deck, PlayCraft mastered the art of performance upholstery. The seat cushions are resilient, but firm like a BMW’s. Stitched into race-color vinyl are swooshes, curling checkered flags and banners all color-matched to speak “race ready” to the owner and all who watch it slice the water.
The seating arrangement is “galleylike” with seats lining each side, leaving a forward boarding gate accessible from inside and out. An aft transom entry includes PlayCraft’s patented boarding steps integrated into the log. A two-step ladder reaches deeper, easing the path to reboarding via these stable steps.
And the skipper? He’s the superstar at the fiberglass helm station, sitting in the performance bucket seat behind the helm — a picture of satisfaction.
*Best-in-class saltwater zincs are added to make this Daytona 2300 ‘toon saltwater-ready.
*A fold-out cabinet in the lounge can serve as a trash bin or fender storage.
*PlayCraft’s custom-built tow pylon is powder-coated to match the boat and make water sports easy and fun.
*The slate-tone vinyl deck is easy to clean and blends beautifully with the race-boat decor.
*Movable cup holders, with color-matched accents to the upholstery, add utility and convenience for the crew.
*Ample dry storage beneath the seats and in the consoles keeps gear, towels and sunscreen in place.
*Factory-installed stereo and speakers keep the entertainment thumping if you opt for the amp and subwoofer.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury Pro XS
Drive/Prop: Mercury/Enertia 12″ x 26″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 30 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
Unavailable (at press time)
PlayCraft Boats Richland, Missouri; 573-765-3265; playcraftboats.com