You will be hard-pressed to find a pontoon boat with a better view from the helm than the Premier 290 Grand View. With the Liberty helm console elevated 2 feet off the main deck, this boat lives up to its designated model name. From there the driver has a sweeping 360-degree view of the water and of the entire boat. Don’t underestimate the importance of that for pulling up to a dock or into a slip.
It’s also great to be behind the wheel of a 290 Grand View because of the PTX performance package. The 36-inch center tube flattens aft like a keel pad that, combined with the two 25-inch outside tubes, helps generate lift. The 300 hp Yamaha on the transom pushed this 29-foot boat onto plane in five seconds with miniscule bow rise and hit 30 mph in 8.5 seconds. Moreover, the PTX package improves handling so that it rivals a V-hull in cornering and inboard lean.
While it’s great to keep your eye on the water from above, it’s even better to jump in. The best route to the water is down the yachtlike fantail stairs, adorned with faux teak sea-grass flooring, to the giant swim platform with aluminum centerline stairs that lead right into the drink. Speaking of drinks, head down the steps forward from the raised platform to the Bombay bar. It features two swiveling bar stools to sidle up to the Corian countertop, a built-in cooler with a stainless-steel flip cover, and flip-out hooks to hang accessories. There’s also a freshwater sink and a recessed paper towel holder. To port sits the Escape galley, a new feature for 2015 that includes additional countertop space and a built-in refrigerator.
The forward couches on our test boat were covered in an intriguing chocolate and cream vinyl. They can seat up to 12 people in comfort and are built with Flexsteel supports for enhanced comfort. The Mirage changing room, built into the port couch, pops open with ease and can be quickly readied to provide privacy.
*Beacon system flush-mounted in the Liberty helm provides push-button access to the digital stereo display, GPS chart plotter, rearview spotter video camera and more.
*New Escape galley enhances entertainment with a refrigerator.
*Fantail stairs lined with faux teak sea-grass flooring lead down to a spacious swim platform.
*Flexsteel furniture has shock-absorbing infrastructure hidden in plush, comfortable cushions.
Premier 290 Grand View Matrix
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F300 outboard
Prop: Saltwater Series II SDS 15¾” x 15″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 25 gal.
Crew Weight: 400 lb.
$110,922 (as tested)
Premier Marine Wyoming, Minnesota; 651-462-2880; pontoons.com