We reached 45-plus-mph top speeds while testing the 2585 Catalina Platinum EL-W and zipped from a dead stop to planing in just under 5 seconds—it took a shade over 8 seconds for us to hit 30 mph. It’s a cruiser too; even with the big powerplant, we recorded best economy at a sedate 13 mph, where the Mercury outboard sips 3.7 gph, for a net economy of 3.6 miles per gallon. But even at faster speeds it’s a fuel miser, netting better than 2 mpg at a variety of speeds, as the chart shows. Jumping on the throttle produced a satisfying rush. Likewise, turns were sweeping, not sluggish nor plowing.
Avalon designed this platform for family and group outings, and it works well in that capacity. This is a semienclosed runabout-style pontoon, with hearty, curved wraparound windscreens separating the foredeck from the rest of the boat. Up front, two long facing lounges comfortably seat at least three crewmembers on each side, creating a wonderful party pit with plenty of room for everyone. The two-tone upholstered couches feature recessed backrests and footwells to maximize interior space, yet the stowage within these remains capacious.
Behind the consoles, pilot and mate benefit from excellent wind protection and noise minimization. While the skipper has an adjustable captain’s chair, the copilot sits on an inward-facing love seat designed for two riders. Behind this is the aft party pit, which is outfitted with a starboard-side L-shaped lounge that reaches from the back of the driver’s chair all the way around to the port side of the deck. The portside aft deck is serviced by a console featuring a countertop, sink and stainless-steel fridge. All well placed, easily accessed and nicely engineered. Our tester had the optional arch with sun shade—a definite plus in the hot sun.
To play on the aft deck, a small door is accessed on the port side; out back there’s ample room to prep for watersports or just hang out and swim. A generous storage locker is nicely concealed behind a fiberglass hatch. The transom engine mounting, rigging, boarding ladder and ski tow are integrated and well presented.