Thirty years ago, PlayCraft Boats founder Jim Dorris looked at the popularity of go-fast boats on Lake of the Ozarks and asked: Why can’t we retain the leisure and social atmosphere of a pontoon boat while building it to power comfortably and easily accelerate to 70 mph? That idea is perfectly accomplished in the PowerToon X-Treme 3000.
Our recent test of the X-Treme 3000 on Lake of the Ozarks shatters old notions of pontoon boating before even firing the outboards. Designing a boat for speed mandates considering aerodynamics as well as hydrodynamics. A nod to aerodynamics appears in the wedge-shaped bow and the sleek Bimini top. One of the originators of pontoon-lifting strakes, PlayCraft employs them on three tubes to get on top of the water, reducing drag and increasing speed, all while retaining the soft ride of a pontoon.
Powered by dual Mercury Racing 400 outboards, our test boat popped us up on top and cruising at 30 mph in 5.2 seconds. Thanks to the electronic throttles and power steering, the triple-tube PowerToon banked comfortably into tight turns, held its line at speeds in excess of 40 mph and accomplished it effortlessly.
In the comfort department, furnishings on board are upholstered from the deck to the shoulder cushions in UV-protected vinyl. Color combinations are virtually unlimited and owners can even match them to their favorite football teams. Exterior colors are offered in a broad spectrum too. Color-matched, powder-coated tubes and rails make for durable good looks.
The fiberglass-molded helm station is raised, giving a clear view above the crew. The captain’s chair swivels and reclines; the arm rests automatically adjust to the correct, comfortable angle.
Three boarding options include the wide bow deck, a wheelchair-width portside gate and the stern platform. An extra-long boarding ladder integrated into the pontoon is patented and exclusive to PlayCraft.
Blending the extremes of luxury and high-speed performance in many pontoons often result in little satisfaction in luxury or performance.