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2020 Qwest LS 818 XRE Cruise

The LS 818 XRE Cruise is packed full of amenities.

March 17, 2020
Qwest LS 818 XRE Cruise running shot
The LS 818 XRE Cruise packs a lot of punch into a smaller-­size pontoon. Courtesy Qwest Pontoons

With its LS 818 XRE Cruise, Qwest packs a lot of punch into a smaller-size pontoon. Start with the boat’s layout. It’s great to see a pontoon under 20 feet provide three boarding gates—one at the bow, one in the forward seating area through the portside rail, and one along the aft platform. There’s seating for four people in the bow, with a corner bench seat and a couch in front of the helm. There’s an L-shaped bench to port of the helm and twin swiveling anglers bucket seats aft. It’s a great layout for cruising, fishing and watersports.

Qwest LS 818 XRE Cruise cockpit
The LS 818 XRE Cruise features a great layout for cruising, fishing and watersports. Courtesy Qwest Pontoons

Qwest is known for constructing all of its seat bases out of Dura-Lite composite rather than the standard roto-molded plastic bases found on comparable pontoons. The Dura-Lite bases are lighter and easier to vent, making your stowed gear less likely to attract mildew. The luxury woven vinyl flooring is diamond sea grass—besides looking sharp, it’s sturdy, easy to clean and comfortable underfoot. The long standard-amenities list means you can buy this easily trailered pontoon good-to-go off the showroom floor.

Qwest LS 818 XRE Cruise aft bar
The ­insulated livewell doubles as a cooler. Courtesy Qwest Pontoons

The standard package for the LS 818 XRE Cruise is with twin 24-inch pontoons and a built-in 17-gallon gas tank that flows fuel to a max 75 hp outboard. Upgrading to the triple-tube package ups the maximum horsepower to 115, the fuel capacity to 45 gallons, and lets you add two more people to the party, with a max capacity of 10 people. Throw in the ski-tow bar to enjoy some tow sports. Adding the third tube ups the approximate dry weight from 1,500 to 1,800 pounds, which still fits into many midsize SUV tow ratings, so you won’t need the world’s biggest truck to tow it to your local waters.

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Qwest LS 818 XRE Cruise seating
There’s an L-shaped bench to port of the helm. Courtesy Qwest Pontoons

If you like to fish, Qwest has got you covered beyond the twin swiveling captain’s chairs aft. The standard rear fishing station features an 11-gallon livewell and two rod holders. Serious about your angling? You can add wiring for a trolling motor at the bow. (Qwest’s parent company, Apex Marine, also makes a line of dedicated fishing pontoons called Angler Qwest.) When you’re not fishing, the insulated livewell doubles as a cooler, so your crew can have refreshments at hand.

High Points

·Rear fish station includes two rod holders and an 11-gallon livewell, so you can wet a line any time the mood strikes you.

·A long list of standard features means there are tons of amenities for a pontoon of this size.

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·Standard Infinity PRV 315 Bluetooth stereo system with four speakers lets you blast your tunes from your phone.

·Five-step aluminum reentry ladder makes for super-easy reboarding after a swim.

Specs

LOA: 19′2″

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Beam: 8′0″

Draft (max): 3′0″

Dry Weight: 1,500 lb.

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Seat/Weight Capacity: 8/1,900 lb.

Fuel Capacity: 17.5 gal.

Price: $28,338 (with Honda BF40)

More Information

Qwest Pontoons – St. Louis, Michigan; 989-681-4000; qwestpontoons.com

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