Fiberglass is increasingly making its way into the latest versions of pontoon boats produced by the industry’s leading makers, but the Sylvan M5 LZ DC arguably takes the trend to new extremes. At first glance, this is obvious in the sleek molded fiberglass panels that replace any hint of the old standard-issue aluminum fencing. Forward, fiberglass extends around the front corners of the bow and continues down onto the bow deck, even wrapping out and over the tip of each pontoon’s nose cone. Amidships, fiberglass forms two raised consoles, each capped with its own unique and protective raked windscreen. Aft, fiberglass completes the perimeter enclosure, wrapping around dual lounges with aft-facing seat backs and continuing to extend down the length of the deck platform. Occasionally, it can seem purely for aesthetic value; each console features a slender, swooping horizontal arch that wraps around the occupant and extends down the fence side. At other times, that fiberglass’ function has to be revealed. Pivot the aft portside bench backrest over and an optional sink rotates into view, complete with faucet, Corian countertop, and wine-bottle holders below.
Style may be omnipresent, but pontoon tradition still carries the day aboard the Sylvan M5 LZ DC. Forward, twin 5-foot-8-inch-long lounges run along the port and starboard sides, providing comfortable seating for your crew. Behind each console waits a pivoting captain’s chair with flip-down armrests. Aft, two more couches with aft-facing backrests round out the accommodations. Roto-molded stowage is found below nearly all seating, as well as within both consoles.
As to performance, the M5 LZ DC we tested was equipped with a Yamaha F300 outboard, which pushed the boat onto plane with nary a touch of bow rise before topping out at a 42.1 mph top speed. Cornering ability, as well as overall ride, was enhanced by Sylvan’s SPX performance package, which consists of a trio of three 25-inch pontoons, featuring a combination of lifting strakes on the center tube, performance foils inside each outer log, and an underdeck wave shield.
* Front deck is raised a full 4 inches above the interior floor, promising greater performance in rough-water conditions.
* Standard features include Kicker KMC20 AM/FM stereo with MP3 and USB ports, subwoofer and amplifier; RGB interior color-changing lighting; changing room; and Bimini top with boot.
Price: $139,999 (as tested)
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F300
Prop: Yamaha Saltwater Series II 15 1/2″ x 16″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 52 gal.
Crew Weight: 155 lb.
Sylvan Marine – New Paris, Indiana; 866-766-9698; sylvanmarine.com