Sylvan builds this Mandalay pontoon as a specialty hull, one that provides the ability to haul big loads without sacrificing ride, performance and fuel economy. Our tester had a Yamaha 150 installed, but the max power rating is 300 ponies; with double the power, performance would surely be exhilarating.
As rigged, our Mandalay topped out at just over 30 mph turning a 17-inch-pitch Yamaha stainless-steel prop at 5,500 rpm. Best cruise was slightly under 14 mph, where the Yamaha burned fuel at 2.8 gph, netting just shy of 5 mpg. At that speed, the Mandalay is skimming along nicely, giving a solid ride with little banking even in tight turns. Of course, the boat still runs at an economical 7.2 gph (at 2.75 mpg) at the more fun cruising speed of 23 mph. The RPT pontoons give good lift without making the ride unstable.
Construction features a beefy all-aluminum transom welded to a tough aluminum superstructure with 3/4-inch-thick plywood decking. All are protected by Sylvan’s Lifetime Plus 6 warranty, meaning everything belowdecks is covered by a lifetime warranty, and everything above deck covered by a six-year warranty.
Aboard, big parties will find the Mandalay laid out with two distinct gathering areas. In the bow, 55-inch-long-by-24-inch-wide inward-facing lounge couches curve around to meet at the front entryway. Amidships, the large driver’s console and driver/co-pilot captain’s chairs offer great comfort and visibility. The console and dashboard are highly detailed, with full instruments and even small railings to help keep cellphones and other items safely aboard. Concealed mood lighting can be found throughout the interior. A pop-up changing room is standard. A Polk Audio sound system is also standard fare.
Just behind them, twin 50-inch-long-by-24-inch-wide aft-facing loungers make a great place to hang out and watch the watersports action abaft. At the stern, a huge deck covered with synthetic waterproof covering with a teak look gives swimmers and watersports enthusiasts a wide platform to gather, make ready for watersports, or just jump in to cool off. A ski tow and boarding ladder are included.
* Optional aluminum arch features ski tow and Bimini top, and it folds forward on hinges for low-bridge passage and trailering.
* RPT pontoons feature big 27-inch-diameter performance-enhancing lifting strakes on both sides of center tube and insides of outer tubes. This makes for a stable ride.
How We Tested
Engine: Yamaha F150 four-stroke 150 hp
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Yamaha Reliance SDS 14¼” x 17″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
Fuel Load: 23 gal.
Crew Weight: 550 lb.
$69,999 (as tested)
Sylvan Marine New Paris, Indiana; 866-766-9698; sylvanmarine.com