Trailer Boats - September 7, 2010
Built to handle more horsepower and drive like sport boats, today’s tri-toon pontoon boats will impress even the toughest critics
It’s difficult to argue against a pontoon boat’s value and versatility when it comes to good times on the water. But toss around the aspect of performance and you’re bound to get mixed reviews, as pontoons have never been known for their acceleration and handling manners.
That traditional image is evolving, however, with the advent of the tri-toon models—pontoons with a center log or tube. For 2010, if performance is what you’re after, the choices of tri-toons have never been better. From lifting strakes, elliptical shapes, flatter running surfaces and more, companies have focused a lot of effort on tube technology, primarily center tube design.
While builders admit that performance tri-toons are still in the minority when it comes to overall sales, the segment has brought new life to the market along with innovative tube design and enhanced handling characteristics that can be applied to standard pontoons.
And the best part about performance-focused tri-toons is that nothing above deck has to be sacrificed to get a smoother-running, sharper-turning ride. You still get the comfort and space of a pontoon boat, as well as the added power to get across the lake faster or pull a skier up quicker.
There are also packages available for any budget and customization options are endless.
SUN TRACKER PARTY BARGE 25 XP3
In the world of pontoon boats, SUN TRACKER is a popular option. Check out the Springfield, Mo., company’s Regency Edition series and it’s easy to see why. The lineup of boats is designed with versatility, style and performance in mind.
A perfect example is the performance-oriented Party Barge 25 XP3 that has three 26-inch high-performance tubes with lifting strakes. The 26-footer includes full-length deck support on each log as well as sound- and vibration-deadening insulation. Coupled with the boat’s hydraulic tilt steering, the performance package improves handling, lift and speed. With a 150- to 200-hp outboard engine on the transom, it can easily handle skiers and wakeboarders with either the standard ski tow or the optional tower.
And talk about versatility. Not only can the Party Barge 25 XP3 host up to 15 passengers, its guests will be very comfortable. Seats include adjustable, reclining helm and amidships chairs along with bow and stern lounges with lumbar support, drink holders and below-seat storage.
A refreshment center with a freshwater sink is located to starboard ahead of the helm and a pop-up changing room is provided at the aft sundeck. A foldout boarding ladder is supplied on the swim platform, and a color-matching bimini top is standard fare.
Price (w/Mercury OptiMax 150) $35,995 Performance package High-Performance
Length/beam 26'11"/8'6" Hull weight 3115
Fuel capacity 37 gals. Center/outside tube diameter 26"/26"
Passenger capacity 15 Maximum hp 200