Pontoon & Deck Boat Roundup
Versatility, stability and elbowroom to spare. Here are six of the latest models in both categories.
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SouthWind 212 Sport Deck
With an eye for saltwater use, SouthWind has constructed its new-for-2013 deckboat model without a grain of wood and employing all stainless-steel components aboard. The 212 offers a lot of features for a 21-foot deckboat, including a fully enclosed head with sink and shower, wet bar and insulated, integrated coolers located fore and aft.
The SouthWind’s transitional V-shaped hull offers a great hole shot, good tracking and stability under way or at the dock. The standard helm is well equipped, with a flip-up seat bolster, anti-feedback steering, Sony AM/FM stereo and CD player with four speakers, courtesy lighting and deluxe steering wheel overlooking speedo, tach, fuel and trim gauges. A full walk-through windshield leads to a bow area with wraparound lounges and a forward, four-step entry ladder.
Aft is a second entry ladder, offering three steps, and a freshwater washdown hose. Family Fishing and Premium Sport packages are available on the new 21-footer, offering Heartland boaters a near-custom choice for the on-water activities they intend to enjoy. www.southwindboats.com
Length Overall: 20 feet, 6 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 2,500 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 50 gallons
Max. Power: 250 horsepower
Base Price: $50,000 (w/150-hp Yamaha F150)
Qwest Pontoons LS Splash Pad
This all-new pontoon by Apex Boats looks a bit different than most 18-footer models, mostly due to open, three-stool bar built onto the stern of the "nauti" little boat. Since the aft Splash Pad section isn’t fenced, it’s to be enjoyed while the LS is at anchor or at the dock.
On the water, active passengers have a pair of boarding ladders at the stern to get back and forth from the water-based fun from the surprisingly roomy open aft deck — especially when the portable bar stools are removed and stowed under the boat’s front seats.
Forward, an L-shaped lounge with a recliner on the port side and a chaise recliner couch in front of the helm console offer comfortable seating rated for up to nine passengers while the 818 is under way, although in reality a half dozen guests is about all that can be comfortably accommodated. The helm console is built of fiberglass and comes standard with a Humminbird 385c sonar with GPS and an Infinity Bluetooth stereo system.
Underfoot is a pair of 23-inch diameter pontoons with full-length keels and oversized splash guards. That said, the 18 footer isn’t designed for open water use but is an able angler and tower and a comfortable cruiser in protected waters.
One of our favorite features of the Splash Pad model is its weight, or lack thereof. The petite party-boat weighs only 1,345 pounds, making for effortless towing wherever you wish to take it. www.apexmarineinc.com
Length Overall: 18 feet, 4 inches
Beam: 8 feet
Dry Weight: 1,345 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 12 gallons
Max. Power: 70 horsepower
Base Price: $20,995 (w/70-hp Yamaha F70)
NauticStar 223DC Sport Deck
This new-for-2013 deckboat offers a rare combination of spacious design with the handling attributes of a traditional V-hull runabout. NauticStar has a reputation for producing deckboats with what they refer to as Фair-assist‘ chines to offer excellent handling capabilities, and that’s exactly what the new 223 Sport Deck offers to appeal to boaters who plan open water and/or active watersports use.
The wood-free hull, featuring an all-fiberglass stringer system and complemented with all stainless-steel hardware and components, make this 22-foot model a good one to consider for saltwater use as well.
Standard features are ample and include freshwater pressurized sink, fore and aft boarding ladders, dedicated anchor locker, LED courtesy lights in the cockpit, a JBL stereo system with MP3 port and Infinity speakers, wraparound windshield with walk through, an enclosed dressing room/head compartment, easy-access cooler storage, in-floor ski locker and seven separate storage compartments topside. www.nauticstarboats.com
Length Overall: 22 feet, 7 inches
Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
Dry Weight: 2,873 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 66 gallons
Max. Power: 225 horsepower
Base Price: $52,296 (w/150-hp Yamaha F150XA)