The 2007 Sweetwater SW2566 Sport Pontoon Boat is perfect for cruising around or for water skiing. All Pontoon Boats are equipped with CD players, boarding ladders, deluxe seating and folding canopies. Boat operators must be present to sign rental agreement and to receive instructions at time of rental. Sailfish powercats were top-five aluminium fishing boats at Australia’s Greatest Boats three years running.
We spend a bit of quality time with Sweetwater’s new 2286 and reckon this might just be the boat to ignite the pontoon boat spark in Oz.
While the absolute origin of the contemporary pontoon boat is shrouded in secrecy and myth, the Sweetwater 2286 can trace its lineage back to the 1958 World Fair in Chicago, Illinois where a gentleman by the name of SS Deputy debuted the first all-alloy pontoon boat, the Sanpan, for the Godfrey Conveyor Company.
There’s plenty of clever thinking gone into the Sweetwater 2286 and it reflects an empathy with its market and the way in which its customers interact with their products. The 2286 is also an inherently safe boat, affording loads of freeboard courtesy of the mid-thigh wraparound alloy rails filled in with lightly ribbed aluminium panels – rail skins – that add substance and style.
Time and the stress of the day drained away and if it wasn’t for our young camera jockey yelling about losing light, I could have enjoyed the company of this charming boat and its equally accommodating owners – the Bartletts – until night engulfed us. What’s more, for the rest of us who are only treated to waterfront views when we leave the sprinklers running for too long, the Sweetwater 2286 could well be the ideal solution, offering 360-degree seascapes for a small monthly investment. Presented with one of my favourite outboards, Honda’s bulletproof 90hp four stroke, and despite it being down on the maximum-rated horsepower (115 is the limit), the Sweetwater 2286 gave a good account of itself. While the rig seems to have been propped for grunt and mid-range rather than outright top end, the smooth Honda 90 provided ample motivation and complemented the experience.

Rated to 10 adults (eight if the standard 57.5cm tubes are selected) the Sweetwater 2286 is a fine way for a couple of families to indulge their on-water passions.
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Built with heavy duty expanded vinyl on a StrataTech chassis, the SW2566 Sport also features a Perma-Life custom molded helm station with quick release windscreen.
A central passageway flows from bow to stern and is fringed on either side by comfortable lounges featuring moulded polyethylene boxes topped with padded two-tone upholstery on stainless hinges.
The generous fibreglass console is accented with gloss grey faux-timber trim while a smart black and silver three-spoke wheel is complemented by a tilt helm. The metallic blue of our test boat complemented the beige and blue accented upholstery beautifully turning it into a 22ft oasis. Sure we could rev it out, which you’d do if you were towing a skier or boarder, but in this moment, relaxation reigned supreme. Sure it was no rocket ship, but it suits the boat’s intent and as long as you keep the boat on song, she’ll comfortably sit on around 50kmh all day. I noted it only had 27.5 hours on the clock and having owned one of these engines, I know they really start to free up once they’ve ticked over 80 plus hours. While originally conceived for sheltered lakes and rivers, my time with the 2286 revealed a much more capable craft meaning bay and inshore adventures could also be on the cards.
Angled backrests form an impromptu chaise lounge to sprawl out on while removable armrests with built in stainless refreshment holders ensures no one risks dehydration.
Three clever gates provide access and are located on the forward bow, port midships and starboard transom quarter.

Legs were stretched out on soft couches, seagulls squawked in the distance and the clear waters of Yowie Bay, south of Sydney had me mesmerised. A changing room with hoop curtain allows privacy, and dual bow chaise lounges makes chilling look easy!
A low profile windscreen wraps around the console and helps deflect breeze up and over the skipper when seated. This time he wanted a versatile platform that would accommodate a crowd one day and drag the grandkids around on skis and tubes the next.
Other features include table with built-in cupholders and ice bucket, color coordinated convertible canopy and rear entry boarding access.
Partially hidden behind the wheel are Honda’s analogue speedo and tacho gauges, their view obstructed more or less by the angle of wheel-tilt. He also wanted a rig that could be enjoyed on a daily basis without a regular investment in fuel and sweat to keep his new toy fed and maintained.
Some exceptions may apply to oversized and overweight items, as well as tires and hazardous materials.
A fuel and battery gauge flanks the wheel on the right, complemented by a cluster of pop-out circuit breakers while a lone 50mm Ritchie X-21 dash mount compass sits to its right.

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