High performance pontoon boats may sound like a contradiction, but a pair not only reached 100-mph at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout - they looked good doing it. I have a confession to make: Every year during the Miami International Boat Show, I treat the pontoon boat displays the same way I treat the sailboat displays. April 21, 2016Premier President Honored At Washington D.C.Premier’s Company President, Lori Melbostad, was chosen as one of the 100 women honored with the 2016 STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award! Starting in the bow, we like the new docking lights that are incorporated into the corner caps. Three pressurized 25-inch diameter pontoons with lifting strakes are the solid base of this pontoon.
Any thought of this just being a comfortable and stylish-looking pontoon were quickly put to rest once we put the throttle down.
Just Being PickyWe did note a slight rattle at the helm when making really sharp turns, but it's nothing to be concerned with as the rest of the pontoon appears to be well protected against vibration noises. April 18, 2016Crest Classic 230 ChateauOver-the-top comfort, the CP3+ Performance edition and the amazing bar-style layout behind the helm chair highlight this pontoon.
Every year, we meet up with some of the top manufactures in the pontoon and deck boat world to test their newest models. Comfort doesn't take a back seat on this model, unless you're referring to those great rear-facing lounges that have really caught on lately. There are plenty of great places to store your items, including the in-floor ski locker that is 17 inches deep and six feet long.
The lifting strakes are on both sides of the center pontoon and on the insides of the two outside tubes. In just 4.8 seconds we were up to 20 miles per hour and at full throttle we reached speeds just over 40 mph. All of these reviews are compiled in a special Boat Test issue that comes out during the first part of the year.


While the plush soft-touch vinyl seating onboard will probably get the most attention, it's the fiberglass helm that deserves some of the spotlight. The C-channel cross members are secured to the plywood deck and are on 16-inch centers overall and even closer near the transom.
But it's how smooth this boat handles and turns that is the most impressive; this truly is a great performing pontoon. My thinking is that if Ia€™m ever seen, much less photographed, anywhere near a pontoon boat or a sailboat Ia€™ll lose my sweet gig as editor-at-large for Powerboat magazine. The automotive-style dash is very eye-catching and the Humminbird GPS is recessed into the console and is perfectly centered for the driver.
Wiring below is excellent and there is a nice aluminum splash skin that covers the full length of the undercarriage.
We cranked up "Peaceful Easy Feeling" by the Eagles as we cruised back to the dock and felt it was the perfect song choice for this Berkshire.
Also outside the rear gates is a synthetic teak vinyl floor as well as a solid stainless ladder.
It's not new, but we absolutely love that forward of the helm is a well-hidden faucet and sink; when the lid is closed you wouldn't even know it was there. Other key family features include a tall changing room below one of the rear lounges, a trash receptacle and an adjustable bimini frame to keep the material tight over the years. But you know, after covering this yeara€™s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in late August, Ia€™m rethinking my position on pontoons.
Thata€™s because I saw a pair them reach 100-mph on the central Missouri lakea€™s liquid-mile course. And heaven help me for what Ia€™m about to say, they looked good doing it.To make things even more intriguing, one of the boats was powered by a single supercharged big-block engine with a stern drive and the other had triple outboards.
So both sides of the mainstream go-fast boat power world were covered.Ken Gouty of Antioch, Ill, owns and drove the big-block engine version, a 27-foot-long PlayCraft with a custom-built 540-cubic-inch powerplant.


Though hea€™s not a professional racer hea€™s been around boats since he was seven years old.a€?I worked in a marina, fixed boats and engines,a€? he says. If I foul a plug or something and you beat me, Ia€™ll never hear the end of it.a€™a€?The boat is very predictablea€”I could drive it anywhere,a€? he added.
It never got loose at all.a€?Gouty admitted that the boat, which actually has a pair of tunnel tabs, was a whole lot more planted to the water during this yeara€™s runs at the Shootout than it was last year. The reason for the increased stability, however,A  was less than calculated.a€?When we brought it home, we found the front nose cone on one of middle pontoon had splita€”the boat takes a beating when I drive it like an idiot,a€? he explained. Also like Gouty, the 40-year-old has been around boats most of his life, has a passion for pontoons and is competitive as hell. He said he understands why people a€?dona€™t geta€? going fast in a pontoon boat, at least at first.a€?People think youa€™re nuts until they take a ride,a€? he explained. One of these days if I get done with the pontoon deal Ia€™ll buy a cat and put these motors on it.a€?I have a family, so a pontoon boat makes sense,a€? he added. The one I had last year was a little light.a€?Outside of a pair of 50-foot-long Mystic catamaransa€”one with 2,000-hp ethanol-fueled engines and other with 1,500-hp turbine enginea€”this pair of pontoon boats was the crowd favorite at this yeara€™s Shootout. You could even say they stole show.Which is why Ia€™ll (grudgingly) check out the pontoon displays at next yeara€™s Miami International Boat Show. I do have some standards.Bi-weekly columnist Matt Trulio is the editor at large for Powerboat magazine.



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