Pontoon Boat Roundup

People who do their boating on lakes and other inland bodies of water have long known something that coastal boaters have only recently begun to find out: For sheer comfort afloat, combining an ideal platform for swimming, lounging, and partying with enough speed and maneuverability to tow skiers, tubers, and wakeboarders, it’s hard to beat a modern pontoon boat.

crowne sport arch

Harris FloteBote won a 2013 NMMA Innovation Award for its new Crowne pontoon boat, which has some razzle-dazzle features like a power-lift arch and GPS-based cruise-control.

Unlike the old-fashioned kind that were basically just platforms fixed on top of two floating pontoons, the new designs often feature three pontoons (also called tubes or even “logs”) that are hydrodynamically shaped and efficient in the water, with the middle pontoon lower than the two outboard ones to promote banking and steering that can often rival that of monohulls. Combined with high-powered modern outboards, some of the new breed of pontoons can skim over the water at top speeds over 40 mph, making fast passages between home and fun zone. They’re still relatively uncommon in areas where the water can get downright rough, but they’re certainly gaining momentum on the coasts. Meanwhile, inland boaters are experiencing increasingly refined fun aboard their pontoon boats, not only with higher speed and maneuverability, but with pop-up changing tents, enclosed heads, built-in coolers, outdoor cooking and refrigeration, and ever-better ergonomics in seating and swimming areas.

Cypress Cay LE250

The Cypress Cay LE250 shows the modern triple-tube design and shaped surfaces that promote maneuverability.

Three of the most accomplished pontoon-boat builders are Harris FloteBoteCypress Cay, and Lowe, all owned by the marine manufacturing powerhouse, Brunswick Corporation. Harris and Cypress Cay operate out of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Lowe out of Lebanon, Missouri — all in the heart of pontoon boat territory.

Our colleagues over at boats.com have been covering these three pontoon-boat brands closely for the  past couple of years, both in print and video, so we thought it would be a good time to round up a bunch of their coverage in one spot. If you’re new to pontoon boats but like the idea of them, this will be a good place to start your research. And if you’re already in the game, here’s a chance to see some of the more recent models.

So, without further ado…

Cypress Cay LE250 

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes

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Harris FloteBote Royal 230

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes

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Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SL250 (Lenny Rudow review)

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes

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Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SL250 (Jeff Hemmel review)

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes

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2012 Cypress Cay Cozumel 250

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes

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2012 Harris FloteBote Sunliner  LS220

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes

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2012 Harris FloteBote Sunliner 200

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes

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Lowe Platinum 25 RFL and Platinum Series

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes

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Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes

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Cypress Cay Cayman 250

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes

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 Lowe SunCruiser SS210

Video Review Transcript —– Boat Test Notes —– Full Written Review

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