You don’t have to surrender go-fast efficiency to embrace the pontoon way of life.
If boats will be attractive, then go-fast machines are the runway fashions of cruising. Simply sitting on the dock they seem like going 100 mph. Turning the important thing and lighting up the engines sparks a rumble of pure violence that lets everybody inside a mile know the boat’s whereabouts. After all, the draw back is proudly owning a ship with one of many smallest cockpits for its size and little or no usable area ahead of the steering wheel. If solely there have been a option to possess a cake and in addition have the ability to eat it… Thankfully, PlayCraft created the XPR 2500 Poker Run Version pontoon, which may romp with the massive boys and chill with the deck area of a yacht.
PlayCraft’s distinctive angle towards styling resulted in checkerboard upholstery and splashes of daring colours in and out, an in-your-face method designed to enchantment to the NASCAR fan in all of us whereas talking to a love of going quick regardless of the creature comforts afforded by a roomy pontoon. The latest member of the PowerToon X-Treme household broadcasts itself with an enormous crimson X throughout the aspect fencing, a motif that’s replicated on the gates in fire-engine crimson and in addition on the upholstery. Our take a look at boat’s crimson, white and black theme is merely considered one of 21 out there off-the-rack colour schemes, however think about them mere options, as a result of PlayCraft is known as a customized builder that can accommodate any colour mixture or design, which is why I’ve by no means seen two that look precisely alike. However clearly, PlayCraft desires everybody throughout the lake to right away know what sort of boat he’s .
On earlier PlayCraft fashions I examined, the upholstery consisted of 4 panels normally segmented in loopy colours, with nuclear orange being a favourite alternative. Regardless of being a Poker Run Version, our take a look at boat really had one of many extra sedate upholstery colour schemes I’ve seen on an X-Treme mannequin. Up entrance, the bowrider chaise lounges’ seatbacks featured the signature black-and-white checkerboard look, however except for the crimson X slashed throughout the finish-line flag, the remainder of the recent tub–model lounges have been an unblemished sea of white.
The Mercury Racing Verado 400R mounted on the 10-inch Hydro-Jacker hydraulic jackplate ($2,135) just about tells the story of this boat. When Mercury unveiled this engine a few years in the past on the Miami Boat Present, most observers thought it will be a cool area of interest engine, however seeing it on a pontoon boat wasn’t one thing any of us anticipated. It has grow to be a much more mainstream engine, nevertheless, displaying up on all kinds of boats. It’s really downright civilized, like different supercharged Verado four-strokes, being stealthily quiet upon startup and smoother than Chivas Royale Salute.
The PlayCraft XPR 2500 makes use of an uncommon triple-tube setup. Its 28-inch-tall, 20-inch-wide tubes take a web page out of offshore racing hulls by having twin 2-inch steps. The steps introduce air below the hulls to scale back friction by actually unsticking the pontoons from the bond of floor stress, resulting in greater speeds and higher gas economic system. Throwing the drive-by-wire throttle all the way in which reveals how effectively Mercury managed to harness that 400 hp. There’s nothing violent about its energy curve, only a sturdy, regular pull all the way in which to its 7000 rpm max. Time to aircraft was a scant 2 seconds and the XPR 2500 reached 30 mph in 6.9 seconds. Prime velocity was … drum roll, please … 74 mph! This matched its efficiency on the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout the place it gained its class (NPO1F1) at this yr’s time-trial event.
On the helm, the motive force sits behind a carbon fiber–like sprint on a console that’s positioned pretty far aft, as is the companion bucket seat. Each function Milsco barrel-type racing seats discovered on conventional go-fast fashions; they’ve aspect bolsters that maintain riders in place throughout arduous turns. The copilot seat is a $920 improve and the motive force’s is commonplace. Whereas it appears to be like like these two seats are positioned behind the bus, they’re farther ahead than they seem due to the huge rear deck.
Stepped hulls don’t have a lot of an impact on efficiency till speeds of 30 to 35 mph, which is after they begin aerating the hull behind the steps. Up entrance, the nosecones are saber-sharp, which improves the tubes’ wave-piercing prowess — and offers the boat a extra predatory look. Because the GPS-driven analog-display speedometer marched steadily clockwise, the XPR 2500 developed a little bit of a porpoise that we needed to drive by to get to its high velocity. I left the top-speed driving to Joe Dorris, who, alongside along with his dad, Jim Dorris, and mother, Carolyn, has extra expertise at high-speed pontooning. He didn’t have any downside, although the rise and fall of the bow by no means fully dissipated. In arduous cornering maneuvers, the boat carved like a champ.
Greatest Makes use of
If poker runs are your factor, the XPR 2500 will definitely be the envy of the pack, particularly in relation to social time on the finish of the day. With an elective padded 90-quart cooler ($265) that doubles as a seat for 2, it has refreshment wants coated. On this mannequin the standard L-lounge is lacking, giving it extra standing room than most pontoons of this size, which is ideal for docktailing. And with a Kicker stereo, it’s possible some strikes will probably be busted.
Along with high-speed cruising, watersports will be counted amongst its strengths, as evidenced by the expansive rear deck and the powder-coated X-Scape ski tow ($585), emblazoned with an enormous X. Most likely its finest watersport is slalom snowboarding, due to the comparatively flat wake it throws. And barefooting, with its 40 mph minimal velocity, will probably be no downside. Getting again aboard is extremely straightforward due to PlayCraft’s patented boarding system, which has steps inbuilt to the starboard tube.
Most popular Setup
A purchaser’s principal determination is what number of horsepower to placed on the transom. The quantity 400 is fairly cool, however it does include an upcharge of $6,825 over the Verado 350, which carries a three-year commonplace guarantee — the Racing 400R’s guarantee is 2 years — and runs on 89 octane common gasoline. The 400R is obtainable in white or black and will be personalized with seven colours of graphics. Each engines will be coated by Mercury’s elective five-year prolonged guarantee that’s the most effective within the enterprise, as a result of it’s not administered by a 3rd social gathering. The 350 Verado, whose earlier incarnation was the Racing 350 SCi, will ship speeds within the mid-60s, which in my ebook is quick sufficient. With this a lot energy, I’d improve the smallish 30-gallon gas tank to the 50-gallon in-pontoon mannequin ($665).
Our take a look at boat had the SeaGrass flooring choice ($2,520), which is a particular improve over carpeting. And to extend the cool issue, it additionally had black powder-coated rails that value one other $2,920.