Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

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SMLWinds
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Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#1 Post by SMLWinds » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:51 pm

I am looking to buy my first pontoon boat. Unlike when I bought my other boats, I have found it hard to identify the hierarchy of manufacturers with pontoons. I know Bennington is a top name, but what other boats are in the "upper tier" of pontoons?

Typically I buy the best of the best, but with this purchase the boat will be used as a rental compliment to my high end luxury vacation rentals so am shooting for more of an economy model. I want a tritoon about 22-23 feet with 150hp that is nice, but not overly luxurious with too many bells and whistles. I am likely looking to spend somewhere in the 30K-40K range for the boat.

The brands I have looked most closely at so far at Cypress Cay and Manitou. I strongly considered Starcraft, but there seems to be a consensus that is lags behind the others in quality so I ruled that out. I have done some preliminary research on Sweetwater and Harris, although I don't know if they can compete in the price range. And, every time I call another dealer they suggest a different brand of pontoon that I didn't even know existed!

So, what is the best 22-23' tritoon with 150hp out there in the 30-40K range? Feel free to throw out several manufacturers you feel would be in the running.

Thanks in advance for your assistance!

SMLWinds
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Re: Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#2 Post by SMLWinds » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:13 pm

Anyone have an opinion? I would really appreciate some help. Thanks in advance!

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smltooner
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Re: Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#3 Post by smltooner » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:49 pm

[quote="SMLWinds"].....not overly luxurious with too many bells and whistles. I am likely looking to spend somewhere in the 30K-40K range for the boat.......[/quote]

We are very happy with our Sun Tracker Party Barge Regency Edition. Good quality with just the right number of features.
Although ours is 10 yrs old. I can't say what the new ones are offering.
SMLTOONER
Ted & Emily
2019 Bennington 21SL Tri-toon
2019 Yamaha 150 HP
Smith Mtn. Lake, Virginia

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Rick McC.
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Re: Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#4 Post by Rick McC. » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:14 pm

My son has a 23 foor Cypress Cay tri-toon with a Merc 150 HP four stroke, and it's very nice, and hauls ass!
Rick

Sights are for the unenlightened.

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ROLAND
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Re: Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#5 Post by ROLAND » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:58 am

[quote="smltooner"][quote="SMLWinds"].....not overly luxurious with too many bells and whistles. I am likely looking to spend somewhere in the 30K-40K range for the boat.......[/quote]

We are very happy with our Sun Tracker Party Barge Regency Edition. Good quality with just the right number of features.
Although ours is 10 yrs old. I can't say what the new ones are offering.[/quote]


Ted, I have always thought that Tracker builds a good boat but man did I get a surprise tonight. I was at bass pro picking up some fishing stuff so I walked back to look at their pontoons... sitting there before me was one of the nicest looking, plush tracker toons I have ever seen.... it's in the Regency line.. it was a cruising model with chase lounging chairs facing rearward, had the sawgrass flooring and big ol 300 merc on the tail end.... walked around to see how much, damn near had a coronary.... it was right around 74K. but it was a honey.
Roland & Jo
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ron nh
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Re: Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#6 Post by ron nh » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:23 am

In the price range you're looking at, you're right in the wheel house of the mid tier builders. All of which build great boats, Sylvan, Starcraft, Avalon just to name a few. I don't know where you get the idea that Starcraft is low end, Of all the boats I've heard over the last 5 years with many complaints by multiple owners, Starcraft Isn't one of them. If you search this sight you'll see hundreds of threads about who thinks what of each manufacturers. Some of the high end builders entry level boats in my opinion have little style and bottom end helms. I think your not getting alot of answers because it's been beat to death on here and there are so many good builders it's a very personal choice.
2015 Qwest LS 818XRE Tri-toon w/mercury 115.

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smltooner
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Re: Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#7 Post by smltooner » Sat Apr 08, 2017 5:58 pm

[quote="ROLAND"][quote="smltooner"][quote="SMLWinds"].....not overly luxurious with too many bells and whistles. I am likely looking to spend somewhere in the 30K-40K range for the boat.......[/quote]

We are very happy with our Sun Tracker Party Barge Regency Edition. Good quality with just the right number of features.
Although ours is 10 yrs old. I can't say what the new ones are offering.[/quote]


Ted, I have always thought that Tracker builds a good boat but man did I get a surprise tonight. I was at bass pro picking up some fishing stuff so I walked back to look at their pontoons... sitting there before me was one of the nicest looking, plush tracker toons I have ever seen.... it's in the Regency line.. it was a cruising model with chase lounging chairs facing rearward, had the sawgrass flooring and big ol 300 merc on the tail end.... walked around to see how much, damn near had a coronary.... it was right around 74K. but it was a honey.[/quote]

Roland....since we are not in the market for a new boat, I don't even waste my time looking at boats that I don't need and probably can't afford. I'd rather dream about BMR's girls.
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Ted & Emily
2019 Bennington 21SL Tri-toon
2019 Yamaha 150 HP
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Bamaman
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Re: Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#8 Post by Bamaman » Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:26 pm

SMLWinds: I would suggest you look at all the boats from dealers that are in your specific retail market and make your decision based on those brands. The quality of the dealer is also important as you want your boat properly setup and prepared to avoid having to haul the boat back and forth for warranty work.

All the best brands of boats have numerous lines--mostly the difference is in seating and the fencing. The basic hull of the cheapest model is essentially the same as their most expensive boat lines. Even the cheapest seating on the better brands is going to be perfectly nice for the rental market.

Most of the rental boats are 2 tooned pontoons with relatively small engines--for a reason. When you step up to tritoons with lifting strakes and 150 hp, you're adding 15 to 20 mph and many renters/operators are not really capable of handling that much speed. When you get over 30 mph on pontoon/tritoons, they start getting "pretty danged fast" and they can scare passengers.

There are well over a dozen brands that'd do you a good job. The brand you should pick should be sold by a dealer relatively close to you. The resale value should also be a consideration, as some brands just sell better used than others.
'12 Bennington 24' SSLX Yamaha 150

JRCORVETTE
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Re: Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#9 Post by JRCORVETTE » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:49 am

If you can find a tri-toon with a 150hp for $30-$40k please let me know. Everything I have looked at is well over $40k.

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mpilot
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Re: Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#10 Post by mpilot » Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:20 pm

[quote="JRCORVETTE"]If you can find a tri-toon with a 150hp for $30-$40k please let me know. Everything I have looked at is well over $40k.[/quote]

We have a Cypress Cay 230 Seabreeze (made by Harris) with the quilted pillow top interior, lighting package, upgraded captains chairs and center walk through layout, full third toon with performance package, double bimini, and full enclosure with a 150 Mercury 4 stroke that we paid mid 30's for without a trailer...would have been about another 1500-2000 for a trailer which would have put us still under 40,000. The website price was around 52k for the boat...you can haggle as there is a fair amount of markup in boats, specifically custom ordered ones.

seandebi
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Re: Upper Tier Manufacturers? Help!

#11 Post by seandebi » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:53 pm

Same here, MSRP is much higher compared to what you pay if you negotiate. We just ordered a 24' Manitou Aurora with SHP toons and a 200hp Suzuki. MSRP was over $53k, we paid $40,900.
Sean & Debi
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2017 Manitou Aurora SHP 200hp Suzuki

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