Why Pick One or the Other?

The World Hybrid Boats

Published in the August 2008 Issue Published online: Aug 26, 2008 Tyler J. Baum
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The title of our magazine says it all. We only take notice of pontoon boats and deck boats. As our readers you most likely made your choice of which one you prefer, and some of you are probably sticking to it like you would a political ideology; you're either a full-blown deck boater, or you're sold on pontoons.

For the rest of us, we've made our choices but look over at the other side and see greener grass. 'Tooners would love to have the hull performance of a deck, and deck boaters would love to have the spaciousness of a pontoon. That's why pontoon and deck boat manufacturers are responding with the emerging market of pontoon/deck hybrids. While partying on the deck, you'll swear you're in a pontoon. As soon as the boat takes off, you'll be reminded that the hull isn't made up of two or three pontoon tubes. It's a pure V-hull, baby! Interested yet? If so, come on over and delve into the world of pontoon and deck boat hybrids.

Hurricane FunDeck 198 RE OB

Hurricane makes the best of both worlds look good as well as comfortable. It all starts with sturdy construction that includes foam flotation, GX48 expanded vinyl, stainless steel hardware and a NextWave Electrical System. Next for the captain, Hurricane offers a standard instrument panel than features fog-resistant gauges, speedometer, fuel meter, voltmeter, tachometer, horn and 12V outlet. On top of that, you get a changing room with curtain, 25-quart cooler, courtesy lights, in-floor storage and stern table, all standard. The canvas top is color-coordinated with a protective easy-open boot canopy, or you can add an optional playpen cover.

If you really want to spice up the ride, you can entertain all day long with options such as an optional stainless steel grill, two extra stereo speakers, iPod adapter/holder and Jensen CD with MP3 input and two speakers. For longer party excursions, you can include an optional large-capacity fuel tank, battery switch or portable toilet. The angler in you will like the optional fishing features, such as your choice of fishfinders from Lowrance: The X50, C67C with color or M68C with color and GPS.

At the helm, you can add a compass, in-dash digital depth finder, hydraulic Sea Star steering and tilt wheel. Throw in a snap-in carpet, fire extinguisher, extra base table, bow table or bow trim switch for the engine, and you've really got a boat you can appreciate.

LOA: 18 feet, 10 inches

Beam: 90.5 inches

Draft (drive down): 27 inches

Draft (drive up): 10 inches

Dead rise: 10 degrees

Approximate weight: 2,150 pounds

Fuel capacity: 29 gallons

Maximum passenger capacity: 9 persons

Maximum weight capacity: 1,900 pounds

Maximum horsepower: 150hp

Phone: 888-463-3739

Web: www.hurricanedeckboats.com

PLAYCRAFT 200 FX4

The PlayCraft 200 FX4 offers great family adventures in a boat that's affordable and fun. With standard equipment such as fore and aft fishing seats, a fishfinder, built-in tackle storage and an aerated live well, the PlayCraft 200 FX4 is well equipped for a relaxing day of fishing. If you don't want to go fishing, you won't be bored. The 200 FX4 is equipped to take you swimming, skiing or for a relaxing cruise. No matter how you like to spend your time on the water, the 200 FX4 is ready to go. It's great for families who just love being on the water. The 200 FX4 comes standard with a CD player and can be outfitted with upgrades to make each trip more enjoyable such as a third pontoon, bar group or PlayCraft's patented RAC-R-FINS.

Length: 20 feet

Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches

Approximate weight: 1,600 pounds

Pontoon size: 24 inches

Pontoon center to center: 79 inches

Pontoon gauge: .080

Fuel capacity: 16-66 gallons

Maximum passenger capacity: 10 persons

Maximum weight capacity: 2,025 pounds

Maximum horsepower: 90hp

Phone: 573-765-3265

Web: www.playcraftboats.com

HYBRIDS

SOUTHWIND 2290 L

SouthWind by Bennington Marine is what you get when you mix an Azure deck boat with a Bennington pontoon. SouthWind has an exciting hybrid deck boat called the 2290 L. At 22 feet, 9 inches and a 225 maximum horsepower rating, the 2290 L combines the spaciousness and comfort of a pontoon and the performance of a deck boat. The 40-inch automotive style helm includes anti-feedback steering, dual AM/FM stereo and CD player, speedometer, tach, fuel, trim and hour meter with a bucket seat with slider. Popular options for the helm station include a deluxe steering wheel, hydraulic steering and a JBL CD player with four speakers and MP3 port. Interior features consist of three chaise lounges, 36-inch can soft cooler, full stern sundeck, in-floor storage and kidney table. A convenient stern entry ladder for easy access in and out of the water and an optional ski tow bar allows families to enjoy water activities. The 2290 L offers seating available for 11 passengers and a fuel capacity of 35 gallons.

Just as important to you is the Bennington product warranty. A five-year, bow-to-stern, above-deck warranty including instrumentation and electrical; a lifetime hull structural warranty and a two-year gel coat warranty. The SouthWind 2290 L is built to the same high standards of all other Bennington Marine Group boats.

Length: 22 feet, 9 inches

Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches

Dry weight: 3,500 pounds

Dead rise: 12 degrees

Fuel capacity: 35 gallons

Maximum horsepower: 225hp

Draft (drive up): 10 inches

Draft (drive down): 30 inches

Freeboard forward: 36 inches

Freeboard aft: 32 inches

Maximum weight capacity: 1,550 pounds

Maximum passenger capacity: 11 persons

Phone: 574-264-6336

Web: www.southwindboats.com

JC EVOLUTION 240

There is more than one way to do a pontoon/deck boat hybrid and JC proves this with its Evolution line. Evolutions are neither an orthodox pontoon/deck boat hybrid, nor are they a full-on pontoon boat. Rather, they're just the opposite.

The Evolution 240 combines the sleek, modern look of fiberglass with the rugged practicality of aluminum, mating a modern fiberglass topside and interior with the legendary TriToon hull to create a hybrid that looks great and performs even better. The option list for these top-of-the-line beauties is surprisingly short, because almost everything is standard. Features include anchor locker, CD player, Sirius satellite radio, GPS and a 55-gallon fuel capacity. The Evolution series (260 and 240 models) is rated for up to 320hp from MerCruiser or Volvo, with optional thru-hull exhaust, or 275hp on the outboard version.

Length: 24 feet

Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches

Weight: 3,150 pounds

Maximum capacity: 3,650 pounds

Maximum horsepower: 275hp (OB), 320hp (I/O)

Hull: 0.125 gauge aluminum

Phone: 574-834-2881

Web: www.jcpontoon.com

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