Boat Test Monday: Monsoon Cyclone 20

July 2012 Boat Test Monday

It's Boat Test Monday! Here is our review of this 2012 model. Every year, we meet up with some of the top manufactures in the pontoon and deck boat world to test their newest models. All of these reviews are compiled in a special Boat Test issue that comes out during the first part of the year.

Monsoon Cyclone 20


Our First Impression

This is a well-built pontoon and what it gives up in amenities it more than makes up for in price. Ideal for couples interested in cruising or even first-time buyers who don't want to spend a ton of money to get out on the water, this Cyclone hits a much-needed mark with this value-driven model.  


Consumer Test

As far as being attractive, we like the red, tan and white interior colors that really help improve the overall look and feel of this boat. Designed specifically as an entry-level model, we love the simplicity of the layout and overall design. All pontoons have an open floorplan, but you really have a lot of extra room to move around on this model. Rated for up to 10 people, there is plenty of room for everyone on this model and below the aluminum seat bases there is even a place for their gear as well.

One of the few options on this boat is the vinyl flooring, but we feel it's worth the upgrade to have a boat that is basically child-proof as far as being able to easily clean up any messes that might come your way. Simply wash it out at the end of the day and you're good to go.

The Rotocast helm console is basic in design, but still offers a couple of gauges, plus a stereo with an MP3 port. There is even a storage tube below for the driver. Outside the rear entry gate is just enough room to towel off before coming into the boat from the standard boating ladder. Also located at the rear swim deck is the 12-gallon fuel tank that is easy to access.


Inspection Test

Below deck, two 23-inch diameter pontoons are the base of this pontoon. For those in larger bodies of water, 25-inch diameter tubes are available as an option. Both round pontoons are chambered with a keel, and the weld quality is average. There is no splash skin for the undercarriage, and the cross members are on 24-inch centers overall. Wiring below is excellent with good chafe protection and we found no dangerous or sharp edges during our inspection.

Above deck there is nearly 14 feet of usable deck space from inside the bow gate to the rear bench. The seat bases, helm console and the helm chair are all through-bolted to the floor for added strength. And like the undercarriage, we found no dangerous or sharp edges anywhere throughout the boat, and overall this Monsoon earned high marks for its fit and finish work.


Performance Test

Honestly, we went into this test thinking this Monsoon with a Mercury 60hp Big Foot would be underpowered. Sometimes it's good to be wrong. For a 20-mile-per-hour pontoon we were pleasantly surprised by the way she handled and in the flat turns we could really cut it tight. 


Who Should Buy It

This is one of those great functional and durable pontoon boats that you typically find in a rental fleet because it really is built to last and withstand a lot of use. It's a true entry-level model designed to come in at a specific price point so it lacks a lot of the bells and whistles that you may find on other boats, but at the same time it gets you boating with your family at a favorable price. There is a lot of added value with this boat as tested and that includes the Mercury 60 that really surprised us with its performance capabilities.

Why We Love This Boat
Strictly a price-point model, we feel you get a lot of value with this Cyclone as tested with this durable and well-built craft.


Just Being Picky
Although available as an option, we'd like to see 25-inch diameter pontoons come standard on this pontoon to help improve the flotation.


Notable Standards
Powder coated 1 1/4-inch rails, 22-ounce marine carpet, 1 1/4-inch three bow bimini top, tach and volt gauge, windshield and push breakers/rocker switches.


Options on Test Boat
Powder coated M bracket skirting, vinyl flooring and seat enclosures.

Vital Stats & Info 

Number of Occupants - 10
Price As Tested With Power$16.5K

Maximum Speed - 20.5 mph

Wild Ponies - 60hp

No. of Gates - 3

0-20 MPH -  10.5 seconds               

Ladder Steps - 3         

Ladder Measurement - 2' 10"      

LOA - 20'

Beam - 8'

Hull Design - Two Pontoons

Dry Weight1,300 lbs.

Fuel Capacity - 12 Gallons

Tallest Rail Onboard - Bow 26.5"

Lowest Rail Onboard - Sides 26.5"

Changing Room Height - N/A


Test Drive

RPM      vs.      SPEED     vs.   DB-A  

850                  2.6 mph            74                               

1000                2.9 mph            78       

1500                4.8 mph            83

2000                6.6 mph            89                               

2500                8.1 mph            88.5    

3000                12.8 mph          90       

3500                15.5 mph          92.5                            

4000                18.5 mph          92       

4500                20.5 mph          93       


Price As Tested                        $16,545

(Boat and Motor)


Base Price

(Boat Only)                              $8,530




  • Like what you read?

    Want to know when we have important news, updates or interviews?

  • Join our newsletter today!

    Sign Up
You Might Also Be Interested In...

Send to your friends!