Boat Test Monday: Avalon Paradise 2585 Elite I/O

September 2012 Boat Test Monday

It's Boat Test Monday! 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.

Avalon Paradise 2585 Elite I/O


Our First Impression

We love the style that Avalon brings to our industry, but even this particular model seemed to go beyond what we've come to expect from this Michigan-based manufacturer. From the dock the plush seats invite you in, plus we were excited to see how this inboard/outboard setup was going to perform.


Consumer Test

Sometimes it seems like the radio knows best, or at least in this case, the stereo found a great song for this Avalon. Higher by Creed blasted out of the six speakers and with the repeated lyrics of "can you take me higher" we made an instant connection with this high-end model. The song also talks about making our escape and that's exactly what we did and with three comfy chaise lounges onboard there's a great seat for everyone to come along. Below the portside chaise is a trash receptacle with a lid, but our favorite hidden amenity is the wine rack and glass holder below the rear-facing chaise.  

As far as storage options, it's hard to beat this Avalon. The aluminum seat bases with air vents provide more under-seat storage than most pontoons, plus the in-floor ski locker with light and automatic bilge pump is a great option. At 22 inches deep and nearly six feet long, there is plenty of room to store your toys in this locker.

There is kind of a double theme to this boat including the double prop and the double-wide sundeck with a changing room below. But our favorite go big feature is the large helm chair that is plenty wide for two people.   

Included at the fiberglass helm for the captain is an automotive style dash with a built-in GPS, lighted cupholders, as well as a stereo that is part of the Premium sound system option. There is even a storage area for your MP3 player or iPod with a plug-in port and a 12-volt outlet. Other key features onboard include an extended fiberglass swim platform with telescopic ladder, a small section of synthetic teak flooring for the rear entry and we like that the fuel line is double vented.   


Inspection Test

Avalon calls its hull design the 5X7 performance package and it includes two 25-inch diameter pontoons and a 27-inch diameter center tube. Each is chambered with a keel, and there are lifting strakes on both sides of the outside pontoons. The three-inch cross-members are on 16-inch centers and these are bolted to the plywood deck. From the welding quality to the protected wires, the undercarriage earned high marks for craftsmanship.

From inside the bow gate to the rear bench seat there is over 16 feet of usable deck space. All the hidden areas are well-finished and the craftsmanship throughout the boat is outstanding.


Performance Test

With 300 horsepower on the back, how can you go wrong? However, this is more than just a go-fast pontoon. With the MerCruiser 350 MAG engine we reached speeds over 40 miles per hour, but it's how smooth and easily she handles that impressed us the most. With the ski/tow pylon, this Avalon is a fun and versatile pontoon that is great for water toys as well as pleasure cruises.


Who Should Buy It

You don't have to be a music lover or enjoy water sports to appreciate this Avalon, but it wouldn't hurt. With plenty of power, comfy amenities and unique hidden features, there is a lot to love on this `toon. 

Why We Love This Boat
It's all about the details and we like this well thought out pontoon for it creature comforts, storage options, and performance capabilities.    


Just Being Picky
As much as we love the double wide helm chair, the option does limit the walk room between the rear bench seat and this chair on you way to the rear entry.


Notable Standards
Stainless corner castings, air vents for seating compartment, built-in docking lights, mood lights, high-back reclining helm chair, Matrix 50 vinyl, aluminum seat frames and polished aluminum bimini frame.


Options On Test Boat
Double-wide helm seat, premium sound system, in-tube ski locker and swim platform. 

Vital Stats & Specs
Number of Occupants - 14

Price As Tested With Power - $73.2K

Maximum Speed - 41.7 mph

Wild Ponies - 300hp

No. of Gates - 3

0-20 MPH - 5.3 seconds               

Ladder Steps - 4       

Ladder Measurement - 3' 6"

LOA - 25'

Beam - 8' 6"

Hull Design - Three Pontoons

Dry Weight - 3,000 lbs.

Fuel Capacity - 42 Gallons

Tallest Rail Onboard - Stern 29.5"

Lowest Rail Onboard  - Bow 29.5"

Changing Room Height - 5' 4"


Test Drive

RPM      vs.      SPEED     vs.   DB-A  

600                  2.7 mph            76                               

1000                4.4 mph            85.5    

1500                7.4 mph            94.5

2000                9.5 mph            91.5                            

2500                15.1 mph          94       

3000                19.8 mph          93.5    

3500                24.2 mph          94.5                                        

4000                30.3 mph          96                   

4500                36.3 mph          97       

5000                40.2 mph          102

5100                41.7 mph          103


Price As Tested                        $73,259

(Boat and Motor)


Base Price

(Boat Only)                              $33,743

Alma, Mich.


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