Boat Test Monday: JC SportToon 23TT

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.

JC SportToon 23 TT


Our First Impression

Creating a sporty and non-traditional-looking pontoon has been the backbone to JC's impressive line of boats for several years now and it looks like they've found yet another way to take it to the next level. With the redesigned helm console, wakeboard tower and a lot of those added touches that we love to see, this latest creation from JC is sure to turn some heads on the water.


Consumer Test

With the new automotive-style helm console, this SportToon from JC is truly like no other pontoon in the industry.  The spacious layout will have you humming Tom Petty's "Into the Great Wide Open" when you first come aboard. Key stainless steel features worth noting include the bow and stern gates, cleats, boarding ladder, docking lights, cupholders, bow rails and even the bimini frame.

There are three lounges onboard, including two in the bow, and we love the built-in headrest and movable arm for added comfort. JC builds all of its furniture in-house for complete control and it shows in the quality. Other nice touches include a fold-out table built in to the back of one lounge, a trash receptacle below another and a cooler compartment built into the rear-facing one.

But as comfortable and sporty as this pontoon is, it's the water sport enthusiast features that really help set it apart like the JL sound system and the solid wakeboard tower that includes a rack for your board, two tower speakers and there is even a remote spotlight on top. Built into the center pontoon is another great storage option and the in-floor locker includes an automatic bilge pump. The 13-inch-deep locker has a nice three-foot-by-15-inch opening and inside there is over five feet of space. 

Access from the water is easy, thanks to a recessed boarding ladder on the dual swim platforms. Also in the stern is a standard vinyl flooring as well as pop-up changing room that doubles as a large storage box.

From the Matrix 788 CI with GPS to the solid ski/tow bar, it's safe to say there are just too many great amenities onboard to mention when it comes to this SportToon. 


Inspection Test

Three 24-inch by 25-inch diameter, high-volume U-shaped pontoons are the base for this 23-foot boat, and the lifting fins on the inside of the outer tubes and on both sides of the center pontoon are nicely welded. The Z-shaped cross members are on 16-inch centers and are bolted to the plywood deck and the splash skin fully covers the bottom. The transom is well-braced and heavily constructed. Up top there is over 15 feet of usable deck space from inside the bow gate to the rear bench.

Overall the boat earned high marks for craftsmanship, fit and finish work as well as for its safe, family-friendly design.


Performance Test

We couldn't wait to get our hands on the new Honda 250, which turned out to be the perfect engine for this JC. At full throttle we reached speeds over 45 miles per hour and the 0 to 20 mph time of just 5.26 seconds is quite impressive. With the power-assist steering, this `toon turns as smooth as she looks as we had a blast banking in some tight corners. Plenty of power on this boat, but it's the safe and in control feel the design gives you that impressed us the most.


Who Should Buy It

You don't need wakeboarders or tubers in your family to appreciate this sporty boat, but it doesn't hurt. This SportToon is a stylish and sporty boat that has the performance to back it all up.

Why We Love This Boat
Wakeboard tower, sound system, raised helm console, stainless hardware, the list goes on and on. The versatility and style of this pontoon help make it a very attractive option for a lot of families.


Just Being Picky
The throttle was a little stiff on this particular model and for such a spacious layout the stern table and reclining helm seat felt like a tight fit when accessing the rear entry. 


Notable Standards
Clarion CD, speakers, satellite radio, hydraulic steering with power assist, 10-foot bimini with stainless steel fittings, lifting fins, heavy-duty ski/tow, stainless hardware including: boarding ladder, docking lights,  logos, cupholders, bow rails, cleats and bow and stern gates, powder coated rail pack, fiberglass bow corners, dual horns, reclining helm chair, Flip Top helm, tilt steering, Matrix 7281 with GPS, full instrumentation, 36-ounce carpet, courtesy lighting, vinyl stern deck and windshield.


Options On Test Boat
Visionaire mesh captain's chair upgrade, stainless wakeboard tower, JL Deluxe sound system with tower speakers, dual swim platform, Matrix 788 CI upgrade, raised helm platform, in-tube ski storage, wakeboard rack, remote spotlight, upholstery trim package, headrest with fold-down arm, stainless fender holders with fenders, dual battery switch, lockable glove box, adjustable height table and fuel/water separator. 

Vital Stats & Specs
Number of Occupants              15

Price As Tested With Power     $59.9K

Maximum Speed:                      46.1 mph

Wild Ponies:                             250hp

No. of Gates                            4

0-20 MPH                               5.26 seconds               

Ladder Steps                            4

Ladder Depth                           3' 2"     

LOA                                        23' 6"

Beam                                       8' 6"

Hull Design                               TriToon

Dry Weight                               2,950 lbs.

Fuel Capacity                           50 Gallons

Tallest Rail Onboard                 Stern 34"

Shortest Rail Onboard              Bow 26"

Changing Room Height 6'


Test Drive

RPM      vs.      SPEED     vs.   DB-A  

850                  2.6 mph            70.5                            

1000                4.0 mph            71       

1500                5.8 mph            80

2000                7.8 mph            81.5                            

2500                12.8 mph          85       

3000                17.6 mph          92.5    

3500                24.0 mph          93.5                            

4000                29.6 mph          101     

4500                34.0 mph          102     

5000                38.2 mph          102.5

5500                41.6 mph          103

6000                46.1 mph          105

Price As Tested                        $59,900

(Boat and Motor)


Base Price                                $41,250

(Boat Only)                

North Webster, Ind.



Don't forget to check out the video of the test:

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