Boat Test Monday: Xcursion 23 RF

October 2012 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. Here is one of the best 2012 models. Enjoy!

Xcursion 23 RF


Our First Impression

Yes it's a new model line, but you don't have to worry about this manufacturer making any rookie blunders. Forest River Marine knows a thing or two about manufacturing high-quality pontoons and this Xcursion looks like it's going to fit nicely into the family line of boats from this builder. 


Consumer Test

This Xcursion is designed to be a mid-level boat, but after seeing all of the amenities we might have to respectfully disagree. It could be considered a higher-end model for some manufacturers. Rated for up to 12 people, there are plenty of great places to sit including the wrap-around seating area up front, thanks to the removable bow bench seat. You could also make a strong case for the two chaise lounges in the stern being the most popular, but we kind of like the bench seat for the first mate across from the helm. It's a forward facing bench with a pullout foot rest, which could rival the captain's reclining helm chair as the most comfortable.

Forward of the fiberglass helm console is a built-in sink with a hidden pump faucet that is in its own compartment. The Clarion stereo that is MP3 and iPod ready is part of the long list of standard features that includes the tilt steering wheel as well.

One trend we're seeing a lot of lately is vinyl floors with snap-in carpet. This setup gives you the best of both worlds as far as comfort with easy cleanup. The three-piece snap-in carpet on this model is well-designed and we love having the vinyl flooring in the rear swim deck area outside the center gate. Also incorporated into this rear platform is a wide stainless steel boarding ladder as well as a solid ski/tow bar.    

On a side note, we're not sure what the number of cupholders per person is, but it's a high number on this `toon. We love all the portable cupholders as well as the ones in the ottoman and other places throughout the boat. You can never have too many places to put a drink.


Inspection Test

Two 25-inch diameter pontoons with lifting strakes on the insides are the base of this pontoon. The pressurized pontoons are chambered with a keel, and the weld quality on the splash guards is good. The C-channel cross-members are secured to the plywood deck and are on 16-inch centers, and there is a full-length splash skin as well.

From inside the gates there is over 17 feet of usable deck space on this 23-footer. The tall sides helped earn this boat a high safety rating and overall we found the craftsmanship and fit and finish work to be outstanding.


Performance Test

Hitting 34 miles per hour with the Yamaha 150 with just two pontoons is actually quite impressive. She jumped up on plane quickly and turned nice and flat in the corners. Manufactured to be a great cruising boat, the 150hp provides just enough power for a fun day out on the water.


Who Should Buy It

Our industry needs solid and dependable pontoon boats like this new Xcursion. It's a mid-level boat (with higher-end features) that you can be proud to own. It doesn't have every bell and whistle imaginable, but as tested it does have key family options like a sink and a pop-up changing room that make it a very functional boat that will be attractive to those families looking to upgrade from their entry-level model. 

Why We Love This Boat
Features like the ottoman with cupholders, removable bow cushion seat and a fully-loaded helm console are just a small taste of the extra-mile effort that went into designing this new pontoon.  


Just Being Picky
With family features like a sink and faucet as well as a changing room, it could use a trash can to really complete the package. One is available as an option, but it would be nice to see it come standard.  


Notable Standards
Fiberglass helm with raised royal mahogany woodgrain dash, Clarion waterproof AM/FM/MP3/iPod stereo w/4 speakers, full instrumentation, extended stern vinyl platform w/ stainless ladder, helm courtesy light, soft grip tilt steering wheel, stainless cupholders, choice of vinyl or berber carpet and exterior Xcursion `X' rail design.


Options On Test Boat
Deluxe option package (royal mahogany woodgrain steering wheel and table, high back captain's chair sink and pump faucet with 3 gallon tank), X2 package (stainless ski/tow bar, aluminum underskin and lifting strakes), Humminbird GPS, soft touch interior, SeaStar hydraulic steering, snap-in Sand Dollar berber carpet and changing station. 

Vital Stats & Specs

Number of Occupants - 12

Price As Tested With Power - $28.7K

Maximum Speed - 34.2 mph

Wild Ponies - 150hp

No. of Gates3

0-20 MPH -  5.0 seconds               

Ladder Steps - 4           

Ladder Measurement - 3'      
LOA - 23' 9"

Beam - 8' 6"

Hull Design - Two Pontoons

Dry Weight - 2,330 lbs.

Fuel Capacity - 31 Gallons

Tallest Rail Onboard  - Bow 28"

Lowest Rail OnboardSides 27.5"

Changing Room Height - 5' 5"


Test Drive

RPM      vs.      SPEED     vs.   D-A    

700                  2.6 mph            76                   

1000                4.0 mph            77       

1500                5.8 mph            86.5

2000                7.6 mph            77.5                            

2500                10.4 mph          83.5    

3000                14.1 mph          85       

3500                17.9 mph          91                               

4000                21.4 mph          92       

4500                25.5 mph          93.5    

5000                29.0 mph          97.5

5500                33.7 mph          103

5700                34.2 mph          103.5


Price As Tested                        $28,772

(Boat and Motor)

Elkhart, Ind.


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

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