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!
PlayCraft PowerToon X-Treme 2700 I/O
Our First Impression
It's impossible not to smile while driving this boat. Known for fast and sporty pontoons, this PlayCraft doesn't disappoint. Of course having a huge MerCruiser 8.2L engine as well as the optional Captain's Choice exhaust with short tips with flaps doesn't hurt either. In the "go big or go home" category, this X-Treme delivers up the fun.
PlayCraft now offers 21 different color options, but we really like the red and yellow on this model. The boldness of the design that is not only in the vinyl work, but in the padded sides as well is what a high-end racing boat should look like.
The fiberglass helm console offers a variety of gauges across its automotive-style, two-tiered dash, and the red bezels on the chrome Mercury digital gauges are a nice added touch. Included in the design is a perfectly centered Sony stereo and in the side glove box there is a great place to plug in and store your iPod, which we really like. A second glove box below is a designated storage spot for a fire extinguisher.
One feature we never get tired of mentioning is the rear boarding area that is built into the starboard pontoon. It's by far the best ladder/boarding system in the industry because it includes actual steps plus a fold down ladder, helping make this by far the easiest pontoon to get back on from the water.
Other key features include the fender storage box forward of the helm and the large storage space below the large sundeck. It's plenty big and well-finished, plus it provides an extra sound barrier for the engine compartment below.
The three U-shaped pontoons are the solid base of this 27-footer, but it's the extra length as well as larger diameter of the center pontoon that allow it to handle so well. The foam-filled pontoons have PlayCraft's Race-R-Fins that are on the insides of the outer tubes and on both sides of the center pontoon.
The C-channel cross-members are on 16-inch centers overall and double up near the transom and are bolted to the one-piece plywood deck. There is a full-length splash skin and the .125-gauge transom is heavily braced. The wiring quality, like the rest of the undercarriage fit and finish work, is excellent.
Up top, there is over 18 feet of usable deck space from inside the rounded bow gate to the rear bench seat. The powder-coated rails are bolted with standoffs for easy cleanup and overall this boat earned high marks for its fit and finish work and construction quality.
Just the thought of putting the throttle down on a 430hp pontoon is enough to get your heart racing. With the MerCruiser 8.2L engine we reached speeds well over 50 miles per hour and she turns well and handles like a sports car. If you're going to build a boat that looks like a performance boat it's nice to know that it has the power and performance to back it up. This is a fun boat to drive that just begs to be driven fast.
Who Should Buy It
For those looking for a very distinctive-looking performance pontoon that is sure to attract as much attention at the dock as it does on the water, this PlayCraft is worthy of a closer look. The sporty graphics and overall design will get you noticed and it's nice that it has the performance to back it up. It's comfortable, well-designed and sure to put a big grin on your face.
Why We Love This Boat
The power and sporty looks overshadow the creature comforts like the long bench seats and comfy chaise lounges. It's more than just a go-fast boat and that's why we like it.
Just Being Picky
With this much power we would like to have seen a massive ski/tow bar on this model. It did have an eye, but with this kind of performance we feel making a ski pylon or bar a standard feature would really complete this `toon.
X-Treme nose, wide heavy-duty extruded aluminum side deck bumpers, 28-inch tall aluminum rails, two-toned panels, bimini, Triple Toon package (third pontoon and underskin), RAC-R-FINS, LED running lights, Sony stereo, plush carpet, double wide helm chair, fiberglass console, LED courtesy lights, padded sundeck with power-assist lid, hydraulic steering, extended center toon and rear deck, LED logo lights and marine vinyl with protective finish.
Options on Test Boat
Colored bezels, 73-gallon in-toon fuel tank, powder coated rails and side trim, extra cleats, Captain's Choice exhaust with short tips with flaps, depth finder, padded package, trash compartment, quick release latches, trumpet horns, mood lights, 2 glove boxes, power-assist steering, extra battery, Milsco captain's chair, DTS control and SmartCraft gauges, powder coated toons, 2 hidden storages, low rise swim platform and bumper storage.
Vital Stats & Specs
Number of Occupants - 15
Price As Tested With Power - $99.9K
Maximum Speed - 56.7 mph
Wild Ponies - 430hp
No. of Gates - 3
0-20 MPH - 5.1 seconds
Ladder Steps - 5
Ladder Measurement - 4' 9"
LOA - 27' 6"
Beam - 8' 6"
Hull Design - Three Pontoons
Dry Weight - 3,950 lbs.
Fuel Capacity - 73 Gallons
Tallest Rail Onboard - Stern 29"
Lowest Rail Onboard - Bow 28"
Changing Room Height - N/A
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
675 4.0 mph 83.5
1000 5.8 mph 90
1500 9.3 mph 97.5
2000 16.4 mph 95
2500 23.3 mph 98
3000 29.5 mph 101
3500 36.1 mph 101.5
4000 44.6 mph 101.5
4500 48.3 mph 104.5
5000 56.7 mph 105
Price As Tested $ 99,995
(Boat & Motor)
Don't forget to check out the video of the test: