Boat Test Monday: Sun Tracker Fishin' Barge 21

Published online: May 06, 2013 Boat Test Monday Brady L. Kay
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Our First Impression

Now this is a fishing boat! From bow to stern there is a very inviting look and feel to it, yet with all the fishing amenities it's extremely functional too. Priced well, it's easy to see why Tracker sells so many of these Fishin' Barge `toons each year.

Consumer Test

One thing that we love to see, yet rarely do on fishing pontoons, is designated rod storage. Besides the vertical spot in the stern, there is also a nice aerodynamic lockable box behind the helm seat that can hold up to seven and a half foot rods. It's perfect because it doesn't take up a lot of room, yet gets your poles out of the way when you're not using them. A few separators inside could be handy, but either way this is still a great place to store your poles.

Also in the stern are two of the four fishing seats that might just be more comfortable than the actual bench seats, which says a lot about the focus on this 21-footer. We love the 16-gallon livewell as well as the bait bucket in the stern, helping make this area one of the most popular onboard.

In the bow are two more fishing stations that include an eight-gallon livewell on one side and a battery storage box on the other. This is for the optional trolling motor, which explains the cutout on the bow gate, but this entry could be a concern if you didn't go with the option.

If we had to be picky, we feel a fishfinder and a trolling motor should be included in the standard package. There is a very nice option available that includes a Lowrance X50 DS LCG fishfinder and a MotorGuide motor, but with such a loaded fishing `toon these should come standard to complete the setup. With the gate cut out for a trolling motor and a battery storage box up front, it's unlikely any fisherman wouldn't want this additional, optional equipment. 

Forward of the one-piece fiberglass helm station is a small removable trash can that is concealed well. Complete with a tall windshield, easy-to-read gauges and a Jensen stereo, the console flows well with the rest of the boat.

Inspection Test

The two chambered pontoons are 24 inches in diameter with splash guards, and the weld quality is above average. The Z-shaped cross-members are bolted to the plywood deck and are 24-inch centers overall and on 12 inches near the transom.

Up top, the gates have a positive latch and are lift and lock as well, which make it really safe for younger kids. There is nearly 15 feet of usable deck space from inside the bow gate to the rear bench with this spacious layout.

Performance Test

With the Mercury 60hp Bigfoot we nearly hit the 20 mile per hour mark at full throttle. Our zero to 10 mph time was very quick, and for a boat designed more for angling than performance, we were quite pleased. She leans a little in the sharp turns, but held just fine, and overall, we felt this Fishin' Barge responded better than expected.

Who Should Buy It

Even though the 60hp engine performed well, it was the performance rating that dragged down the overall score a little on this boat. We love the value this Tracker offers, plus the well-built and well-designed layout that is ideal for the serious angler that wants a great fishing `toon, but doesn't want to spend too much to get it.

Number of Occupants             11

Price As Tested With Power   $18.3K

Maximum Speed:                    19.8 mph

Wild Ponies:                            60hp

No. of Gates                           3

0-10 MPH                               3.7 seconds               

Ladder Measurement:             3' 3" deep      

 Why we love this boat.Two livewells, a bait bucket,  lockable rod storage, four fishing seats, trolling motor hook up, etc. The list goes on and on. For an attractive-looking model that is designated for fishing, there is a lot to love about this boat, including the price.

Just being picky. A fishfinder and a trolling motor should be included in the standard package. They are available as options, but with such a loaded fishing `toon these should come standard to complete the setup.

 NOTABLE STANDARDS

Changing room/privacy curtain drops down from bimini top, cast-aluminum fence supports, nav. lights, deluxe soft-touch sport steering wheel, AM/FM/CD stereo w/MP3 jack & two directional speakers, fishing chairs, pre-wired for optional trolling motor, bow and stern fishing platforms, starboard aft rod box and two livewells.

OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

None

 VITAL STATS

LOA                            21' 11"

Beam                           8' 6"

Hull Design                 Two Pontoons

Dry Weight                 1,873 lbs.

Fuel Capacity              42 Gallons

 

TEST DRIVE

Engine                         Mercury 60 Bigfoot

Cylinder Type             4 cylinder (inline)

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower           60.8ci/60hp    

Lower Unit Gear Ratio           2.33:1

Propeller                      14 X 11

 

RPM      vs.     SPEED     vs. D-A    

800                  2.3 mph           71                   

1000                3.0 mph           73.5    

1500                4.8 mph           75

2000                5.7 mph           83.5                            

2500                7.3 mph           83.5    

3000                9.4 mph           82.5    

3500                11.5 mph         81.5                            

4000                13.8 mph         86.5    

4500                15.8 mph         92       

5000                18.4 mph         93.5

5500                19.8 mph         93


SpringfieldMo.

Phone: 800-872-2537

Website: www.suntrackerboats.com

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