Boat Test Monday: SunChaser DS22

May 2013 Boat Test Monday Brady L. Kay

Our First Impression

Designed to hit a specific price point, the purpose of this boat is for the family to stick to their budget, but still be able to get on the water. At $20K with a 90hp engine you get more boat than you might think would be possible at this price. You can expect more and get more with this SunChaser line, especially with this new DS model.

Consumer Test

Looking at the exterior of this SunChaser with the nice black-colored panels, anodized rub rail and stainless corner caps, you'd never guess this was a price-driven pontoon. On the water it looks like a much higher-priced boat.

At the helm is a basic console that includes a water-tight tube storage compartment, JBL stereo, as well as an MP3 port and a 12-volt outlet. The bucket helm chair is comfy, and it slides and swivels, which will allow the captain to get the throttle in just the right position.

For a price-driven model you wouldn't expect to find two chaise lounges, three-tone tan, black and copper vinyl and comfortable leg bolsters for the seats. Plus, with the recessed drink holders, you get an attractive look to the interior that is yet another pleasant surprise on this model.

The exposed Rotocast seat bases and the entry-level-looking steering wheel take a little away from the layout, but there is still plenty of comfort and function offered on this 22-footer.  

The enclosure is the ultimate space-saver that neatly stores in the back of the rear-facing chaise lounge, and when opened it stands at five-foot, three-inches tall. But what we really like is the storage net for the changing room curtain that really simplifies the process and makes it truly easy to use.

In the stern there is just enough room to come up the ladder before entering through the rear-entry gate. We really like the four-step stainless boarding ladder that has great handholds for easy entry back into the boat.

Inspection Test

Below deck are two 25-inch diameter chambered pontoons with full keels, and the weld quality is average. The Z-shaped cross-members use a screw-and-bolt method to fasten to the plywood deck, and overall they're on 24-inch centers and a little closer near the transom for added support. The wiring quality below is average and we didn't find any sharp edges, which is a big plus for a family-friendly `toon.

Up top there is over 14 feet of usable deck space from inside the bow gate to the rear bench. Overall we consider this to be a solid vessel with good fit and finish work. 

Performance Test

The sudden burst of speed when you put the throttle down catches you off guard a little and you can't help but smile. She's a quick boat that tops out around 25 miles per hour at full throttle and the `toon does lean a little in the turns. For not being designed around performance, we were still impressed by how well the Evinrude 90hp E-TEC performed.

Who Should Buy It

If the goal is to get out on the water without spending a lot of money, we say mission accomplished, SunChaser. There are plenty of added touches that leave you scratching your head in disbelief that you can really get a great pontoon like this at such a favorable price. And because it's rated for up to 14 people, no one has to be left at the dock either.

Number of Occupants             14

Price As Tested With Power   $20K

Maximum Speed:                    25.3 mph

Wild Ponies:                            90hp

No. of Gates                           3

0-20 MPH                               5.8 seconds               

Ladder Measurement:             2' 10" deep      

Why we love this boat.Proving you can still get a great boat on a budget, there is a lot of value that comes standard on this SunChaser. Plenty of higher-level quality on this entry-level model.

Just being picky.Even though this is an entry-level model and this is just a cosmetic thing, a larger and more attractive-looking steering wheel would go along way in improving the overall look of the interior.   


AM/FM Stereo w/auxiliary Port for MP3 player, Rotocast furniture bases, rear entry w/boarding ladder and changing room.


Gauge package including speedometer, voltmeter and trim.


LOA                            22' 3"

Beam                           8' 6"

Hull Design                 Two Pontoons

Dry Weight                 2,100 lbs.

Fuel Capacity              24 Gallons


Engine                         Evinrude E-TEC 90

Cylinder Type             3-cylinder

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower           79.1ci/90hp    

Lower Unit Gear Ratio           2:0:1

Propeller                      13 3/4 X 13 stainless steel


RPM      vs.     SPEED     vs. D-A    

800                  2.6 mph           79                   

1000                3.2 mph           82       

1500                5.2 mph           81.5

2000                6.6 mph           83                               

2500                8.9 mph           87       

3000                12.7 mph         90       

3500                16.1 mph         92.5                            

4000                19.0 mph         97       

4500                22.2 mph         102     

5000                25.0 mph         104

5400                25.3 mph         105

New ParisInd.

Phone: 866-772-4538


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