Qwest LS 820 Splash Pad

Published online: Oct 14, 2013 Boat Test Monday Brady L. Kay
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What You Need To Know

As the way people use pontoon boats continues to evolve, it's great the way Qwest continues to stay ahead of the trend. This Splash Pad version that is a new model for 2013 is a great multi-use boat that can adjust to the different ways a family chooses to use their pontoon.

 

The Highlights

From inside the gates, this Qwest is set up similar to its Cruiser model that includes all those key features that a lot of people are looking for in a pontoon. This includes a high-quality helm console with a full color GPS/depth finder, Infinity Bluetooth stereo along with a MP3/iPod media tray. The standard package includes two speakers, but on this boat as-tested, it has been upgraded to a total of six.


Across the helm is a rear-facing lounge with an average-size (5-foot, 2-inch) pop-up changing room built into the back that is easy to access. There is another chaise lounge in the bow, ensuring everyone onboard will be able to find a comfy place to sit.


As you leave the carpeted area of the boat and exit through the rear gate, this is where the fun really begins. On the rear sundeck is a table complete with cupholders and three removable bar stools. Pontoons are being used more as a social platform at sandbars or just anchored in the middle of the lake and this Splash Pad version perfectly reflects this trend.


Simply remove the bar stools and now you have a wide open platform that is the ideal place for kids to jump off the back and into the water. This area includes Seagrass vinyl flooring that will stay cool longer, making this rear deck the place to be. There are even two pop-up tower speakers in the back, plus two of the many LED-lit cupholders.


Other key features off the stern deck include a solid ski/tow bar as well as a 3-step boarding ladder. And because the Suzuki 140 four-stroke is so quiet, we hardly knew it was there. Of course we became very aware of this outboard once we got ready for the performance part of our test.   

 

Inspection Notes

Three 23-inch diameter baffled pontoons are the base of this boat and integrated into the design are splash guards on the nosecones and a full-length keel. At 8 feet wide it's a compact pontoon that is extremely well-built, and what it gives up in size you get in quality. We consider it to be safe and family-friendly, especially considering the tall rail height throughout the interior  of the boat. For safety reasons you're not able to sit on the bar stools on the swim deck while the boat is underway, which limits the use of this great design. But the trade-off of having a great rear deck out-weigh any limitations it might have. 

 

Performance Evaluation

With the Suzuki 140hp four-stroke we reached speeds over 40 miles per hour. But it was the way this `toon handled in the corners that impressed us most. Plus the zero to 20 mph time of just over 5 seconds had us looking twice to make sure the outboard wasn't actually bigger than we thought.

 

Final Thoughts

Packed with great features and amenities, there is a lot to love about this Qwest pontoon. For those looking for a great cruising pontoon that has a nice balance of standard features along with key options, this Splash Pad as-tested is worthy of a closer look. As for the rear swim deck, we just love this area. We can just imagine this boat anchored in the middle of the lake and watching kids jump off the back in all directions on a hot summer day. 

 

Number of Occupants              12

Price As Tested With Power     $34.9K

Maximum Speed                       40.0 mph                    

Wild Ponies                              140hp

No. of Gates                            3

0-20 MPH                                5.4 seconds    

Ladder Measurement                2' deep

 

Why we love this boat.It's the rear deck with Seagrass flooring, three bar stools and a table that is going to get a lot of attention and rightfully so. We love this setup that includes pop-up tower speakers and LED-lit cupholders.

 

Just being picky.The most unique part of this layout is on the outside of the rear gate, which makes the stern setup off-limits while the boat is underway.

 

NOTABLE STANDARDS

Deluxe fiberglass helm with color GPS in-dash fish finder, infinity Bluetooth ready stereo system, tilt steering, courtesy light, rigid dent resistant panels, 8' by 9' bimini top with quick release hardware, luxurious upholstery with lifetime cushion foam, rear fiberglass bar top, rear bar stools, extended rear platform with cushioned non slip flooring, robust aluminum rear entry ladder, deluxe captain's seat with inner suspension, ultra-flow plastic seat bases with ventilated liners, fiberglass table, 12 volt plug, stainless steel furnishings, premium marine carpet, deustch waterproof wiring connectors, contoured deck edging and riser trim

 

OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

Q3 triple tube package SeaStar hydraulic steering, ski tow bar, sea grass rear flooring, 6 speaker stereo system, layback with privacy enclosure, lighted cup holders, courtesy light package, high back reclining captain's seat, riser trim lights

 

VITAL STATS

LOA                  21' 4"

Beam                 8'

Hull Design       Three Pontoons

Dry Weight         1900 lbs.

Fuel Capacity     12 gallons

 

TEST DRIVE

Engine                                                              Suzuki DF-140 TL

Cylinder Type                                                   In-line 4 Cylinder

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower              124.7ci/140hp

Lower Unit Gear Ratio                                     2.59:1

Propeller                                                          21 X 14

 

RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.    DB-A

850                  1.4                   77.5

1000                2.8                   77.5

1500                5                      81

2000                6.8                   84.5

2500                8.2                   83.5

3000                10.7                 89

3500                16.3                 89.5

4000                19.4                 92.5

4500                24.7                 96

5000                29.6                 103.5

5500                33.9                 107.5

6000                37.1                 106.5

6600                41.0                 110.5

 

St. Louis, Mich.

989-681-4300

http://www.gillgetter.com/ 

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