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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
LOA 21’ 4”
Hull Design Three Pontoons
Dry Weight 1900 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 12 gallons
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.