SunChaser 8524 LR

Published online: Dec 09, 2013 Boat Test Monday
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What You Need To Know

A lot of consumers fear they have to spend a lot of money to find a high-quality boat just to get out on the water. But SunChaser proves you can have it all with its 8524 LR model. True, this is a price-point boat, targeted towards first-time buyers. However, there are a lot of mid-level features on this model that will have you questioning the price tag. 

 

The Highlights

Since chaise lounges have become one of the most popular features found on pontoon boats today, SunChaser incorporated a total of four on its 25-foot model. There are two in the bow and two rear-facing lounges in the stern. The bench seating is extra long in the bow, so there is plenty of room to really stretch out and then some with these front lounges.


Built into the portside rear lounge is a pop-up changing room that is average in height and we especially like the net storage for the curtain that makes it that much easier to operate. Face it, if the pop-up changing room isn't easy to operate it's not going to be used, so that's what makes this one so great. Another added touch to this enclosure is a cutout in the rear bench seat that is specifically designed for a portable toilet if you decide to add one as an option.


We haven't seen too many elevated helm stands on value-driven models so this was a welcome surprise. It's these added touches that help separate this model from its competitors' entry-level versions. The helm console includes all the gauges on one panel for a simple, yet effective dash design. Having a tilt steering wheel is also a nice addition that we're not used to seeing.  

The majority of the boat is carpeted, but outside the rear gate is nice, non-skid flooring. (Are you noticing a theme here with the mid-level features being included on this `toon?) We like the solid ski/tow bar as well as the three-step boarding ladder that is kind of narrow, but does include good handholds.

 

Inspection Notes

The two 25-inch diameter chambered pontoons with full keels include Z-channel construction. As expected, the craftsmanship is solid on this SunChaser will all the hidden areas being well-finished. We like the safe, family-friendly design along with the overall layout.

From a practical standpoint the Rotocast seat bases are perfect for keeping your storage items dry while offering great seating support. But if we had to be picky, seeing the Rotocast seat bases exposed takes away from the quality vinyl and overall look to the seating. But for the price we feel it's a great tradeoff and hardly worth mentioning.

 

Performance Evaluation

This SunChaser was full of surprises, including the zero to 20 mph time of just 5 seconds! Having the 

 Evinrude 150 E-TEC was the perfect match for this pontoon by adding performance to the equation. At full throttle we reached speeds over 30 mph and although a little wide, our turns were nice and flat with no lean to report.


Final Thoughts

Who says you have to compromise comfort when it comes to an entry-level model? There are plenty of great seating options onboard for the rated 14 passengers and the seats are not only comfortable, they have some style to them as well. When it comes down to it, this is a great pontoon that just happens to be priced well too.

  

Number of Occupants             14                   

Price As Tested With Power     $19.9K

Maximum Speed                      32.5 mph                     

Wild Ponies                              150hp 

No. of Gates                            3

0-20 MPH                               5.0 seconds     

Ladder Measurement               3' 1" deep

 

Why we love this boat.The price is the only indication that this is an entry-level pontoon. We love the elevated helm stand, rear non-skid flooring and the other touches not usually found on a boat at this price.

 

Just being picky.Even on a entry-level model, we'd like to see the Rotocast seat bases covered to help complement the quality vinyl used for the seating. 

 

NOTABLE STANDARDS

Full fiberglass console, 2 rear-facing loungers, flip-up change room w/ Porta-Pottie storage in lounge arm, Rotocast premium seat bases with channel system for drainage, large rear vinyl deck, and color coordinated bimini top with anodized frame

 

OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

 Ski/Tow, Executive helm package

 

VITAL STATS

LOA                  25' 10"           

Beam                 8' 6"

Hull Design         Two Pontoons

Dry Weight         2575 lbs.

Fuel Capacity     30 gallons

 

TEST DRIVE

Engine                                                              Evinrude 150 E-TEC   

Cylinder Type                                                   V6

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower               158ci/150hp

Lower Unit Gear Ratio                                      1.86:1

Propeller                                                          SS 13 X 15 1/2

 

RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.    DB-A

600                  2.4                     78.5

1000                3.8                     78.5

1500                7                        81.5

2000                8.9                     88.5

2500                11.9                   90

3000                18                      96

3500                22                      100

4000                23.6                   100

4500                26.8                   102

5000                30.2                   104.5

5500                32.5                   103.5

New Paris, Ind.

866-772-4538

http://www.smokercraft.com/

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