Sylvan 8525 Mandalay LZ Port

December 2013 Boat Test Monday Brady L. Kay

What You Need To Know

You don't need a critical eye to appreciate the extra effort that went into this Sylvan, but of course it doesn't hurt either. Little added touches make the difference on this model and the more we investigated, the more we really liked about this high-end Mandalay.


The Highlights

For starters, we love the two-tone colored panel that really completes the high-end look. But our favorite exterior feature is the stainless grab rails around the perimeter along with the stainless rubrail around the deck. The great part is that this stainless design is mimicked in the treatment at the helm, but we'll get to that in a minute. Another feature we like is the corner castings including the docking lights as well as LED accent lighting.

Inside the boat, the soft-touch vinyl feels as nice as it looks and on the starboard side in the bow there is a nice chaise lounge that includes a flip up arm rest. There is plenty of room to stretch out and get comfortable on this bench. Just across from the seating area are two helm chairs that are identical to the one for the captain and include a built-in drainable cooler console between them with two cupholders. There are a ton of cupholders onboard and we especially like the LED-lit ones that complement the LED mood lights.

At the helm console the stainless rails tie in perfectly with the other stainless rails and hardware used throughout the boat, including the grab rails we noted earlier. 

In the stern, the layout provides a couple of different setups. At first glance it looks like you have two rear-facing loungers, plus the option to use this area as bench seating. But a pull-out ottoman reveals another side to this layout where you now have a comfy rear-facing seat. We like this multi-use section a lot, plus those removable ottomans provide even more storage options. Speaking of storage space, the large in-floor ski locker is over 8 feet long and includes a non-skid mesh floor inside.

Outside the rear gate is teak-looking composite flooring, plus extended platforms on each side of the outboard. Built into the starboard platform is a stainless steel pull-out four-step boarding ladder and we especially like the excellent handholds for easy boarding.


Inspection Notes

The two modified Revolutionary Planing Technology V-shaped pontoons are chambered with a keel and the weld quality is good. Built into the 25-inch diameter pontoons are lifting strakes on both sides of the outside tubes. The only option on this boat is a center pontoon that adds to the stability of the boat.

After a closer inspection this Sylvan earned high marks for its overall construction as well as fit and finish work. It's all about the details and we love the extra mile effort that went into this one.


Performance Evaluation

Packaged nicely with a Yamaha 200 VMAX, we reached speeds close to the 40 mile per hour mark. She doesn't turn as sharp as we were expecting, yet it still earns a high fun-factor score based on how well this Sylvan handles. You also feel very safe and in control on this pontoon, which only added to its high safety rating.


Final Thoughts

How can you not love this open layout? There is truly something for everyone with comfortable seating to be found at every turn. Plus the Yamaha 200 turned out to be a good match for this Sylvan, creating a solid family-friendly boat that is fun to drive.


Number of Occupants             14                   

Price As Tested With Power     $60.4K

Maximum Speed                      37.8 mph                     

Wild Ponies                              200hp 

No. of Gates                            3

0-20 MPH                               6.5 seconds     

Ladder Measurement               3' deep


Why we love this boat.We love the added touches to this boat like all the stainless hardware used throughout, as well as the great use of space with the layout. 


Just being picky.There are plenty of features onboard that have the "wow" factor to them, but we feel the quality of carpet could be a little nicer to match the rest of the boat.



RPT Tubes with aluminum underdeck liner, Raised deluxe console, 42ml vaulted arch pillow top furniture, anodized aluminum swim platform, 2 removable cup holders, underwater lighting and lounge arm change room



Third Pontoon



LOA                  26' 10 "          

Beam                 8' 6"

Hull Design         Two RPT  w/ Center Tube

Dry Weight         2575 lbs.

Fuel Capacity     30 gallons



Engine                                                              Yamaha F200 

Cylinder Type                                                   V6

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower               204.6ci/200hp

Lower Unit Gear Ratio                                      2.00:1

Propeller                                                          15 X 15 3/4


RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.    DB-A

750                  3.1                     75

1000                4.3                     78.5

1500                5.6                     83.5

2000                7.7                     88

2500                8.6                     88

3000                9.6                     87.5

3500                11.1                   88.5

4000                15.7                   92.5

4500                20.1                   94

5000                26.1                   96

5500                36.4                   100

5800                37.8                   98

New Paris, Ind.


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