Put To The Test

April 2014

JC Manufacturing, Inc. is a smaller pontoon operation, but don’t let that deter you. With less bureaucracy, this company is able to quickly respond to its customers and spend more time building and designing great pontoons. Located in North Webster, Ind., JC Manufacturing has been around since 1976 when John Cripe (JC) and Jerry Amsden began the business. A few years later, John's son, Kim Cripe, joined the company. Today, Kim continues to independently own and operate JC Manufacturing, Inc.

The Philosophy

In order to consistently achieve their desired result, which is a high-end pontoon boat, JC prides themselves on two conditions. First, only the very best components are used in the production of each boat. Second, the company maintains complete control of the production process by being entirely self-sufficient. Some manufacturers rely on outside suppliers to deliver specific parts during the building process, but JC opts to employ people in-house that are responsible for building these parts, including rail systems, upholstery, pontoon tubes and bimini tops. By taking these steps, the company delivers trouble-free performance and top resale value, year after year. This philosophy also allows the company to offer a limited lifetime warranty on the tubes and structural components and a five year warranty on all other components.

PDB had the opportunity to test two separate models recently when we got our hands on a brand-new SportToon 22TT and a 23 NepToon TT Sport, which made for an exciting day at the lake. Needless to say, we caught a lot of stares as we whipped by smaller ski boats on these beautiful pontoons. Both boats were triple tube boats or TriToons. JC Manufacturing designed the triple tube over 25 years ago and has patented the TriToon name. The TriToon is the perfect combination of smooth ride, precise handling and incredible durability. Heavy-duty .125 gauge aluminum, 45 gallon in-tube fuel tank and in-tube anchor locker are standard on this hull, plus in-tube ski storage is available as an option.

Testing The SportToon 22TT

Every JC boat has a sporty look to it. The reason that this particular one is called a SportToon is because every boat in the Sport series features the TriToon Sport hull design, which has lifting fins and power-assisted hydraulic steering, for maximum performance. The TriToon Sport hull not only increases top end speed, but also yields handling that is as quick and precise as any runabout. This hull features a 45 gallon in-tube fuel tank and optional in-tube ski storage.

JC Manufacturing always takes care of the captain, along with the other passengers of course. The raised helm has an extremely classy feel to go along with the performance hull and the seating is plush and comfy for optimal relaxation time. The throttle is positioned comfortably and the helm chair is at the perfect height to maintain control at top speeds. Cup holders are within easy reach, which allows the driver to have access to ample water as they cruise throughout the day. The only thing lacking on the test boat was the signature JL Audio stereo, which hadn’t yet been installed. This boat also incorporates a double ladder in the stern so there will be no wait for swimmers to hop back in the boat.

The unique railing design on this SportToon is molded in-house by highly-trained employees. Using an internally-developed system, each rail is put through an ingenious process to get this one-of-a-kind curve. This extra attention to detail adds so much to the final look of the product. Matched with your preferred color, you will have a pontoon that was built specifically for you. Once you’ve spent some time on this boat, you will be able to tell that every component is made with the best materials available.

Testing The 23 NepToon TT Sport

This boat comes standard with a lot of great amenities. White powder-coated rails, a 10-foot Sunbrella bimini top, dual bow loungers, halogen docking lights and the patented flip-top helm stand are just some of the features our team enjoyed the most while we were out on the lake. Another great standard feature is the heavy-duty ski/tow bar, which makes all water sports possible. This NepToon did have the JL Audio system installed and, while your significant other may question the investment, it really does make a huge difference. It’s creates such a fun environment when you add your favorite tunes to match its top speeds.

The best options on this NepToon can be found at the helm. The deluxe instrument panel was top-notch and included all the extras, such as a digital depth gauge, hour meter, dual battery switch and a Matrix 788 unit with GPS capabilities. These little perks go along ways for peace of mind, especially when you have your entire family onboard.

Another option on both of the boats was the Seagrass flooring that has risen in popularity over the last couple of years. This woven material dries out much easier than carpet so you avoid the mildew yet it still feels soft under bare feet.

All NepToon tubes have baffles and are pressure tested to assure they are air-tight before leaving the factory. JC doesn’t use foam in any of its tubes.

This Indiana builder has spent over three decades perfecting its boats and creating a product that will last for years to come.


22 SportToon TT

Hull Type: TriToon

Pontoon Length: 22' 7"

Aluminum Gauge Tube: .091

Aluminum Gauge Nose Cone: .125

Deck Size: 8' 6" X 21'

Boat Weight: 2,225 lbs.

Max. Capacity: 3,200 lbs.

Engine: Mercury 150hp

Propeller: Enertia 15 X 15

Max. HP: 200

0-20 mph:     5.34 seconds 

Top Speed: 36.2 mph 

RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.    DB-A             

600      2.0          72

1000    3.0          82

1500    4.8       85.5

2000    7.9       85

2500    10.2     84.5

3000    12.6     89

3500    17.95    96

4000    21.5      99

4500    27.0      97.5

5000    33.2     102.5

5500    35.6     104

6000    36.2     109

23 NepToon TT Sport

Hull Type: TriToon

Pontoon Length: 23'

Aluminum Gauge Tube: 0.091

Aluminum Gauge Nose Cone: 0.125

Deck Size: 8' 6" X 23'

Boat Weight: 2,290 lbs.

Max. Capacity: 3,600 lbs.

Engine: Evinrude 200 E-TEC

Propeller: 15 1/2 X 17

Max. HP: 250

0-20 mph:     4.87 seconds 

Top Speed: 42.3 mph 

RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.    DB-A                                     

500                  2.1                   80

1000                3.0                      82

1500                5.1                   86

2000                7.7                   92

2500                9.0                      92.5

3000                14.1                 95.5

3500                19.6                 97.5

4000                24.5                 103

4500                31.1                 103.5

5000                36.7                 107.5

5500                41.5                 108

6000                42.3                 110.5

JC Manufacturing, Inc.



  • Like what you read?

    Want to know when we have important news, updates or interviews?

  • Join our newsletter today!

    Sign Up
You Might Also Be Interested In...

Send to your friends!