This article originally appeared in our 2014 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing this in print along with 25 other boat reviews, click HERE to purchase the back issue.
What You Need To Know
Known in this industry for building a wide selection of great pontoon boats, with this Ambassador it appears Avalon took the best of what it has to offer and merged it all together to create the ultimate boat.
First impressions start with the exterior, and this ‘toon gets off to a favorable start with a stylish mix of Deco 2 two-tone aluminum walls, a unique rail pattern, plus the eye-catching Decosport wakeboard tower that includes two large speakers, wakeboard rack and a permanent canvas top. There is even a PA system for the tower speakers which allow you to talk to your skiers or tubers.
There is a very high-end feel as you step aboard and make your way through the 27-foot boat. Below the comfy seating that uses exclusive Matrix 50 vinyl are aluminum seat bases that give you tremendous storage space and we love that the storage compartments are all ventilated. There are two chaise lounges in the bow, plus a third chaise located across from the helm station for the first mate that we felt was a great idea. But as comfy as these lounges are, the rear-facing ones in the stern are going to be the two most popular seats onboard. With these rear loungers you have a stereo remote, lighted LED cup holders and our favorite feature is the electric controls that will take the lounger from a flat position to a comfortable reclined angle with just a push of a button. Also in the stern is an extended swim deck with a stainless steel boarding ladder as well as a solid ski/tow bar.
At the helm is everything you need, right at your finger tips including access to the Jensen stereo with Auxiliary and USB ports, a Garmin GPS, plus full instrumentation and switches. Just forward of the helm is a fully-loaded entertainment center that includes a low-draw, 4 amp electric fridge, two stainless steel drawers as well as a full sink and faucet. Plus with just a push of a button, a retractable wine rack with glasses emerges from the unit which is a great way to store these items when you’re not using them.
Other key features worth noting include the large in-floor ski locker that is over 5 feet long inside, high-end Faux Teak decking and a pop-up enclosure that is built into the rear-facing lounger. All of the features included as tested help give this boat a high family-friendly rating.
Avalon refers to its high-performance package as the Triple Waveglider. The 25-inch diameter pontoons have high performance lifting fins on both sides of all three tubes for a total of six, plus a side keel for added protection. The .190 hat-shaped cross members are also beefed up to add strength to the boat. Up top the heavy-duty and overbuilt theme continues, as our test crew reported all the hidden areas are well-finished.
Having a 300 horsepower engine on the back tells you two things: this boat is well-built because it can support the power and second, it can really move. With the Mercury Verado 300 we went from zero to 20 mph in just under five and a half seconds and at full throttle we reached speeds over 40 miles per hour.
As tested, this loaded Ambassador pontoon appears to have everything you’d need for a great day on the water. Maybe a few more permanent cup holders would be nice, but nothing really stands out as missing from this Avalon. As far as construction and quality, we consider this to be a well-built boat.
Number of Occupants 14
Maximum Speed 44.2 mph
Wild Ponies 300hp
No. of Gates 3
0-20 MPH 5.4 seconds
Ladder Measurement 4’ deep
Why we love this boat…The electric-powered lounges, first mate chaise bench, full entertainment center, etc. The list of great features goes on and on.
Just being picky…The latch on the bow gate is safe and family-friendly, but we did experience some minor rattles with it. However, overall this is a solid pontoon.
Waveglider High 25” diameter performance pontoons, Deco 2 two-tone walls, twin electric rear recliner lounges, 4” raised helm stand, SS Logo speakers, SeaStar hydraulic tilt steering, Garmin 50s color GPS, Jensen JMS2212 iPod Stereo w/ Aux & USB, privacy station, ski/tow bar, dual battery switch, faux teak front and rear decks, suspension seating, deco carpet, Matrix 50 seat vinyl, admirals high back reclining, SST docking lights built into walls and Corian top prep center w/ sink,
SST drawers, electric wine rack and DC refrigerator.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Decosport tower, premium sound, shore power inverter, under rub rail lights, underwater lights, solid bottom keels, wash down kit, in-floor ski storage and tower speakers.
LOA 29’ 3”
Beam 8’ 6”
Hull Design Triple Performance Pontoons
Dry Weight 4,400 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 45 gallons
Engine Mercury Verado 300
Cylinder Type In-line 6
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower 158ci/300hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio 1.75:1
Propeller Enerita SS 15 X 15
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
600 1.9 60.5
1000 3.1 74.5
1500 4.8 76.5
2000 7.1 83.5
2500 9.7 80
3000 13.1 86
3500 17.0 91.5
4000 21.8 94.5
4500 25.7 96
5000 29.9 99.5
5500 33.8 102
6000 38.1 102.5
6700 44.2 104.5