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
We love getting our hands on brand new models that are just being released, especially when the pontoon is built by a solid company like G3 Boats that prides itself on safety and quality. After a quick first impression, we knew this Sun Catcher wouldn’t disappoint.
As you step onto this boat, there is just something very inviting about the interior. From the non-skid marine grade vinyl flooring to the tan soft-touch vinyl seating, the simplicity of the layout is welcoming. There are two forward-facing and two rear-facing lounges onboard, plus we love the identical helm chair for the first mate that slides, swivels and reclines for total comfort.
Rated for up to 12 people, there really isn’t an uncomfortable seat on the entire boat. If we had to be picky, adding an accent color or fabric inlay to the vinyl seats might improve the high-end feel, but overall the seats are all comfortable and that’s what truly matters.
As tested, this particular model has zero options so everything you see comes standard including the custom fiberglass reinforced console with G3 multi-function blue back-lit gauges and a flush mount Garmin Echo 200 Fish Finder that is centered in the dash. There are controls on the console for your Sony stereo that is satellite and Bluetooth capable and we love that the main stereo unit is protected from the elements under the helm. There is also a hand-held stereo remote so you can control your music from any seat onboard. Besides a tilt steering wheel with power steering, the captain will also appreciate all the storage compartments that are built into the helm that are ideal for keys and wallets.
Speaking of storage, there are a ton of options on this Sun Catcher including the in-floor ski locker that has an extra wide opening and nearly 8 feet of room inside. Other key features worth noting include the pop-up changing room that is built into the back of the portside bow lounger (and is over 6 feet tall when open) and a removable ski/tow pylon that stores away nicely when not being used.
Built on three 23- by 25-inch diameter flotation filled U-shaped logs with lifting strakes, the solid hull includes an all-aluminum motor pod and a full-length performance shield. Each pontoon is made from .100 gauge aluminum with the nosecones being constructed of .200 gauge. The redesigned nose cones include heavy gauge spray deflectors and overall undercarriage earned high marks by our inspection crew for its well-built and well-executed design.
Up top there is nearly 20 feet of usable deck space from inside the gates and overall we consider this to be a very safe and family-friendly pontoon, especially considering the tall and consistent rail height of over 27 inches throughout the boat.
Rated for up to a 225hp engine, with this hull you might not need anything bigger than the Yamaha 150 that we tested. She’s got a quick burst of speed and at full throttle we reached speeds over 35 mph. The turns were nice and flat and at no time did we feel unsafe, which only added to our safety rating. G3 Boats is a Yamaha-owned company, but all things being equal, we feel this Yamaha 150 is the ideal fit for the new Sun Catcher.
Well-built and family-friendly are possibly the boats best two characteristics. We love the comfort, the long list of standard features, as well as all of the storage capabilities on this great performing Sun Catcher.
Number of Occupants 12
Price As Tested With Power $43.5K
Maximum Speed 36.3 mph
Wild Ponies 150hp
No. of Gates 3
0-20 MPH 5.1 seconds
Ladder Measurement 3’ 1” deep
Why we love this boat…This is a classy and sophisticated pontoon that is well-built and safe, especially for those families with young children.
Just being picky…The interior is inviting and the seating is extremely comfortable, but it would be nice to see some accent colors worked into the vinyl seating.
Three jumbo 23” X 25” .100 gauge performance logs with closed cell flotation foam, upgraded heavy duty all aluminum welded motor pod, 38-gallon built-in fuel tank w/ EPA diurnal system, two 12-volt accessory outlets, breakers instead of fuses, fire extinguisher, removable ski/tow, 2 chaise lounge style couches with under seat storage, two rear lounges, marine grade vinyl flooring, contoured bimini top w/ boot, center log storage, tilt wheel, Sony satellite compatible AM/FM CD stereo, iPod/MP3 jack & USB port, 4-step boarding ladder, flush mount Garmin Echo 200 Fish Finder and privacy enclosure in front lounge arm.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
LOA 22’ 6”
Beam 8’ 6”
Hull Design Tri-Log U-Shape 23 X 25
Dry Weight 2680 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 38 gallons
Engine Yamaha F150
Cylinder Type In-Line 4
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower 163ci/150hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio 2.0:1
Propeller Turbo 14 1/4 X 13 Ultima 4
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
900 2.8 80
1000 3.2 77.5
1500 5.1 84
2000 6.9 84.5
2500 9.0 88
3000 11.7 91.5
3500 16.9 92
4000 22.2 101
4500 26.3 106
5000 28.6 104.5
5500 32.2 106
6000 35.3 110
6200 36.3 111