Sweetwater 2286 AD Cruise

Published online: Jul 17, 2017 Boat Test Monday

 

This article originally appeared in our 2017 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more stories like this, click HERE to subscribe.  

First Impression

Obviously everyone has their own preference when it comes to color schemes, but most would agree the colors used on this Sweetwater work well together and are quite attractive.

Breakdown

From an exterior perspective the boat appears to just have navy blue side panels with a tan interior but once onboard you can see it actually offers a whole lot more. For starters, a navy accent stripe on the vinyl ties in well with the blue panels and there are several different shades in what Godfrey refers to as its Caramel color scheme. The dark gray wicker wrap on the seat bases is another nice added touch that gives the interior a solid balance of a variety of colors. It’s an option, but the Paja Beige flooring truly completes the look and provides a very open and clean feel to the boat.

There is one chaise lounge in the bow and the back rest is part of helm stand. There is a little gap between the seat base and the helm, but it’s nothing to be concerned about. Built into the helm console on the left side is an optional Lowrance Hook 3X FishFinder with access to your Marine Audio stereo controls below. We also like that close by is a USB/Auxiliary port and a 12-volt outlet.

For the captain is a comfortable helm chair that slides, swivels and reclines with moveable armrests. This area does include a glove box for the driver to place smaller personal items. Behind the helm is a standard L-shaped seating configuration with a table, providing plenty of great seating options to accommodate the maximum capacity rating of 13 people.    

For those needing a little more storage space, below the three-quarter sunpad is a great place to hide your deflated tubes or other water toys when not in use. This section could be upgraded to be a pop-up changing room, but as tested it’s a roomy storage box with the optional dual battery switch with trays inside.

As you make your way outside the stern gate you’ll find plenty of deck space and the aluminum five-step boarding ladder. This extra room is what gives it the “AD” name, which stands for Aft Deck, a new floorplan for 2017. In the stern is also where the optional ski/tow bar is mounted.

One other option worth noting is the quick release fender clips. Now there’s no excuse not to put your fenders out when you’re coming into the dock with this simple, easy-to-use clip that allows you to lock in your fenders.

Inspection

The base model includes 23-inch diameter pontoons but this particular model was upgraded to the Triple Tube package that includes 27-inch diameter pontoons for better flotation and handling.

Up top the height of the rail around the perimeter is an impressive 35 inches tall, which earned this boat a high safety rating.

Handling

New for 2017, this particular model has an increase in its maximum horsepower rating so we were excited to see how the Yamaha 200hp four-stroke would do with this triple pontoon hull. The results are a quick-to-plane, 45 mph boat that banks slightly in the sharp turns and is fun to drive, especially with the optional SeaStar hydraulic steering.

Final Thoughts

For those needing proof that a loaded pontoon with a 200hp engine can still be found under $50K, look no further than this Sweetwater. As tested this ‘toon comes with everything you need for a great day out on the water. It’s value-driven, yet still has those key features and added touches we’re accustomed to seeing on Godfrey pontoons.

Boat Specifications

Number of Occupants            13                   

Price As Tested With Power   $47.4 K

Maximum Speed                     45.6 mph                    

Wild Ponies                             200 hp

No. of Gates                           3

0-20 MPH                               5.51 seconds  

Ladder Measurement             4’ 3” deep

Why we love this boat…The thoughtful layout with a variety of colors and textures helps give this boat a high-end feeling while still keeping it at a friendly price point.  

Just being picky…Small layout issues like the table feeling a little too close to the seating area and the gap between the seat base and helm stand were really our only issues with this boat.  

NOTABLE STANDARDS

Bimini, playpen cover, drilled transom, 23-inch tubes, Bluetooth stereo w/ 2 speakers, 4 ss fixed cleats, ladder, capt. chair, cable steering, courtesy interior lighting, stern table, ivory base vinyl, silver anodized rail frame, carpet on bow/midship, and stern beige vinyl.

OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

Hook 3x fish finder, dual battery switch w/ trays, 27-inch triple tube pkg., 1 removable cupholder, full deck Paja Beige flooring, LED docking lights, LED underwater lights, quick-release fender locks and 1 additional ring, ski/tow bar, SeaStar power assists steering, Light It Up stereo system, upgraded steering wheel, and Caramel interior vinyl w/ wicker-wrapped seat boxes.

VITAL STATS

LOA                  23’ 2”             

Beam                 8’ 6”

Hull Design       Three Pontoons

Dry Weight       2,364 lbs.

Fuel Capacity    35 gallons

TEST DRIVE

Engine                                                             Yamaha F200LB

Cylinder Type                                                 Inline 4

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower           170.9ci/200hp

Lower Unit Gear Ratio                                   1.86:1

Propeller                                                          14 1/2 X 15

RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.    DB-A

1000                2.8                     82

1500                4.9                     82

2000                7.2                     85

2500                10.6                   87

3000                16.7                   92

3500                21.9                   97

4000                26.3                   101

4500                32.2                   104

5000                36.5                   104

5500                40.8                   105

6000                45.6                   109

 

ElkhartInd.

574-522-8381

www.sweetwaterboats.com