Sylvan 8524 Mirage Entertainer

Published online: Jul 24, 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

We often talk about boats passing the “eye test” when we first see them. When you approach this pontoon for the first time you can’t help but do a double take when you see the price. This Sylvan easily passes the eye test and the overall look invites you in as you’ll be begging to see more.

Breakdown

For those craving a few custom touches, Sylvan has you covered. It starts with the exterior panels where the consumer can choose from seven color choices for the dominant color plus the stripe in between. On this particular model the panel was the new Wave Blue color, which we really like.

Inside the boat you’re greeted by optional sea weave flooring, which is just one of the many different floor options available to choose from. Good news: the plush seating that includes a chaise lounge in the bow and another one directly across from the helm is as comfortable as it looks. Built into the back of the rear-facing chaise is a great space-saving pop-up changing room that stands just shy of 5 feet tall when open.

With the optional LES package you gain a lot of key features and upgrades that make a huge difference overall. For example, at the fiberglass helm stand is a good-looking console centered on the optional Helix 5 Humminbird GPS that is built-in and part of the upgrade. Chrome-accented and lighted gauges help tie in the look and included with the Bluetooth-capable Infinity stereo is a 12-volt outlet as well as a USB/Auxiliary port.

We’ve always felt strongly that the captain should have the most comfortable seat onboard so that’s why we love the high-back helm chair that slides, swivels and reclines. It’s actually one of three identical helm chairs onboard with a second one directly behind the captain near the bar table.

This boat is called the Entertainer for a reason and the stern bar table is sure to lure people in. Two high-back helm chairs on one side help create a nice conversation area and on the outside of the gate is a rear bar stool for the other side. Built into the table is a deep insulated cooler along with a built-in trash receptacle with cupholders on top. The stern deck has been extended so there is plenty of extra room for the four-step stainless boarding ladder. It’s important to note the massive ski/tow bar has been mounted below the deck for added support which is actually quite impressive. 

Inspection

At the base of this pontoon are two optional RPT tubes that are V-shaped at the bottom to help provide quicker lift as well as increase the top speed. Inside the boat between the gates there is over 17 feet of deck space, which means those who prefer extra room outside the gates will appreciate this layout at either end.

The well-built pontoon also comes with a Lifetime Warranty +6 that includes a limited lifetime warranty on the hull and structure, plus a six-year warranty on everything else.  

Handling

Powered by a Mercury 150 four-stroke outboard, we just missed the 35 mph mark at full throttle. The RPT pontoon hull helps with the fuel efficiency and according to the manufacturer the tube design increases your top speed by 3 to 5 mph when compared to standard logs. She’s quick to plane and turns well for a two-logged boat.

Final Thoughts

We discovered a lot of great features—both standard and optional—that really embrace the value-driven theme of this Sylvan. It really is an attractive-looking pontoon centered on comfort and entertaining that a lot of consumers will want to explore for themselves.

Boat Specifications 

Number of Occupants            14                   

Maximum Speed                     34.6 mph      

Price As Tested With Power   $38.3K              

Wild Ponies                             150 hp

No. of Gates                           3

0-20 MPH                               5.50 seconds  

Ladder Measurement             3’ 7” deep

Why we love this boat…Whenever you can couple a high-end look with a value-based price it’s a good thing. The layout is ideal for entertaining.

Just being picky…Love the space-saving pop-up changing room; we just feel it should be a little taller to accommodate more people. 

NOTABLE STANDARDS

Rear bar area and high-back helm chairs, pop-up changing room, full fiberglass helm stand, chaise lounge and RPT tubes.

OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

Underdeck ski/tow, bar stool outside rail, sea weave floor, LES pkg. (furniture upgrade, console upgrade, exterior graphic, gray interior theme, lighted cupholders, underwater lighting, underdeck lights, 10-foot Bimini top, and Helix 5 GPS).

VITAL STATS

LOA                  25’ 10”           

Beam                 8’ 6”

Hull Design       Two RPT Pontoons

Dry Weight       2,471 lbs.

Fuel Capacity    30 gallons

TEST DRIVE

Engine                                                             Mercury 150

Cylinder Type                                                 Inline 4

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower           183ci/150hp

Lower Unit Gear Ratio                                   1.92:1

Propeller                                                          15.6 X 13 Stainless Enersia

RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.    DB-A

600                  2.6                     79

1000                3.8                     84

1500                5.3                     86

2000                7.3                     81

2500                10.2                   84

3000                13.9                   95

3500                19.1                   94

4000                21.8                   92

4500                25.1                   91

5000                27.5                   93

5600                34.8                   99

 

New ParisInd.

866-766-9698

www.sylvanmarine.com