This article originally appeared in our 2017 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more stories like this, click HERE to subscribe.
Avalon somehow found a way to improve on its already impressive line of luxury pontoons with this all-new model. Every square inch of this 27-footer is packed with high-end features and amenities that quickly grabbed our full attention.
Starting with the exterior, the two-tone Deco walls with retro-looking air vents flow perfectly with the massive sport tower. This is an attractive boat, but the real excitement is inside. We love the symmetrical layout that includes the Quad Lounge or QL floorplan and a full wraparound windshield. In the bow are two chaise lounges with two more in the stern that are part of the new design for 2017. All the seat bases are on aluminum frames that provide more storage room below and the soft and plush Matrix 50 vinyl is incredibly soft to the touch and extremely comfortable.
With the twin helm layout you gain identical high-back captain’s chairs and our favorite feature is the look of the fully-loaded dash console. There is a great variety of gauges including a GPS speedometer and on the left side of the console is access to the JL Audio stereo and on the right is where you’ll find the Garmin echoMAP. There is also a 12-volt outlet, USB/Auxiliary port and plenty of rocker switches to control your accessories.
Everywhere we looked we seemed to find more JL speakers including the wake tower that has a pair built into the side as well as large swiveling speakers in the center. On this particular model all the speakers as well as the cupholders light up with blue LED lighting to improve the ambiance, especially at night.
Behind the helm is another great seating area that is equally as comfortable as the bow section and outside the stern gate are two fiberglass pods that function as storage trunks. The swim deck is large in size and includes a four-step telescopic stainless boarding ladder with great handholds plus a large ski/tow bar. The motor pod has also been redesigned for the new year to be more compact and efficient.
Other key features include upgraded vinyl flooring, an extremely deep and long in-floor ski locker and double-panel construction so no rails are visible from either side.
The Triple Waveglider 25-inch diameter pontoons include high performance lifting fins, plus a side protector keel for added protection and an aluminum skin.
Up top, the rail height ranges from nearly 27 inches tall around the majority of the boat to the 23-inch stern gate. There are two entryways—all with solid easy-to-use stainless latches—and from the bow gate to the stern gate there is over 20 feet of usable deck space. Overall our inspection crew gave this Avalon a high score for being a well-built pontoon with a family-friendly design.
Equipped with Avalon’s X-treme Turning package (AXT) that includes four lifting fins, power assist steering and a ski/tow bar, this ‘toon handles very well. With the Suzuki 250hp SS outboard we easily reached the 40 mph mark at full throttle and considering its size, we were pleasantly surprised that we were able to go from zero to 20 mph in just five seconds. Of course this just means the sporty-looking wakeboard tower and ski/tow bar are going to get used a lot!
Rated for up to 16 passengers, this boat has plenty of comfortable seats for everyone onboard. While the price tag as tested is not for every budget, everyone can agree this Catalina Platinum is an impressive boat from top to bottom. When you step onboard you truly enter a world of luxury with the right balance of standard amenities and optional upgrades.
2017 Boat Specifications
Number of Occupants 16
Maximum Speed 41.9 mph
Wild Ponies 250 hp
No. of Gates 2
0-20 MPH 5.03 seconds
Ladder Measurement 3’ 8” deep
Why we love this boat…Sporty and luxurious, we love the high-end feel of this fully-loaded pontoon that includes an impressive sound system.
Just being picky…For being such a long boat we would like to have seen a changing room incorporated into the layout, but really that’s about all it’s missing.
Commander fiberglass helm stand w/ raised platform, passenger port console, full metal-framed tempered glass windshield with folding center walk-through, two Admiral high back reclining chairs, Infinity PRV250BT stereo, Garmin 53DV color Fishfinder/depth finder/GPS, Burano steering wheel w/ black pearlwood accents, tilt steering, lighted flow-through air vents, LED accent dock lights built into walls, interior mood lighting, lighted fixed cupholders, smoked glass curved table, Matrix 50 Soft Touch seat vinyl, suspension seating, Deco designer seat frames base cladding, Deco removable cupholders, and a 29-gallon remote fill transom mount tank.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
AXT high performance triple pontoons w/ 4 lifting fins, power assist steering, ski/tow bar, 45-gallon center fuel tank, in-floor ski storage, Premium Sound System, full BTT soft vinyl floor, rub rail blue lighting, Deco wakeboard arch w/ Bimini top, Canister high power arch-mounted speakers, buckskin vinyl pkg., side protector keels, extended rear deck platform, and double-bolted hat channel crossbeams.
LOA 27’ 6”
Beam 8’ 6”
Hull Design Three Pontoons
Dry Weight 3,300 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 45 gallons
Engine Suzuki DF TLSS 250
Cylinder Type V6
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower 254ci/250hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio 2.29:1
Propeller 16 X 20 SST
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
700 2.2 75
1000 4.8 77
1500 7.2 81
2000 9.5 84
2500 11.7 89
3000 18.5 90
3500 22.0 93
4000 26.0 93
4500 29.8 96
5000 34.7 99
5500 39.8 102
5800 41.9 107