This article originally appeared in our 2017 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more stories like this, click HERE to subscribe.
You can’t help but conjure up thoughts of racing when you factor in the Daytona model name on a PlayCraft that includes checkered NASCAR-themed graphics. Of course, when you have a reputation for building rocket-ship-type pontoons, racing is probably what comes to mind for a lot of consumers.
Being able to customize your boat is very important to a lot of consumers. Because PlayCraft’s furniture is all done in-house with over 50 different color combinations available, you can truly make your boat your own with the Infinity woven vinyl which is now standard on all its boats. On this particular model the purple accent color flows well with the white interior and it perfectly matches the color of the exterior as well as the beefy ski/tow bar in the stern.
At the helm is a very symmetrical console with easy-to-read SmartCraft gauges and the Infinity stereo unit, which is located directly in the center for easy access. To the right of the steering wheel is a 12-volt outlet and on the side of the helm stand are two lockable storage compartments with a USB/Auxiliary port inside one of them. It’s just us being picky, but since the 12-volt and USB/Aux seem to go together, we’d like to see the 12-volt outlet relocated to the side compartment or possibly just add a second one so your cords don’t have to cross the console.
For the captain there is a solid bucket helm chair with a flip-up bolster that provides added stability for when you’re diving into sharp turns. There are two chaise lounges in the bow and a third rear-facing one in the stern that is part of the L-shaped seating area.
Just outside the rear gate is one of our favorite features that no one does better—the patented PlayCraft boarding system. It has to be one of the easiest ways to get back on the boat from the water since two actual steps are built into the pontoon log and when you add the two-step ladder below, you’re nearly two feet deeper in the water when compared to other ladders.
Other key features include bow corner storage units, a 7-foot-long in-floor ski locker, a built-in trash receptacle and an upgraded vinyl floor that ties in well with the interior and is easier to clean and maintain over the lifetime of your boat.
Designed with performance in mind, the U-shaped pontoons with a drop center tube are braced well to the one-piece no seam deck floor using C-shaped cross-members that are on 16-inch centers for added strength.
Up top the rail height stands at a very family-friendly height of 28 inches tall around the perimeter and overall this boat earned high marks for its safe and well-built design.
Powered with a Mercury Verado Pro 250 four-stroke, the zero to 20 mph time of five seconds really impressed us. She dives beautifully into the sharp turns and at full throttle we easily reached the 50 mph mark. This is an exhilarating thrill ride, but because of its “over-built” and solid construction, you feel extremely safe and perfectly in control at all times.
You’re not given a reputation, you have to earn it—especially when that reputation is based on years of building up the performance pontoon industry. PlayCraft prides itself on building solid go-fast pontoons and it’s not just their legacy, but you could argue it’s in their DNA. This Daytona 2300 is a prefect reflection of that reputation.
Number of Occupants 12
Maximum Speed 53.8 mph
Wild Ponies 250 hp
No. of Gates 3
0-20 MPH 5.17 seconds
Ladder Measurement 4’5” deep
Why we love this boat…More than just a go-fast pontoon, there is a great mix of standard and optional features that help make this a comfortable and enjoyable pontoon.
Just being picky…We absolutely love the two lockable glove compartments on the side of the helm which includes a USB/Aux port. We’d just like to see a 12-volt outlet inside the compartment too.
Aluminum castings on all corners, 28” tall anodized aluminum rails, limited lifetime CCA 7-ply plywood on decks, corrosion-resistant fasteners, color-matched Bimini top, fuse protected wiring system, anti-feedback steering w/ tilt, selected Rotocast seat frames, courtesy lights, running lights, docking lights, Infinity stereo and 4 marine dual cone speakers, designer graphics, Milsco style capt. seat w/ slide adjuster, port and starboard front sofas w/ storage, full instrumentation, windshield and tilt wheel.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Ski/tow bar, two glove boxes, vinyl flooring, depth finder and hydraulic steering.
LOA 23’ 6”
Beam 8’ 6”
Hull Design Three Pontoons
Dry Weight 2,550 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 50 gallons
Engine Mercury Verado Pro 250
Cylinder Type Inline 6
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower 158ci/250hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio 1.85:1
Propeller 15 1/4 X 18
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
1000 4.5 76
1500 6.2 80
2000 8.0 86
2500 12.8 90
3000 19.5 89
3500 24.3 93
4000 31.3 102
4500 36.0 102
5000 40.1 103
5500 46.0 108
6275 53.8 118