This article originally appeared in our 2017 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more stories like this, click HERE to subscribe.
On this Qwest, luxury comes standard. A lot of the boat’s best features are not upgrades, but rather just part of the impressive list of included amenities. It’s easy to see why this new series is now considered the manufacturer’s top-of-the-line.
For the new model year the fiberglass helm stand with a fiberglass side control panel and updated console has been released and includes a built-in Humminbird Helix 5 GPS. The helm also includes an Infinity stereo, RAM Mounts cell phone holder, a 12-volt outlet and USB/Auxiliary port, storage compartment for the driver and a tilt steering wheel. There is even a refrigerated cupholder for the captain, which is very impressive. On the side is a built-in place for more electronics like an iPad with another 12-volt outlet.
For those concerned about the battery being overloaded, don’t be. There is a voltage sensing relay (VSR) for the dual batteries (one house battery and one starter battery). Regardless of how much you run your stereo at the sandbar, you’ll always have power to start the engine and the VSR automatically regulates the charge to the battery that needs it.
Dual helm chairs with tall seat backs ensure both the captain and the first mate will be comfortable, and just behind the captain’s chair is the DS Bar. There is plenty of counter space on top with two cupholders and below is a pull-out cutting board, drawer with knife storage and a removable cooler.
Continuing to the back, there is a third helm chair directly across from a rear-facing lounger with a pop-up table in between. Before you go out the stern gate there is a high-pressure washdown, and of course it too is part of that long list of standard features.
On the rear deck the rear-facing bench seat feels more like your back porch at home and we love that below is a very large storage box.
The new 5-step boarding ladder is extra wide with great handholds and with the large ski/tow bar it will get plenty of good use.
Other “standard enhancements” include a battery shut-off switch, multiple 12-volt outlets, Comfort Touch linen-textured vinyl seating and lighted LED cupholders. Plus the Avanti series comes standard with a six-speaker stereo system with a 10-inch subwoofer under the helm and a class D amplifier. Also standard is Infinity Weave woven vinyl flooring but on this particular model it was upgraded to the vinyl teak-looking deck.
Three 24-inch diameter pontoons are made of .90-gauge aluminum and include lifting strakes on all three and have been extended this year to support even more weight in the stern. Up top there is nearly 17 feet of deck space inside the gates and the new rigid wall design with a horizontal truss center rail stands a safe and consistent 27 inches tall around the entire boat.
When you upgrade to its Triple Tube package you really do get everything you need, including a full-length center tube with lifting strakes, a full aluminum underskin, U-Flex hydraulic steering, a PTM mirror from Protomet, trim gauge, and a built-in 35-gallon fuel tank. The result of these upgrades plus the Honda 150hp four-stroke on the back is a great performing pontoon. The acceleration was smooth and gradual as we powered up to speeds near the 40 mph mark at full throttle and the turns were nice and flat.
With Qwest you never have to worry about quality because these boats are solid and extremely well-built. We appreciate the added touches that help make the boat feel more like home and we love that the majority of those comforts do come standard.
Number of Occupants 12
Maximum Speed 36.5 mph
Wild Ponies 150 hp
No. of Gates 3
0-20 MPH 6.69 seconds
Ladder Measurement 4’ 6” deep
Why we love this boat…Deluxe bar, refrigerated cupholder, wash down, ski/tow bar, the list goes on and on and surprisingly this is just a glimpse of all the standard features.
Just being picky…A lot is packed into this 23-footer, but it would be nice if there were a little more room to stretch out on the three chaise lounges onboard.
Deluxe all-fiberglass helm stand/side control panel, Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar Color Combination GPS/FishFinder, Infinity PRV350 stereo system w/ 3.5-inch color screen/Bluetooth audio/MP3 plug, universal cell phone mount, charging station w/ 2 USB connectors, refrigerated capt. cupholder, dry storage tube, DS Bar station w/ portable Qwest cooler, fold-down table, hand-crafted upholstery w/ Comfort Touch linen-textured vinyl, Infinity Weave woven vinyl flooring, ski/tow bar, new rigid wall construction w/ horizontal truss center rail/bump guard, 9-foot Bimini top, and 25-gallon motor mount fuel tank w/ dash fuel gauge.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Gen. II Triple Tube Pkg. (center tube, lifting strakes, full aluminum underskin, hydraulic steering, PTM mirror, trim gauge, and 35-gallon fuel tank), full teak flooring upgrade, Saltwater Pkg., and playpen cover.
LOA 23’ 8”
Beam 8’ 1”
Hull Design Three Pontoons
Dry Weight 2,650 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 35 gallons
Engine Honda BF150A2XA
Cylinder Type 4 cylinder
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower 144ci/150hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio 2.14:1
Propeller 14 3/4 X 16
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
1000 2.7 81
1500 4.5 77
2000 6.1 78
2500 7.9 86
3000 10.9 86
3500 14.9 87
4000 18.5 86
4500 22.0 88
5000 25.2 89
5500 28.1 91
6300 36.5 98
St. Louis, Mich.