Crest 22 Caribbean SLX CP3
Performance Plus Edition
Our First Impression
If we had a “loungeability” category for our Shootout review,
this Caribbean would earn a perfect score.
This is a comfy and sporty-looking pontoon with plenty of great places to
stretch out and relax.
We’ve been on our share of Crest pontoons, but these new
2011 models are nothing like we’ve ever seen from this manufacturer before. We
can’t possibly offer enough high praise for the newly-designed Caribbean that includes unique and stylish outside railings
and a nice updated look and feel inside.
The SLX package includes the stern lounge area as well as
the two helm-like reclining chairs in the bow. What’s nice about the area in
aft is you can face either direction, although it was designed to be a dual
rear-facing setup. Below is one of the widest changing rooms we’ve ever seen.
Measuring at over six feet tall, it’s easy to operate, yet still stores compact
so you can use this area for storage as well.
Part of that “loungeability” are the two chaise lounges in
the bow, with storage below the laybacks as well as in the seat bases. The
chaise on the port side is not as long as the starboard version, but both are
still a favorable choice to sit. You might question what the seat material is
made of, but don’t let the marine-grade vinyl fool you; it just looks and feels
At the fiberglass helm is an attractive-looking console and
we like the built-in and perfectly centered Humminbird 365i depth/fish finder
that is just one of the many standards onboard. The helm seat, like the
identical captain chairs in the bow, is very comfy, but if we had to be picky,
an elevated helm station would help the driver be able to see over those two
chairs a little better. As is, the helm felt a little low and part of your view
could be blocked by a taller passenger sitting in those bow seats, but just
having those extra chairs is worth the tradeoff, and we know we’re just being
picky. The standard version of this boat with the radius bow lounges may be the
way to go.
Also worth noting is the fender and line storage box behind
the helm that can hold up to four, eight-inch buoys, the vinyl area on the swim
deck, the stainless steel extra-wide telescopic ladder, as well as the solid
stainless ski/tow bar
With the optional CP3 package you have three 26-inch diameter
HPT pontoons with the outside tubes using VTech technology for better handling.
There are lifting strakes on the center pontoon as well as on the insides of
the outer tubes to allow for better turning. All
three are chambered and the weld quality is excellent. The solid .250-inch
extruded square cross members are bolted to the plywood deck and the below-deck
wiring is well-protected and finished.
Above deck the craftsmanship is just as nice. From a safety
standpoint we love the solid gate panel design that helps make the boat a
little more family-friendly for those with younger children. Overall this Caribbean earned high marks for safety as well as construction
and fit and finish work.
With the Mercury Verado 200 we were pleasantly surprised by
how well this boat performed. She banks beautifully in the sharp turns and is
extremely responsive. We flirted with the 40-mile-per-hour mark at full
throttle and as far as the fun factor is concerned, this 22-footer is a blast!
Who Should Buy It
Rated for up to 15 people, there are plenty of great
lounging seats available for everyone. We love the comfort and look as well as
the performance of this newly-designed Crest and we think a lot of other people