Boat Test Monday: Avalon Paradise 2485 Elite

December 2012 Boat Test Monday Brady L. Kay
Every year, we meet up with some of the top manufactures in the pontoon and deck boat world to test their newest models. All of these reviews are compiled in a special Boat Test issue that comes out during the first part of the year. Here is one of the best 2011 models. Enjoy!

Our First Impression

We can always count on Avalon to go the extra mile with its high-end models, and this Paradise Elite is no exception. The loaded 24-footer is all about luxurious features, and when it comes to bells and whistles, nothing seems to be missing.  

 Consumer Test

The real eye-catcher on this particular boat is the Admiral's fiberglass and Corian helm station that is like nothing else on the market. Forward of the helm is a deep sink with a stainless faucet and beautiful stainless drawers that are as solid as they look. And with the simple press of a button, the electric wine rack raises up for easy access. Plus, on top of all of this, there is even a refrigerator below so you truly do have all the tools needed to entertain while out on the water.   

Below each of the three chaise lounges is unique storage, including a second wine rack as well as a full garbage can below the portside lounge in the bow. The Matrix 50 vinyl used on the beautifully textured seats is as durable as it is comfortable. Speaking of comfy seats, the fully adjustable helm chair is easy-to-operate and might just be the best seat onboard.

At the helm, the standard Garmin GPS with color maps is centered perfectly into the console and the gauges are all easy to read. Besides the Jensen stereo, the console is equipped with an MP3 jack as well as a memory stick input and even the four speakers have stainless covers.

Other key features worth noting include the deep and long in-floor storage locker, easy-to-use pop-up changing room enclosure below the double-wide sundeck, removable fiberglass table top, ski/tow bar and synthetic teak flooring in the swim deck area. The list just goes on and on. It's the little added touches like the polished aluminum bimini frame, stainless hardware used throughout and the high-quality craftsmanship that make the difference on this Paradise Elite.

 Inspection Test

Avalon calls its hull design the 5X7 performance package and it includes two 25-inch diameter pontoons and a 27-inch diameter center tube. Each is chambered with a keel, and there are lifting strakes on both sides of all three pontoons. The square cross-members are on 24-inch centers in the bow and 16-inch centers near the transom for added strength, and these are all bolted to the plywood deck. From the welding quality to the protected wires, the undercarriage earned high marks for craftsmanship.

From inside the bow gate to the rear bench seat there is over 16 feet of usable deck space. One unique feature with the aluminum-framed seat bases is the vents on the inside that allow fresh air to circulate from the outside. All the hidden areas are well-finished and the craftsmanship throughout the boat is outstanding.

Performance Test

With the SeaStar power-assist steering you truly get finger-tip control, which of course makes this Avalon a fun boat to drive. Sharp turns were not a problem for this 24-footer and because the boat is so responsive we felt very safe and in control at all times. With the Evinrude E-TEC 250 HO outboard we nearly reached the 50 mile per hour mark, which only helped increase our appreciation for the overall performance of this boat.

 Who Should Buy It

For those looking for the "wow" factor, this boat is worthy of a closer look. Of course a couple who love to do some serious entertaining would love this boat, but with the performance capabilities don't forget about the stainless steel ski/tow bar in the stern.

Alma, Mich.

Phone: 800-334-2913


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