Sometimes, all it takes is a first encounter with a boat owner to realize how impressed and excited they are about their boat. That's exactly what I saw the first time I talked with Tim Galante. He and his wife, Mary, recently bought a 24-foot Sylvan Mirage 8524, which came equipped with a 115hp Mercury four-stroke engine. This sharp-looking Sylvan is the second boat they have owned. Their first boat? A Sylvan, of course. It's common knowledge that when you have something great, it only makes sense to stay with it. For Tim, there was nothing greater than a Sylvan, and he was more than happy to let me know all about it.
Tim loves spending his time with his family at their cottage in West Bend, Wis., which is home to Big Cedar Lake with 932 square-acres of fishing, family and just plain old fun. When Tim and Mary decided to purchase the family's first boat, they went through Tom Keith at Keith's Marina, a family-owned business. Tom is one of the five brothers who equally owns the business and he helped the Galante family find the right boat for them.
“Tom helped us into our first Sylvan,” recalls Tim. “I grew up in the city, so I never had a boat before. He took us to an older used boat and told us, ‘you start here, and go up the ladder;’”
Tom helped the Galantes with every step of the sale and beyond. In fact, he delivered the boat, has a same-day response team to help with any problems the boat may face and even helps store the boat during the harsh Wisconsin winter months.
As the family began to grow, Tim found his first Sylvan to be too small to accommodate the expanding family get-togethers. Another trip to Keith's Marina was the right answer to their problem. Tom again took care of every detail of the new boat purchase. Tim and Mary were led to the Sylvan Mirage, a floor model in the show room at Keith’s and it was the perfect fit for the family. The greatly increased size also came with increased power. The 115hp Mercury engine was the power the Galante's needed for tube pulling, plus an optional tow/bar was installed.
With great fishing at Big Cedar Lake, a fish-finder was also added, and for a little extra flair, a flag pole was mounted as well.
“Tom has always been very fair and has given me really excellent service,” says Tim. “I really liked everything about the boat. The only mistake I made was I never told my wife I was getting the boat. It was a really good thing she loved it!”
A Slow-Starting Summer
Tim and Mary had finally found the perfect platform for all of their summer family occasions. Unfortunately, as Tim put it to me, West Bend was in a “perpetual winter” this spring and time on the water was greatly limited. This hasn't, however, stopped the family from soaking up every warm minute on the water that they can find.
Mary celebrated a close friend's birthday back in June and although they didn't dip their toes in the frigid 60 degree water, they still had a great time. After a slow start, the Galante's were able to get back on the water at Big Cedar and are currently enjoying a great summer. With the ski/tow bar installed, it didn’t take long before the grandchildren were jumping over wakes in their tubes, and with the fish-finder, the fishing has never been better. If it wasn't for the care and amazing help given at Keith's Marina, the close bond of the Galante family, and the greatness found in a Sylvan pontoon, none of the family's fun on the water could have been possible. For now the family is extremely happy with their decision to upgrade to a larger pontoon and chances are good that when the time comes to buy again, they’ll be looking for another Sylvan.
Sylvan Mirage 8524
The Mirage 8524 Cruise LZ pontoon boat offers serious relaxation and comfort. With four-sided wrap around seating, a spacious deck area and plenty of space for play or entertaining, the Mirage 8524 Cruise LZ will let you stretch out and relax while slicing through the water with the great ride you expect from a Sylvan pontoon. The suggested retail price is under $34K and that includes a Mercury 115hp engine.
8524 LZ Specifications
LOA: 25’ 10”
Beam: 8’ 6”
Dry Weight: 2,380 lbs.
Max HP: 150
Fuel Capacity: 30 gals.
Person Capacity: 13
Max Capacity: 2,425 lbs.
Pontoon Diameter: 25”
Pontoon Gauge: .080 inches