SunChaser Eclipse 8523 Entertainer

September 2016 Boat Test Monday PDB Staff

This article originally appeared in our 2016 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more stories like this, click HERE to subscribe. 

Three Things

With the Entertainer port bar with four stools, extended stern swim platform, and its X-treme PR25 Performance package, there is a lot to love on this mid-level model. 

Breakdown

Starting at the raised helm console, there is a full range of easy-to-read lighted gauges and toggle switches. Plus, you have great access to your Infinity Bluetooth stereo controls, 12-volt outlet and MP3 plug so you can keep the music going with the two speakers in the front and two more in the back. Note that there are a total of five permanent cupholders onboard with three of them being within reach of the captain, but if we had to be picky we would like to see a built-in spot for our devices when plugged in.

Across from the helm is the entertainment center that tends to attract a lot of positive attention. For starters, the bar table is raised so you feel comfortable when sitting at one of the four bar stools positioned on both sides. We especially like the back support on the stools which, besides comfort, also provides a distinctive look. Up top there is an electric faucet and sink as well another 12-volt outlet. Below the table the netted compartments give you additional space and we love the location of the trash can on the corner that is easy to use and right where it should be.

Continuing back towards the stern, there is a comfy rear-facing lounge seat with great padding. Maybe it’s just the color scheme, but for whatever reason these seats feel extra relaxing and very inviting. Outside the rear gate is a large swim deck that even includes a handhold to assist with boarding when using the upgraded four-step stainless ladder. The ski pylon is also an option and it easily stores away when not needed. Other key options include a full synthetic vinyl teak flooring (aft Sea Weeve is standard), Babbito lighting and a 10-foot Bimini top that covers a good portion of this nearly 24-foot long pontoon.

In the stern are two more chaise lounges (equally as comfortable as the rest of the plush seating) with a hidden pop-up changing room built into the back of the port-side one that stands just over 5 feet tall. 

Inspection

With the X-treme PR25 Performance package you gain three 25-inch diameter pontoons with lifting strakes on both sides of the center .100 gauge aluminum tube, and strakes on the insides of the outer tubes. Up top from inside the gates there is over 20 feet of usable deck space and it’s worth noting that all three gates are 30 inches wide for easy boarding. At 27 inches tall, the rail height throughout the boat is very family-friendly, which helped earn the boat an overall high safety rating. 

Handling

At full throttle we reached speeds near the 40-mph mark with the Yamaha 200hp four-stroke on the back. Options like the aluminum skin below deck and the larger diameter pontoons help provide a smooth and comfortable ride. She slightly banks in tight turns and for a mid-level pontoon handles well. 

Final Thoughts

Rated for up to 12 passengers, this SunChaser is built to entertain and would be ideal for the couple or family who enjoys cruising around, but likes on occasion to do some water sport type activities. It wasn’t designed to be a go-fast thrill-seeking pontoon, yet for the price and power it can hold its own. We love the value it brings with well-thought-out amenities and a solid list of standard features that are sure to put smiles on those you welcome aboard.

2016 Boat Specifications

Number of Occupants            12                   

Maximum Speed                     36.7 mph                    

Wild Ponies                             200 hp

No. of Gates                           3

0-20 MPH                               6.15 seconds  

Ladder Measurement             4’ 3” deep 

Why we love this boat…Rightfully so, the focus of this Entertainer model is the elevated bar table with a sink and faucet and four solid bar stools. It’s perfect for relaxing and having a good time.   

Just being picky…The console has the electronic hookups needed to power your music and phone, but lacks a convenient place for your device while plugged in.  

NOTABLE STANDARDS

Galley, rear-entry vinyl, 22 oz. Sculptured carpet, fiberglass console w/ cooler storage, windscreen, auxiliary port for MP3 player, AM/FM stereo, speakers, changing room, rear-entry boarding ladder, 12 V receptacle, table w/ cup holders, Rotocast furniture bases. 

OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

X-treme Performance Pkg., 20-inch shaft, playpen cover, full synthetic teak flooring, hydraulic, stainless steel ladder, ski pylon, Babbito lighting, 30-inch gate seat, 10-foot Bimini top and performance shield. 

VITAL STATS

LOA                  23’ 10”           

Beam                 8’ 6”

Hull Design       Three Pontoons

Dry Weight       2100 lbs.

Fuel Capacity    60 gallons 

TEST DRIVE

Engine                                                             Yamaha 200   

Cylinder Type                                                 Inline 4

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower           170ci/200hp

Lower Unit Gear Ratio                                   1.86:1

Propeller                                                          13 X 15 SS Reliance 

RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.    DB-A

800                  3.0                     75

1000                3.6                     75

1500                5.5                     77

2000                7.2                     76

2500                9.1                     75

3000                12.4                   77

3500                16.0                   85

4000                20.7                   86

4500                26.0                   83

5000                29.7                   87

5500                34.4                   90

5800                36.7                   94

 

New ParisInd.

888-767-9023

www.sunchaserboats.com

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