Sylvan S3 Extreme

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

High-end amenities, sporty design and over-the-top comfort are just the beginning when trying to summarize this S3 Extreme. 


It’s hard to place where the focus for this high-end luxury pontoon should be. You could make a strong case for the rear-facing loungers and stern area or possibly even the sporty wakeboard tower, but for us we’re going to start at the elevated helm console. You not only feel protected from the elements behind this fiberglass helm stand, but you also feel a little powerful and in complete control. Don’t worry, we won’t let the power go to our heads, but there’s just a high-end feel to this console that we absolutely love. From the easy-to-read gauges to the well-labeled rocker switches below, everything is easily accessible. On the far right of the dash is the Polk Audio Bluetooth stereo with a 12-volt receptacle as well as MP3/USB port close by. Speaking of music, this would probably be the best time to mention the 10 total speakers onboard including the dual subwoofers and two large speakers mounted on the wakeboard tower. Impressive!

For the captain there is a comfortable helm chair that slides, swivels and reclines. And good news! There is an identical chair directly across for the first-mate. Just behind those dual chairs are two extremely comfortable rear loungers with fold down arm rests; good luck trying to figure out which seat is the most comfortable on this Sylvan. Outside the stern gate are two jump seats, a tall ski pylon and a four-step boarding ladder that reaches over 4 feet deep into the water for easier boarding. 

In the bow are two chaise lounges with a pop-up changing room built into the back of the portside one. There are good storage options below these seats, but with the batteries being located below one of the rear loungers it might be nice to add an in-floor ski locker for your water toys.

Sometimes it’s the little added touches that can make the biggest impression and that might just be the case with the upholstery. Sylvan has added trim color packages for the seating and on this particular model the Arctic Blue accents complete the look the manufacturer was going for. One other key feature we love is the Seagrass flooring that only adds to the high-end feel. 


With the PR25 Performance package you gain a .100 gauge aluminum center tube with lifting strakes, RPT outside pontoons, aluminum underskin, hydraulic steering, as well as a ski pylon. The RPT pontoons are V-shaped and painted black, which will keep the tubes looking clean year after year. One quick note: the center pontoon houses the 60-gallon fuel tank, which equals more time on the water between fill-ups.

Between the gates there is around 20 feet of deck space inside the boat and the rail height for the majority of the pontoon stands at a very family-friendly height of over 27 inches tall. 


This Sylvan isn’t just about looking good; when you put the throttle down on the Mercury 250 Pro you better be ready…ready for some fun. The combination of the power and the performance hull that was released last year provided a great thrill ride that included an impressive zero-to-20-mph time of less than five seconds and a top speed in the mid 40s. We can’t say enough about how well this pontoon handles. 

Final Thoughts

This Sylvan is the real deal. It not only looks sporty, but performs well and is extremely inviting. The more we looked, the more we liked.

2016 Boat Specifications  

Number of Occupants            11                   

Maximum Speed                     43.4 mph                    

Wild Ponies                             250 hp

No. of Gates                           3

0-20 MPH                               4.82 seconds  

Ladder Measurement             4’ 3” deep 

Why we love this boat…If you’re going to design a sporty-looking performance boat it better be able to back it up and this Sylvan clearly does and then some. 

Just being picky…While there is plenty of storage under the seats, this ‘toon could probably use a little more, like maybe adding the optional in-floor ski locker.  


Raised platform, walk-in changing room, rear jump seats, 8-foot 6-inch Bimini top, concealed mood lighting, docking lights, stern courtesy light, lighted cup holder, AM/FM stereo w/ aux port for mP3 player, speakers. 


PR25 Performance Pkg., Premium Sound Pkg., Wake Tower Pkg., Porta-Potti, wake tower w/ Bimini, wake light bar, wake speakers, wake board rack, lake water wash-down, filler cushions for bed, full Sea Weave flooring, Babbito lighting, underwater lights, filler cushions for bed. 


LOA                  24’ 10”           

Beam                 8’ 6”

Hull Design       Two Pontoons

Dry Weight       2542 lbs.

Fuel Capacity    30 gallons 


Engine                                                             Mercury 250 Pro Verado

Cylinder Type                                                 Inline-6

Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower           158ci/250hp

Lower Unit Gear Ratio                                   1.85:1

Propeller                                                          15 X 18 Enersia


RPM     vs.    SPEED     vs.     DB-A

600                  3.0                     63

1000                3.6                     73

1500                4.2                     75

2000                6.4                     77

2500                9.0                     76

3000                10.6                   81

3500                16.6                   85

4000                21.8                   88

4500                26.3                   92

5000                30.1                   96

5500                33.6                   98

6000                37.0                   101

6400                43.4                   102


New ParisInd.


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