This article originally appeared in our 2017 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more stories like this, click HERE to subscribe.
This is one of those manufacturers who builds a wide variety of pontoons at a wide variety of price points. We found a lot of value in this specific pontoon as tested, proving you can still find a solid boat for the family for under $35K.
New for 2017, the helm console has been redesigned with the bow chaise lounge incorporated into the design which provides even more storage room below the helm. The actual dash is bigger too, making it possible to add flush-mounted GPS units like the Humminbird Helix 5 which is centered on the console with other gauges all around it. Along with the Jensen Bluetooth-capable stereo there is a 12-volt outlet and a USB/Auxiliary port to increase the different ways you can play your favorite music onboard through the two standard speakers.
The seat vinyl used throughout the boat is new for 2017 and comes with a five-year warranty and is as durable as it is comfortable. There are two chaise lounges in the bow and one rear-facing lounge directly across from the helm that has a pop-up changing room built into the back. It stands over 5 feet tall when open and nicely tucks away when not needed. It’s these little space-saving amenities that help keep the floor plan wide open with plenty of room to move around.
Below the sunpad is another great area for storage and outside the stern gate there is plenty of extra room to towel off after using the wide four-step boarding ladder. It’s also back here where you’ll find the optional ski/tow bar, which is something we always like to see on boats regardless of the horsepower (although in this case the Honda is plenty big to give tubers a fun ride).
Other key amenities worth noting include the double-pedestal table in front of the L-shaped rear seating area that is extremely sturdy and won’t twist on you. We also like the optional Seagrass flooring and the hidden aerated livewell that is built into the rear bench seat. Plus, the LED navigation lights and 27-gallon fuel tank pod are just two more features that are included in the list of standards that come with the boat.
The two 25-inch diameter pontoons that are the base of this boat and the 3-inch C-channel chassis are all bolted for added strength. Up top the anodized rails come in at a very family-friendly height of 28 inches tall around the perimeter, which is always a positive thing since you never know who will end up on your boat. There are three gates onboard with the portside one being the widest at 31 inches, which is plenty wide for wheelchair access.
We nearly reached the 30 mph mark at full throttle with the Honda 100hp four-stroke, which is quite impressive for a two-logged 23-foot pontoon. She leans a little in the turns, but overall handles well.
If we had to be picky we’d like to see an aluminum underskin come standard on this model because it does create some resistance when the boat is underway and the water hits the cross members below. However, it’s not a big deal. Clearly it performed well as is.
Again, we like the value and the versatility this Montego Bay provides. It has plenty of great standard features with the right mix of options and upgrades to make it appealing to a lot of buyers, especially those who are new to boating and are in search of a durable and well-built pontoon.
Number of Occupants 12
Maximum Speed 28.0 mph
Wild Ponies 100 hp
No. of Gates 3
0-20 MPH 6.45 seconds
Ladder Measurement 3’ 8” deep
Why we love this boat…There is a lot of value in this price-friendly model that has a good balance of standards and optional features.
Just being picky…Without an aluminum underdeck skin (available as an option) we felt a little resistance when the boat was underway as water would hit the cross members.
Changing room, 25-inch pontoons, Jensen Bluetooth stereo, sculptured carpet, windscreen, table, and 9-foot Bimini.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Seagrass flooring, livewell/cooler, built-in fuel tank, ski/tow bar, flip-up cleats, table upgrade, and playpen cover.
LOA 23’ 4”
Beam 8’ 6”
Hull Design Two Pontoons
Dry Weight 2,100 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 27 gallons
Engine Honda BF100ALRTA
Cylinder Type 4 cylinder
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower 91.4ci/100hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio 2.33:1
Propeller 13 1/2 x 15
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
1000 2.3 72
1500 4.3 82
2000 6.0 88
2500 7.8 84
3000 10.2 85
3500 13.0 88
4000 15.2 92
4500 19.2 95
5000 22.0 98
5500 24.7 101
6200 28.0 101