We love the welcoming high-end interior that greets you when you first step onboard. The contour seating is not only inviting, but the exclusive Matrix 50-ounce soft touch vinyl proves to be as comfortable as it looks.
Deco 3 external panels are part of the standard features but this particular model was upgraded to two-tone walls and when combined with the blackout rails it gives the boat a beautiful exterior look. And we especially love the red accent color. The black theme extends to the actual pontoons with the Pontoon Guard from VANTAGE that not only protects your boat, but looks great too.
Inside, the upgraded vinyl flooring ties in the high-end look and the off-set stern gate next to the L-shaped seating behind the helm chair creates a conversation area around the table. Speaking of the helm chair, the tall and reclining Admiral’s high back seat might just be the most comfortable place to sit onboard and that’s saying a lot on this comfy model.
For the captain, all the gauges and controls are easily in view on the Ensign 2 fiberglass helmstand. Large multi-function gauges anchor the dash with Infinity stereo controls on the left and the Garmin 53 cv GPS on the right. There is a row of lighted rocker switches below, plus a little shelf for putting loose items like your cell phone. Worth noting, the six-speaker Infinity system sounds great and you’d almost guess there were more speakers hidden somewhere else by the way the music projects throughout the boat. We also like the pop-up changing room hidden in the back of the portside chaise lounge that stands 5 feet tall when open, as well as the deep in-floor ski locker. If we had to be picky, we’d like to see the bilge pump in the center log relocated to a better spot. As is, it could get in the way when accessing your storage since it’s just below the door’s opening.
The Sport Performance Triple Package includes an integrated motor pod, 38-gallon transom direct fill fuel tank, four lifting strakes, wave shield and SeaStar hydraulic steering. Each of the 25-inch diameter pontoons has lifting strakes—both sides of the center tube and on the inside of the exterior tubes—and the full-length splash skin completes the look.
Above deck the rail height varies from over 26 inches tall around the perimeter to nearly 25 inches in the bow for a safe and family-friendly layout.
At full throttle we reached the 40 mph mark with the Suzuki 200hp, which is the maximum-sized outboard for this performance package. She got up on plane quickly with a zero-to-20 mph time of just over five seconds and she handled well in the semi-tight turns. One option missing is a ski/tow bar, which could come in handy with this powerful four-stroke.
Overall, we really enjoyed reviewing this roomy and comfortable Avalon that as tested provided just the right balance of standard features and amenities. Yes, you could save a little by going with fewer options, but in our opinion it’s those upgrades that really make this Catalina model a great boat to own.
For More Information:
Number of Occupants:13
Price As Tested With Power: $61.9 K
Maximum Speed: 40.1 mph
Wild Ponies: 200 hp
No. of Gates: 3
0-20 MPH: 5.32 seconds
Ladder Measurement: 3’ 9” deep
Why we love this boat…Exterior look, comfortable interior and great amenities, this Avalon checks a lot of boxes as a great all-around model.
Just being picky….It seems the bilge pump in the center tube could be relocated to a better spot since it’s right in the opening of the in-floor ski locker.
Ensign 2 fiberglass helmstand, GPS speedometer, Commander reclining helm chair, Infinity PRV 315 BT stereo, tilt steering, Deco 3 external multi-panel retro walls, interior composite wall covering, dock lights/nav light combo, privacy station, Exclusive Matrix 50 soft touch seat vinyl, suspension seating, lounge arms w/storage, aluminum seat frames, bronze seat cladding, moveable ss cupholders, ss telescoping rear ladder and 38-gallon fuel tank.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Sport Performance Triple Pkg., in-floor storage, two-tone walls, Garmin 53 cv GPS, High Performance sound system, Admiral’s high-back chair, blackout pkg., ATD vinyl floor upgrade, chrome dock lights, blue ice light pkg., lights under rubrail, quick-release fender straps, side protector keels, mooring cover, (4) pull-up cleats and SST insert vents for seat bases.
LOA: 26’ 6”
Beam: 8’ 6”
Hull Design: Three Pontoons
Dry Weight: 2,650 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 38 gallons
Engine: Suzuki 200
Cylinder Type: Inline 4
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower: 175ci/200hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio: 1.50:1
Propeller: 15 7/8 X 13 SST
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
600 2.4 63.5
1000 3.6 76
1500 5.4 80.5
2000 7.6 80.5
2500 8.8 81
3000 12.3 84
3500 17.3 89.5
4000 21.0 91
4500 25.4 91.5
5000 28.9 97.5
5500 34.2 97.5
6100 40.1 102
Price As Tested (Boat and Motor): $61,945
Price As Tested (Boat Only): $26,800
This article originally appeared in our 2019 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more boat tests like this, click HERE to subscribe.