PDB Shootout G3

SunCatcher Diamond Elite 324 SS

Published in the January 2019 Issue August 2020 Boat Test Monday, Feature

First Impression

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression and G3 took this to heart by making sure you’ll never forget this SunCatcher Diamond Elite. We’ve also heard that true beauty is on the inside and we couldn’t agree more after seeing the interior. 

Highlights

Starting at the helm, the 9-inch Simrad GO9 touchscreen is centrally located and anchors the dash, while providing all the key information the driver needs. To the left of the large screen is a back-lit G3 logo and on the right you’ll find the SeaStar digital steering controls. Also included at the helm is access to the Kicker stereo controls with lighted push buttons on the other side of the steering wheel for a high-end look.

We feel every helm should have a glove box and we especially love this one that includes a USB and auxiliary port inside so not only is it a great place to keep your wallet and keys, but you can also plug in your phone and keep it out of the elements.

Moving toward the stern your eyes are drawn to the two over-sized rear loungers with dual cupholders for each, plus two more glove boxes with identical charging ports inside. Below the portside lounger is a pop-up changing room that is average in size and stands 5 feet, 3 inches tall when fully open. Also in the stern are two of the eight speakers as well as a Kicker stereo remote that can be accessed from the water.

There is a lot of stainless steel incorporated into this layout including the stern rails, four-step boarding ladder and the massive ski/tow bar, and there is plenty of room on the swimdeck to towel off before coming back inside through the stainless stern gate.

The AquaTread slated grey flooring ties in perfectly with the grey vinyl used for all of the seating, and we especially like the look of the diamond pattern fabric inlay that again only adds to the high-end look. The sport arch with a Sunbrella Bimini top is a nice added touch that is standard and matches perfectly with the two-tone panels and black exterior rails.   

Inspection

Three U-shaped pontoons with a full-length aluminum underdeck performance shield is the foundation of this well-built boat. All SunCatcher pontoons feature the extra protection of heavier gauge aluminum in the nose cones and closed cell foam flotation blocks inside each tube for an added measure of safety. Speaking of safety, the lowest rail stands over 26 inches tall in the stern with the majority of the boat measuring at 29 inches.

Performance

With the big Yamaha 300 on the back, this SunCatcher backed up its sporty look by reaching a top speed of over 40 miles per hour while showcasing a very impressive zero-to-20 mph time of less than 4 seconds! She’s clearly quick to plane and banks beautifully in the sharp corners for a great all-around boat.

Parting Thought

First impressions are important and this SunCatcher truly delivered. We’ve come to expect a lot from this manufacturer as far as producing high-quality, well-built pontoons, and G3 just keeps setting the bar higher and higher with each new model year.

For More Information: 
Lebanon, Mo.
800-588-9787
www.g3boats.com

SPECIFICATIONS
Number of Occupants: 12                   
Price As Tested With Power: $93.5 K
Maximum Speed: 44.3 mph                   
Wild Ponies: 300 hp
No. of Gates: 3
0-20 MPH: 3.92 seconds 
Ladder Measurement: 4’ deep

Why we love this boat…There is a lot of added value on this model as tested with all the great features included with no options to help keep you on the water longer. 

Just being picky…The side cubby areas on the rear loungers look good from a design perspective but are not really practical for storage use without a compartment door.

NOTABLE STANDARDS

Performance lifting strakes, Kicker sound system, rear loungers w/soft touch vinyl, privacy enclosure under stern lounger, full-length underdeck performance shield, ss ski/tow bar, ss boarding ladder, Simrad GO9 display, RGB interior and exterior lighting Sport arch, SeaStar digital steering controls, black exterior rails and black pontoons and in-floor ski locker.   

OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

None.

VITAL STATS
LOA: 23’ 10”           
Beam: 8’ 6”
Hull Design: Three Pontoons
Dry Weight: 4,965 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 38 gallons

TEST DRIVE
Engine: Yamaha F300
Cylinder Type: V6
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower: 256.3ci/300hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Propeller: 15 3/4 X 15

RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.    DB-A
700                  0.9                   64
1000                4.6                   73.4
1500                6.4                   79
2000                9.0                   80
2500                12.9                 84
3000                17.3                 86.5
3500                23.1                 92
4000                27.1                 92.5
4500                31.3                 97
5000                34.8                 100.5
5500                39.6                 103
6000                43.4                 109.5
6200                44.3                 110

PRICE
Price As Tested (Boat and Motor): $93,495

This article originally appeared in our 2019 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more boat tests like this, click HERE to subscribe.  

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