Last year, Barletta’s L-Class series won the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) Innovation Award in the pontoon category, which is impressive in itself, but even more so since Barletta was a brand-new company and the L-Series were its first boats ever introduced. Now a year later, Barletta has introduced the Elite-Series, affectionately referred to as the L-Class’s “little brother.”
“The E-Class is the next evolution in the Barletta Pontoon Boat full line offerings,” explained the vice president of marketing at Barletta, Jeff Roth. “It’s been built to be our mid-level product and comes out at one price point below the L-Class. It shares several of the same features that have made the L-Class such a hit—VIP Technology, premium Montego marine vinyl furniture, Hertz stereo systems, Yeti-Ready cupholders, a large and functional aft deck, and many, many more features.”
While the E-Series is perfect for more price-conscious boaters, it still contains the same DNA as its wildly successful predecessors. One of the main things that separates this series from the L-Class pontoon boat lineup is that they’ve pulled out some of the standard items and made them optional instead.
With that being said, it’s no secret that the E-Series has a lot to live up to after the L-Series’ smashing triumph, so we were pretty excited to take a couple of these models for a test drive and we weren’t disappointed.
Starting at the helm of the E22Q, you’ll find two large multi-function gauges that are visibly situated right where you’d want them to be. The hand-stitched steering wheel and generous leg room are some nice touches as well. The helm also offers a place to store your phone with a convenient outlet to plug in and charge. Then there are toggle switches on the right of the steering wheel and the Hertz sound system on the left. The Hertz sound system packs quite a punch and we were very impressed with it. Hertz is a company that’s known for their motorcycle sound systems, and their marine division has done a fantastic job for boats.
You’ll have plenty of room for family and friends on this vessel since it’s rated for up to 13 passengers and features plenty of seating with long benches and soft-touch vinyl. You’ll also have room for water sports equipment because the in-floor ski locker is absolutely huge.
Speaking of water sports, this boat was born to perform. The model we tested had three 26-inch diameter tubes with nice big lifting strakes that give you a definite boost when cruising. Plus, beneath the deck, this boat utilizes VIP technology (vibration and isolation pads) that gives you one of the quietest, rattle-free rides you can find.
Even though it’s a price-friendly boat, Barletta still keeps the luxurious power Bimini top as a standard feature. They do this because it ultimately comes down to making things easier for boaters. We all know the struggle with opening Bimini tops—getting up on top of the seat with the water rocking the boat, trying to get the Bimini to cooperate. Such battles are a thing of the past with E-Series because a power Bimini comes standard across all the boats in this series.
They didn’t forget about the family dog either, which gets its own pop-out water and food bowl on the boat. Pet friendly options like this truly make this vessel stand out. The dishes are even removable so they’re easy to wash.
Outside the stern gate you’ll find a large swim deck, which is a sure crowd-pleaser with how much room it gives you. Plus, there’s a nice ski/tow cage with a matching stainless steel boarding ladder. This setup gives the ultimate functionality while still looking classy.
So what you’re probably asking yourself is whether the E22Q lives up to the high standards previously set by its big brothers in the L-Series. Our answer? Totally. At a more affordable price, this boat is an awesome pontoon and everybody in the PDB staff fell in love with the boat’s overall look and feel.
E22Q w/ Triple-Tube Specifications
LOA: 24’ 6”
Beam: 8’ 6”
Person Capacity: 13 people
Max HP: 250hp
Fuel Capacity: 48 gals.
Engine: 150 Mercury
0-20 MPH: 5.00 seconds
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
700 2.3 68
1000 2.6 74
1500 4.4 80
2000 6.6 83
2500 9.9 84
3000 11.1 86
3500 17.4 94
4000 22.3 95
4500 25.4 99
5000 30.7 100
5500 35.1 102
5700 37.1 104
The second boat we tested in the Elite-Series was Barletta’s E22U, and this boat comes packed with a ton of fun features. Similar to the E22Q, this boat also boasts a sporty helm with a liberal amount of legroom that’ll never cramp your style. It also has an extra-large integrated glove box and a high-backed, reclining helm seat that can swivel and slide. Then, this helm console also comes with those two large multifunction gauges at its center along with toggle switches and a control for your Hertz sound system on either side of the premium steering wheel.
As mentioned before, we found the Hertz sound system to be absolutely fantastic in terms of sound, and this upgraded marine stereo system comes standard in the E22U with six speakers. However, Barletta also offers the option to add a subwoofer and amplifier with upgraded speakers if you’re really looking to rock the boat.
While we’re on the subject of rocking the boat, maybe you shouldn’t hold your breath unless we’re speaking in the purely figurative sense because this boat has one of the sturdiest builds beneath its deck. It’s all thanks to the advanced craftsmanship that went into the engineering of the vessel such as VIP technology and Hybrid Crossmember Configuration. The result? One of the quietest and smoothest rides.
Again, you’ve got the family pet covered with the crowd-pleasing pop-out water and food bowls for your dog. Roth mentioned that he could easily leave this feature for the grand finale at boat shows since people love it so much.
When we tested this boat, we loved the extended swim deck on the back. You can never have enough room back there and the E22U gives you plenty of space. It also had the same wide boarding ladder and solid ski/tow cage we mentioned on the E22Q, so you’ll always be ready for water sports with the family.
There’s tons of room throughout the boat, making it easy to move about with family and friends without ever being short of seats. The boat we tested had an L-shaped seating in the back which was awesome, but what was even cooler was how it was a multi-position stern ULTRA-LOUNGE. What that means is that you can easily convert the seating in the back to a flat surface for some ultimate sunbathing. Overall, we found it to be a wonderful multi-use layout.
Again, you’re probably wondering how this boat measures up to the high standards set by Barletta’s L-Series, and we have to tell you, the E22U did not fall short by any means. We found it outrageously easy to get comfortable on this pontoon and we thoroughly enjoyed testing it.
E22U w/ Two-Tube Specifications
LOA: 24’ 6”
Beam: 8’ 6”
Person Capacity: 10 people
Max HP: 160hp
Fuel Capacity: 30 gals.
Engine: 150 Mercury
0-20 MPH: 6.08 seconds
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
700 1.6 63
1000 1.9 73
1500 3.9 77
2000 5.7 82
2500 6.6 84
3000 8.8 85
3500 10.9 93
4000 15.2 94
4500 18.5 95
5000 21.9 93
5500 25.1 96
6000 27.8 97
Barletta's New Expanding Pontoon
At the Minneapolis Boat Show in January, Barletta unveiled its NMMA-certified, production-ready expanding pontoon. That’s right—we’re talking about a pontoon that expands to be big enough to where you could fit a ping pong table on it and still play a game comfortably.
Partnering with Lippert Components, Barletta created the EX23Q. This innovative vessel can expand its deck from a regular 8 feet, 6 inches wide, to a monstrous 14 feet, 10 inches with a flush floor. That’s almost 128 square feet of floor space added with a simple push of a button.
It’s tempting to think the EX23Q might lose some of its functionality when it’s fully expanded, but that’s not the case at all. Whether expanded or not, the boat performs just like a normal pontoon boat while still delivering the fit, form and function that we’ve come to expect from Barletta. It comes with all the standard bells and whistles the company is known for, such as ULTRA comfortable furniture, Hertz sound systems and the popular pet-friendly integrated food and water dishes.
The amount of possibilities that come with the additionally added floor space on this pontoon are endless. Say goodbye to feeling cramped on your pontoon and say hello to everybody fitting comfortably on your boat with room to spare.
LOA: 25’ 6”
Beam: Expands from 8’ 6” to 14’ 10”
Person Capacity: 12 people
Max HP: 150hp
Estimated Retail Price: $85,000