Part of Trifecta’s C Series, the 22 RF CS has a lot going for it and it starts with its budget-friendly price as tested. But before you dismiss this as just another entry-level price-point model, take a closer look because it may surprise you just how much value is packed into this 22-footer.
As you come on board you’re greeted with comfortable seating for up to 11 total passengers and the two-tone vinyl used is soft to the touch with the Trifecta logo stitched in multiple locations. Not only is there a bucket helm chair for the captain that slides, swivels and reclines, but there is an identical one directly across for the first mate that is equally as comfortable. On the port side for the other helm chair are two of the five total cupholders, and if we had to nitpick at something, we’d like to see more designated cupholders throughout the boat.
At the helm is an impressive-looking helm console at any price point. Located in the center of the dash is an optional Helix 5 GPS from Humminbird with analog gauges on each side with an extended brow to help shade the console. Also within easy reach for the captain are lighted rocker switches, controls for the new Kicker KMC100 stereo, a media holder with ports and a master power switch.
Moving toward the stern there are two more chaise lounges similar to the forward-facing ones in the bow with a tall ski/tow bar and a stainless boarding ladder located on the swim deck. Throw in the standard Bimini top and you’re ready for a great day on the water.
While the majority of the pontoon industry is using marine plywood, for several years now Forest River Marine has been using a lighter alternative for its decking material. The composite deck from V-Lite is part of the Z42 chassis that includes zero wood, zero rot, zero seams and zero expansion/contraction, while being 40 percent lighter than marine grade plywood and two times stronger than marine grade plywood.
And since Trifecta doesn’t know which body of water their boats will be used on, the standard Rough Water package is a nice added safety touch to ensure the boat is ready for wherever you take it.
We nearly reached the 40 mph mark with the Yamaha 150hp on the back, which is quite impressive to put it mildly. Plus our zero-to-20 mph time of just over five seconds says a lot about the torque of the Yamaha as well as the light weight yet solid construction. She’s easy to drive because of how well the boat handles, earning this boat a high fun factor rating from our testing crew.
While it’s not loaded with a ton of bells and whistles, we can’t help but be impressed by the value this Trifecta has to offer. We did not expect a boat with such a good-looking helm and comfortable seating that is capable of speeds close to the 40 mph mark to come in at under $50K as tested. It’s great to know there are pontoons like this still being built that give potential buyers favorable options regardless of their budget.
Number of Occupants: 11
Price As Tested With Power: $49.4 K
Maximum Speed: 38.1 mph
Wild Ponies: 150 hp
No. of Gates: 3
0-20 MPH: 5.08 seconds
Ladder Measurement: 3’ 9” deep
Why we love this boat…For those who believe you can’t find a great pontoon with plenty of power under $50K, you need to take a closer look at this beauty.
Just being picky…While portable cupholders are available as an option, we’d like to see more than just five total permanent places to hold your drink.
Vinyl Wrapped Furniture Bases, Kicker KMC1 Radio (MP3, iPod & Bluetooth Compatible), 4 Speakers w/Protective Inside Covers, Full Instrumentation, 12-Volt Receptacle, Stainless Steel Rimmed Cupholders, Port Side Cupholders, Stern Platform w/ Aluminum Ladder, Oval Shaped Woodgrain Table w/Matte Finish, Exterior “D” Rail Design w/ LED Navigation Lights, Radius Deck w/Integrated Deck and Vinyl Rub Rail, Z42 Chassis, Bow Corner Pads and Stern Stainless Steel Corners, Bow Reinforcement Bumper and Continuous Extruded Aluminum Riser Brackets.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Deluxe Package, Humminbird Color GPS and LED Docking Lights.
LOA: 22’ 5”
Beam: 8’ 6”
Hull Design: Three Pontoons
Dry Weight: 2,055 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 27 gallons
Engine: Yamaha 150
Cylinder Type: Inline 4
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower: 170.8ci/150hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio: 2.00:1
RPM vs. SPEED
Price As Tested (Boat and Motor): $49,425
Base Price (Boat Only): $23,305
This article originally appeared in our 2020 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more boat tests like this, click HERE to subscribe.