Some exteriors are known for catching your eye, but the latest Catalina Platinum goes above and beyond what a high-end luxury pontoon should look like. Stunning upgrades have been made inside and out for the new model year and these are changes you’re going to want to pay close attention to.
Getting started, the smooth exterior side panels are not only new to this model, but it’s a change that has been made to all Avalons for 2021. We also like the new Deco docking lights, the maroon and grey colored panels and if we’re not mistaken, the Catalina name badge on the side appears larger, really emphasizing the Platinum feel.
As you step inside, the exclusive Matrix 50 ULTRAFINE Touch vinyl welcomes you in with over-the-top comfortable seating for up to 14 people, and the different color shades of grey add to its high-end look.
Another upgrade across the entire Avalon lineup is the addition of Fusion stereo systems. This particular model comes equipped with the standard Gold Plus sound package that includes a five-channel amp and six Fusion XS lighted speakers along with the upgraded high-performance sound system accompanied by a 10-inch subwoofer. Trust us, you’ll notice the sound difference instantly.
Easily in view and just beyond the Mazzo steering wheel, the captain has a nice display of multi-function analog gauges in the center of the dash console with the Fusion unit on the left and a Garmin colored fish-finder on the right. Below is a nice row of rocker switches and then a small ledge that is ideal for placing your phone. We also like that the USB/Auxiliary ports are nearby and if we’re being picky, the 12-volt outlet should be closer to the USB and not down near the floor above the driver’s cupholder.
It’s a Quad Lounge, which means there are four places to stretch out with unique storage below the lounge backs including a pop-up enclosure in the bow that stands over 5 feet tall when open. The aluminum-constructed seat bases provide plenty of storage below and the quarter-inch gap between the floor and side panels allows for quick drying and added ventilation. In the stern in a nice swimdeck, complete with an easy-to-use boarding ladder and a solid ski/tow bar. Also worth noting, the optional in-floor ski locker is 19 inches deep and over 7 feet long with a light and a bilge pump inside and plenty of room for all your water toys.
As part of the Waveglider High Performance upgrade, the 27-inch diameter pontoons all have lifting strakes—on both sides of the center tube and on the inside of the exterior ones. Above deck the rail height is consistently 26 inches tall around most of the perimeter for a safe and family-friendly layout.
When you can go from 0-to-20 mph in less than 4 seconds, that’s noteworthy! Powered with a Mercury 250hp Verado, the 26-footer jumped up on plane quickly while reaching top speeds near the 50 mph mark. She turns flat and handles well, especially for a boat of this size.
With high-end looks and comfortable seating, there is a lot to love on this Avalon. When you step onboard you truly enter a world of luxury with the right balance of standard amenities and optional upgrades. It truly lives up to its Platinum name and has a lot of those must-have features as tested that will appeal to boat buyers.
Number of Occupants: 14
Price As Tested With Power: $83 K
Maximum Speed: 46.2 mph
Wild Ponies: 250 hp
No. of Gates: 3
0-20 MPH: 3.8 seconds
Ladder Measurement: 4’ deep
Why we love this boat…Upgrades across the entire lineup including the smooth exterior panels and the move to Fusion stereo systems only add to the high-end feel for this manufacturer.
Just being picky…We’d like to see more USB and 12-volt outlets on board so everyone can charge their electronics.
Dual Fiberglass Helmstands, Humminbird 5 CV, Multi location USB Charging Ports, Gold Plus Fusion Stereo, Infinity Lighted Stereo Speakers, 12-Volt Power Point, SeaStar Hydraulic Tilt, Mazzo Steering Wheel with Black Pearlwood, Courtesy Light on Helmstand, Admiral High Back Reclining Chair w/ Remote Levers, Adjustable Height Seat Pedestal, Interior Composite Wall Panels, 2 Deco Moveable Stainless Cupholders, Armrest, Suspension Seating, High Flex Bold Chrome Logos and Decorative Bronze or Pewter Seat Frame Cladding.
OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT
Waveglider 27-Inch Upgrade, In-Floor Ski Storage, High Performance Sound System with 10-inch sub, Full Slate Teak flooring, and Graphite Interior.
LOA 26’ 6”
Beam 8’ 6”
Hull Design Triple Waveglider
Dry Weight 3,100 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 58 gallons
Engine: Mercury 250 Verado
Cylinder Type: V8
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower: 279ci/250hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Propeller: 14.5 X 17
RPM vs. SPEED vs. DB-A
500 2.2 66.5
1000 2.9 79.5
1500 5.0 80
2000 7.5 82
2500 11.2 86.5
3000 16.3 95.5
3500 20.3 103.5
4000 23.2 104.5
4500 27.6 107
5000 32.6 105
5500 40.4 110.5
6000 46.2 111
Price As Tested: $83,062
(Boat and Motor)
w/ 90hp Mercury: $47,836
This article originally appeared in our 2020 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more boat tests like this, click HERE to subscribe.