PDB Shootout: Berkshire 22 CL2 2.75

Published in the January 2021 Issue July 2022 Boat Test Monday

First Impression

At first glance the beautiful interior draws you in with its color scheme that screams high-end luxury. Nothing is an afterthought as each detail is well executed on this 22-foot family-friendly pontoon.

Details

There is a nice balance of standard features and options that as tested appear to be a truly successful recipe, while still hitting a nice price point. We love the conservative look that combines the optional exterior Blackout package alongside the two-toned grey vinyl seats with a black accent color. The smoke True Touch base vinyl used for the seats is probably the closest you’re going to get to genuine leather and we just love the feel of the furniture. Then the upgraded Infinity Weave vinyl flooring completes the look the manufacturer was going for, which again is a high-end luxurious pontoon.

At the redesigned helm is a Gussi steering wheel and the Simrad touchscreen anchors the dash with gauges on each side. To the left of the Italian-made wheel is a row of toggle switches as well as access to the Wet Sounds stereo system and a 12-volt outlet. On the other side is a Scanstrut wireless phone charger with a designated place for your phone that comes standard on this model. Also built into the helm stand is a glove box just forward of the engine throttle, as well as two cupholders. If we’re being picky, we wish the glove box was lockable and we’d also like to see more permanent cupholders on board since the two at the helm are the only ones. Of course, portable cupholders are available as an option, but a couple of recessed ones throughout the boat would be nice.

Directly across from the helm is a rear-facing chaise lounge that is part of the L-shaped seating area and then as you make your way out the stern gate it leads to a four-foot-long swim deck that includes a stainless boarding ladder, ski/tow bar and a comfy rear-facing bench seat. This bench would be an ideal place to sit while strapping on your wakeboard or just watching an evening sunset on the water.

Other features worth noting include the deep in-floor ski locker and the flush mounted table base which makes it so you don’t stub your toe when the oval-shaped woodgrain table is stowed away.

Closer Look

With the 2.75 Performance package you gain 25-inch diameter tubes with an upgraded transom, a center sport pontoon, aluminum underskin, lifting strakes, SeaStar hydraulic steering and a 27-gallon fuel tank. And 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 and two times stronger than marine grade plywood.


Throttle Down


With the Suzuki 200hp four-stroke on the back we comfortably reached the 40 mph mark after recording a 0-to-20 mph time of just over 4 seconds. Overall this sporty pontoon banks nicely in the sharp turns, is very responsive and is a lot of fun to drive.

Why Buy

There is a lot to love and appreciate on this Berkshire including the mid-range price on what could be considered a higher-end model. While the options of course increase what you’re going to pay, as tested we feel those upgrades are what truly make this boat great.

Middlebury, Ind.
574-825-8696
www.berkshirepontoon.com


Number of Occupants: 13
Price As Tested With Power: $57K
Maximum Speed: 44.7 mph
Wild Ponies: 200 hp
No. of Gates: 3
0-20 MPH: 4.2 seconds
Ladder Measurement: 4’ deep


Why we love this boat… From the power to the overall color scheme, as tested this pontoon has a lot going for it with the right mix of options with its standard features.

Just being picky… This pontoon could use more permanent cupholders than just the two at the helm, although portable options are available.


NOTABLE STANDARDS


Bow Reinforcement Bumper, Clarion GR10BT Stereo, 4 Clarion Speakers w/ Protective Inside Covers, Deutsch Waterproof Electrical Wiring Harness, Extended Stern Platform, Oval-Shaped Woodgrain Table w/ Matte Finish, Radius Deck w/Integrated Deck Trim and Vinyl Rub Rail, Reinforced Splash Fins, Scanstrut Wireless Phone Charging/Mount, Stainless Steel Cleats and Cupholders, Steel-Framed Mid Back Helm Chair, Surlast 10’ Color Matched Bimini Top w/ Push Pin Quick Release, Surlast Color Matched Playpen Cover, Transducer Bracket on Starboard Tube, and Vinyl-Wrapped Furniture Bases.


OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

2.75 Performance Package, DLX Option Package, Wet Sounds Audio Upgrade, Tilt Steering, Blackout Package, In-Floor Storage, Power Assist Steering, Simrad GPS, Stainless Steel Ski/Tow Bar, and Infinity Weave Flooring Upgrade.


VITAL STATS

LOA: 22’ 5”
Beam: 8’ 6”
Hull Design: Pontoon
Dry Weight: 2,055 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 28 gallons


TEST DRIVE

Engine: Suzuki 200
Cylinder Type: Inline 4
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower: 175.9ci/200hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio: 2.50:1
Propeller: 16 X 20


RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.  DB-A

600                  2.2                   74
1000                4.1                   79.5
1500                5.3                   79.5
2000                7.5                   82.5
2500                10.9                 84.5
3000                14.9                 88
3500                19.8                 92
4000                24.3                 93
4500                27.8                 96.5
5000                31.3                 99.5
5500                37.6                 103
6000                44.0                 107


PRICE

Price As Tested: $57,000
(Boat and Motor)

Base Price: $45,000
(Boat and Motor)

This article originally appeared in our 2021 Shootout issue. If you are interested in seeing more boat tests like this, click HERE to subscribe.

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