PDB Shootout: Qwest Pontoons LS 820 Splash Pad

Published in the January 2021 Issue April 2022 Boat Test Monday

First Impression

When describing the latest Splash Pad from the Qwest Luxury Series, versatile, multi-function and feature-rich are all great adjectives, but in reality there is only one word that really counts and that’s fun.

Details

The fun begins at the helm with a display of multi-function gauges with a Garmin touchscreen on the right. On the other side of the steering wheel is access to the Bluetooth Infinity stereo controls with USB and 12-volt ports just below. The RAM Mounts X Grip cell phone holder has been a regular feature for Qwest for years and we love how cleanly it mounts to the helm stand for an easy way to keep track of your phone. Speaking of the console, the extra legroom for the captain is a nice added touch as well as the captain and co-captain chairs that slide, swivel and recline.

Just behind the dual helm chairs is a truly versatile area that offers a variety of seating positions including face-forward or rear-facing loungers. The best part is you can sit back-to-back with the backrests together as part of a traditional rear bench design inside the gates with a “back porch”-like bench outside on the swim deck with two speakers below. These rear-facing speakers are part of the 6-speaker stereo system which is an optional upgrade that includes 8-inch Infinity speakers and an amplifier.

Out on the nearly 3-foot-long extended swim deck is a tall ski/tow bar as well as the new REVO boarding ladder from LilliPad Marine. The ladder – with an impressive 48-inch-deep drop that folds into 16 inches above the deck when stowed – earned an NMMA Innovation Award at IBEX in 2019. It’s angled perfectly so you don’t need to be a gymnast to get back on the boat from the water.

Inside the boat is more seating and it’s all built in-house so each bench, seat and lounger is a custom fit using Linen soft touch vinyl. In the bow are two chaise lounges and built into the back of the portside one are a couple of slide-out drawers including a cooler that is hidden away nicely in the bottom one. Other highlights include 9 permanent cupholders, extra USB ports for the passengers, interior blue LED lighting, a high-pressure washdown in the stern and Infinity vinyl flooring that ties in the look of the interior perfectly. If we had to be picky, a lockable glove box at the helm would be nice and although it seems like a small thing, gate stops at each of the three openings would allow the gates to stay in the open position when needed.

Closer Look

Below deck the three 24-inch diameter full-length pontoons are made from .90-gauge aluminum with lifting strakes on all three, plus there is an aluminum skin that covers the entire bottom of the boat. Above deck, the rail height stands at a safe and consistent 27 inches tall around most of the boat.

Throttle Down

There is plenty of zip to this pontoon with the Suzuki 140hp powerplant on the back. We safely reached the mid 30 mph mark at full throttle with a 0-to-20 mph time of just under 7 seconds. She corners nice and flat in the sharp turns and the hydraulic steering made it really easy to maneuver.

Why Buy

The Qwest LS is a luxurious pontoon that combines sophisticated styling and smart detail, and it comes in at a budget-friendly price. It’s easy to see why the Luxury Series makes up an estimated 50 percent of Qwest’s production each year.

St. Louis, Mich.
977-463-0356
www.qwestpontoons.com



Number of Occupants: 10
Price As Tested With Power: $42.7K
Maximum Speed: 36.1 mph                   
Wild Ponies: 140 hp
No. of Gates: 3
0-20 MPH: 6.89 seconds
Ladder Measurement: 4’ deep

Why we love this boat… The extended swim deck and rear-facing bench seat with an easy-to-board ladder in stern would be a great place to hang out while the kids play.

Just being picky… Love the helm console, just wish there was a locking glove box for the captain to secure loose items such as keys and wallets. Gate stops would also be a welcome addition so that the gates can stay open if desired.

NOTABLE STANDARDS

Oval Wood Grain Table w/Flush Mount Pedestal, Two Mid-Back Reclining Captain’s Seats, Dura-Lite Composite Seat Bases w/Ultra-Flow Ventilation, Splash Pad, Multi-Position Rear Lounger w/Adjustable Dual Backrests, Bimini and Adjustable Tilt Soft Grip Steering Wheel.

OPTIONS ON TEST BOAT

LilliPad REVO Ladder, Rear Platform Extension, Refreshment Center, USB Charge Plugs In Seating, 6-Speaker Stereo System w/8-Inch Infinity Speakers & Amplifier, High-Pressure Wash-Down System and Interior Blue LED Lighting (Speakers & Cupholders).

VITAL STATS

LOA: 20’ 4”
Beam: 8’ 0”
Hull Design: Triple Tube Pontoon
Dry Weight: 2,395 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 17 gallons

TEST DRIVE

Engine: Suzuki 140
Cylinder Type: Inline 4
Cubic-inch Displacement/Horsepower: 124.7ci/140hp
Lower Unit Gear Ratio: 2.59:1
Propeller: 14 X 21

RPM     vs.      SPEED     vs.  DB-A

900                  2.3                   72
1000                3.3                   70.
1500                4.4                   75
2000                6.2                   77
2500                7.9                   84.5
3000                9.6                   86.5
3500                14.1                 90
4000                22.1                 89
4500                26.2                 94
5000                28.9                 96
5500                32.2                 98
6000                36.1                 102

PRICE

Price As Tested: $42,690
(Boat and Motor)

Base Price: $32,105
(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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