Capt. Rob Says...
An Ideal Platform for the Growing Family
Sun Tracker makes several lines of pontoon boats and some of them are called Party Barges. These are toons that are specifically design to entertain your friends and let the good times roll. The boat I tested was the Party Barge 25 with two toons, but you should be informed that the hot ticket these days is the Party Barge 25 XP3 with three hulls. If this is too much boat for you, then you should look at the 24 or 22 foot versions of the Party Barge.I found the Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 a roomy entertainment platform that you will be happy to take the family, neighbors or your boss out on. (Better make sure your boss has a bigger boat than this one, however, or you could kiss future raises good-by.) Sun Tracker builds these pontoons in state-of-the-art dedicated facilities with techs that have been doing the same work for decades.
Features at the Bow
Usually, even high-end pontoon boats have the same dull straight lines and rectangular tubing making up the bulwarks and rails. Sun Tracker has beefed up the railings, added radiuses and curves and splashed on some elegant looking graphics on the Party Barge 25 Regency Edition. The navigation lights and docking lights are in fiberglass pods mounted into the bulwarks for good visibility when you need it most and out of the way of a damaging encounter with a dock or shore object. Entry gates are all double locking, child safe and wide for easy entry.
Up Front Seating
The seats at the bow are very plush with thick rolled bolsters. The seat bottoms are also so thick that you need to really push hard to get the seats up and access the storage underneath. I did appreciate the lack of a center bar in the seat bases so I can get long items in and out of there much easier. The high backed seats have cup holders and the stereo premium Kicker speakers built into them. Another thoughtful feature was the floor level integral drink holder to use when you are sitting back, lounger-style on the front bench seat. The trash bin is concealed in the starboard aft end cap of the lounger while rod storage is in the port lounger end cap. The snack table pops into place either up front as a coffee table or in back to serve lunch. I really appreciated the addition of a rubber mat on the top to keep things from sliding all over with each little wave that came by.
The Captain’s Seat
The Admiral gets a comfortable captain’s lounger over by the center gate on the port side. It has the same flip armrests and adjustable back that the captain gets. The captain’s seat also is on a 2-inch elevated platform, which improves visibility over the heads of anyone in the lounger just ahead of the helm... a welcome touch. The rest of the crew has plenty of space on the aft L-shaped bench lounger that wraps from the side gate to the aft gate. Sun Tracker cleverly hides the LED floor lighting under a shiny metal tab just below the seats on the benches.
The helm is well positioned single-molded unit. The instruments include a compass, analog engine gauges, digital depth finder, tilt steering, lighted rocker switches and tilt wheel. Circuit breakers (not fuses!) are conveniently placed under each rocker switch. A cooler fits neatly underneath the helm so you can bring along your favorite beverages and junk food and store them out of site until needed. The music is provided through an AM/FM/CD with Sirius Satellite reception capability and MP3 jack.
Just abaft the helm station is a handy beverage center. Here you have room to prepare the snacks and pour the beverages. (Remember to always have a dedicated sober driver.) Overhead you can keep everyone cool with the standard bimini that provides coverage from the helm to the sunpad.
Sun Pad and Changing Room
With a large crew onboard, you need privacy to change out of wet clothes or prepare for docking and dinner at your favorite shore side restaurant. Beneath the thick sun pad, Sun Tracker has tucked away storage space for the table on the port side and a changing room on the starboard end right next to the aft gate. Stepping through the aft gate, you find a real swim platform the kids will surely love along with a flip-over swim ladder so they can climb back on board and leap off again without help.
The Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 has a LOA of 26’11’ (3.4 m), and a beam of 8'6" (2.6 m). her dry weight is 3,546 lbs (1,608.4 kg) and she carries 37 gallons (140 L) of fuel. Her base engine is a 150-hp Optimax, and options will allow you to move on up to a 200 L Pro XS OptiMax (add $3,925) -- an option to consider if you are both very popular (15 persons max capacity) and like to ski. Overall, I was very impressed with the Sun Tracker Party Barge 25. Her clean and curvy lines add significantly to her good looks, and she’s loaded with great features as well. I think the real Cleopatra would have loved it, and maybe even Liz Taylor.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 Regency Edition is 36.2 mph (58.3 kph), burning 9.9 gallons per hour (gph) or 37.47 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 Regency Edition is 15.6 mph (25.1 kph), and the boat gets 6.54 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.78 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 265 miles (426.48 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 135-hp Mercury OptiMax3.0 L.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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