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Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 (2016-)
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Brief Summary

Sun Tracker’s Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3 doubles as a family-friendly entertainment space and a wide-beam fishing machine. Her multi-density foam seating, four swiveling fishing seats, easy clean-up vinyl deck, standard Bimini top, and dual aerated livewells all come together to make a well-equipped, multi-purpose pontoon boat. Underneath, a well-designed aluminum structure and tri-hull pontoon design with lifting strakes and spray deflectors ensure all passengers and cargo stay safe and dry, while providing optimum support and strength for the 1,650 lbs. (10 person capacity) that she’s designed to carry.

Key Features

  • 10+LIFE warranty
  • 3 high-performance 26''pontoon logs with lifting strakes
  • Fencing design with built-in Rail-Lock system for optional mooring cover
  • 12-gal. aerated bow livewell and 16-gal. aerated aft livewell with cushioned lids
  • Bimini top with QuickLift deployment system
  • Fore and aft fishing positions with fold-down fishing chairs, rod holders and starboard rod locker
  • Starboard console with hydraulic steering, Bluetooth-capable stereo and cooler storage
  • Port L-lounge with underseat storage (including lockable dry compartment) and padded sundeck with pop-up changing room
  • Removable table with two base locations
  • Boarding platform with fold-down ladder
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 22' 2''
    6.76 m
    Beam 8' 6''
    2.59 m
    Dry Weight 2,580 lbs.
    1,170 kg
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft N/A
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom N/A
    Max Headroom open
    Bridge Clearance 9' 6''
    2.89 m
    Weight Capacity 2,300 lbs.
    1,043 kg
    Person Capacity 10
    Fuel Capacity 35 gal.
    132 L
    Water Capacity N/A
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)
    N/A

    Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power 1 x 115-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke
    Tested Power Currently no test numbers
    Opt. Power 1 x 90-hp Mercury ELPT command thrust
    1 x 90-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke
    1 x 115-hp Mercury ELPT command thrust
    1 x 150-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke

    Captain's Report

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 running shot
    The Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3 has an LOA of 22’2” (6.76 m ), a beam of 8’6”(2.59 m), and carries up to ten people (1,650 lbs./748 kg).

    Overview

    The Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3 yields a large platform for multi-purpose use on the water, whether fishing, family cruising, entertaining, or water sporting on the lake. Her proven tri-tubes with lifting strakes offer an exciting ride with handling characteristics similar to a V hull, yet still supplying the space and stability that Sun Trackers are known for. In our eyes, the builder continues to rethink, refine and re-produce an excellent crossover pontoon boat.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 floor plans
    The Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3 has more than enough storage onboard to hide any day bags, life jackets, and watersports gear. Notice how there is a dual locking gate that separates the cockpit from the swim platform area.

    Distinguishing Features

    Pontoon Tubes.

    Sun Tracker has put a lot of thought into the design of its actual pontoons, so much so that it backs them with a lifetime warranty. One of the first primary differences we find with Sun Tracker pontoons is the actual shape. While many competitors use elliptical or U-shaped logs, Sun Tracker uses a cylinder shape that offers maximum structural strength through the actual geometric shape and displacement. The builder also uses an efficient no-keel design. It compensates for the structural integrity by adding bulkheads that separate each chamber and are welded over the entire circumference of the tube. This design provides an airtight seal, and reduces drag while underway. Should a pontoon puncture there are still numerous airtight chambers to keep passengers safe and dry. Additionally, round multi-chambered pontoons are significantly lighter and ride higher in the water. This reduces drag, offers better fuel economy, and decreases the likelihood of a puncture in the first place.

    XP3 Performance Series.

    The extra performance models, including the Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3, feature three 26”diameter pontoons with six lifting strakes for enhanced performance and increased stability and control. Because the performance series pontoons are encountering higher forces and speeds, the builder increased the thickness of the tube to .100 gauge alloy.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 tubes
    The XP3 performance series adds a third tube and increases the overall diameter to 26” (66.04 cm). In addition to the added stability and flotation, the tubes now feature lifting strakes that assist in the performance and overall stability of the boat.

    Deck Structure.

    Once we have our solid pontoons, the next crucial component is naturally the brackets that support the deck. Sun Tracker uses M-shaped brackets that weld to the top of each pontoon. These brackets run the entire length of the pontoon, adding an additional level of support. Z-Bar cross members attach to the M-shaped brackets that are already attached to the pontoons and extend the full width of the boat. Four bolts are used on each end of the Z bracket for support and reduced flexing while underway. Moving to the deck itself, we find a ¾” (1.9 cm) thick 7-ply pressure-treated deck that is warrantied for the life of the boat. This deck is attached through TEK fasteners, which friction weld to the Z-bars as they are tightened. TEK fasteners have been used for years on Sun Tracker boats and have yet to fail, according to the builder. Sun Tracker also utilizes more than double the deck fasteners, as compared to the leading competitors, in an effort to create a stronger, longer lasting product.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 m brackets
    Notice how on the interior side of the M-brackets that they’re conveniently spaced, allowing for access to wiring and framing should the Sun Tracker need servicing.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 cross bars
    The Z crossbars attach to the M brackets with TEK fasteners that weld themselves into place as they’re tightened. The deck then attaches to the top of the Z crossbar.

    Features Inspection

    Bow.

    The bow of the Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3 is set up for the avid fishing family. There are dual working stations on both sides of the deck. The starboard station includes a rod holder, beverage holder, and hatched compartment with an integrated measuring tool, ensuring a legal catch. Beneath the hatch is an optional self-contained marine battery that easily connects to a trolling motor for added flexibility ($1,025). On the port side, an additional station includes a rod holder, cup holder, and an 12-gallon (45 L) rotomolded aerated livewell. This hatch also includes an integrated measuring tool. The forward livewell was designed with the fish in mind, as it decreases the distance and time the fish are out of the water, ensuring they stay alive. In the center of the bow, an anodized aluminum entrance gate is securely bolted to the floor and Z bars below. Each fence panel is securely attached to the rails using sound deadening insulation strips. The deck itself is finished with fishing-friendly easy-to-clean vinyl flooring.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 livewell
    The built-in rotomolded aerated livewell on the port side holds 12 gallons (45 L) of water, and conveniently contours to the curve of the boat, maximizing cockpit space.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 measuring guide
    A built-in measuring guide on both hatches ensure that only a legal-size catch is kept.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 battery
    On the starboard side an optional self-contained battery is available for those interested in adding an optional trolling motor. Sun Tracker offers both components in a fishing package ($1,025).

    Moving slightly aft, two fold-down pedestal fishing seats are constructed with all composite seat frames and heavy-duty finishing materials. Ensuring high quality control, all seats onboard are designed and assembled in-house. Each piece of upholstery is custom sewn and carefully tailored using marine-grade vinyl, UV resistant threads, multiple-density foam for enhanced ergonomic support, and moisture barrier for years of protection from water intrusion.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 pedestal seats
    Dual pedestal seats forward allow for multiple fishing activities that can all be contained in one place. Additionally, the functionality of a fold-down back offers added visibility for the helmsman and passengers when not in use.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 rod holders
    Across the boat, Sun Tracker has built-in rod holders for multiple users. We particularly like the added rod holder that’s built into the side panel systems. It’s discrete yet stable as it mounts directly to the deck and stanchions.

    For those looking to taking a break from the fishing festivities, a large L-shaped sofa with dual storage compartments will certainly provide guests with ample seating and ergonomic comfort. For added functionality the builder also designed moveable drink holders that Velcro into place directly behind the seat cushion. Both storage compartments are held up with built in straps and can easily house life jackets and emergency gear for all guests on board. A standard removable table with molded drink holders has two pedestal locations, one being around the L- shaped sofa, providing space for preparing tackle or even lunch with guests.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 l shaped sofa
    The L-shaped sofa features two separate compartments. Both hatches offer convenient lift up straps for quick and easy access while underway. In the future we would like to see the sofa redesigned so the bench opens away from the boater rather than toward them, forcing the user to reach around for access to the compartment.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 removable cup holder
    A removable/moveable cup holder easily relocates with Velcro on the cup holder and on the bench. This simple addition adds functionality for the already well-designed sofa.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 storage compartment
    The second storage compartment is also held up with a strap, and is easily accessible via a built-in strap -- both pictured above.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 removable table
    A standard removable table with built-in drink holders has two built-in locations, one of which is in front of the L-shaped sofa. This table adds functionality to an already generous space, leaving room for serving food or even organizing tackle. Also note the location of the standard dual speakers mounted to the bulkhead below.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 wheel chair accessible door
    Directly in front of the L-shaped sofa we find a wheel chair accessible door that swings inward toward the cockpit for easy boarding.

    Helm.

    The helm of the Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3 appears well engineered with a removable tinted windscreen, an ergonomic captain’s chair with flip-up armrests, and a swivel/slide capability. A custom tilt hydraulic wheel and built-in non-skid footrest adds to the ergonomic comfort and support for the helmsman. We would like to see a raised helm platform for increased visibility over passengers, as well as a seat bolster for added visibility when approaching the dock. Looking at the dashboard, a standard Bluetooth/MP3 capable stereo is conveniently within reach, followed by backlit gauges and an optional Mark-5x Pro fishfinder ($1,025). Lighted rocker switches are standard and easily accessible, as well as an ergonomic throttle control. While the builder seems to frequently use fuse panels, we would like to see the rocker switches with reset breakers directly below. This feature makes it much easier to diagnose whatever system has failed without the hassle of opening up a panel and reading through labels. Finally we have a convenient built-in location for a cell phone and a 12-volt charger. The built-in concept is clever and a neat place to keep a device while underway, assuming the seas are calm and conditions permit.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 helm station
    On the side of the helm station we find added storage for a cooler, manuals or even a carry-on cooler.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 foot rest
    The footrest is finished in a non-skid material for added stability while underway.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 steering wheel
    A custom tilt soft-touch wheel adds a nice element to an already convenient helm station. The built-in phone holder is a neat design feature, and while we’d like to see it closer to the stereo for those who would prefer to plug in manually with a USB, its location is perfectly accessible for Bluetooth connectivity and it’s in close proximity to the 12V supply.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 captains chair
    The captain’s chair offers flip-up arm rests as well as swivel/slide features for added ergonomic comfort.

    Bimini.

    A standard Bimini top with built-in pull-down loops help keep the fabric taut for best appearance and reduced vibration. This Bimini top features multiple LED courtesy lights that add a sense of quality and convenience when cruising after dark. Another clever design feature is the addition of built-in pockets within the Bimini for storing towels and clothing while underway.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 tie downs
    Notice the tie downs and their convenient location for easy adjustment during deployment.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 courtesy lights
    Standard cockpit courtesy lights both above and below add to the ambiance and overall quality of the Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 mesh storage
    We like the new design feature of the built-in storage compartments within the Bimini. Boaters are always looking for places to store gear, and the mesh compartments are perfect for both dry and damp clothes as the mesh breaths.

    Stern.

    Directly behind the L-shaped couch we find a sun pad that contains a fold up changing room, allowing guests an opportunity to change from a wet swim suit to something more comfortable for the cruise home. Behind the changing station two additional fold down pedestal seats are mounted aft for additional fishing space. Opposite the changing station a lockable rod compartment sits against the starboard bulwark for easy access. Similar to the forward configuration, rod holders are built into the floor and stanchions for added convenience. We like how the builder created a separate space at the stern, essentially designing the boat with three individual areas in mind, each of which serves a purpose. The removable table is also re-locatable aft should the guests want to have dinner facing the sunset.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 changing station
    The sun pad pictured above easily transforms into a zip-up changing station for those looking to change out of swimwear before a dock and dine.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 rod storage
    Lockable rod storage is located aft, directly across from the dual fishing pedestals.
    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 pedestal seats
    Two foldable pedestal seats are pictured above, identical to the ones at the bow. Notice how the added bulwark on the sun pad creates a sense of separation and definition to the aft fishing area. We also like the continuation of built-in rod holders on the stanchions.

    Finally we move directly to the stern where we find a bench seat with a padded backrest. This bench has dual compartments underneath, both of which serve different functions. On the starboard side we find convenient access to an enclosed battery compartment. On the port side, a larger 16-gallon (60.57 L) aerated livewell with removable bait bucket and a shut off valve completes the fishing experience.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 bench livewell
    An aerated 16-gallon (60.57 L) livewell with removable bait bucket is housed beneath the port aft cushion. Notice how the snaps help keep the hatches secure while underway. We also like the convenient locations of the drink and rod holder. On the starboard bench seat, a self-contained battery box is easily accessible. The builder also wrapped the aft safety rail for added comfort.

    The stern also features a dual locking safety gate that leads to a swim platform with a four-step reboarding ladder, containing wide treads for easy balance and comfort on bare feet. An optional ski tower ($470) is also available for those families interested in the watersports arena.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 ladder
    Notice the wide treads on this particular ladder, and the location of the grab handles directly above for easy boarding.

    Power/Price

    The Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3 is powered by Mercury outboards, and comes standard with a 115 ELPT FourStroke ($27,595). As mentioned above, there are numerous power configurations, all of which are available on the builder’s website. The top rated engine configuration for the Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3 would be the Mercury 150-hp ELPT FourStroke ($29,995).Because the boat is advertised and designed around fishing we would encourage any buyer to consider the Fish Package ($1,025), which includes the Mark-5x Pro fishfinder, and MotorGuide W55 wireless 12V, 55-lb. thrust foot-control trolling motor. If the boater plans on trailering their Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3, Sun Tracker also offers an optional tandem-axle trailer with brakes ($3,195).

    Warranty

    The following items are part of the Sun Tracker Warranty --

    Ten-Year Bow-to-Stern Warranty

    -- that means factory-installed workmanship and materials are covered for ten years from the time of purchase, including electrical components, livewells and plumbing, carpet and vinyl, furniture, Bimini top and much more. Your engine is covered by the Mercury manufacturer's warranty.

    Lifetime Limited Structural and Deck Warranty

    -- provides coverage for pontoon logs, motor pod, other structural elements including deck supports, perimeter fence rails and gates, and more, for the life of the boat.

    Transferability to Second Owner

    -- the resale value of your boat can be enhanced by provisions to transfer warranty elements to a second owner. Your Sun Tracker dealer can help you put applicable elements into effect when you are ready.

    One-stop Warranty Resolution

    -- 10+LIFE coverage offers a one-stop solution, eliminating the need to pursue separate warranties with component manufacturers.

    Full Coverage During Warranty Period

    -- means there is no pro-rating, or reduction of your coverage over time. So the peace of mind you enjoy at the outset carries throughout your coverage period.

    In addition, Sun Tracker even backs its optional trailers by warranting the Galvashield steel tubing against structural failure due to corrosion for three years!

    Observations

    Overall, the Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3 contains many of the same impressive features as her older sister, the Party Barge 24 XP3, which is more entertainment based. The layout of the Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3 is well thought out and the builder clearly maximized the functionality within the space it was given. We were very impressed with the builder’s ability to create three different functional spaces within a confined deck, and while we question the name “barge”, the boat certainly serves a purpose for families looking to get out on the water and into the sport of fishing.

    Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 22 XP3 fishing
    A beautiful family spending time on their Fishin’ Barge 22 XP3, learning to fish together.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Marine Electronics

    Fishfinder Optional

    Systems

    CD Stereo Standard
    Shore Power Optional

    Exterior Features

    Swim Ladder Standard
    Tower: Watersports Optional

    Canvas

    Bimini Top Standard

    Warranty

    Deck Warranty
    Transferable
    Limited lifetime Yes http://www.suntrackerboats.com/about/warranty.cfm
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