Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
“Sylvan Marine traces its history back to the late 1940s, when it was founded as a pontoon and houseboat manufacturer near Sylvan Lake in Wolcottville, Indiana. Today, the Sylvan brand is part of the Smoker Craft Family…” with manufacturing facilities in New Paris, Indiana.
For 2013, Sylvan offers an incredible thirty models of pontoon boats from nineteen to twenty-seven feet in four series from the luxuriously appointed Mandalay series through the Signature to the more basic Mirage Cruise series to the versatile Mirage Fish series.
The Mirage Cruise 8522 LZ at 23’10” long on a full 8’6” beam is the second largest in this series and offers basic but very comfortable cruising amenities and is rated for a maximum carrying capacity of twelve persons or 2200 pounds.
As with all Sylvan pontoon boats, it is constructed, in Sylvan’s words, with “Exclusive Cross Channel Construction features heavy-duty hat channels double through-bolted to the deck risers. Deck and Floor features 3/4" 7-ply pressure-treated plywood through-bolted and screwed to the hat channels. Lifetime limited warranty. Spacers between the fence bottom and the deck allow water to drain easily and cut drying time in half. Fencing is foam-backed to prevent rattling and reinforced for added strength. Gate construction offers the safety of pinch-proof protectors and Posi-Lock® latches. Stainless steel safety rails are used exclusively for increased strength and reliability. Powder coated railings provide a clean look and feel.”
This particular model comes standard with two, .080” gauge round pontoon “tubes.” Depending upon your cruising needs in terms of normal loading capacity, rough water boating, or speed requirements for watersports, etc, you may wish to upgrade to a third centre tube, add lifting strakes to those tubes, or go all the way with Sylvan’s Revolutionary Planing Technology (RPT) tube design with V-shaped tubes which, in Sylvan’s words, provide “increased top speed per horsepower and dramatically improved fuel efficiency.” The addition of a third tube raises the maximum horsepower rating from 150 to 200.
As with all Sylvan, Starcraft, and Smoker Craft boats in the family, its boats come with a limited lifetime warranty on hull and structure plus a 6-year warranty on all components, carpet, upholstery, and electronics. All parts and labour are included in this warranty and it is transferrable to a second owner.
Sylvan refers to this particular model as a “Sunbathers Delight.” “Lounge your days away on the water in the Mirage Cruise 8522 LZ. You and your friends can enjoy those days under the sun relaxing in one of four beautiful premium loungers or jump on out and use the convenient rear entry ladder to enjoy your favorite sports on the water.” And let there be no doubt that virtually every bit of floor space is dedicated to seating. It has two facing loungers in the bow section, a complete wrap-around U-shaped lounge in the stern section with a removable centre section to accommodate a centre rear gate leading to the aft deck. Amidships are the starboard side driver’s consoles and swivel helm chair with slider and armrests and a similar passenger chair opposite on the port side immediately behind the side entry gate. A bow entry gate separates the two bow lounges.
The beauty of this Mirage Cruise 8522 LZ is that it comes equipped with the basic standard necessities, but you can then option it up to your heart’s content with only those particular items you want from a very long and complete list of possibilities. Let’s explore that list. On the floor, 22-oz. sculptured carpet is standard or you can opt for 28-oz. carpet or vinyl flooring with or without snap-in carpet.
A custom molded helm console with windscreen and basic gauges are standard and you can add a full complement of gauges such as speedometer, volt meter, trim, depth gauges and hydraulic steering too. Stereo and docking lights are standard and add underwater, under deck, and floor lighting. A change room is standard and add the porta potti. Tables with two floor bases are standard; add a second table and floor base. Bimini tops are standard and add a full complement of canvas options. Rear entry boarding ladders is standard, but choose to add a swim platform or you may even choose a ski tow attachment.
Also available is the “LE Package” option that includes upgraded “Sand Dollar” furniture, the aforementioned 28-oz. Tru Mica carpet, high-back helm chair with armrests, mood lighting, an enhanced console with tilt steering, a chrome spoked steering wheel, and a gauge package.
So cruise, entertain, or enjoy your watersports in the Mirage Cruise 8522 LZ, and equip it precisely the way you want knowing that there will never likely be two of them on your lake exactly identical.
|Length:||23' 10"||7.26 m|
|Beam:||8' 6"||2.59 m|
|Dry weight:||2,295 lbs||1,041 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||30 US gals||114 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Evinrude/Honda/Mercury/Suzuki/Yamaha Outboard|
|Engine HP:||Max 150|