Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Since this is the first Boatdealers.ca review of a SunChaser, a little background is in order. In its own words, “It all started with our love for being on the water. Ever since the first Starcraft was launched in 1903, our family has expanded its commitment to building great watercraft with exceptional brands like Smoker Craft and Sylvan. It’s a tradition of quality and craftsmanship that can be achieved only through the pride and attention to detail that a family-owned company can provide. Over a century later, we continue to produce some of the best values you’ll find anywhere, like SunChaser pontoons.”
For 2015, SunChaser Boats, headquartered in New Paris, Indiana, offers thirty-three models of pontoon boats from eighteen to almost twenty-six feet in five series. The Classic Cruise 8520 LR Lounger, at almost twenty-one feet length overall, is part of the twelve model Classic Cruise series featuring six floorplan configurations.
The “LR Lounger” configuration of this reviewed model offers the greatest seating accommodation even though all four 8520 models (each with different suffix designators and thus a different floorplan configuration) are capacity rated for ten passengers.
All four Classic Cruise 8520 models have identical interior floorplans from the driver’s helm and portside entry door forward. This includes a port and starboard side two-person lounge with rounded forward corners. The 8520 LR Lounger variation maximizes seating options with both port and starboard side rear lounge seats; a two-seater on the starboard side aft of the driver’s helm chair and a large three or even four-seater on the port side stretching aft from the centre portside entry gate. All furniture features rotocast composite construction with storage below.
Between these two aft lounge seats is a standard removable oval table with built-in cupholders. A second table base is supplied standard in the bow area. Both the bow and stern entry gates are centered and filler cushions are optionally available to convert the bow and stern lounges into U-shaped seating areas, further enhancing both seating and entertaining possibilities. A vinyl covered stern platform comes standard with a fold-up aluminum boarding ladder.
A fibreglass molded driver’s console comes complete with a tinted windscreen plus chrome accented tachometer and fuel gauge, 12-volt receptacle, plus the standard AM/FM stereo with auxiliary MP3 port and two speakers. The captain’s bucket helm chair comes with swivel and slider adjustments plus flip-up armrests. All furniture including this helm chair is upholstered with 32 ml Ultimate SS vinyl. Standard interior flooring is 22 ounce Mica Mist carpet. An 8’6” colour coordinated bimini top is standard as is a flip-up change room.
There are several neat individual options plus option packages you can select to personalize the Classic Cruise 8520 LR Lounger just the way you want it to maximize the enjoyment of the type of boating you want to do. Individual options include carpet upgrade, vinyl, Sea Weave, Teak Weave, V-Teak, or Synthetic Teak flooring, a high-back helm chair, trim and depth gauges, ski tow bar, underwater lighting, additional table, steering wheel plus stereo upgrades, porta potti, plus canvas options including a playpen cover plus half or full camper enclosures.
Option packages include the Gauge Package which adds a speedometer, voltmeter, and trim gauge to the instrument cluster. The Executive Helm Package includes a raised helm platform with lighting, Infinity PRV 250 stereo upgrade with Bluetooth connectivity, LED platform lighting, a tilting Stella Filetto steering wheel and an “executive” console with tachometer, speedometer, fuel gauge and voltmeter.
You could instead choose the ultimate Touring Package which includes all of the components of the above two packages plus upgraded pillow-top Touring upholstery, exterior enhanced panel graphics, plus a stainless steel rear boarding ladder.
The standard Classic Cruise 8520 LR Lounger includes a pair of 25-inch diameter tubes with a maximum 125 horsepower rating of the outboard brand of your choice. The Xtreme Performance Package option gives you a third centre tube, a performance shield for better and more efficient water flow underneath the deck, plus performance strakes on the tubes for better lift and handling characteristics. This option allows a better than 50 percent horsepower increase to 200.
The Xtreme PR25 Performance Package option gives you all of the above package plus an increase in fuel tank capacity from 24 to 60 gallons plus Sea Star hydraulic steering plus a ski tow bar as part of the package.
As SunChaser says, “Is your family ready for great times on the water? There's no easier way to enjoy cruising, fishing, swimming and all-day fun than on the SunChaser pontoon.”
|Length:||20' 10"||6.35 m|
|Beam:||8' 6"||2.59 m|
|Dry weight:||1850 lbs||839 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||24 US gals||91 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Outboard|
|Engine HP:||Max. 125|