Boat Review by: Matt Spencer
They say if something is working then you might as well expand on it. The is what Princecraft Boats has done for 2016 with the expansion of their Vogue line and the introduction of the 29. We had a chance to perform a digital test drive on the Vogue 29 SE, a big and bold pontoon that will have people turning their heads at the dock.
As you approach the Vogue 29 SE it’s hard not to be taken back by its impressive dockside stature. It’s 29 foot length and 8.5 foot beam make it a rather large boat overall, but the optional wakeboard tower catches your eye, along with the sleek and clean look of the exterior thanks to the APS concept design. This means that there are no exterior railings shown on the boat. In a market where some pontoon builders are almost over doing it with the exterior railing stylings I like that Princecraft is breaking away from this mould something they did when they first introduced the Vogue line of pontoons a few years ago now. Continuing on the exterior styling as you scan your eyes forward you will notice the gates start to swoop forward up to the fibreglass bow accents creating a sleek, always in motion appearance.
When you look inside the 29 foot Vogue you will see there is a lot going on features wise but the best part is most of them are standard. Some boats start with a very inexpensive base price then you can quickly see the price skyrocket as you start clicking the options buttons but with the 29 SE almost everything inside that I saw was standard.
Boarding the boat from the starboard side gate ,something that not a lot of builders do anymore, I turned my attention immediately towards the bow lounge. The boat comes with an a standard bow filler section that turns the two chaise lounges into a large U shape comfort zone. This boat was equipped with the “Prestige Edition” package which right away gets you monochrome upholstery that’s a heavyweight marine grade vinyl. There was a center table mount, storage under all of the seats and under the portside lounge was the change area. While most of the time they are put into the backs of lounges, this is the first time I have seen the entire seat and backrest lift up to expose the change area that you could also put a portapotti or chemical toilet in.
I think a lot of pontoon manufacturers have tried to get away from that “party boat” reputation that comes with pontoons but Princecraft has embraced it with a portside bar area at the midship. Again this is a standard feature as part of this package and it comes with four bar stools, lighted cup holders and storage underneath. A hidden feature of these stools is that they are on gas cylinders and adjust height up and down. This is important because they need to be below the gate height for them to be legal to sit on while under way, this is not an issue.
The helm on the Vogue 29 SE was really a thing of beauty. It’s moulded faux wood dash had an elegant gauge cluster that was easy to see above the tilt steering wheel. The system switches were mounted on a panel that was above the Mercury digital throttle and shift. They seemed to surround a flush mounted upgraded Clarion touch stereo. This spot would be perfect for a flush mounted GPS system. This is a boat that you are going to want to “pimp out” as the kids say, with lots of bells and whistles like touch screen GPS and a bumping stereo. It’s all part of the ultimate day boat experience that the Vogue creates.
Pontoons are so much more than pontoons these days. They are the ultimate do it all day boat that you can experience everything in from relaxing cruises to boisterous dock parties to tubing and wakeboarding all from one boat. They extend your dock space and you will spend just as much time on it at the dock as you will on the anchor.
Rounding out the interior walk through was a port side counter top section that would be perfect for a grill, and you can prep meals or daiquiris here conveniently enough right over the ice maker and fridge. Across from that is a lonely single chaise lounge that faces rear. There’s storage under both the seats and back rests along with a cup holder. This will be a popular spot because of it’s unobstructed view of the lake or its proximity to the drink and food station, it’s hard to say which one.
This Vogue 29 SE was powered by a 350 hp Mercury Verado. Now before you go and spit your coffee out know this boat is rated for a max of 400! Before you go thinking that this is ridiculous think about it logically. This is a 29 foot boat and yet it weighs less than 4000 lbs. If you were to compare that to any 29 foot fiberglass bowriders, of which there are many, they would be twice the weight and need twice the horsepower. Now all of a sudden this power choice makes a lot of sense. When you have the ultimate day boat like this you don’t want it to be a glorified floating dock. You want it to to have the flash AND the dash and this Vogue definitely had dash.
Putting the digital throttle down all the way the 29 foot boat surged forward and was muscled by the supercharged Verado to 20 mph in a mere 2.8 seconds and to 30 mph in 4.3 seconds. I backed the throttle off to a comfortable cruising speed of 28 mph at 4800 rpm. Playing with the trim settings I was impressed how positive this big boat responded to trim adjustments and soon I had the nose of the boat up in the air with little drag and water noise.
You usually don’t think you have to trim a pontoon boat but absolutely you do! They’re just as responsive to trim and speed adjustments as sport boats. I was impressed at how delightful of a driving experience the Vogue 29 SE was with the Mercury Verado was. It’s a big, impressive motor for a big, impressive boat. Sure turning wasn’t the sharpest but that’s to be expected. That’s a tough code to crack in the pontoon world: how do I get my pontoon to go fast and turn well. It’s the proverbial cake and ice cream. But if that’s the only qualm with this boat then that’s pretty good in my eyes.
More and more people are buying pontoons because of models like the Vogue 29 SE. When you’re looking to buy a big day boat most default to bow riders but it’s about time to start thinking pontoons and it’s the 2016 Princecraft Vogue 29 SE leading the charge.
|Length:||29' 10"||9.1 m|
|Beam:||8" 6"||2.6 m|
|Dry weight:||3603 lbs||1634 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||51 US gals||193 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury|