Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
South Bay pontoon boats by Forest River Marine of Middlebury, Indiana, a division of the over sixty-five companies of Forest River, Inc., the largest recreational vehicle manufacturer in the world with annual sales of approximately 4.5 billion dollars, is itself a subsidiary of the giant Berkshire Hathaway.
The 925SSS (Super Sport Series) is the largest in South Bay’s four model 900 series, the highest performing and most luxurious of four series of forty-five models of pontoon boats ranging from 17 to 27 feet.
To clarify, South Bay also offers the 925S model which is slightly shorter in all measurements of length (deck, tube, and overall) and features a slightly different floorplan than the 925SSS. But the 925S is significantly different in other specifications; lighter in weight due mainly to single versus twin engine but compensates by being rated to carry fifteen persons versus nine for the 925SSS which is rated for maximum 800 horsepower versus 350 for the 925S. So if speed and high performance is part of your plan and a maximum of nine persons on board is sufficient, then the luxurious 925SSS is definitely your choice.
Two high-back armchairs with integrated headrests and flip-up bolsters located approximately midship coddle the driver and a portside passenger. Aft of these is one huge U-shaped lounge which fills the entire stern portion of the boat. Ahead of the starboard helm and portside entry gate are port and starboard side forward curved lounge seats separated only by the centre bow entry gate. An indentation in the top of the stern lounge seatback aids step-across access to the unique, full-width aft facing contoured bench seat.
All lounge seating is constructed with fibreglass bases with integral storage. Cushions are of triple density foam upholstered with Sonora Soft Touch vinyl available in four standard base colours plus seven accent colour choices. Standard flooring is beige or grey Tropical Weave. You will also want to select from eight choices of exterior panel colours and panel accenting colours. The standard ten-foot bimini top plus playpen cover come in six colour coordinated choices.
The very modernistic, raised, molded fibreglass sport helm of the 925SSS features a standard Murphy digital colour touchscreen display graph centrally mounted within the silver dash. This touchscreen is not only a GPS plotter but also a depth sounder and includes all required motor function monitoring plus an hourmeter, voltmeter, speedometer, and fuel gauge.
An upgraded stainless steel, tilt steering wheel with Seastar® hydraulic steering is standard. The adjustable helm chair features a hydraulically height adjustable pedestal base. A molded in glove box is provided as is a flip-out trash container, low profile tinted windscreen, 12-volt power plug, courtesy light, plus the standard Bluetooth compatible stereo with MP3 and iPod docks, amplifier and subwoofer plus a total of six speakers including two within the aft-facing portion of the stern lounge seat.
An extensive list of combined 900 series and Super Sport Trim Package standard equipment features really enhance the 925SSS. Included is an electrically raising and lowering sport arch complete with two additional speakers plus lots of LED lighting including rail mounted docking lights, courtesy floor lights, exterior rail lights, speaker lighting, and stern cupholder lighting. A mahogany oval table with stainless steel base is centred between the two bow lounges.
Other standard stainless steel hardware includes many handy cupholders, deck corners, rail braces, pop-up cleats, stern boarding ladder, and bimini support brackets. Other standard features include a battery charger, chaise lounge mounted privacy hoop and curtain, transom stereo remote, plus an unusually large vinyl covered swim platform with aluminum ski tow bar.
Leaving perhaps the most important standard feature to the last, the 925SSS includes the most comprehensive of South Bay’s three performance package options as standard equipment. This 3.0+ Triple Tube Performance Package includes a full length 25-inch diameter centre tube, aluminum under deck performance skin, lifting strakes on both sides of the centre tube and the inside of the outer pair of tubes, PAD running surfaces on both outer tubes, plus a larger built-in 52-gallon (197 L) fuel tank. Now you can mount a big single or twin Mercury FourStroke outboard power up to 800 horsepower.
Optional add-ons you may wish to consider include “teak” vinyl flooring upgrade in brown or grey, LED underwater and/or under deck lighting, rear view mirror and/or camera, a most useful in-floor storage compartment, and perhaps an aluminum hard top, or Mercury joystick handling feature.
The South Bay 925SSS pontoon boat simply exudes both luxury and performance.
|Dry weight:||3,950 lbs||1,792 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||52 US gals||197 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Single or Twin Mercury Outboard|
|Engine HP:||Max 800|