Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
SunCatcher pontoons, built by G3 Boats of Lebanon, Missouri, a Yamaha Boat Company, offers a total of forty-four pontoon models for 2018 from sixteen to twenty-six feet in four series; the luxurious Diamond Elite Series, the tri-log standard Elite Series, the comfort oriented X Series, and the value-oriented V Series.
There are eight models in the Elite Series from twenty-two to twenty-six feet. The Tri-Log Performance Package is standard equipment on all eight Elite models, including a full-length under-deck aluminum performance shield intended to increase fuel efficiency, speed, and durability. Lifting strakes on the pontoons are also standard equipment.
The addition of this Performance Package allows higher horsepower ratings, in this case from 115 up to 250 horsepower maximum. Yamaha of course. The two outer pontoons are each 25 inches while the center log is 23 inches. These logs are not actually round but U-shaped with a flat top. To every log is added blocks of closed-cell foam as “redundant flotation.”
The “SE” in the model designation refers to “Stern Entertainment.” What the Elite 26 SE thus provides are a matched pair of high back, swivel, reclining luxurious Captain’s chairs with flip-up armrests facing an extended length countertop located on the aft face of the port side L-shaped lounge and just ahead of the stern fence rail. Thus the occupants of both the L-shaped lounge and the Captain’s chairs have ready access to this entertaining counter.
The inclusion of the Tri-Log Performance Package increases the capacity rating of the boat, in the case of this Elite 326 SE to a total of fifteen persons. To accommodate this many, a port side bow lounger is ideal for two or three persons. Opposite on the starboard side ahead of the driver’s helm console is another lounger ideal for three to four persons. Storage is found beneath all of the seat cushions of both loungers while a pop-up change room/privacy enclosure is accommodated within the port side lounger.
An optional bow couch insert fills in across the bow entrance gate to create full U-shaped bow seating. Aft of the port side lounger is the center port side entrance gate. A third entrance gate is on the starboard side of the stern fence leading to the stern deck with its redesigned extended stainless steel boarding ladder with high assist handles. A center stern deck-mounted ski tow pylon is standard. A portable floor-mounted Black Pearl wood grain oval table to serve either the bow lounges or the port side aft lounger is optionally available.
Just aft of the center port side entrance gate and extending aft along the port side to the entertainment counter is a four or five seat L-shaped lounge, again with storage beneath all hinged seat cushions. So, along with the driver’s helm chair plus the two Captain’s chairs at the entertainment counter, a total of fifteen persons can be accommodated and each with a comfortable and perhaps luxurious seat.
The custom molded driver’s helm console on the Elite 326 SE is most modern and complete with a fully adjustable high back, swivel, reclining luxurious Captain’s chair with flip-up armrests facing a custom sporty steering wheel with standard Sea Star® power steering. The dash consists of two large diameter Faria® fog-free multi-function analog gauges, one on each side of a, new for 2018, center-mounted available Simrad® or Lowrance® in-dash screens. A Kicker® stereo system is standard. Storage is found within the helm console and additional in-floor storage, ideal for watersports accessories, is found within the center pontoon just ahead of this console.
The range of exterior colour choices plus interior colour and fabric choices is extensive. Standard exterior railing and pontoon colour is aluminum with Black and Silver available. Fence Metallic colours in Black, Charcoal, or White are available along with Champagne, Wineberry Red, or Indigo Blue. Exterior graphics are available in the combinations of Pewter with Harbor Gray or Desert Sand with Canyon Tan.
For interior upholstery colours you can choose Gray with Pewter or Tan with Desert Tan and then select from nine choices of interior full deck flooring plus another nine choices of split-deck flooring where the forward approximately two-thirds of the deck surface can be covered separately and differently from the aft third which is approximately from the rear of the aft port side lounge right to the rear of the deck. The bimini top plus a number of other Sunbrella canvas choices are available in Jet Black or Charcoal Tweed.
The 2018 SunCatcher Elite 326 SE pontoon boat – comfortable, luxurious, high performance, and well equipped.
|Dry weight:||3,280 lbs Boat Only||1,488 kg Boat Only|
|Fuel Capacity:||38 US gals||144 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Yamaha Outboard|