Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
At 24 feet, eight inches, the SLS 3 is the middle size of three lengths with five floorplans in this all new series of pontoon boats from Starcraft. Two of these five new models have a “DC” designation meaning Dual Console.
This new SLS series of pontoon boats is one of eight series comprising dozens of models and floorplans in Starcraft’s Pontoon Boat category, one of four categories of aluminum boats plus another three categories of fibreglass boats offered by Starcraft.
The SLS series is loaded with standard equipment plus a full range of available optional equipment and packages to allow you to personalize your boat according to your on-water lifestyle choices and preferences. One of the most notable standard equipment features is that all SLS models are Tri-Toons and come with Starcraft’s HMX PR25 Performance Package which includes a PR25 Center Tube with a 60 (US) gallon built-in gas tank, HMX Performance Strakes, plus an underdeck performance shield.
Starcraft claims that, “With strategically placed strakes, HMX tubes give you better lift, less surface drag, increased speed, faster planing and a tighter turning radius. In short, it’s one exciting ride.” This HMX Performance Package also gives you Sea Star hydraulic steering and a ski pylon as standard equipment. With this package, you now have a choice of Evinrude E-TEC or Mercury Four Stroke outboard power up to a rated 300 horsepower maximum.
The floorplan of the SLS 3 is very recognizable and consists of four, two or three person couches with chaise lounging style backrests; one in each of the four corners of the deck. Midship are two high back adjustable captain’s chairs with armrests located opposite each other; the starboard chair being at the helm and the passenger chair located just aft of the center portside entry gate.
All furniture bases are Rotocast with integrated drains to help keep stored contents dry. All seating has storage beneath the seat cushions. A standard pop-up change room with or without the optional Porta-potti is housed within the aft portion of the bow portside couch. The SLS 3 is rated for a maximum of 12 persons on board and there is plenty of comfortable seating for all.
The large, molded driver’s console with tinted windscreen features a sporty, tilting steering wheel with storage within the console. Standard gauges include speedometer, volt, fuel and trim and a 12-volt accessory outlet is also supplied. This console also has the control unit for the standard AM/FM Bluetooth compatible stereo with auxiliary MP3 port.
Docking and courtesy lights are standard as are Black exterior rails, a GLS Interior Package which provides a gray interior theme, and a stern boarding ladder. Also standard is a colour-coordinated bimini top with storage boot. Sea Weave flooring is standard on the large aft deck while carpet is standard in the interior. Carpet upgrade is optionally available as are seven optional flooring choices including snap-in carpet. There are eight choices of standard exterior fence colours from which to choose.
Single choice optional equipment includes an in-dash Humminbird Helix 5 or Lowrance HDS 7 GPS/fishfinder and/or a separate depth sounder. If you choose the Lowrance unit, you may also add the “Biggie Vision Camera System.” At the helm, you may want the raised helm platform plus controls for various lighting upgrades including underwater lighting, Babbito underdeck lighting, and “cool” looking lighted cupholders. You may also choose rear-facing speakers with remote touch pad to augment the stereo.
Canvas upgrades include a double top, power canopy, and half or full camper enclosure. Add a wakeboard tower to which you may want to add a mirror, speakers, board racks, or a light bar. All of these are included in the Wake Tower Package.
More single options include power assist steering, an extended rear deck, a gate seat, extra table kit, a cooler table, raw water washdown, and a stainless steel grill. You may also want Black painted tubes, Sila-Shield protective tube coating, plus an in-floor storage compartment suitable for watersports accessories such as waterskis or a wakeboard.
A Premium Sound Package provides a Polk stereo upgrade with Polk speakers, amplifier and two subwoofers. There is a Big Water Edition Package, a Salt Water Edition Package, and finally, an SLS Super Sport Package which provides snazzy Electric Blue, Lime, Orange, or Red accent graphics.
Comfort and performance come standard in this new SLS pontoon boat series from Starcraft.
|Dry weight:||2,750 lbs||1,247 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||60 US gals||227 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Evinrude, Mercury Outboard|
|Engine HP:||Max 300|