Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
Where a value brand collides seamlessly with sexy styling cues and adds accent lines with curb and eye appeal. Welcome to the SunChaser Geneva 8524 LR DH.
I knew when we arrived at the docks that something special was happening – our hosts had advised us that one of the test boats would be from their value line. What they didn’t tell us was that they were so in tune with their customer, so connected with societies desire to personalize and customize, that they would do just that with our test boat.
First impressions last forever in my books and my first impression was WOW. Adorned with black anodized rails, trim and top, outfitted with a generous black double bimini, this craft is beautiful from afar and even more so up close. The exterior fencing was painted in a new burgundy colour, for me she looked like a perfect red wine with black trim.
Inside the cockpit of the Geneva 8524 the smiles continued as we were greeted with a slate of 4 luxurious lounge chairs – every one of which readily accommodated my 6’1” frame. As a boater I appreciated knowing that underneath each lounger was a rotocast molded storage compartment with its own built in drainage system – meaning I’m comfortable knowing that my gear is staying dry while securely in storage.
The upgraded helm made my Captain’s experience even more rewarding with a level of comfort unmatched in virtually all value pontoons. The dash layout was excellent and a true testament of engineering’s commitment to think like a customer – everything I needed to captain this craft was easily and readily at my fingertips.
One of the interior highlights had to be the Lounge arm galley. Tucked neatly into what appears to be the backrest of the port side rear lounger I discovered this beauty. With fingertip ease I opened a hatch and happily found myself looking at a unit with a built-in sink (with portable water tank that fills with the flip of a switch), a faux granite counter for quick and easy snack prep and cleanup, a pair of drink holders and tucked neatly underneath a couple of bottle holders. This is simply a brilliant option to add to a pontoon of this size and makes the Geneva 8524 even more versatile.
The rear swim deck features a generous reboarding ladder, lots of standing room and space for swimmers to dry off, an optional double mounted ski tow and all of this was powered by Yamaha’s unstoppable 150 four stroke. Knowing that underneath the deck our SunChaser had the added benefit of the PTS System with performance shield and strakes as well as the PTS centre tube, I simply couldn’t wait to drive her.
We eased away from the dock and with 5/8th of a tank of fuel and 2 big guys on board and worked our way into open waters on a calm 26 C degree morning. Boating isn’t all about top speed and pontooning really is focused on finding great cruising speeds. We tested both and found excellent results. Hole shots were consistently just a shade over 4 seconds, top speed on our GPS was 36 MPH @ 5,350 RPM and those critical cruising speeds were 20 & 24 MPH at 3,400 & 3,800 RPM respectively. Your own cruising speeds on your SunChaser Geneva will change once you add your gear and your family – rest assured there’s plenty of versatility and strength here and you will find speeds that work for you and your crew.
SunChaser stands behind their product with a Lifetime +6 Warranty. In essence, you get a transferrable to 2nd owner, limited lifetime warranty on rivets, seams and more – ‘If they make it, it’s lifetime’. Add to that a solid 6 years on components, flooring, upholstery and electronics and you’ve got a great brand behind you ready to support your purchase.
My final impression was no different than my first impression. The SunChaser Geneva 8524 LR DH has WOW appeal from the moment you first lay eyes on her until the moment you get her onto open water and are truly blessed with the opportunity to put all this incredible engineering to the test. For a value brand she simply has tons of value.
|Dry weight:||2,471 lbs||1,121 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||30 US gals||113 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Yamaha|