Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
Finding the right fit for your crew in the crowded 20’ pontoon segment can sometimes appear to be a daunting task. For 2020, the Sylvan brand from Indiana brings to the table the brand-new L-1 DLZ model focused on style and tastefully balanced with premium features.
She’s 20’ 10” length overall, carries the standard 102” beam and her 75 litre fuel tank is a perfect match. In twin tube configuration the L-1 DLZ will take up to 125 HP, add on the (as tested) SPX centre tube and you can bump to a maximum of 200 HP.
The exterior of the boat is stunning at the docks with a new rail design married perfectly to a new exterior graphics layout. Our test boat also featured the optional black anodized rails which took the look up to next level.
The standard 8’6” bimini provides all the shade your guests will need on long hot summer days. Wrap the bimini up into the standard boot in moments to open up the entire interior to Mother Nature’s sunshine – if that’s what you (like me) prefer.
The interior features beautifully crafted furniture wrapped in Sylvan’s soft touch vinyls. All seat bases incorporate a self-draining feature in the roto cast molded base – meaning that your gear stays dry while safely stowed on board. There’s an ample number of cup holders throughout the cockpit, well positioned mood lighting and (thank you Sylvan) docking lights as well as multiple loungers capable of putting smiles on all the faces of your crew.
One of several interior highlights for me was the soft touch console. Designed to please any captain, the console is carefully wrapped in vinyl that will marvel most automotive brands. Gauges are finished with chrome bezels and the wrapped steering wheel has a seemingly endless array of tilt positions to suit your needs. Add to that Sylvan’s unique high back swivel and slide helm seat and you’ve got the perfect combination.
With more and more action happening on the transom of the boat Sylvan has answered that call with an innovative rear lounger. Owners can readily choose to have a 4 – 5 person dining table or simply ease the rear backrest forward to expose an enormous rear lounger. My 6’1” frame nearly disappeared on the lounger – lots of room for two to hang out or even for the kids to play.
Our test boat was powered by the Evinrude 150 HP and she proved herself with admirable torque for hole shots, cruising evaluations and top end runs. Sylvan’s optional SPX full length centre tube features lifting strakes on both sides and additional lifting stakes on the inside of the outer tubes.
When I mashed the throttle the power of the two came together like peanut butter and jam, delivering consistent 3.26 second hole shots – YOWZA!! Cruising speeds of 20 MPH @ 3,200 RPM and 29 MPH @ 4,200 RPM (both with about 3/8 trim) seemed perfect for our ride. Note that we had ¾ of a tank of fuel, two guys on board with appropriate safety gear and the camera gear required to do the job. Our water had light chop and ambient air temperatures hovered around 23 degrees C.
Top end speed registered 37 MPH @ 5,300 RPM – I suspect there’s a tad more range to be had from the engine once she’s broken in. Regardless, there’s no shame in a near 21’ pontoon with wicked hole shots and a 37 MPH top end – you’re going to spend more time in the cruising range so take the time to play with your new Sylvan and find the cruising speeds that are best suited to you and your crew.
If you’re finding the process of choosing to be daunting and / or frustrating, then pop in to your local Sylvan dealer. These are the folks who know boats best and will listen to your needs to guide you along the easy pathway to turning your dreams into realities. And have fun with it.
|Dry weight:||1,850 lbs||839 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||20 US gals||75 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Evinrude|