Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
Looking to enter the pontoon game to satisfy multiple friends and family who want to cruise? Desperate to not lose the ability to capitalize on your favourite fishing grounds? Wondering if there really is a pontoon balance to satisfy all the above?
Welcome to the all new Sylvan L-3 Party Fish. Designed to blend luxurious lounging while casting in comfort, this package brings both worlds together in a non offensive collision that shatters the elements.
Let’s start at the stern with one of the most incredible pontoon fishing centers you’re ever going to find. Featuring a pair of true high back ‘helm style’ chairs that will make you forget your favourite La-Z-Boy, theses beauties let you gaze in awe at the feature packed rear fishing station. With multiple rod lockers, a 30-gallon livewell and a pair of rod holders you may even forget to notice the 4 rod, lockable storage on the port side. This truly is a fishing dream that any angler would be proud the cast from.
The helm screams comfort with its own high back reclining, swivelling, sliding beauty of a Captain’s seat. Soft touch vinyl treatment adorns the console which holds a full complement of gauges, circuit breaker toggle switches (lighted), sound system, private cup holder and all tucked neatly behind a smoked windscreen.
Across from the helm I appreciated the ‘Park Bench’ on the port side with reclining sides for true lounging and some cool innovative storage compartments. Moving forward into the cockpit we are greeted by another generous lounger on the starboard side and a slightly smaller lounger (still has lots of room for 2 adults) to port which incorporates the standard changing room – perfect for keeping some guests out on the water with us longer in the season. SHHHH, that means you can fish earlier and later in the season! You’ll also appreciate that all these loungers feature roto cast molded seat bases with a built in self draining feature – no more wet gear on your boat!
Our test boat had Mercury marine’s capable 150 four stroke on the stern, the black engine played nicely with the optional black anodized rails along the entire fence line of the L-3 Party Fish. She also featured Sylvan’s SPX Centre Tube which adds lifting strakes to both sides of the full-length centre tube and inside lifting stakes to both outer tubes.
For testing we had light to moderate chop, two of us on board with ¾ tank of fuel (114 litre capacity), safety gear and a wide array of camera equipment. Our air was a mildly pleasant 24 degrees C which was awesome for testing and evaluating the L-3 on the water.
Our hole shots delivered a very respectable average of 3.98 seconds and we found comfortable cruising speeds of 20 & 24 MPH at 3,950 & 4,600 RPM respectively. In both cases the Mercury didn’t demand or benefit from a lot of trim and we tended to hold steady at about ¼ trim in all conditions. Top end trials delivered consistent results of 32 MPH @ 6,000 RPM and again ¼ trim.
At 23’ 10” length overall she carries a 102” standard beam and a dry weight of 2,100 lbs. The L-3 had a big boat feel on the water and understandably she turned like a big boat. Once I quit trying to corner her like a performance boat (old habits die hard) she was graceful and fun. Whether running straight lines for camera shot or slow sweeping turns for the angles we were chasing, the L-3 didn’t waver or wander. She simply held true to course and delivered great results for a near 24’ craft.
So if you need the ability to take lots of friends and family cruising and still want the option to satisfy your need to fish, Sylvan’s 2020 L-3 Party Fish is one you don’t want to miss. Sylvan has done a simply exceptional job of delivering both needs in a balanced and yet premium platform.
|Dry weight:||2,100 lbs||952 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||30 US gals||113 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury|
|Engine HP:||Twin 380150|