Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
The Sweetwater 2486 C is a well-crafted model from the Godfrey family of pontoons. But before we talk about the boat, let’s orient ourselves with the brand for a moment. Founded in 1958, the Godfrey brand has been building pontoon boats for over six decades. Under the watchful eyes of parent company Polaris (who acquired them in 2018), Godfrey offers multiple series of pontoons for all levels of buyers in todays booming pontoon market.
So what does Sweetwater bring to the table?
• Sweetwater is a great value line
• Sweetwater Xperience is their price point
• Monaco brings in expanded features and options
• AquaPatio delves deeper into higher end finishes
• XP offers something for the sport focused crowd
• And Sanpan delivers premium elegance & comfort
For today’s buyer, this means the brand has extensive experience building a wide range of pontoon models and layouts with decades of skilled craftsmen and women on the factory floor. That also brings confidence & peace of mind to new owners
Knowing our 2486 C was from the Sweetwater value line, I had modest expectations as we arrived at the docks. But as the day progressed, without a doubt this boat exceeded my expectations in several categories.
First impressions last forever and mine was: WOW the exterior fencing and rail lines look classy and stylish as she sits at the dock. As I queried the factory rep, I learned that everything is hand welded on site in Elkhart, IN. The welds are immaculate. The big and bold Godfrey logo jumps proudly off the fence and the upper portion of the forward loungers sit nice and tall, giving me assurance of a comfortable passenger experience.
There were lots of examples of Godfrey’s buying power throughout the boat – building this many different models brings a long list of parts and pieces that fit multiple models. Value lines typically benefit from sharing parts that are standard on the upper end lines – this is very common in factory inventory management and is a definite benefit for the Sweetwater buyer.
The forward bow seating is massive with plenty of room for 4+ adults on the starboard side and 3 more comfortably under the port side. You’ll find lots of comfort from high quality foams wrapped in superior vinyl and Everlast stitching with raised foam cushions underneath your knees and in the upper back rest. Our test boat was adorned with 4 optional moveable beverage holders (great idea especially in this big of a layout).
To the passenger side of the helm sits an L-shaped lounger with room for 3-4 guests and a small beverage/dinette table. Underneath each seating area you’ll find self draining storage compartments – all of which are Rotocast with integrated drainage, meaning your gear stays dry and your seat bases last forever. The Godfrey crew even snuck in some additional storage on the lounger backrests.
Rear of the L-shaped lounger is a pop-up sun pad which could readily accommodate a small change room and porta potti for those who desire such options (Free Tip- your family will thank you and you will enjoy longer boating seasons by adding these).
The helm station was a pleasant surprise with a quality seat for the captain featuring full slide and swivel capabilities. The real treat for me, a moment where the buying power was evident, was the well equipped dashboard. Vinyl wrapped tilt steering wheel with chrome inserts, ready access to the Fusion sound system (4 speakers perfectly placed throughout the boat), a somewhat hidden series of charge ports for an aux cord, USB or 12V, a beverage holder, and the standard array of useable rocker switches. What blew me away was the gauge package – no shortcuts here folks. The Sweetwater 2486 C is equipped with speedo, tach, fuel, trim, and battery voltage meter. Absolutely excellent choices which readily give confidence to every buyer and deliver over the top value in the Sweetwater ‘value’ lineup.
My two critiques are the lack of a sport windshield (you can buy as an option), although to be perfectly fair many of these are nothing more than décor, and the stern ladder. I’ll give in about the windshield but I just can’t on the ladder, which needs wider rungs and a wider on-deck entry. These are absolutely available in the market and I am sure Godfrey uses them on some of their other series of boats.
Very seldom (if ever) do I delve into the world of bimini tops. I did on the Sweetwater 2486 C, and was I ever happy with the results. The boot (cover) zipped off thanks to the quality zippers, and I confidently and easily pulled the bimini forward. I was very pleasantly surprised to find easy to use quick connect hookups to secure the forward arms into place. Seriously, it took less than 2 minutes to install by myself and the top was ready for the day – awesome. I then returned the bimini to its resting place, secured for a day of sun or a run with the roof down, and even with putting the boot back on I was still done in under 2 minutes. What a great surprise and an awesome owner benefit!
Underneath the 2486 C, the outer tubes are 25” in diameter and our test boat featured the optional Sport Tube package which gave us a 27” centre tube with lifting strakes and a built-in fuel tank. Paired up with Yamaha’s 115 Vmax four stroke this made for a very confident performer.
The 2486 lies 24’ 10” (7.57 m) long in the water with an 8’ 6” (2.59 m) beam and she holds 114 L (30 US gal) of fuel. Simply put, she’s a big boat with tons of room. I did not expect a ‘rocket ship’ but I did expect good test results and she absolutely delivered.
While running solo with a full tank of fuel I found capable cruising speeds of 19 and 23 MPH @ 4,250 and 5,400 RPM, respectively. She topped out right where she should at 29 MPH @ 6,100 RPM. Our test boat had an aluminum prop and there would be some hole shot benefit from adding a stainless model but don’t expect tons more top end – again, she’s right where she should be.
The bottom line – the Sweetwater 2486 C may be called the value line from Godfrey but in this instance value equals quality. There are high quality features and affordable amenities everywhere here backed by over 60 years of experience. Whether you’re looking for a capable entertainer or a pontoon for a large family this boat will fit your needs. Shop online with their easy to use ‘Build a Boat’ tools and then get yourself in to see your local dealer. You’ll be glad you did.
|Dry weight:||2,200 lbs||998 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||30 US gal||114 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Yamaha|
|Engine HP:||115 V Max|