Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
After nearly 20 years of consistent growth thanks to their user-friendly features, entertainment focused layouts, and the capacity to host large groups of friends and family, the pontoon boat market is producing larger and larger craft every year.
But what about families who are just looking for a small pontoon for smaller groups? What about families who want quality features in a more affordable platform?
Enter the FUN Series from Legend Boats. Legend brings FUN to your waters in five different ways: the 16, 18, & 20 FUN models deliver a compact basic cruise configuration, while the 18 & 20 FUN EXT packages offer an additional forward casting deck for the anglers in the family.
We were excited to be given the opportunity to test the 18 FUN model, and what a time we had.
First, her specifications. She measures a full 18’ of deck length, carries an 8’ beam, and weighs in at only 1,425 lbs. As I perused the online information, I was admittedly surprised to see a 75 L (20 US gal) built-in fuel tank.
Underneath the deck she floats on 23” diameter .080 gauge pontoon tubes which are perfectly suited for use on smaller bodies of water. The same 1 ¼” raised aluminum fence rails with 3/8” risers found on many of Legend’s larger models are also here on the 18 FUN. Your benefit as an owner is the strength of this design -- the risers allow water to freely move off of the deck. A total of 3 gates are found on the 18 FUN, all with posi-lock latches. You’ll find one gate forward in the bow section, another is positioned centre on the transom, and the third is located port side. This gives you and your crew plenty of egress options. The stern of the 18 FUN offers about a 12” walkway from side to side and hosts a 5-step reboarding ladder on the starboard side.
Storage abounds on the 18 FUN with all self draining storage compartments made from rotomolded plastic - your gear stays dry and you’ll never worry about rot of any kind. There’s even a oversized sealed storage compartment underneath the helm station. The helm console itself is also rotomolded and features a combo speedo/fuel gauge along with a controller for the sound system. It also houses the necessary breaker switches and an ergonomically comfortable captain’s chair.
A handy rear bimini top is included for moments when it’s time to get out of the sun. The seats and loungers are perfectly sized and offer up quality vinyls. I can confidently say, each seat is comfortable to rest in. I was pleasantly surprised to find a pop-up enclosure on the starboard side of the bow lounger. Six drink holders are recessed in the chaise lounge seats and an additional three are cast into the console – nine drink holders on an 18’ boat are plenty!
Legend offers up a ‘Preferred Equipment Package’ on the 18 FUN which delivers EZ Clean Flooring, the transom reboarding ladder, a Bluetooth sound system, and a 12 V charging outlet. The package carries a retail value of over $2,600 and is included on all 18 FUN models at the time of this test.
Our test boat was equipped with the optional Mercury 60 ELPT 4 stroke engine with Command Thrust. This unique feature from Mercury provides a ‘pumped up’ lower which delivers a better hole shot. We moved out to our Lake Simcoe testing grounds on an 18-degree June day with 25 km/h sustained winds and 50 km/h gusts. A perfect day for testing an 18’ pontoon? While this is likely a day that would keep many boaters on the dock, we knew it would be a great day to put the 18 FUN through her paces.
By the time we made it out of the marina we discovered 12”-18” chop and the winds gusts were in full force. The 18 FUN readily got up on plane in 5.51 seconds and felt stable and confident in less than ideal conditions. Shooting our ‘boat to boat’ pictures and videography was fun, and I was able to really appreciate her compact layout and stability. Top speeds – not really a priority on a craft like this -- came in at 19 mph. More important were her cruising speeds which seemed to be nearly endless – the 18 FUN stayed on plane even at low RPM.
After over 30 years in the boating industry, I am very pleased to see a pontoon manufacturer paying close attention to this sector of the market. Our world has so many small lakes begging to be explored, the 18 FUN from Legend Boats is a well-suited solution.
|Dry weight:||1,425 lbs||646 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||20 US gal||75 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury|
|Engine HP:||60 CT|