Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
Balancing the needs and wants of an entire family can be a struggle at the best of times. Think of the last time you put a meal on the table and all the kids and your partner all reacted the same way. The same challenge happens with boating. Imagine your partner and your daughter are both avid anglers, while you and your son just want to sit in the sun. You know a pontoon boat is the right answer, but how do you balance, and more importantly satisfy, everyone’s needs and wants?
Enter the Sylvan L3 Party Fish. Her name is a dead giveaway that she’s ready to please the entire family – even the pickiest ‘eaters’ and she delivers on all fronts. Let’s take a closer look.
For the one who wants exceptional curb appeal, our test boat hit it out of the park with striking deep blue exterior fencing (colour choices available) alongside white and grey accents, and it’s all held together with optional black anodized rails. The raised chrome Sylvan logo pops off the deep blue fence and the high back interior furniture stands tall above the fence line.
Resting comfortably on the transom was Yamaha’s 150 four stroke Vmax SHO. Underneath her deck the L3 Party Fish incorporates Sylvans’ SPX Third Tube Performance Package which adds a performance shield, centre tube, lifting strakes and a 38 gallon (144 L) onboard fuel tank. The performance enthusiasts’ needs were soon to be satisfied.
The rear deck is where it comes together for the anglers in the family. Here you’ll find a pair of very comfortable ‘fishing’ chairs which can be rotated forward to join in on cockpit conversations if desired. Anglers will also find a well-equipped fish box with rocket launchers, beverage holders, baitwell, tool holder and more. You’ll also appreciate the raised storage lockers to both port and starboard in the fishing focused stern section of the L3 Party Fish.
Moving forward to mid-cabin is where you’ll want to relax on a port side lounger which will comfortably seat 2–3 guests, and if lounging is the game then the option is there to comfortably face forwards or backwards. Recessed cup holders are nested in the centre of the lounger and the high backrest cushion will make this a great seat for all. The standard pop-up change room tucks in to the forward section of this lounger.
The helm station features a high back captain’s seat that slides and swivels resting in behind the well-appointed dash. The helm itself houses a small but functional windscreen, cup holder, a full slate of gauges, sound system with blue tooth, dual USB charger alongside the 12V charger, lighted toggle switches, a unique phone ‘pocket’ and the ‘Verona’ tilt steering wheel. I smiled when I noted the rocker for the power top – meaning the bimini can be readily raised or lowered for trailering, storage, or bridge clearance needs.
Moving forward we find another pair of ultra-comfortable loungers with a 2-seater to port and an easy 3+ seater to starboard. All the loungers feature multi-level foam installation for leg comfort along with multiple vinyl styles and textures for a great look. All loungers also feature rotocast self-draining plastic seat bases to provide safe and dry storage.
After reconfirming my spec sheets and reminding myself that the L3 Party Fish carries an overall length of 23’ 10” (7.26 m) our camera guru and I eased away from the dock and into the Indiana water. We were blessed with another perfect test day with 25 degrees C (77 F), and calm waters with limited boat traffic. Our test boat weighs in (dry weight) at 2,100 lbs (953 kg), add in 480 lbs (218 kg) for the engine and approximately 15 gallons of fuel and we had a rigged boat weight of roughly 2,700 lbs plus the two of us.
I was able to run the length of the lake to experience the performance and handling characteristics prior to settling down to capture the details. The SPX tube package does all it’s intended to do in getting the boat up and on plane while yielding fun turning capabilities. Once we determined our safe testing location, we pushed her through a series of holeshots consistently coming to a very satisfying 3.46 second average. We then tapped into cruising speeds and smiled at 16 mph @ 3,450 RPM and 22 mph @ 4,300 RPM. After completing another series of passes and with one crew member moving over to the camera boat, I was left solo to identify top speed. After several passes and multiple trim points I landed at 34 mph @ 6,100 RPM with trim at 7/8 up. Admittedly, there was never a moment with this one that I didn’t have a big grin on my face.
Just like satisfying the needs of a growing and hungry family the same can be achieved with your choice of the right pontoon boat. Take the time online to shop, go in and talk to a local dealer, head in to see your options at a local boat show and you’ll surely find the right fit for your specific list of needs and wants. And that fit could very well be the Sylvan L3 Party Fish.
|Dry weight:||2,100 lbs||953 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||38 US gal||144 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Yamaha|