Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
Since 1954, Princecraft has been building boats for families across North America. Their Canadian heritage has delivered endless fishing and pontoon boat memory makers across countless models and designs. As the brand quietly celebrates their 70th anniversary milestone in 2024, they continue to lean on their experience while also maintaining a commitment to continuous new model development.
The Vectra series is part of that commitment, and for 2024 the Vectra series has been totally revamped. What makes this story even more compelling is knowing that the Vectra is Princecrafts’ #1 series across their pontoon offerings. Vectra is the proverbial bread and butter, so the R&D teams and the engineers clearly aimed to exceed expectations.
I was fortunate to first see her from the bow resting dockside and the impact was immediate. The new Vectra has a pair of unique bow features that instantly stand out from the crowd. The most obvious is the 45-degree angle of the bow fence. This feature pulls your eyes into the center of the boat while simultaneously freeing up more space on the bow deck. It also helps to create a new rear-facing seating position in the bow loungers. The second unique feature is the new bow corner caps on the deck – these are a composite design reinforced with fiberglass. While less obvious than the fencing, this is smart engineering that helps to manage the occasional and inevitable soft landing at the dock. The integrated dock lights in the corner caps are an added and appreciated bonus here as well.
The colour options in the Vectra series are forward-thinking, with the traditional red, grey and black standards neatly accompanied by three special edition options - red with white onyx, nautical blue, and our test boat beautifully dressed in the Copper Edition ( only available on the RL model). The Copper Special Edition package carries beautiful black chrome Princecraft logos port and starboard, as well as on the front gate.
Her interior features an all-new upholstery design which is soft to the touch with beige and warm grey vinyl tastefully accented with copper insets. The bow chaise loungers both have forward facing backrests and thanks to the new 45-degree fencing, the angle carries into the loungers creating very comfortable side/rear facing backrest. At mid-section of the back rest on both sides are a pair of recessed cupholders with copper vinyl and a diamond double stitch design – very nice! The benefits created by the engineering team comes into play when you realize they redesigned the rotomoulded self-draining under seat storage compartments to increase capacity by nearly 20%. That’s a great win for the endless amounts of gear that families carry on board.
The all-new rotomoulded dash has also been redesigned with captains ergonomics in mind. The new captains seat features easy to adjust armrests, slide and swivel features at your fingertips, and the binnacle control for the Mercury 150 XL comfortably positioned. A Simrad Go7 screen was added to our test boat in lieu of standard gauges - this option positions the Simrad right in front of the tilt steering wheel and just underneath the tinted windscreen. To your right is the main control centre with circuit breaker toggle switches, a wireless cell phone charger, USB and aux chargers, and our optional 200-watt Kicker sound system. The helm has a comfortable, functional, and open feel to it.
At midships we find a convertible backrest which forms part of the heart and soul of this package – this is the ‘RL’ of this rear lounger model. This transforms the dinette area into a massive rear lounge. Princecraft surrounds the aft section of the lounger with stainless steel rails creating a safe space to relax and soak in the sun. A pair of rail drop-downs permit easy access to the lounger or the flip-up storage compartment, which hides a pop-up enclosure and the optional head package. Pro Tip – get the head package. Your family will thank you with longer boating days and longer seasons.
The Infinity beige flooring package with white lines stylishly rounded out the interior on our test package. A dark grey bimini top is standard, and unique to Princecraft pontoons are factory-installed snap fasteners for future mooring covers or camper enclosures. This means even after your purchase, your dealer can order direct from the factory and be guaranteed a proper fit.
Our test boat was further equipped with the Sport Configuration, which gives owners the benefits of a half pontoon log underneath, lifting strakes, under deck spray shield, and reinforced nose cones. I was eager and ready to put this sporty package through her paces.
As we moved toward the testing grounds, we immediately benefitted from the lifting strakes. With multiple takes offs using a variety of throttle positions, we had continual positive results. Hole shots at full throttle had the Vectra consistently on plane in under 3.5 seconds, and we were both very pleased with her top speed of 37.4 mph at 5,630 RPM. More importantly to us, her cruising capabilities with roughly ¼ trim are where she performed best at 26 and 31 mph. As always, we remind all captains and crew that many variables affect all performance results and we encourage you to get out on the water to safely test for your best results.
Taking a proven series and totally revamping it from bow to stern is a gutsy move for any manufacturer. There’s a very clear blend here of engineering, research and development, and the voice of the customer playing an important role in the redesign. Princrecraft’s Vectra Series offers 8 models and 19 interior layouts that are sure to be a continued crowd pleaser. I fully expect this will continue to be their top seller for years to come.
|27 US gal
|Base Engine / Drive:
|Mercury 150 XL Hydraulic