Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
After 70 years of making memories, it’s fair to call Princecraft a legacy brand. Certainly, the thousands of families who trust them with their purchasing decisions year after year benefit from the years of experience that their skilled craftsmen and women bring to every boat they build. Whether it’s their fishing boats or their pontoon boats, each style has a flagship model. The Vogue series is the flagship in their pontoon lineup with offerings in 23, 25 & 27’ layouts.
We were treated to a dressed-up 27 XT in the Metallic Laguna Blue colour package. For 2024, there are a total of five colour options which also includes Metallic Graphite Grey, Metallic Ruby Red, Metallic Black, and Metallic Cabasha Orange. The exterior trim is highlighted with extensive use of black chrome on the transom rails, Vogue logo, and accent trim – the black chrome itself is eye candy at dockside. The APS side panels are a streamlined design, which gives the boat an aerodynamic appearance. The use of fiberglass bow and stern caps really enhances the layout beautifully.
The 27 XT comes standard with a Princecraft performance configuration package. This package, and the unique V-shaped engine pod, support the boats ability to handle up to a maximum of 500 HP on the transom. The performance package also includes a full-length third log adding improved stability and performance. You also get lifting strakes to efficiently get the boat up and on top of the water to reduce drag, and the full-length under deck spray shield creates an exceptionally smooth ride. Finally, the performance configuration also comes with a 185L / 49 US gallon fuel tank and a massive in-floor storage compartment.
One of the unique features of this package is the design layout of the stern section. Princecraft calls this the ‘Fun Zone,’ and clearly owner experiences were at the top of the designers minds. Black chrome dresses all the rail and hardware systems here including two gates, watersports tower, fender holders, and on the stern end of the rear loungers. All the gates lift and move easily to facilitate movement on and off the boat.
Our test boat also featured the ‘Sport Edition’ option which presents premium upholstery, LED lighting on the floor, in the bimini, on the pontoon logs, in the speakers, and in the cup holders. We were also treated to an electric powered wakeboard tower which raises and lowers with ease thanks to the simple touch of a button. This is an excellent option for active families and watersports enthusiasts, and the benefit of managing low bridge clearance and simplifying the storage process is a plus. We also enjoyed the high-power sound package which included a Simrad Go9 system, upgraded high power speakers, a 10” sub-woofer and amplifier. The wakeboard tower speakers keep the kids on the toys captivated with great sounds while they ride.
Tucked neatly under the port side stern lounger was the optional 9.8 L / 2.6 US gallon electric head/holding tank – a definite must for family oriented boaters. The automotive style raised fiberglass helm station is an ergonomically designed work of art that any captain would be proud of. Highlights include an ultra-plush captains seat with full recline capability, a padded footrest, lighted push button toggle switches, wireless cell phone charger, lighted cup holder, 12V/USB, and aux. chargers all nestled behind a molded dash panel.
The chaise loungers in the bow section are tastefully enhanced with forward-facing backrests, multiple foam densities for maximum back and leg comfort, and recessed cup holders with USB charging ports. The forward dinette table is easily transformed from a four-position beverage holder to a full snack table thanks to a clever hinge design. Storage is under each seat with lifetime rotomoulded self-draining compartments keeping your gear dry.
Our test day was a cool autumn morning with temperatures in the single digit Celsius range or about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. For the two of us on board the Vogue, we were admittedly multi-layered in clothing. We were also full of anticipation to test her performance capabilities – there was 400 HP strapped to her transom waiting to go. Once safely out of the no wake zone, we smoothly had her up and on step using barely ¼ throttle. Digital throttle and shift (DTS) has truly changed the driving experience. This technology has such a great feel to it.
We spent the next 30 minutes learning the boat - running her through various speed trials while our camera crew stood steadfast on the tower boat collecting running footage. Our ‘fly by tests,’ where we run the boat at a range of speeds towards the stationary camera boat, give us a great sense of her cornering capabilities. This was where the performance package really began making sense. Take offs were brisk, reaching excellent cruising speeds was done in a snap, and we could sense the combination of lifting strakes and spray shield had us running smoothly on top of the water.
Once the thumbs up was received from the camera crew that their needs were satisfied, it was time to get to our performance data collection. The white painted Mercury 400 was eager to deliver and gave us repeated hole shots of under 3.5 seconds – awesome for a 3,595 lbs / 1,631 kg boat with a full (185L / 49 US gallon) tank of fuel on board. Cruising speeds were found easily with an excellent range of options depending on the amount of gear and number of crew on board. Our test day was most pleased with cruising at 22.8 and 30 mph with the Mercury 400 purring at 3,250 and 4,000 RPM, respectively. Our top speed test, which a ‘little birdie’ had told us should find 52 mph, was our next mission. Determined as we were to reach that mark, we also wanted to see if we could top it. Once again, the 400 was ready to deliver, and with virtually zero other boat traffic and calm waters we safely pushed the package to an exceptional top speed of 54.2 mph at 6,100 RPM. Exhilarating would be an understatement!
The Vogue 27 XT has earned its right to be called the flagship of Princecraft pontoons. From her stunning exterior to her plush interior, from her meticulously engineered performance-oriented designs to her exceptional performance results, she is an absolute crowd pleaser. All that’s left is for you to jump on their website and begin designing your dreams and then hit your local dealer or boat show. You’ll be glad you did.
|49 US gal
|Base Engine / Drive:
|Mercury 400 V10 DTS