Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
Out of the gate with cutting edge style, sporty looks and endless eye candy treatments, the redesigned Sylvan S5 LZ SC is a force to be reckoned with. At 26’ 10” overall length she’s a big pontoon and with the Yamaha four stroke 300 clipped on the back I knew she’d be a great performer.
The exterior of the boat is clad with a supple smooth finish on the fencing and the matte black rails flow perfectly with the fence colour schemes. That matte black finish follows down to the water line as the tubes are also dressed in matte black. This certainly adds to the sporty appeal of this package at the dock, on the lake and even on the trailer. In a somewhat understated sort of way she looks like she just wants to go!
Entry to the interior of the S5 is met with forward and aft stainless steel gates with custom Sylvan logo tastefully in the centre. The beefy and yet stylish ski tow on the transom lines up beautifully beside the stainless steel, four step telescoping re-boarding ladder. All that stainless is simply stunning on a boarding area that gives swimmers and water sports enthusiasts lots of room as they prep to play or come back on board for a break.
The rear loungers are oversized and crafted with incredibly plush vinyl and multiple textures. Recessed drink holders ensure that every inch of available space is there to do exactly what these are intended to do – relax and enjoy the moments. There’s no doubt that a lazy afternoon on these bad boys would be nothing short of awesome.
The fiberglass raised helm is outfitted with a reclining high back helm seat that easily swivels and slides for full enjoyment of all that’s happening with you and your guests. Everything about the dash is simply perfect with a great layout of gauges and lighted rocker switches and easy access to the Kicker sound package and various aux and USB ports. The optional Simrad graph lays perfectly in the center of the helm and all audiophiles will appreciate the sub woofer that takes the Kicker system to the next level.
The S5 features Sylvan’s SPX tubes which feature strategically placed performance strakes. Your benefit is less surface drag, better lift, faster planning and fun to drive tight turning radius. The SPX package also gives you the center tube with a monster 60-gallon (227 litre) fuel tank, performance shield, ski pylon and Sea Star hydraulic steering.
Underneath the boat Sylvan uses a ‘hat channel’ method in the under structure of their pontoons. Heavy gauge, 6” wide channels are secured with up to twice as many fasteners as traditional C channel designs. Their thru bolted transoms are soundly constructed of .190” gauge aluminum supported by up to 20 stainless steel bolts – perfect for those higher HP outboards. Your benefit from their efforts is incredible stability and strength under the floors.
Sylvan has your back as they stand behind their product with a Lifetime +6 Warranty. In essence, you get a transferrable to 2nd owner limited lifetime warranty on deck, tubes, transom and structure. Add to that a solid 6 years on components, flooring, upholstery and electronics and you’ve got the commitment you need to back your decision.
For me the excitement was going to come from the on-water moments. As we eased away from the dock I knew I was in for a treat as my 6’1” frame nestled perfectly into the helm seat of that near 27’ boat. As soon as I cleared the channel markers on our calm 25C degree day I had to hammer the throttle to see what that Yamaha would do. Arguably one of the most impressive moments was the initial hole shot tests. That big Yamaha never once needed more than 3.5 seconds to plane the boat – now that’s impressive. It wasn’t long before I realized how much this package loved trim and with the engine trimmed up just to the razor edge we found GPS top speeds of 45.6 MPH at 6,000 RPM. Absolutely outstanding! Knowing customers spend more time at cruising speed I played with the package and settled in on 20 MPH at a gentle 3,000 RPM & ¾ trim, I also enjoyed 25 MPH at 3,600 RPM & 5/8 trim. Each of these test results will vary depending on the gear and crew you add to your S5.
Sylvan brings many years of experience and craftsmanship to the game. Their Indiana based factory has been creating boats that have brought smiles to thousands of families. If your family is looking for cutting edge style and sporty looks the Sylvan S5 has to be on your shopping list.
|Dry weight:||2,542 lbs||1,153 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||60 US gals||227 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Yamaha|