New Pontoon Design... - 04/09/2008

Last year BoatTEST.com tested the prototype of a revolutionary new design in pontoon hull shapes. The two-pontoon boat went 41.6 WOT, unheard of for such a vessel. The secret of the 22’ Signature’s incredible speed was that instead of the round aluminum “logs” that have been used by virtually every pontoon boat builder for 75 years, Sylvan engineers designed the bottom to have a deadrise of about 14-degrees like that on a fiberglass catamaran hull. Sylvan calls the hull RPT ) Revolutionary Planing Technology).

The 8522 Signature is one of two models with the new RPT hulls.

We tested the Sylvan 8522 Signature pontoon boat with what the builder calls RPT (Revolutionary Planing Technology). Powered by a single Evinrude 150-hp E-TEC 2-stroke engine the twin-toon went 41.6 mph at WOT.

It is hard to believe that over 75 years have gone by and the only advancement in pontoon boat hull design has been a welded on streak here and there and the tri-toon. With the advent of the tri-toon, for the first time pontoon boats were able to easily plane.

Sylvan has kept the top portion of their new tube the same as before so that they would not have to reconfigure all of their existing boats.

The new design is made from a single sheet of aluminum and is actually bent in such a way as to create the V-bottom shape, then a single weld is made, just as before with the round tubes. Smoker Craft, owner of the Sylvan line, is working on patents, according to Phil Smoker from the company.

“Our goal is to get our boats on plane and make them go about 36 mph with a 115-hp 2-stroke outboard,” said Smoker. Currently the company has two models with the new RPT design, the Mandalay and the Signature, and about 6 units are being built each week.

“We are still tinkering with different aspects of the boat, and each time we do, we seem to pick up more speed,” said Smoker.


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