Captain's ReportPerformance PontooningTested By Captain Keith Burton More than ever, boat buyers are looking for flexibility and performance as well as a bit of luxury when deciding on a new boat, and that is especially true for pontoon boats. These roomy and practical boats used to be only considered for light fishing and cruising on the lake, but not any more.The Voyager Express Ultra Cruise is an excellent example. Here is a roomy and extremely comfortable 25-foot pontoon boat that offers excellent performance, suitable for pulling wakeboarders and skiers, and has the room and features that appeal to anyone looking for fun on the water.With three logs, or hulls in the water, this is a fast pontoon boat, especially equipped as ours was with a powerful Honda 225 horsepower outboard. More on the performance later.Voyager Marine, based in Camdenton, Missouri, has built a solid reputation for itself for excellent design, engineering and manufacturing. Attention to details and to customer needs are among the company’s hallmarks and they are reflected in the Voyager line of pontoon boats.The Voyager Express Ultra Cruise impresses right out of the gate with its unusual, but practical design that features a curving amidships boarding area that separates the bow section of the boat from the stern. The look is modern and unique and adds a bit of flair to this boat’s appearance when compared to most other pontoon boats.But that is only the beginning. The roomy forward seating area features a well-padded starboard sun lounge with a nicely reclined backrest, just right for sunbathing.In addition, and another unusual feature, are two comfortable seats divided by a small table that makes up the seating area for the port side. Most pontoon boats have another bench seat at that location. The seats are firmly mounted to the deck and can swivel. The effect is more like a comfortable room with a couch and two chairs and it makes the Voyager Express Ultra Cruise a pleasant and comfortable place to spend some time.The forward design also leaves a lot of room to move about, and with the convenient bow door, an easy boat to get on and off when beached.When you move about this boat, you begin to notice the excellent fit and finish throughout. We noted no sharp and unfinished-looking edges anywhere. The choice of materials, including the vinyl for the seats and stainless steel fittings reflected the company’s attention to using quality materials.The helm is outfitted with attractive black on white instruments set in a burled-wood plastic composite. The helm console includes a freshwater faucet and sink with additional storage beneath. We particularly liked the small lockable compartment on the port side of the command console that is ideal for storing a wallet or some valuables while you are onboard.The stern seating area features a comfortable well-padded L-shaped lounge seat that offered something different. The port side seat cushion unfolds into a much larger sun lounge wide enough for two people. There is also plenty of storage beneath the seat cushion.Our boat was also equipped with an optional larger entertainment station mounted on the starboard side with a bigger sink and fresh water faucet and a cabinet for trash storage.At the stern is another large padded sun lounge that opens to reveal a canvas changing room. The changing room cover opens and closes easily on hydraulic struts and consists of a canvas material that looks like it would last for years.Our boat was outfitted with a ski bar at the stern, which gets more into the flexibility of this boat for fun. Part of the sundeck also rises to provide easy access to the outboard’s fuel bulb and lines.On the water the Voyager Express Ultra Cruise is fast and handles smoothly for a pontoon boat. It is quick to accelerate and can turn surprisingly fast for a large boat. We saw a speedy 41 mph top speed at 5,500 rpm. And with a quick 4 second 0-30 mph hole shot, the Voyager Express Ultra Cruise makes a good platform for skiers and wakeboarders.What is abundantly clear is that this pontoon boat offers more than just a living room on the water experience for its owner. In that regard, we do wish it had a bigger windscreen for the driver, just to help keep your eyes clear at high speeds. But on the other hand, when you want to just cruise around the lake or bay in comfort, and at slower, more passenger-friendly speeds, the Voyager Express Ultra Cruise doesn’t disappoint.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Voyager Express Ultra Cruise is 41.5 mph (66.8 kph), burning 19.7 gallons per hour (gph) or 74.56 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Voyager Express Ultra Cruise is 17.3 mph (27.8 kph), and the boat gets 4.33 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.84 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 117 miles (188.29 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 225-hp Honda 4-stroke (outboard).
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!