|Max Headroom||open||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.|
|Std. Power||Not Available|
|Tested Power||Currently no test numbers|
The standard set-up for a Cast-A-Way 221 is two pontoons and a modest outboard, like this 90-hp Honda. Dealers we spoke with said most buyers even went for a little less power; base price with a 70-hp Yamaha is around $35,000, according to our local dealer. The Bimini top is standard, along with a changing room.
More Tubes Increase Performance
Usually, when a boat, or car, or whatever comes with two of something standard, with an option for three, it implies that the item with just two isn't quite as good. That's not the case with the Cast-A-Way 221: According to a company rep we interviewed, the reasons people opt for the extra tube are to carry more weight and/or to use bigger engines and therefore go faster. Adding the third tube raises the maximum capacity from 2,300 lbs (1,043 kg) to 2,675 lbs (1,213 kg) with a round tube, and 2,900 lbs (1,315 kg) with the high-performance PTX tube.
The 221 comes with a choice of layouts, differing in the use of an L-lounge and small table in one (top) and a pair of swivel chairs with an even smaller table between them in the other. The latter arrangement has a small lounge aft of the chairs. We like to lie down now and then, and would choose the lounge option without hesitation. Both have bow and portside gates, chairs forward and aft for fishing or just watching the river flow.
Naturally, both options increase cost, both for the boat itself and the larger outboard; our local dealer said he hadn't sold a 221 Cast-A-Way yet with the three-tube option. Staying with the standard two tubes meant the boat would perform fine with a 70-hp outboard; base price with that set-up is around $35,000. In all cases, the tubes are .090-gauge aluminum, multi-chambered, with .100 gauge hydrodynamic nosecones.
Premier fits the 221 Cast-A-Way with complete gauges and a Lowrance X-52 fishfinder; we'd prefer it mounted somewhere other than behind the slick Foletto steering wheel. Vertically mounted controls are typical aboard pontoons, for some reason. We like ours mounted on a horizontal surface – but we'd probably get used to this arrangement.
Premier's patent-pending PTX design takes triple-tubes one step further: Rather than simply adding a third round tube down the middle, PTX technology incorporates a flat planing surface on the middle tube, which, on the 221, measures 36" (91 cm) rather than the 25" (63.5 cm) of the outer tubes. (The center tube is mounted differently than the outside ones, so the bottoms of all three are the same depth.) Lifting strakes on the insides of the outer tubes help shorten time-to-plane. Premier found that strakes on both sides of the tubes made the boat run too flat, but adding them only to the inside let the boat bank into turns, reducing radius and making for more agile handling.
This isn't a 221 Cast-A-Way, but another Premier pontoon fitted with the PTX triple-tube arrangement. Look closely and you'll see the flat planing surface of the center tube; out of sight are the lifting strakes on the insides of the outer tubes. PTX technology provides better handling than simple round tubes, but requires more horsepower. Hydraulic steering comes standard with PTX, and the central tube allows for a long in-deck stowage locker, big enough for skis, wakeboards or fishing rods.
PTX technology lifting strakes let the boat get on plane faster and increase top speed by about 10%, according to Premier. But they only work on the inside of the tubes; adding strakes to the outside as well impairs performance, the company discovered.
Premier's tubes are pressure-tested during manufacture, and come fitted with Pals tube vents to compensate for outside temperature fluctuation; the vents will also prevent the tube from filling with water in the event of a puncture, according to the builder. The tubes are attached to the deck with extruded M-brackets and Z-channel crossmembers on 16" (40.6 cm) centers; the company feels putting crossmembers on 16" centers rather than industry-standard 24" (61 cm) makes a stiffer frame, which adds to the 221's stability. Extra crossmembers support the aluminum transom.
You can't fish without rods, but leave them on the deck and sure as anything someone will step on them. The 221 Cast-A-Way solves that problem with built-in rod lockers.
The deck is pressure-treated marine-grade plywood, the only wood in the boat. (Even the furniture is wood-free.) It's attached to the crossmembers not with through-bolts, usually the best fastening for marine construction, but with stainless-steel Tek self-drilling, self-tapping fasteners. The Tek fasteners are screwed through the deck directly into the crossmember, generating enough heat to weld the fastener in place, says Premier. The plywood deck is covered with marine-grade carpet or vinyl.
The live well is big enough to hold bait, or to keep tonight's dinner swimming until it's time for the grill. When closed, the top serves as a bait station, with molded indents to hold lures, hooks, pliers and other angling tools. (See below.)
Open, it's a live well; closed, a fishing prep station.
Premier is one of the top pontoon-boat builders, with lots of satisfied customers – enough that the company has earned the NMMA Customer Satisfaction Index award for six years in a row. How can we not suggest that you check out the Cast-A-Way 221 (or one of her two larger sisters) if you're in the market for a pontoon boat, especially if you like to fish? Combining aluminum tubes, high-quality construction, lots of standard equipment and the option of increased performance with PTX technology, recommending the 221 is a no-brainer for us. It's a real nice pontoon, and you can get into it for a reasonable price. What's not to like?
Who says girls don't like to fish? If you want quality time with your kids, of either gender, nothing beats a lazy day on the lake, drifting lures. A comfortable boat helps, and for that Premier has the Cast-A-Way 221. It's perfect for family fishing.
= Standard = Optional
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Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!