Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-)
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Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-)
Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-)
Every once in awhile a boat builder does something that is so obviously the right thing to do -- but has never before been done -- that you can only slap your forehead in astonishment at the slow-witted nature of our species. The new Premier Grand Entertainer 260 and 290 model PTX tri-toons are an example of just such a phenomenon. The concept was simple: put a real, working bar on a pontoon boat, complete with everything needed except the bartender. Congratulations to Premier for being the first pontoon builder to do it.

Specifications

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-) Specifications
Length Overall 29' 0''
8.83 m
Dry Weight 3800 lbs
1,723 kg
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Tested Weight N/A
Draft N/A Fuel Cap 47 gal.
178 L
Deadrise/Transom N/A Water Cap 8 gal.
30.4 L
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.

Engine Options

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-) Engine options
Std. Power Not Available
Tested Power Currently no test numbers
Opt. Power Not Available

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-) Captain's Report

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

Premier’s Grand Entertainer comes in two lengths -- 26’ (7.92 m) and 29' (8.83 m) – and two widths – 8’6" (2.59 m) and 10’0” (3.04 m). Both versions have a large L-shaped bar – Cheers!

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

This Premier 290 Grand Entertainer has a 8'6" (2.59 m) beam which is standard. Both the 290 and the 260 Grand Entertainers are available with an optional 10' (3.04 m) beam.

While there have been wet bars on pontoon boats for years, and even stools put by tables, heretofore, to our knowledge, no pontoon boat builder has ever actually constructed a complete, purpose-built, full-service bar such as the one you might find at the local snuggery. Premier is the first pontoon builder to go all the way and do it right.

Immediate Dealer Acceptance

Dealers for all boats, but most particularly pontoon boats, are naturally reticent about ordering new models with an unusual concept. A spokesperson for Premier told us that it is not unusual for dealers and consumers to take a year or more to "warm-up to a new model." But at the Premier dealer meeting the new Grand Entertainer was immediately accepted and within 15 minutes the company began taking dealer orders.

Buy the end of the meeting many more orders were taken for the two new models than the company had been counting on, we're told. Folks, there is a message here.

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

(A) Propane tank that fuels the grill. (B) There are a total of four "cubbies" under the bar for the bartender's supplies, things like cherries and little umbrellas. (C) Foot rest for the bar, but where is the spittoon? (D) One of six Alpine speakers on the boat. (E) Sink with pressure water system.

Raising The Bar

The Grand Entertainer was in the works for 18 months as Premier's engineers grappled with the problems of constructing a boat that could handle an inordinate amount of weight in the bar area, and still provide enough comfortable seating for 15 or 16 people. The 260 has a USCG capacity of 16 people and the 290 is approved for 18 people.

"Pontoons have always been about entertaining and the Grand Entertainer takes entertaining to the next level," says Bob Menne, President and Founder of Premier.

The new Grand Entertainer Series is starting out with two models, the 260 that measures 26' x 8'6" (7.92 m x 2.59 m) and the 290 which is 29' X 8'6" (8.83 m x 2.59 m). We would not be surprised if more versions of the "Island Bar" are forthcoming from Premier once they take the measure of the market's reaction in 2012.

Your Own Floating Tiki Hut

The two new Grand Entertainer models offer a functional full bar featuring stainless steel pull-out storage drawers with cut-out templates to hold all sizes and shapes of bottles, a sink with a pressure water supply from an integral 8-gal. ( 30.4 L) fresh water tank, a counter-top mounted propane grill and a refrigerator.

The "Island Bar", as Premier calls it, also comes standard with 3 bar stools, stainless steel storage "cubbies" for the bartender to put makings for mixed drinks, and a raised bar serving area with margarita, martini and wine glass stemware. The engineers even went as far to incorporate purse hooks on the front of the bar.

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

Premier's bar stools can all be raised or lowered so everyone feels at home. Note the optional synthetic "Sea grass" deck covering which looks like woven grass and feels soft under bare feet.

But what waterside bar would be complete without an optional removable Cabana top to shade the bar and add additional storage for stemware? Hey, and why not add some twinkling lights?

There are two large batteries to supply power to the bar, running the refer, water pump and the LED lights on the bar itself. There is a third battery, located aft, which is dedicated to starting the engine.

Power Options

Powering this floating party will be the outboard brand of your choice. The 260 is rated up to 250-hp, and the 290 can take a max of 350-hp. While you can go as small as you wish on the horsepower, the company recommends a minimum of 115-hp to be able to take advantage of the performance of the PTX tri-toon configuration when you are not in party mode.

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

The "Island Bar" on the Grand Entertainer will obviously create a whole new dynamic during evening cruises. Next summer no lake or river community should be without one.

The outboard tubes on both models are 25" (63.5 cm) and the center toon is 30" (76.2 cm). Both Grand Entertainer models may be ordered with an optional 36" (91.4 cm) center toon. The larger center toon enhances WOT speed, hole shot, and turning performance, we're told.

Furniture By Flexsteel

One of the aspects that sets Premier apart from many pontoon boat builders is the fact that it uses Flexsteel furniture as standard equipment. Premier engineers design the furniture and fabricate the base structures and Flexsteel takes it from there.

Flexsteel is the most successful diversified seat-making company in America producing products for residential, commercial, vehicle and marine applications.

Premier sends the seating structures along with the raw vinyl material to be used to the Flexsteel plant in Dubuque, Iowa, and receives back at its Minnesota factory the finished upholstered seat ready for installation.

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

Women will love the standard purse hooks that are affixed to every "Island Bar." This device not only keeps the counter clear for more important things such as drinks, but it also keeps the bags from falling if a wave sweeps under the toons.

There is no wood used in any of Premier's seating.

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

We can't think of a more comfortable-looking cocktail lounge than this one in the front of the 290 Grand Entertainer. Put Diana Krall on the stereo and peel us a grape…

For 2012 Flexsteel has fabricated a new pop-up changing room which is incorporated into the Grand Entertainer models. An optional porta-potti may be fitted in the changing room.

Other Features on the Grand Entertainer

The Grand Entertainer also comes with Premier's Royal II Helm with a new Greywood Dash, a second sink installed in the helm console, and a raised Command View Platform. The counter material is synthetic and durable and looks more like granite than wood according to a Premier spokesperson. The raised platform allows the dedicated helmsman to see over the heads of his/her seated guests.

The Grand Entertainer will also come equipped with the new Eagle Steering Wheel, 2 Flexsteel Mobile Arm Rests, Humminbird 385ci Color GPS and an Alpine deluxe stereo package with six speakers.

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

This is part of the "Cabana Top" that has been specially designed by Premier to provide shade and hold stemware. All we need now are some palm fronds.

EPA-Compliant

The Grand Entertainer models come equipped with 47-Gallon (178 L) fuel tank built into the PTX package. They comply with the new EPA regulations and include a double-wall fuel tank, an EPA-compliant fuel system w/additional vents, a specialized fuel fill and a carbon canister installation.

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

The helm is on a raised platform and includes one of the most comfortable helm seats in all of toondom. Make sure you have a designated operator.

Nano Block Technology Vinyl Upholstery

The biggest enemy of any boat is from ultra violet (UV) exposure. In just a matter of weeks UV can degrade what was once beautiful and lustrous vinyl upholstery on a boat and turn it into a dull, faded, dingy-looking surface. Pontoon boats typically have more exposed vinyl seat coverings than virtually any other type of boat.

All of that is why Premier uses one of the industry's best vinyl products. It is made by Syntec Industries and it is called "NBT Marine" because it uses nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating materials at the atomic and molecular level to develop new or enhanced materials and products.

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

The two large standard stainless steel drawers fitted into the bar provide sanitary, easy-to-clean and professional-looking storage for food and bottles behind the bar. The refer at left is standard.

NBT Marine has a nano UV inhibitor that protects vinyl upholstery up to three times longer than conventional finishes -- maintaining and preserving the color longer than ever before and longer than other vinyls, according to the manufacturer. It also forms a protective barrier against abrasions, grease, grime, sun tan oils, gasoline, and even Sharpie pen marks, says a Premier spokesperson.

The NBT Marine vinyl also contains anti-micro organism agents which are infused into to the vinyl to stop the growth of mold or fungus.

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

The Premier 290, like all Premier toons, is available with the optional "Black Hammered" rails you see here on the boat's gunwales. This is a powder-coated treatment that gives both color and texture to the aluminum rails and keeps them from oxidizing.

World-Class Warranties

Like all of Premier's products, the new Grand Entertainer models will carry a 5-year bow-to-stern limited warranty. Premier also has a 7-year Nano Block Vinyl Warranty, and a "lifetime warranty on deck, tubes and furniture frames." Five-year bow-to-stern warranties are unusual in the marine business, to say nothing of a 7-year warranty on vinyl.

MSRP Pricing

All of this engineering, design, quality, and the exceptional warranties, do not come cheap. Premier pontoon boats have long been among the highest price-point in the U.S. toon industry. The 260 Grand Entertainer has an MSRP of $51,329, and the 290's MSRP is $54,662, plus engine, dealer prep, etc. Both of these boats are quoted with the standard 8'6" (2.52 m) beam.

We cannot help to make two observations about these prices: 1) Both are less expensive than what it costs to build a home these days per square foot; and, 2) the price of the 290 is only $221 per sq. ft. as compared to the 260 which is $232 per sq ft. So, on a square foot basis you are getting a slightly better deal on the larger boat -- something than rarely happens on non-toon boats. We would investigate the prices on 10' (3.04 m) models as well.

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer

We would think that WOT speed, and even speeds in the 20-mph range, would be less important with this boat because of the very nature of its mission. Buyers can save money by going with an engine at the low end of the recommended range, such as a 115-hp motor.

Recommendation

From our experience, there are a large number of people who will want to be the first one on their lake or in their marina to have one of these floating cocktail lounges, complete with everything except a three-piece band. (And, we are sure in some cases that can be easily arranged.) That is to say, don't wait until late next sprint to order one if you are so inclined.

Already we have been told that some people with a dock on a lake are planning to have one of the Grand Entertainers permanently moored there. We would not be surprised if whomever owns this boat will have the most sought-after evening cruising invitation on the lake.



Standard and Optional Equipment

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Marine Electronics
GPS/Chart Standard
Systems
CD Stereo Standard
Galley
Refrigerator Standard
Exterior Features
Wet bar Standard

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-) Warranty

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.

Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-) Price

Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2012-) Price
Pricing Range $54,662.00
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.


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