Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-)
(w/ 1 x 150-hp Mercury FourStroke)

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The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 serves as an excellent entertainment platform whether the action calls for being on the water or in the water. With the triple tubes she can take up to a 150-hp engine which our test showed bring her up to speeds approaching 40-mph. She has three onboard entertainment venues all while leaving room to mill about among the guests.

Key Features

  • Aft port rear-facing lounge with pop-up changing room and storage
  • Marine-grade, UV-resistant upholstery with 26-oz. base vinyl and multiple densities of foam
  • Bluetooth-capable stereo with MP3/USB ports and 4 speakers
  • 3 high-performance 26'' pontoon logs with strakes
  • Full-width aft swim platform with oversized 3-step folding ladder
  • Color-keyed 9'(2.74 m) polyester Bimini top with LED courtesy lights
  • Aft L-lounge with lockable underseat dry storage box
  • Molded fiberglass console with removable windscreen
  • Removable table with molded-in drink holders
  • Port and starboard bow couches with underseat storage

Specifications

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) Specifications
Length Overall 22' 2''
6.76 m
Dry Weight 2,840 lbs.
1,288 kg
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Tested Weight 3,835 lbs.
1,739 kg
Draft N/A Fuel Cap 35 gal.
132 L
Deadrise/Transom N/A Water Cap N/A
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

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) Engine options
Std. Power 1 x 90-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke
Tested Power 1 x 150-hp Mercury FourStroke
Opt. Power 1 x 115-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke
1 x 150-hp Mercury 4-stroke

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 has a length overall of 22'2" (6.76 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). Our test boat was powered by a Mercury 150-hp 4-stroke engine.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 is to provide a comfortable entertainment venue as well as a watersports platform for up to 10 people. She offers three separate and distinct entertainment venues while still leaving enough room for milling about among the guests. With the XP3 performance package the center tube is added to the Party Barge 22 configuration providing more buoyancy along with important performance-enhancing characteristics making her watersports-capable. Plus, all three logs are 26” in diameter. This allows her to carry up to 10 people and have a rating for up to 150-hp.

Major Features

• Aft rear facing sun lounge with a pop-up changing room and storage
• Marine-grade, UV resistant upholstery with 26-oz. vinyl upholstery and multiple densities of foam
• Standard stereo offers Bluetooth streaming audio in addition to MP3 and USB ports
• 26” (66.04 cm) diameter high-buoyancy multi-chambered pontoons with wave deflectors and lifting strakes
• Aft swim platform with oversized three-step folding reboarding ladder with taller grab rails and longer ladder
• Color keyed 9’ (2.74 m) polyester Bimini with LED courtesy lights and protective boot
• Three distinct gathering areas; opposing couches at the bow, L-shaped settee across from helm and aft double wide sun pad
• 22 oz. sculptured marine-grade carpet
• Bow and aft pedestal base locations for a standard removable table with molded-in drink holders
• Portside wheelchair access gate
• Extended motor pod with built-in performance-enhancing features


Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 has a rated person carrying capacity of 1,500 lbs. (681.8 kgs.) -- (i.e. 10 people at 150-lbs). (68.18 kg.) each. Note the unusual gate arrangement in the starboard stern quarter.

Performance

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 has a length overall of 22'2" (6.7 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). With an empty weight of 2,840 lbs. (1,288 kg), 20 gallons (75.7 L) of fuel, two people and test power we had a test weight of approximately 3,835 lbs. (1,740 kg).

WOT. With a 150-hp Mercury 4-stroke turning a 15 x 15 inertia propeller we reached a top speed of 38.7 mph at 5600 rpm. At that speed we were burning only 14.2 gph giving us a range of 86 miles.

Best cruise came at 3000 rpm and 17.3 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 3.85 gph meaning the Party Barge 22 XP3 could keep going for 8 hours and 12 minutes or 141 miles while still maintaining a 10% reserve.

TTP. We had a quick time to plane of only 2.6 seconds, reached 20 mph in 4.7 seconds and continued accelerating past 30 mph in 8.6 seconds.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

The helm is a single fiberglass module, in an off color to knock down glare. The gauge panel is a faux burl wood with three gauges surrounded by chrome bezels. A flat rubber mat lies opposite the drink holder. The wheel is mounted to a tilt base and the engine control is mounted almost vertically, which is not ergonomic. The seat has flip up armrests, and the pedestal mount allows the captain to swing around and join the conversation in the L seat to port.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

The engine is mounted to an extended engine pod that also accommodates the fuel tank just ahead. To either side are steps to assist in servicing the engine. Our test boat was powered by the 150-hp Mercury 4-stroke.

Handling

Like most pontoon boats she seems to accelerate from a level attitude, and then there is no need to be shy about adding trim. Getting the bow up relatively high puts her into an optimal and cruising attitude for best economy. A side effect of having the bow up so high is that she handles waves better creating a surprisingly dry ride.

Turning. With slow turns she tends to remain flat but the performance turns will have her leaning slightly into the turn. This is due to the fact that she is a tri-toon. She responds well to the helm having a fairly small turning radius that stays constant regardless of the speed the turn is entered at. It also means that a boost in the power when approaching the dock will not kick the stern around. When taking power off she settles into the water again, from a level attitude.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

The XP3 performance package includes hydraulic steering, a third center tube, bigger 26” (66.04 cm) tubes, splash rails to the sides of the nose cones and performance enhancing full-length strakes down both sides of all tubes.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 likes to be trimmed with the bow high to put her into her optimum, most fuel-efficient cruising attitude. Here's a better view of the full-length lifting strakes down the side of the tubes.

Features Inspection

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 floor plan offers three distinct entertainment venues, all while still allowing plenty of room for moving about in between each. She can be boarded from any of three boarding gates. The portside midship gate is even wheelchair accessible.

Bow

The bow features a full-length lounger opposite a two-person loveseat, both flanking a bow boarding gate. A pedestal base lies between to accommodate the standard table. This includes molded and drink holders and raised edges to keep items from slipping off. There are the usual accommodations for storage underneath the seats with the addition of a trash receptacle at the forward end of the starboard lounge. The seats are extremely well padded and upholstered in UV-resistant marine grade vinyl.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

Dual couches at the bow provide an excellent level of comfort. Notice the thick padding wrapping around the top. Speakers are mounted underneath and the usual accommodations for storage are under the seat cushions. Note the toe-kick on the couch skirts.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

Even with all the seating onboard the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 there's still plenty of room for moving about.

Midships

The midships area features L-shaped seating, again with storage underneath, lying directly opposite the helm console. Another pedestal base is positioned to accommodate the single table. The helm, to starboard, is attractive in a minimalist sort of way. The helm seat replicates the same level of comfort as the couches and even includes self-leveling armrests for additional comfort when the seat is reclined. A cooler stores underneath the console.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

Comfortable L-shaped seating lies directly across from the helm which keeps the captain within the conversations.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

Underneath the seat is storage, plus a unique all aluminum lockable storage compartment. This is unusual on pontoon boats and we think it is a good idea.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

The high-end stereo features Bluetooth streaming audio capability. For players which do not have Bluetooth, an MP3 jack and USB port are just to the right, in close proximity to the cup holder.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

A storage area underneath the console is large enough to accommodate a carry-on cooler. We'd like to see rails added on the deck to secure a cooler in place.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

The center gate has been made wide enough to accommodate wheelchair access. Notice the 22 oz. sculptured marine-grade carpet.

Stern

The stern features a double-wide aft facing sun pad/lounge to port. Underneath is a pop-up changing room along with additional storage. Having this lounge located inside the fencing allows it to be used even while the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 is underway. Next to the sun lounge is open space that serves as a welcome staging area for the guests that have either just come out of, or are getting ready to go into, the water.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

At the stern is a double-wide, aft-facing chaise lounge that is positioned inside the fences so it can still be used while the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 is underway.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

Underneath the sun lounge is a pop-up changing room. Additional storage is located under the cushion at the foot of the lounge. The ship's batteries are also stored there.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3

A modest swim platform has a well-built reboarding ladder with high rails. The gate is angled providing more room at the platform and just ahead is an open area that provides plenty of room for getting ready to go in, or come out of the water.

Observations and Price

We think Sun Tracker has done a good job creating a comfortable entertainment platform that can hold up to 10 people while still leaving plenty of room to move about, thanks to Sun Tracker taking full advantage of that 8'6" (2.59 m) beam. The XP3 tri-toon package expands her functionality from being simply an entertaining barge to also becoming a watersports platform.

Base Price with 90-hp. The Party Barge 22 XP3 has an MSRP of $25,995 (plus F & DP) powered by a Mercury 90-hp ELPT 4-stroke. We have not tested the boat with this power so can make no comment on its performance with this engine. Our guess is that she will be able -- even with a load aboard -- to make wake for boarders that typically like the tow boat moving around 20 mph. We recommend that the dealer be consulted before purchase for the best advice as to what horsepower is best for each application.

150-hp Outboard. We think that to make the Party Barge 22 XP3 a truly dual-purpose vessel the optional 150-hp Mercury 4-stroke engine fills the bill. It is not horsepower (and price) over-kill, but it will get the job done towing water skiers who generally like the tow boat going in the high 20 mph range.

Base Price with 150-hp. Base price with the optional 150-hp Mercury 4-stroke engine is $4,000 more at $29,995 (plus F & DP). It should be noted that not only does this engine provide more horsepower, but it is also one of the latest engines introduced by Mercury Marine and incorporates the latest engineering and design-thinking for this engine-maker.

Party Barge 22 DLX. For boaters who just want to slowly boat around the lake and entertain there is no need for three toons and a 150-hp engine. For those consumers we suggest they check out the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 DLX (with just two toons) which has virtually an identical interior layout, and comes standard with a Mercury 60-hp ELPT 4-stroke BigFoot engine. The boat has a base price of $19,995 (plus F & DP).

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) is 38.7 mph (62.3 kph), burning 14.20 gallons per hour (gph) or 53.75 liters per hour (lph).

  • Best cruise for the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) is 17.3 mph (27.8 kph), and the boat gets 4.48 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.9 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 141 miles (226.92 kilometers).

  • Tested power is 1 x 150-hp Mercury FourStroke.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.


Standard and Optional Equipment

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Systems
CD Stereo Standard
Trailer Optional
Exterior Features
Carpet: Cockpit Standard
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc Standard
Swim Ladder Standard
Swim Platform Standard
Canvas
Bimini Top Standard

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) Warranty

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) 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!

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) Price

Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) Price
Pricing Range $25,995.00
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.


Test Results   (Printer Friendly Page)

Test Power: 1 x 150-hp Mercury FourStroke
  Range  
RPM MPH Knots Total GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM   KM    KPH    LPH    KPL   dBA
640 3.1 2.7 0.5 6.1 5.3 192 167 309 5.00 1.89 2.59 58
1000 4.7 4.0 0.9 5.5 4.8 172 150 277 7.60 3.22 2.33 64
1500 6.3 5.4 1.3 4.8 4.2 151 132 243 10.10 4.92 2.04 69
2000 8.5 7.3 2.1 4.0 3.5 127 110 204 13.70 7.95 1.71 72
2500 13.2 11.5 3.0 4.5 3.9 141 123 227 21.20 11.17 1.90 73
3000 17.3 15.0 3.9 4.5 3.9 141 123 227 27.80 14.57 1.90 78
3500 21.1 18.3 5.1 4.2 3.6 132 114 212 34.00 19.12 1.78 82
4000 24.0 20.8 6.5 3.7 3.2 117 102 188 38.60 24.42 1.58 80
4500 29.6 25.7 8.8 3.4 2.9 106 93 171 47.60 33.12 1.44 84
5000 35.0 30.4 11.3 3.1 2.7 97 85 156 56.30 42.78 1.31 89
5500 38.3 33.3 14.1 2.7 2.4 85 74 137 61.60 53.37 1.15 90
5600 38.7 33.6 14.2 2.7 2.4 86 75 138 62.30 53.75 1.16 90

All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation.

Performance Chart

Performance Chart

Test Conditions

Test Power: 1 x 150-hp Mercury FourStroke
Time To Plane 2.6 sec.
0 to 30 8.6 sec.
Test Power 1 x 150-hp Mercury FourStroke
Transmission N/A
Ratio N/A
Props 15 x 15 Enertia
Load 2 persons, 57/100 fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of fuel
Climate 67 deg., 68 humid.; no wind; seas: calm
Elevation 922