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Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 (2014-)
(w/ 1 x 200-hp Mercury Verado )

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All boaters are familiar with the old adage that, "He who has a boat has the most friends.” And if we're going to have a lot of friends, we may as well have a boat that can accommodate them. With the Party Barge 24's XP3 performance tube package, she has a capacity for up to 12 people, meaning we no longer have to worry about who to leave behind. With three separate sections of entertaining areas, guests can even be separated by age, gender, or whatever.

Key Features

  • Aft port rear-facing lounge with pop-up changing room and storage
  • Aft starboard rear-facing lounge
  • Marine-grade, UV-resistant upholstery with 26-oz. base vinyl and multiple densities of foam
  • Bluetooth-capable stereo with 4 speakers
  • 26'' (66.04 cm) high-buoyancy multichambered pontoons with wave deflectors
  • Full-width aft swim platform with oversized 3-step folding boarding ladder
  • Color-keyed 9' (2.74 m) polyester Bimini top with LED courtesy lights and protective boot
  • Port/starboard bow couches with underseat storage and port lockable arm storage

Specifications

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 (2014-) Specifications
Length Overall 26' 2''
7.98 m
Dry Weight 3,095 lbs.
1,403 kg
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Tested Weight 4,067 lbs.
1,844 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 24 XP3 (2014-)Engine options
Std. Power 1 x 90-hp Mercury 4-stroke ELPT
Tested Power 1 x 200-hp Mercury Verado
Opt. Power 1 x 60-hp Mercury 4-stroke BigFoot
1 x 90-hp Mercury OptiMax
1 x 115-hp Mercury 4-stroke ELPT
1 x 150-hp Mercury 4-stroke
1 x 200-hp Mercury Verado

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 (2014-) Captain's Report

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 has a length overall of 26'2" (7.98 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). With the 200-hp Mercury Verado we reached a top speed of 40.5 mph.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 is to create a comfortable entertainment platform that can hold up to 12 people. With the XP3 performance package she can accommodate up to 200-hp giving her excellent qualifications for being able to entertain in the water as well as on the water.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3.

Major Features

• Aft rear facing sun lounge with pop-up changing room and storage
• Marine-grade, UV resistant upholstery with 26 oz. base vinyl and multiple densities of foam
• Standard stereo offers Bluetooth streaming audio in addition to MP3 and USB ports
• Three 26” (66.04 cm) diameter high-buoyancy multi-chambered pontoons with wave deflectors & welded-on lifting strakes
• Hydraulic steering
• Full width 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 lounge with starboard side couch
• 22 oz. sculptured marine-grade carpet
• 8'6" (2.59 m) beam for expanded space
• Standard removable table with molded-in drink holders to accommodate bow and aft pedestal base locations
• Portside wheelchair access gate
• Extended motor pod with built-in performance-enhancing features


Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

With three distinct gathering areas the Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 can accommodate up to 12 people, and keep them comfortable while still providing enough open space for moving about.

Performance

The Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 has a length overall of 26'2" (7.98 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). With an empty weight of 3,095 lbs. (1,403 kg), one quarter fuel, two people and test power we had an estimated test weight of 4,067 lbs. (1,844 kg).

With the 200-hp Mercury Verado turning a 14 and 3/4 by 16 Enertia prop we reached a top speed at 6200 rpm of 40.5 mph. At that speed we were burning 19.75 gph giving us a range of 65 miles. Best cruise came in at 3000 rpm and 15.4 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 3.2 gph giving us a range of 152 miles and an endurance of 9 hours and 48 minutes while still maintaining a 10% reserve.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The helm console is an off-color to reduce glare. A smoked windscreen lies over a curved panel with the dual multifunction gauges mounted to a simulated Burl wood dash. The steering wheel is mounted to a tilt base, and the engine control is mounted almost vertically.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The helm seat is thickly padded and includes flip down armrests. Its pedestal mount allows it to slide as well as swivel to face the conversation.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The engine is attached to a motor pod which has performance-enhancing features underneath. The fuel tank is mounted directly inside the pod rather than inside the boat. Steps to either side of the engine will allow a comfortable place to stand while working on the engine and making daily checks.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The bottom of the sun pad exposes a compartment that not only can accommodate storage and the pop-up changing room, but the battery is secured here as well.

We had a time to plane of 3.4 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in 4.4 seconds and continued accelerating through 30 mph in 7.6 seconds.

Handling

With the XP3 performance package, she’s a triple-tube design. She comes up on plane from a fairly level attitude, as do most pontoons. Go ahead and add a lot of trim to get the bow high and put her into her optimum cruising attitude. That not only keeps the forward halves of the tubes high, it keeps spray down and gives her better handling through the waves. In gentle turns she remains flat but harder turns will have her leaning slightly to the outside of the turn. But she does respond well to the helm, and would make for good times putting a towline out the back. When taking power off she settles back into the water from a level attitude.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

Go ahead and trim the engine way up. This will bring the bow high out of the water and put her in her most efficient running angle.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

With the XP3 performance package, a center tube is added to the mix, splash rails at the top of the nose cones keep water deflected out and down and full-length strakes are added to both sides of the tubes.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The navigation lights are mounted to the deck. We'd rather see them mounted to the fence to eliminate a tripping hazard.

Features Inspection

There are three distinct gathering areas. First there are two opposing couches at the bow with accommodations for a table in between. This makes for an intimate conversational atmosphere and a forward boarding gate is just ahead.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

Most of the crowd can be accommodated at the forward couches. Their layout, opposing each other, makes for an intimate conversational atmosphere. With the center table a perfect scenario for hors d'oeuvres is created.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

Two movable arm rests are included as standard and attach to the underside of the seat cushion by Velcro. They include two drink holders.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The undersides of the seat cushions also have cargo netting. A clever and unique storage solution that we don't see on other brands.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

A single pedestal table comes as standard and includes molded-in drink holders.

The helm has an L-shaped settee just across from it so even while underway the captain can be a part of the gathering. This section also has a pedestal base to accommodate the standard table.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

Across from the helm is an L-shaped settee, again with storage underneath. Notice the speaker at the base and the pedestal table mount in the deck.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The Bimini top is color matched to the fencing and covers from just ahead of the sun pad to just ahead of the helm area and the port side couch.

The aft sun pad is wide enough to accommodate three people facing aft with a couch directly across to the starboard side. As the sun pad is located well inside the exterior fencing, it can even be used while underway. A pop-up changing room is underneath as well as additional storage space.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

Sure to be one of the most popular places on the 24 XP3, the sun pad can even be used while the boat is underway.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

A couch directly across from the sun pad allows for another conversational atmosphere.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The usual accommodations for storage are underneath the couch. Notice the roto-molded construction.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The center of the sun pad lifts to reveal a pop-up changing room.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The stern decking, in front of the changing room, is vinyl as this will likely be more of a "wet area" due to the close proximity to the swim ladder and changing room. But moving forward we come to a more intimate gathering area with a carpeted deck.

The stern makes a great launching pad for heading into the water. The three-step reboarding ladder has high rails to ease the return to the deck.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3

The reboarding ladder has wide treads and high rails but the hinge point is low to the water making retracting a bit inconvenient. Notice the corner bracing designed to take a hit against the dock.

Observations

With the Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3, a true entertainment platform has been created that not only allows for plenty of good times on and in the water, but everyone will be kept in comfort while still allowing plenty of open space to mix it up with the guests.

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 (2014-) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 (2014-) is 40.5 mph (65.2 kph), burning 19.75 gallons per hour (gph) or 74.75 liters per hour (lph).

  • Best cruise for the Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 (2014-) is 15.4 mph (24.8 kph), and the boat gets 4.81 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.05 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 152 miles (244.62 kilometers).

  • Tested power is 1 x 200-hp Mercury Verado.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.

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Standard and Optional Equipment

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 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
Tower: Watersports Optional
Canvas
Bimini Top Standard

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 (2014-) Warranty

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 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 24 XP3 (2014-) Price

Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 XP3 (2014-) Price
Pricing Range $29,995.00
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.

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