*NOTE- The video has been provided by Sun Tracker.
Nothing brings friends out of the woodwork like a boat on a clear sunny day. The problem is you may find yourself with more friends than your boat can handle. Problem solved with the Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 XP3. This baby can handle up to fifteen people and do so in style. Not only does the addition of a third tube increase its buoyancy, but the lifting strakes on all three add to her performance and handling so that even skiing is a breeze on this 25 footer. But it takes more than adding a tube and extra seats to make a “Party Barge,” so we did a full review to see what else this party animal brings to the show.
XP3 Performance Package adds a third 26" multichambered pontoon for maximum speed, handling, lift & buoyancy
Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 XP3 (2011-) Captain's Report
It’s just sticking through in this image but the addition of a third pontoon adds considerably to the 25 XP3 handling. All the tubes are equipped with lifting strakes.
Three’s Not A Crowd
Sun Tracker makes several lines of pontoon boats and the more tricked out ones are called Party Barges. These are toons that are specifically designed to entertain your friends and let the good times roll. The 25 started out life with two logs, and the third was an option. However, the three log version sold so well, that now it’s the standard and the XP3 tag was added. It not only brings style and functionality to the table, but performance is also enhanced with the addition of the third tube.
The Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 is a roomy entertainment platform that you will be happy to take the family, neighbors or even 15 complete strangers on. Sun Tracker builds these pontoons in state-of-the-art dedicated facilities with techs that have been doing the same work for decades.
With the standard Bimini, you’re shaded from the helm to the sunpad. Gates open inward to protect you if you fall into them.
Features at the Bow
Usually, even high-end pontoon boats have the same dull straight lines and rectangular tubing making up the fences and rails. Sun Tracker has beefed up the railings, added radiuses and curves, and then splashed on some elegant looking graphics on the Party Barge 25 XP3, then added the protection of Krystal Kote, a clear coating of waterproof protection. The navigation lights and docking lights are in fiberglass pods mounted into the fences for good visibility when you need it most and out of the way of the trip zone when working lines. Entry gates are all double locking, child safe and wide for easy entry.
The Party Barge 25 XP3 is ideal for skiing. Notice the lifting strakes that are on all three tubes. We love how the bow rail swoops downward, but the seats still keep you protected.
Up Front Seating
The seats at the bow are very plush with thick rolled bolsters. Storage room under the seats is supplemented by the lack of a center bar in the seat bases so you can get long items in and out of there much easier. The high backed seats have cup holders and the stereo premium Kicker speakers built into them.
Another thoughtful feature is the floor level integral drink holder to use when you are sitting back, lounger-style, on the front bench seat. No space is wasted so there is storage seemingly everywhere. The snack table pops into place either up front as a coffee table or in back to serve lunch. You’ll really appreciate the addition of a rubber mat on the top of the table to keep things from sliding all over with each little wave that comes by.
Here’s a nice touch. Floor level drink holders for use when lounging. Notice the courtesy light just above. No losing your drink here.
The Captain’s Seat
The Admiral gets a comfortable reclining lounge chair over by the center gate on the port side. The captain’s seat has self-leveling flip armrests, adjustable back, ventilated storage, and swivel capability. It sits on a 2-inch elevated platform, which improves visibility over the heads of anyone in the lounger just ahead of the helm… a welcome touch. The rest of the crew has plenty of space on the aft L-shaped bench lounger that wraps from the side gate to the aft gate. Sun Tracker cleverly hides the LED floor lighting under a shiny metal tab just below the seats on the benches.
Check out the little space for putting “stuff” onto -- in this case, sunglasses. And notice circuit breakers under each rocker switch.
The helm is a well positioned single-molded unit. The instruments include a compass, analog engine gauges, a digital depth finder, tilt steering, lighted rocker switches and tilt wheel. Circuit breakers (not fuses!) are conveniently placed under each rocker switch. A cooler fits neatly underneath the helm so you can bring along your favorite beverages and junk food and store them out of sight until needed. The music is provided through an AM/FM/CD with Sirius Satellite reception capability and MP3 jack. The helm console includes CD storage.
Just abaft the helm station is a handy beverage center. Here you have room to prepare the snacks and pour the beverages. Overhead you can keep everyone cool with the standard Bimini that provides coverage from the helm to the sunpad.
Sun Pad and Changing Room
With a large crew onboard, you need privacy to change out of wet clothes or prepare for docking and dinner at your favorite shore side restaurant. Beneath the thick sun pad, Sun Tracker has tucked away storage space for the table on the port side and a changing room on the starboard end right next to the aft gate.
Stepping through the aft gate, you find a real swim platform the kids will surely love along with a flip-over swim ladder so they can climb back on board and leap off again without help.
A roomy swim platform and deep ladder makes jumping in as easy as reboarding. Under the sunpad is a changing room.
The Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 XP3 has a LOA of 26’11’ (3.4 m), and a beam of 8'6" (2.6 m). Her dry weight is 3,546 lbs (1,608.4 kg) and she carries 37 gallons (140 L) of fuel. Her base engine is a 150hp Optimax, and options will allow you to move on up to a 200 L Verado (add $6,470) -- an option to consider if you are both very popular (15 persons max capacity) and like to ski.
Overall, Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 XP3 is a very impressive boat. Her clean and curvy lines add significantly to her good looks, and she’s loaded with great features as well. With a base price of $35,995, you won’t have to go broke, just because you have a lot of friends.
Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 XP3 (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 XP3 (2011-) Warranty
Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 XP3 (2011-) 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.
Limited Lifetime Warranty
Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 XP3 (2011-) Price
Sun Tracker Party Barge 25 XP3 (2011-) Price
Base Price (MSRP)
Price as Tested
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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