|Max Headroom||Open||Bridge Clearance||N/A|
|Std. Power||Not Available|
|Tested Power||1 x 90-hp Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series|
1 x 40-hp Yamaha F40LA
1 x 90-hp Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series
The Sweetwater SW 2286 has a LOA of 22’3” (6.79 m) and a beam of 102” (2.59 m). Powered by a new Evinrude E-TEC 90 PS (Pontoon Series) engine she was faster off the dime and better in reverse.
The mission of the Sweetwater SW 2286 is to provide a cost-effective pontoon boat that maximizes open deck space and provides easy access to the water. The contrary is also true, because of her wide bow gate that is designed to handle wheel chairs. Now the grandparents can have the fun of seeing grandchildren enjoying the water.
Her wide open starboard stern quarter is unusual and creates a large "staging area" for guests to put on their boards and get ready for all sorts of watersports.
The entire Sweetwater lineup received major upgrades for 2014 including furniture vinyl, decking options, and new graphic packages to complement the five available rail skin colors. There are now a half-dozen alternate flooring selections including four exclusive carpets, and a new Nutmeg vinyl. Owners can even choose exactly where they’d like to place the different surfaces, from bow to midships to aft deck or covering the entire deck.
The Sweetwater SW 2286 features a typical arrangement of dual couches forward, L-shaped seating aft and a sun pad with optional changing room underneath at the stern. Boarding is through three gates, the aft gate being 18” (46 cm) wide, the port mid gate is 23” (58 cm) while the forward gate is wheelchair accessible at 32” (81 cm) wide.
• Bimini Top. This one is now larger for 2014 and color coordinated with protective easy open boot.
This Bimini top presents an astonishing 7’ (2.13 m) of headroom underneath.
• Cockpit Cover. Typically on the options list, especially in a price point boat, but Sweetwater makes it standard, and all boats should have one.
• Cross Channels Bolted to Saddle Brackets on 24" Centers. This adds more support under the deck.
• GX48 Expanded Vinyl Seating. This is nearly the same thickness at the GX50 vinyl used in the company’s premium boats.
• Stainless Steel Hardware and Fasteners. Stainless steel provides a longer lifespan.
• Skirting Outside Pontoon Brackets. The skirt provides a more finished off-looking exterior and it’s an easy thing to leave off the build to save a few bucks.
• Premium Helm Seat. This seat is ultra-comfortable and includes flip-down armrests.
• Cockpit Table. A must on any boat built for entertaining. This one comes standard and has molded in cup holders.
• Next Wave Electrical System. This features automotive-style plug-n-play Deutsch connectors.
Here we can see how the use of splash guards at the nosecones keeps spray low and well out to the sides for a dry ride.
The Sweetwater SW 2286 has a LOA of 22’3” (6.79 m) and a beam of 102” (2.59 m). With an empty weight of 1,921 lbs. (871 kg), full fuel, two people and test power, we had an estimated test weight of 2,787 lbs. (1,264 kg).
WOT Speed. With the Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series turning a 13-7/8 by 13 prop, we reached a top speed of 22.3 mph at 5800 rpm. At that speed we were burning only 7.3 gph giving us a range of 58 miles.
Mid-Range Speed. Dialed back to a best cruise setting of 4000 rpm we were running at 13.3 mph with a 3.6 gph fuel burn. At that speed the SW 2286 could keep going for just over 5 hours and 71 miles while still holding back a 10% reserve.
Up-A-Lazy-River Speed. Twin toons like the Sweetwater SW 2286 are made-to-order to slowly cruise around a lake in the evening so its guests can enjoy sunset and see all the light come on in the houses nearby. At 5.2 mph the Evinrude E-TEC 90 PS is purring along at just 2000 rpm and burning just .7 gph, getting 7.4 mpg. At that speed the SW 2286 can cruise for 27 hours and still have a 10% fuel reserve.
About the Boat's Evinrude E-TEC Outboard Power
Evinrude did something that was long overdue, and that is to create an engine dedicated to pontoon boats. This Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series is just such an engine and there are four main features that enhance the boating experience in the Sweetwater SW 2286.
1. Improved Motor Mounts. These motor mounts are specially fabricated from softer rubber, but the design increases strength as torque is applied. The more load that is put on the mounts the firmer they get and the more they reduce vibration. Evinrude tells us that this newly designed mount reduces vibration up to 69% at cruise speeds, and 35% at idle power, two very important settings for the pontoon lifestyle. While we can’t validate those numbers, we can state that during our tests, there was a definitely noticeable reduction in vibration from what we typically see during pontoon tests.
2. External oil tank. While there’s still an internal oil tank on the Evinrude E-TEC 90 PS, there’s also a remote tank located inside the boat. The reason that this is so appealing is that most pontoon boats have a large sun pad over the engine, and this restricts access to the engine. Now we don’t have to worry about reaching the engine shroud to check the tank, we can just look onboard, typically next to the battery. This also has the added benefit of extending the range of the oil tank and most boaters won’t even have to worry about it for the entire season.
3. Software Mapping. The onboard computer has been reprogrammed to give ideal running characteristics for pontoon boats. Now we have more power at the low end where more muscle is required to push the tubes through the water.
4. Redesigned Gear Ratio. The normal Evinrude E-TEC 90 has a ratio of 2.0:1 where this Pontoon Series utilizes a 2.36:1 ratio, and that will provide better hole shots, better performance, better stopping power, and will allow us to use a wider range of propellers so we can dial into the exact application that much better.
The SW 2286 has a maximum rating of 90-hp. Further, our twin-toon tested boat weight was 2,787 lbs. (1,266 lbs.) with only two people aboard. Imagine her performance when she is 1,200-lbs. (545 kgs.) heavier?
Higher Torque. That is a large reason why the Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series did so well matched to this boat. The boat simply needs the low-end torque, backing power, and the special gear ratio that the Evinrude E-TEC 90 PS provides. We accelerated to 20 mph in 7.2 seconds, which is not bad for a twin-toon and a 90-hp engine.
Turning. She had a bit of a wide turning radius, but that had more to with the way the steering was rigged in this application with the steering arm “bottoming out” against the side of the engine well. And as is usually the case, adding more power did nothing to tighten the turn or kick the stern around.
But she did present a noticeable level of comfort with a smooth entry to the light chop. Also, the smoothness of the Pontoon Series engine was instantly noticeable. This is a combination that will surely reduce operator and passenger fatigue on long cruises across the lake or up a lazy river.
The Sweetwater SW 2286 remains level when turning, resisting the tendency of most to lean to the outside of the turn.
Starting with a look under the deck, we can see that Godfrey utilizes cross members at 24” (61 cm) centers and secures them to the tubes with M brackets. All pressure treated lumber and plywood is used giving a lifetime warranty to the deck and structure that is transferrable.
Both pontoons have dual splash guards to either side of the nosecone, and at the stern there’s a motor pod with a hull shape for better penetration through the water, and it even has a flat pad at the bottom for better lift during acceleration. This accounts for the nearly level acceleration characteristic we noticed during testing.
Dual splash guards to either side of the nosecones keep spray down low for a dry ride. The hull-shaped engine pod produces a flat acceleration curve.
The bow is comprised of the typical setup of dual couches to either side of a forward boarding gate. The gate is 32” (80 cm) wide and while not present on our test model, the newer versions will utilize unique hinges that drop into position when in the fully open position. In this manner the gates are able to remain open without the toe-jamming plastic butt-block screwed into the deck. The foredeck comes out 18” (46 cm) from the fence.
The seats are comfortable, being fabricated from GX48 vinyl, which is fairly close in thickness to the GX50 vinyl used in the company’s premium level toons. As expected, multiple densities of foam are used to provide more support where needed and storage is under all seats.
Not only are different densities of foam used throughout the couches, but also notice the varying patterns in the double stitched upholstery. The forward gate is wheelchair accessible at 32” (81 cm).
Additional storage is accessed under the ends of the couches.
In the center of the deck is L-shaped seating to port, again with storage underneath all seats. A standard pedestal table is fabricated from plastic and includes drink holders molded-in. This boat was slated more for the rental fleet, and as such did not have the plush carpeting that is offered in this model, but instead the more user friendly and easier to clean vinyl decking.
The pedestal table has the “insert and twist” type of mount, which doesn’t seem quite as sturdy as the “socket” type that we see in sportboats. But it will hold drinks and a plate of crackers and cheese to go with wine.
The helm features a classy captain’s chair with flip down armrests. The clear windscreen served to keep the breeze in the hair as opposed to in the face. Twin gauges in the center give a readout of speed and engine rpm. The engine control is mounted to a 45-degree angle as is typical of pontoon boats.
A stereo is in a protective cover to the left side of the panel and a cooler had a dedicated spot inside the console.
The Sweetwater has a simple yet functional helm. This one includes the optional fish finder that is part of the fishing package option.
The stern deck is considerably narrow but that allows for more room in the cockpit, particularly for the aft sun pad/changing room just ahead. The starboard fencing is secured in a triangular fashion allowing for a space for swimmers to comfortably enter and exit the water from the “easy-board” ladder at the quarter.
The starboard stern quarter fencing is mounted at an angle creating more room for the access to the reboarding ladder. This is a good idea and rarely seen.
Our test boat was equipped with the optional fishing package that included a livewell under the aft L-shaped seat, a fishfinder mounted to a bracket at the helm, and a wiring harness at the bow for a trolling motor.
An aerated livewell is part of the optional fishing package offered on the 2286.
Triple Tubes Available
While our test boat was a twin tube design, the SW 2286 is offered in a triple tube version as part of the TOTAL (Triple Outperforming Tube And Launchpad) package that adds a 25” (64 cm) G-Force center tube that includes a flat pad at the rear. The package also includes full under-skinning of the underside of the decking that prevents chop from hitting the cross members and presents a feel like pumping the brakes of an automobile. A feeling we didn’t experience on test day but we weren’t in any real chop either.
This package will also bump the capacity from 10 to 13 persons making her a bit more party friendly. The extra buoyancy will allow the boat to carry more horsepower, so together, they give the SW 2286 the muscle the boat needs to pull aggressive watersports fanatics.
Godfrey did a fine job on the Sweetwater SW 2286, creating a comfortable boat that is easy to use, and easy to handle. These characteristics make it a good choice for someone wanting to downshift from the hustle and bustle of everyday life to a more relaxed atmosphere on the water. It’s also a boat that, because of its simplicity, would make a fine platform to let the kids get the feel of being on the water and on their own.
This twin toon with the Evinrude E-TEC 90 Pontoon Series will do a good job of pulling kids on water toys, and with a light load, skiers and wakeboarders should also be able to get up behind the boat.
= Standard = Optional
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Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!