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Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2015-)
(w/ 2 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2)

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Brief Summary

A 36'' diameter center pontoon with a flat planing surface on the bottom enhances performance on the Premier 290 Grand Entertainer. Powered with twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp outboards turning 15 3/4" x 15” Rebel props, she topped out at an impressive 50.1 mph. Her most fuel-efficient planing speed was 13.7 mph at 2000 rpms, where she got 3.3 mpg, but most users will probably choose to run her around 3000 rpms and 23.5 mph for general cruising, where she got 2.1 mpg. The powerful 2-stroke direct-injection engine pushed the 5,400-lb. (2,449 kg) triple-pontoon rig up on plane in just 4.4 seconds. There is nothing quite like 2-stroke low-end torque to get these vessels moving, and the Evinrude E-TEC G2 models are state-of-the-art 2-stroke.

Key Features

  • Extended aft deck layout
  • 6'6'' Evolution Bimini top
  • Flexsteel built couches
  • Mirage changing room
  • Slim table
  • Two 7-Star helm and passenger chairs
  • Entertainer bar includes solid surface top, refrigerator and 4 deluxe bar stools
  • Standard 4 wine glasses and 2 martini glasses
  • Illuminated telescopic ladder
  • LED docking and navigational lights
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 29' 5''
    8.97 m
    Beam 8' 6''
    2.59 m
    Dry Weight 3,650 lbs.
    1,202 kg
    Tested Weight 5,404 lbs.
    Draft N/A
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom N/A
    Max Headroom open
    Bridge Clearance N/A
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 30 gal.
    113 L
    Water Capacity N/A
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)
    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

    Std. Power Not Available
    Tested Power 2 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2
    Opt. Power Not Available

    Test Results - Change Measurement Unit

    RPM MPH Knots GPH MPG NMPG Stat. Mile NM dBa
    500 3.3 2.8 0.6 5.9 5.1 425 370 67
    1000 5.7 5.0 1.2 4.8 4.1 342 297 71
    1500 7.3 6.3 2.6 2.8 2.5 205 178 76
    2000 13.7 11.9 4.2 3.3 2.9 238 207 82
    2500 19.1 16.6 7.0 2.7 2.4 197 172 86
    3000 23.5 20.4 11.2 2.1 1.8 151 131 86
    3500 28.9 25.1 15.1 1.9 1.7 138 120 87
    4000 33.8 29.3 19.6 1.7 1.5 124 108 89
    4500 38.5 33.5 23.1 1.7 1.5 120 104 90
    5000 43.5 37.8 30.6 1.4 1.2 102 89 94
    5600 50.1 43.6 47.8 1.1 0.9 75 66 96
    RPMNMKMKPHLPHKPLdBA
    500 370 684 5.30 2.08 2.51 67
    1000 297 550 9.20 4.54 2.02 71
    1500 178 330 11.70 9.65 1.21 76
    2000 207 383 22.00 15.71 1.40 82
    2500 172 317 30.70 26.31 1.16 86
    3000 131 243 37.80 42.40 0.89 86
    3500 120 222 46.50 56.97 0.82 87
    4000 108 200 54.40 74.00 0.74 89
    4500 104 193 62.00 87.44 0.71 90
    5000 89 164 70.00 115.64 0.60 94
    5600 66 121 80.60 180.94 0.45 96

    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. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.

    Performance Chart

    Performance Chart

    Acceleration Times & Test Conditions

    Time To Plane N/A
    0 to 30 4.4 sec.
    Ratio 1.85 : 1
    Props 15 3/4 x 15 Rebel
    Load 3 persons, full fuel, no water, 50 lbs. of gear
    Climate 80 deg., 67 humid.; wind: 15-20 mph; seas: choppy
    Elevation -9

    Captain's Report

    Overview

    With the Premier 290 Grand Entertainer, the mission couldn’t be clearer. This is a high-end pontoon boat designed to provide her guests with the most comfortable entertainment platform to grace the lake or river that she’ll be plying – but to “entertain” in more than one way. First, with her full cabana bar, and large deck with comfortable in-the-round seating she is a party vessel extraordinaire.Second, when equipped with the Premier PTX Package and powered by twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp outboards, she is one of the fastest, most watersports-oriented pontoon boats on the water – one sure to provide lots of entertainment of a different sort. Add the i-Dock Joystick Steering System and she becomes a pleasure to handle around the docks, as well. And add the extra 1'4" (.41 m) in-deck width provided by the optional 10' (3.05 m) beam and this boat lets a crowd live extra-large. Overall, the Premier 290 is very much the “Grand Entertainer”.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer standard deck layout
    Standard deck layout of the Premier 290 Grand Entertainer.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer floor plan
    Alternative D/L group layout in the forward section.

    Major Features

    Bow Seating.

    Most pontoon boats have a bow entry door, and the 290 Grand Entertainer is no exception. However, the unique removable bow seat spans this gate, providing full wrap-around U-shaped seating at the bow, a great feature at party time. Entry gates aft provide easy access with the bow filler seat in place, or it can be left at the docks when not needed, providing a bow walkthrough.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer couches
    All the couches are Flexsteel brand, generally regarded to be the highest quality in the industry. The removable table swivels to different positions. The bow filler couch is removable to provide access to the forward gate, as needed.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer upholstery
    The seats have varying densities of foam and thickness to ensure comfort. The DuraSoft 7 vinyl and the substructures of the seat are designed to be impervious to weather and durable for the life of the boat.

    Customizable Seating.

    Premier has built its reputation on giving the customers what they want and that often means building something a little unconventional. In fact, the company tells us that some of its best innovations have come at the suggestion of customers.

    Flexsteel is Best.

    As for the furniture itself, it's all Flexsteel, made by the same company that makes high-end office and home furnishings. Corrosion-resistant spring steel straps under the seat provide a cushioning effect that just isn't available in the typical foam-only pontoon boat furniture.The bases of all the seats are roto-cast plastic with Premier’s patented EZ-hinge, allowing easy access underneath the cushions. Components are marinized, fully sprung, and highly corrosion resistant. The materials exceed ASTM B117 Salt Spray Exposure Testing as rated by DuPont Powder Coatings USA, according to Flexsteel.Premier is the only builder of pontoon boats that we know of that uses furniture made by Flexsteel.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer hatch
    A hatch at the bow leads to an in-deck storage compartment that runs all the way back to where our test captain is standing.

    Changing Room/Pump-Out Head.

    To port, the Mirage changing seat lifts to reveal a changing room/head compartment. Many pontoon boats have this feature, but none that we’ve seen match the size and utility of the one installed on the 290 Grand Entertainer. It has enough space for changing and allows room for the optional pump-out head. And note that it is an available pump-out head, or a Porta-Potti.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer changing room
    The Mirage changing room has a home underneath the portside lounger. Notice how the geometry allows for standing room to the forward end and sitting room to the aft end. There is a reason for that design…
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer head option
    … the aft end of the Mirage changing room has enough space for an optional pump-out head.

    Helm

    Like the couches, the helm seat is made by Flexsteel and is among the most comfortable in class. It is wider than the typical seat, has much more padding, and instead of flip-down armrests, those on the 290 Grand Entertainer are self-leveling to remain comfortable with the seatback reclined. They are specially made for marine use.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer helm
    The Liberty helm is on a raised platform that allows clear sightlines over the heads of guests in the forward couches.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer helm seat
    The reclining helm seat added another comfortable aspect to the helm.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer helm panel
    This boat is built with the optional Tounament Series Dash. The Evinrude ICON 4.3 CTS touch screen display, Garmin GPS and stereo are all on the same level. To the right, notice the tray for a cell phone or iPod just above the MP3 plug. Note that the standard dash comes with the Beacon touchscreen system.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer controls
    The shift and throttle controls and i-Dock joystick and display screen are in comfortable reach to starboard.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer extinguisher
    Just behind the helm is a convenient fire extinguisher in a recessed pocket.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer battery switches
    The battery switches are located behind the bar, probably the first place that anyone's going to go to on this boat, anyway.

    Instrument Console.

    The helm has the Evinrude multifunction screen, ICON 4.3 CTS, to port with the optional Garmin GPS in the center and the stereo to the right. The digital shift and throttle controls and i-Dock joystick are comfortable to work with to the driver’s right. The hickory-wood trimmed, three-spoke wheel is mounted to a tilt base, and wood accents on the helm are complimented by the attractiveness of this wheel.

    The Bar is the Star of the Show

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer layout
    What sets the 290 Grand Entertainer apart from every other 'toon on the water is the Island Bar, an attractive and fully functional bar. But there is more going on here than what at first might meet the eye…
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer bar
    A -- Base of the cabana cover that also holds stemware. B – Paper towel roll under the counter. C – In-counter ice bucket. D – Cubby for condiments. E – Sink with pressure water and drying rack. F – Drink holders. G – Bottle caddy.

    The Island Bar

    This is without a doubt the most intriguing feature of this boat’s entertainment capabilities. The aft port corner of the boat is taken up by an attractive bar which includes four pedestal seats that adjust to varying heights. Tubular footrests around the perimeter of the bar are perfectly positioned for comfort. The ladies will appreciate the flip-out purse holders in front of each seat.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer drinks
    Behind the bar, all of the ingredients that are needed to be a Premier entertainer are present.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer drying rack
    Underneath the sink is a convenient drying rack. It can be removed to accommodate the cutting board just to the left of the sink.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer refrigerator
    A dual-voltage refrigerator can keep a load of beverages cold. There is plenty of room on the boat for conventional ice chests for really large parties.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer ice bucket
    A recessed ice bucket in the bar counter is handy for the bar keeper to make mixed drinks.

    The cabana bar itself consists of a solid surface counter in two tones with lighted drink holders recessed in front of each seat. Overhead is a cabana top that provides comfortable protection as well as a place to store stemware.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer island bar
    The Island bar features a two-tone hard surface with lighted drink holders recessed in front of each seat.

    Behind the bar are all of the accessories necessary to make the 290 Grand Entertainer's owner a host to be envied. The tools include bottle holders, a dual-voltage refrigerator, two stainless drawers with steel sliders and internal bottle holders, a sink, cutting surface, a paper towel rack, ice bucket and plenty of available counter space.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer footrest rail
    The footrest rail is at the perfect height. Telescoping pedestal seats make this a comfortable spot to sit.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer purse holder
    In front of each seat are flip-out purse holders. The boat has four speakers aboard, including those on the bar facing, plus a 10” (.25 m) subwoofer.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer lifestyle
    The bar certainly makes the 290 Grand Entertainer turn heads everywhere she goes, and with good reason. There is no boat on the water like her.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer cabana
    The cabana provides sun protection and can withstand the 50-mph wind that the boat generates at WOT.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer grill
    We can't imagine ordering this boat without this optional propane grill.

    Water Play

    Premier didn't forget that the 290 Grand Entertainer is still a boat and that boats are made for fun on the water. Just abaft the bar is a folding double-wide gate that leads to a set of extra-wide aluminum stairs that descend to the surface, where a flip-out ladder dips into the water. This is a classy way to get into the water and it provides a comfortable sitting area between the engines for letting the feet dangle in the water, while remaining within easy reach of the bar just ahead. We have not seen anything quite like the arrangement south of a $2 million motoryacht.

    Towing.

    Of course, she’s also a capable tow boat as well. Whether the end of the line has kids on a tube, a wakeboard, a pair of skis or a slalom ski, the 290 Grand Entertainer can handle it all. Although to be clear, the wakeboarder will probably be a bit disappointed as this boat just doesn’t create a wake that will allow a rider to catch lots of air. But for everyone else, it’s hang-on time. Let’s take a look at what sort of performance we got on our test.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer stern stairs
    Take a look at the stairs leading into the water between the engines. They facilitate getting in and out of the water and provide a relaxing place to sit while dangling feet in the water.

    Performance

    Premier offers the 290 Grand Entertainer with a third pontoon called the PTX Package, but this is much more than just another tube. The 36” (.91 m) diameter tube -- huge as pontoons go --has an octagonal shape and a 1’-wide pad that the boat rides on when at speed. The outside pontoons are 25” (.64 m) in diameter and have strakes on the inboard side to provide lift and help the boat lean in turns. The 36” PTX tube has 44% more displacement than conventional 25” diameter tubes, thus its ride is far more comfortable and much dryer.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer ptx bottom
    The PTX bottom’s key component is an oversized center pontoon with a 12” (.30 m) -wide pad on which the boat rides when she is at speed.

    The Premier 290 Grand Entertainer has a length overall of 29'5" (8.93 m) and an optional beam of 10’ (2.59 m). With an empty weight of 4,275 lbs. (1,939 kg), 82 gallons (276 L) of fuel, 2 people and test power we had an estimated test weight of 6,282 lbs. (2,850 kg).With a pair of Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp motors turning 15.75" x 15" Rebel stainless steel props, we reached a top speed of 50.1 mph at 5600 rpm. At that speed, we were burning a combined 47.8 gph giving us a range of 75.6 miles.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer running shot
    During our test run, we found that the best cruise was 23.5 mph at 3000 rpm.

    Best Cruise.

    As this is a boat that stays well on top of the water, best cruise is pretty much wherever the driver wants to be, but we found her to be quite comfortable at 3000 rpm and 23.5 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to only 11.2 gph, giving us a range of 151.2 miles and an approximate endurance of 6 hours and 30 minutes, while still maintaining a 10% reserve.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer running shot engines
    Powered by twin Evinrude E-TEC G2 300-hp engines, we reached a top speed of 50.1 mph at 5600 rpm.

    Time to Plane.

    Here's where things got real interesting. With those twin E-TEC G2 300-hp engines, we accelerated to 20 mph in 2.6 seconds and 30 in 4.2 seconds. After running those numbers, we immediately searched the lake for a bowrider to race but there wasn't one available.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer bimini top
    The Bimini top includes a cover that has netting at the bottom to allow moisture to drain away. It's the little details – as well as the big ones -- that make the difference with Premier.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer bow corner guards
    The bow corner guards consist of a chromed grab rail and spring-loaded flip-up cleats, with recessed navigation lights and docking lights below.

    The Horses.

    The main reason why the 290 Grand Entertainer is so quick to 50 mph, of course, has something to do with the 600 horsepower strapped to her stern. While we don’t feel that the boat really needs that much power – we think twin 225-hp engines would also be impressive – there is no denying the “wow” factor of this huge pontoon boat streaking across a lake. And in big lakes where distance can be a factor, speed can come in handy.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer ptx
    The 290 Grand Entertainer with her PTX pontoon configuration cuts a fine figure on the water.

    Handling

    The 290 Grand Entertainer presents a minimal 3-degree bow rise upon acceleration, maintains that angle for a cruise attitude, and rolls only 4 ½-degrees into the turns. In high-performance turns, she will lower her bow and carve through the turn a little more aggressively.

    i-Dock

    When equipped with Evinrude’s i-Dock Joystick Steering System, the 290 Grand Entertainer can be maneuvered into virtually any slip or dock space. The engines respond smoothly to the joystick input, and within minutes our test captains were comfortable moving the boat in and out of slips or slipping sideways into a tight spot between two boats at a dock. The captain can use the “boost” button to adjust the amount of power being applied, and the steering resistance and number of turns lock-to-lock can be programmed.

    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer docking
    The i-Dock system and its joystick will give captains the confidence to pull up to any dock.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer one handed
    Evinrude’s i-Dock permits one-handed operation of the boat, and the system can be customized to a driver’s preferences.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer night
    Not only is the 290 Grand Entertainer fast and fun, she is also cool. At night, blue exterior strip lights under her deck outboard reflect on the large ‘toons and on the water. As the boat goes gliding slowly by, all eyes on shore will wonder what they are missing.
    Premier 290 Grand Entertainer blue lights
    Aboard, softer, indirect blue lights under the seating cast a warm and sexy glow over the interior of the boat. Call it the floating Studio 54 effect. Turn up the tunes.

    Observations

    We were definitely impressed with the Premier 290 Grand Entertainer’s combination of luxury and performance in a do-all package that will change the way people look at pontoon boats. Expanding the beam to 10' (3.05 m) really opens up the boat, creating more usable space. The cabana bar is more than a gimmick because it is thoughtfully laid-out and well-equipped for its intended purpose. Throughout the boat, the seating is exceptionally comfortable. Even the changing room/private head is a step above the competition.The PTX Package makes the boat a serious performer that’s capable of towing any form of watersport, and that can beat many sportboats out of the hole and even outrun some at top speed. The twin 300-hp engines are the maximum horsepower for the boat and while they are fun, they also make her a little pricey. Even a pair of 200 or 225-hp motors would make her a lot of fun, and the twin engines could still have the option of joystick docking. Of course, adding the i-Dock system would make low-speed maneuverability that much better.

    Test Result Highlights

    • Top speed for the Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2015-) is 50.1 mph (80.6 kph), burning 47.80 gallons per hour (gph) or 180.92 liters per hour (lph).
    • Best cruise for the Premier 290 Grand Entertainer (2015-) is 23.5 mph (37.8 kph), and the boat gets 2.10 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.89 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 151 miles (243.01 kilometers).
    • Tested power is 2 x 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2.

    Standard and Optional Features

    Systems

    Battery Charger/Converter Standard
    CD Stereo Optional

    Galley

    Refrigerator Standard

    Exterior Features

    Ice Chest Standard
    Swim Ladder Standard

    Canvas

    Bimini Top Standard

    Warranty

    Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

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