Captain's ReportTested By Capt. Bob SmithAvalon is breaking into the luxury pontoon market with a big bang. The Excalibur Elite 27 is the queen of the line and the grand example of how this company is setting a high standard for the others to meet. Their tag line is “Bringing you Quality Beyond Compare and Amenities You Never Expected.” The ride and the features proved to meet those lofty expectations.LayoutThe foredeck on our test boat had pop-up cleats like you find on many high-end runabouts these days. Docking lamps were in the corners with the navigation lights making approaches to the trailer in the evening or the slip at night a lot more relaxing. The bow entry door is wide and Avalon has cleverly added mesh pockets to the backs to store loose items like those pesky cell phones. A large party of guests can relax in the spacious and very comfortable bench seats forward, which have double cup holders that flip out of the seat backs for handling the cold beverages, or coffee. The seat bases on Avalon pontoons are aluminum framed. The ventilated side panels and rubber mats on the floor will help dry out gear better than in a roto-molded base. A storable snack table can be set up in the bow section for serving sandwiches or whatever you like to have on board.Wet BarHow many times have you seen a wine service on a pontoon boat? I have driven quite a few and these and this is the first time I have seen one. On this model it consists of a bucket and four plastic wine glasses tucked in a corner under a smoked Plexiglas cover. This is a very nice touch, even if you don’t drink wine.At the ControlsA covered bin in front of the helm holds three small fenders so you don’t have to rummage through the bench seats looking for them as you are approaching the docks. Our helm has elegant wood trim accents delivering an upscale look. The driver’s cup holder is to the left with a Clarion marine stereo AM/FM/CD player below. Our boat had gold bezeled instruments in wood accents as well as a Humminbird 27 Fishing System in the center of the console, that keeps a digital eye on how we were doing on our excursion. If you have portable gear or need to keep that cell phone charged, there is a 12volt socket next to the right side of the wheel. The captain’s chair is probably the most comfortable seat on board. It has a high back that can nearly lay all the way down, along with a head rest, extra plush seat and flip up armrests.Moving AftThe stern seating area is just as spacious and also has a snack table back here. The sunpad on the stern is huge and has a raised border that seemed to invite you to lay back and soak in the sun when it popped out. A stern gate leads you out to the swim ladder for playing at anchor. Our test boat had an optional ski tow rig mounted over the engine.SpecsAvalon’s Excalibur Elite 27 has a deck length of 27’0”. Pontoon length is 26’ and the logs are 25” in diameter. Deck width is 8’6” and she weighs in at 2,206lbs with furniture installed. She is rated to carry up to 18 friends and family on board, or 2,420lbs of people and gear and can be equipped with up to a 150-hp engine on the stern.Performance and RideI enjoyed the smooth comfortable ride this model had to offer, and I insisted on getting to run it for the helicopter shoot as well. Getting the Excalibur back on the trailer for the return seemed easy enough as well. Her best cruise speed was achieved at around 4000rpms traveling 15mph. This will get you 162 miles on a full tank of fuel. Wide-open-throttle speed was 22.5mph which gave us a range of 81 miles. If you are ready for more pampering than you have seen in the past when it comes to pontoon boats, then you will be pleased with what Avalon has waiting for you to see.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Avalon Excalibur 27 Elite is 22.5 mph (36.2 kph), burning 9.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 34.06 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Avalon Excalibur 27 Elite is 15.0 mph (24.1 kph), and the boat gets 5.00 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.13 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 162 miles (260.71 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 90-hp Yamaha four-stroke.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!