JC Pontoon’s TriToon Classic 246 is a 7.5 meter high-end performance pontoon boat offering a lot of eye appeal not often seen in pontoon boats. She comes with either sterndrive or outboard power which permits her to appeal to a wider market. With the maximum 300-horse outboard, she should deliver speeds in the mid-40s, even with a full load aboard.
Many pontoon boats are pretty much square boxes afloat, but the Tri-Toon Classic features a streamlined fairing at the bow that adds a whole new look--combined with the arched, sweeping lines of the railings, the styling is a definite head-turner.•
There's actually a "pointy-end" on this toon; the bow tapers to a peak instead of the squared off box seen on nearly all other pontoon boats--looks great. •
Built-in Anchor Locker:
The TriToon Classic 246 has something we rarely see on a pontoon boat — even those from the best builders – and that is a dedicated anchor locker at the bow•
Sterndrive or Outboard Power:
Not many toon builders offer the option of a sterndrive engine in the center toon. Boaters wanting very high performance should consider this option.•
Lots of Color Packages:
Choices include eight base colors, two accent colors and five side panel colors, allowing buyers to customize their 'toon to stand out from the fleet when rafted up. •
Stainless Steel Bow Rails and Front/Rear Gates:
Stainless fittings are great-looking, extremely durable and much stronger than the extruded aluminum parts found on many in the genre.•
Flip Top Console Hatch:
The flip-up top hatch on the console makes it super easy to access wiring and other systems inside without doing a headstand. A piano hinge runs the width of this hatch lid, promising long-term durability, and a support arm keeps it upright. •
Optional Full-Width Swim Platform:
Available in only the I/0 configuration, the full-width swim platform can be accessed from either side of the transom with the twin aft gate floor plan--convenient and a whole new look for a pontoon boat.
With added options, the TriToon Classic 246 is a capable tow-boat--add either a half or full swim platform aft, the ski tow bar--and maybe even the wakeboard tower.The optional ski/wakeboard storage in the deck is a useful plus that many will want. The compartment is floored and includes a rubber mat to prevent scuffing gear.A base SS tow eye is standard equipment, or a tow bar giving a higher position for the tow-line, plus easier access from the aft cockpit, can be added.
Entertaining afloat is what it's all about in a big pontoon boat like this one, and adding the optional cocktail table in the bow makes sense not only for serving adult beverages, but also as added space when it's lunchtime for the munchkins.What to do with all the empty cans and bags generated by party time afloat? The TriToon Classic 246 solves this issue with an optional flip-out trash can hidden in the arm of the starboard lounger in front of the helm area.
The optional flip-up changing room
will also be appreciated when it's time to get rid of swimsuits and put on dock-wear for dinner at a waterfront restaurant--it pops out of the armrest on the port lounge.There are drink holders everywhere, and more can be added with optional SS twins that can be placed anywhere on the lounges, or stored out of sight when not needed.
Clarion CD/AM/FM with Sirius radio standard, and JL Audio speakers give the tunes afloat some punch. Standard mounting for the speakers is on the bottom of the lounges--but you can opt for some overhead sounds if you pony up for the tower.
At the Helm:
The heavily-padded, swiveling captain's chair has a high back with headrest and padded arm rests. Flip a lever and the back reclines so you can maybe take a little Sunday afternoon snooze. The JC Pontoon logo is embroidered into the headrest--a little touch but representative of the attention to detail in the rest of the boat. The seating is all done in house. There's also a mesh catch-all bag on the side of the seat.
In the Cockpit:
The boat has a huge, 2,750-lb. (1,247 kg) passenger load capacity, but there are enough seats for everybody in this setup. The couch-type seats have rotocast bases and cushion mounts, meaning they'll never rot or corrode. A pair of loungers with inclined backrests, headrests and arm rests up front are likely to be the most popular seats in the boat with the great view forward. The backs of these seats flip up on piano hinges to reveal storage compartments.
With four available floor plans, layout can be pretty much what the boater likes, but another popular configuration likely will be a companion swivel chair, along with a pair of aft facing lounges in the cockpit.
The helm on this boat looks like it came direct from a top-end sportboat--or maybe a Gulfstream jet.
Lighted and labeled
rocker switches are all in easy reach, as are the circuit breaker reset buttons--no crawling under the dash for this chore. There's plenty of space to mount a big screen GPS in the center of the console, and the tilting steering wheel makes it easy to adjust for a sitting or standing captain.
controls are low on the right side, easy to see and operate, and the control system is water-resistant. A locking storage box is low and to the left, handy for storing wallet, keys and the like while afloat, and there's also a three compartment mesh storage bag on the inwale to starboard, within easy reach of the driver. This entire bag is a snap-out, so it can easily be carried ashore for storage.
Performance and Handling
We did not test the TriToon Classic 246 on the water, and so can offer no observations on performance and handling. Comparable boats typically run in the low 40s with 250 horses and get around 2 mpg at full bore, or double that at 3500 to 3000 rpms.
The TriToon Classic 246 is rated for MerCruiser or Volvo Penta sterndrives to 320-hp; Honda, Evinrude or Suzuki outboards to 300-hp. The sterndrive models add a good bit of weight aft and take up storage space, but do allow for the optional full-width swim platform and twin aft gates to be installed, a very cool-looking and useful arrangement. The outboards, on the other hand, can be fully tilted out of the water when not in use, a big survival factor for lower units in saltwater.
In general, planing-style pontoon boats run well on 150 horses and up, but adding bigger engines does not necessarily add big speed--50 more horsepower can mean only 2 or 3 mph, but a big penalty in both initial cost and fuel consumption unless you just HAVE to have the fastest 'toon on the lake, take this into account. The base MerCruiser 4.3L puts out 190 horsepower, and that or a 200-horse outboard should provide good performance.
Options to Consider
A wide-angle ski mirror
is a big plus in a boat with the missions of the 246. It not only gives the operator an extra set of eyes aft for watersports, but also helps you stay aware of traffic approaching from the rear--or of little ones getting too close to the aft gates. The mirror clamps to the side rail on a swivel arm that allows for perfect positioning for drivers of all heights.
An optional 16.5’ manual Bimini
is available to provide shade for the front lounge seats as well as the aft seating areas, or you can opt for a 12’ power Bimini, which will be much appreciated for its ease of use and quick-deploy capabilities in a sudden shower.
An optional fold-out changing room
tucks neatly into the arm of the aft loungers on the port side, fitting into the space between fore and aft loungers when raised. This same space can hold a hideaway cooler, an extra table, a trash container or any of several other options--it's your choice.
The fuel/water filter
is listed as an option. Considering the issues with ethanol these days and the moderate cost of filters, we’d specify this.
With a 200 Suzuki outboard, or with the base MerCruiser sterndrive, the boat goes for around $59,000. Add a tandem trailer for another $3,000 or so and you're ready to take your TriToon Classic 246 anywhere.
We really like the eye-appeal of this boat--it's truly a different look in pontoons, and one that a lot of families will like. There's loads of quality seating, and lots of storage to go with all that seating.
The standard anchor locker
in the bow peak is a case in point--it's a real rarity on pontoons, so one winds up having to store that wet, muddy ground tackle in one of the under-seat boxes. Not so on the 246--it adds to the feel that this is a vessel built by boaters, for boaters.
Thicker Gauge Alloy.
I also like the fact that the pontoons are .125 gauge, rather than the .90 to .100 that's more common. Most pontoon boats get run up on gravelly beaches and bumped over rocks and stumps frequently, and that extra thickness is security against ever springing a leak.
appears to be chosen more for eye appeal than function--it's small and low. Normally, in slower pontoon boats that's fine--in fact, there isn’t a need for a shield at all, and this one can quickly be removed without tools. But in performance 'toons, there are times when one might wish they had a bit more protection behind the helm--a taller 'shield could help.
on this boat looks solid--five years stem to stern on carpet and upholstery, three years on mechanical parts, lifetime limited warranty on the pontoons and plywood decks. The company puts the full warranty on their website, a confidence factor I like—the buyer knows exactly what's covered, what's not, up front.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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