Captain's ReportPremier 235 SunSation FS with Yamaha 115-hpBy Captain John B. WenzPontoon boats seem to be evolving quickly, far beyond their traditional image. Premier Marine has been in the business of building pontoon boats since 1992, so they know this to be true. Built to LastThe folks at Premier build their boats to last. Experience has taught them an awful lot about boat building. Details like solid aluminum keels and multi-chamber tubes maintain the boat’s strength and integrity. Transoms are reinforced to prevent racking, and they heat-shrink all of the electrical connections to keep them dry. If you’re serious about pleasing your customers, those are the things you need to do. The 235 SunSation features 16” crossmember spacing and 25” tubes. One area that Premier takes pride in is the construction of their seats. The individual units are rotocast, which means that they’re built using no wood. Granted, there are an increasing number of mid-priced pontoon boats being built this way. However, Premier’s hinges make this product so special. They’re a welded aluminum device which functions better than anything I’ve seen so far. The seat top lifts and then tilts down, out of the way, so it stays open while you stow or retrieve your gear. Gone are the days of little jury-rigged hooks and lanyards that you find around so many boats. They also include lots of little details which are both useful and attractive like stainless steel cleats, polished corner castings and flush-mounted docking lights. This stuff not only looks good, but it’s functional and it adds value. And the list of standard features doesn’t stop there. Carpeting, courtesy lights, an 11 foot bimini top and color-matched canvas are all part of the factory equipment list. Premier’s 235 SunSation FS LTD is 23’ on deck and 23’4” overall. She’s 8’6” wide and carries a party of 14 for a capacity of 3025 pounds. The 3-tube version can safely handle an outboard of up to 225 horsepower. The LayoutThere are two distinct seating areas on this boat, fore and aft. The forward seating area features two luxurious reclining swivel chairs, along with bench seating port and starboard with storage underneath. The starboard side is a chaise lounge. Gates are forward and on the port side. The fiberglass console is to starboard, and it also includes access under for storage. Standard controls and instrumentation include a speedometer, tachometer, voltage indicator, horn, and a trim gauge. Navigation lights, horn, and other accessories are operated by a functional switch panel. The steering wheel tilts for comfort, and a bucket helm chair will make sure the skipper is comfortable all day. If you’d like to bring some music along, go right ahead- a Sony CD stereo with four speakers will make sure that the right music will always be on. Just aft and opposite the steering console is an L-shaped settee. Like the forward seats, it offers plenty of storage underneath. A removable table is situated so that your guests can sit around it, on the aft settee. A trashcan holder is under the lounger, and a little door gives you convenient access. Back aft you’ll find a sundeck. It lifts to reveal a changing room- popular with those who want to swim, but don’t want to sit around in a swimsuit all day. To starboard is a gate leading to a permanent swim ladder. And the 235 has a towing arch over the motor, so tell the kids to bring along the water toys. Our TestFor our test, the 235 we used was powered by Yamaha’s 115 horsepower four-stroke outboard. This compact, lightweight in-line 4-cylinder design is quiet, clean-burning and fuel efficient – with power to spare. Double overhead cam 16 valve configuration and electronic multipoint fuel injection offer the latest in outboard motor engineering. The Composite Intake Manifold is tuned to increase air flow resulting in a more powerful hole shot and increased acceleration. The air silencer box reduces intake air noise while the surge tank reduces air turbulence for smoother operation. And the Yamaha 115, like all their four-strokes, is protected by their Ultimate Corrosion Protection System which includes the ACP-221 Paint Process providing a 5-layer barrier against corrosion. The Yamaha 115 put us up on plane in 4.5 seconds and we reached 25 miles an hour in 10.7 seconds. Our top speed was 27.4 mph at 5400 rpm. We determined our best fuel economy to be at 3000 rpm where we observed a fuel burn rate of 5.8 gallons per hour netting 3.56 miles per gallon. The Yamaha 115 ran like a Swiss watch. It was smooth with a pleasant sound, and it accelerated smoothly and quickly from bottom to top. The 235 SunSation from Premier is a classy touring boat that will help your family create memories this season and for years to come.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Premier 235 SunSation FS (2008-) is 26.7 mph (43 kph), burning 8.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 30.66 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Premier 235 SunSation FS (2008-) is 11.9 mph (19.2 kph), and the boat gets 5.02 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.13 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 149 miles (239.79 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 115-hp Yamaha Four-Stroke.
Standard and Optional Features
5-year bow to stern