More Tubes Increase Performance
Usually, when a boat, or car, or whatever comes with two of something standard, with an option for three, it implies that the item with just two isn't quite as good. That's not the case with the Cast-A-Way 221: According to a company rep we interviewed, the reasons people opt for the extra tube are to carry more weight and/or to use bigger engines and therefore go faster. Adding the third tube raises the maximum capacity from 2,300 lbs (1,043 kg) to 2,675 lbs (1,213 kg) with a round tube, and 2,900 lbs (1,315 kg) with the high-performance PTX tube.
Naturally, both options increase cost, both for the boat itself and the larger outboard; our local dealer said he hadn't sold a 221 Cast-A-Way yet with the three-tube option. Staying with the standard two tubes meant the boat would perform fine with a 70-hp outboard; base price with that set-up is around $35,000. In all cases, the tubes are .090-gauge aluminum, multi-chambered, with .100 gauge hydrodynamic nosecones.
Premier's patent-pending PTX design takes triple-tubes one step further: Rather than simply adding a third round tube down the middle, PTX technology incorporates a flat planing surface on the middle tube, which, on the 221, measures 36" (91 cm) rather than the 25" (63.5 cm) of the outer tubes. (The center tube is mounted differently than the outside ones, so the bottoms of all three are the same depth.) Lifting strakes on the insides of the outer tubes help shorten time-to-plane. Premier found that strakes on both sides of the tubes made the boat run too flat, but adding them only to the inside let the boat bank into turns, reducing radius and making for more agile handling.
Premier's tubes are pressure-tested during manufacture, and come fitted with Pals tube vents to compensate for outside temperature fluctuation; the vents will also prevent the tube from filling with water in the event of a puncture, according to the builder. The tubes are attached to the deck with extruded M-brackets and Z-channel crossmembers on 16" (40.6 cm) centers; the company feels putting crossmembers on 16" centers rather than industry-standard 24" (61 cm) makes a stiffer frame, which adds to the 221's stability. Extra crossmembers support the aluminum transom.
The deck is pressure-treated marine-grade plywood, the only wood in the boat. (Even the furniture is wood-free.) It's attached to the crossmembers not with through-bolts, usually the best fastening for marine construction, but with stainless-steel Tek self-drilling, self-tapping fasteners. The Tek fasteners are screwed through the deck directly into the crossmember, generating enough heat to weld the fastener in place, says Premier. The plywood deck is covered with marine-grade carpet or vinyl.
Premier is one of the top pontoon-boat builders, with lots of satisfied customers – enough that the company has earned the NMMA Customer Satisfaction Index award for six years in a row. How can we not suggest that you check out the Cast-A-Way 221 (or one of her two larger sisters) if you're in the market for a pontoon boat, especially if you like to fish? Combining aluminum tubes, high-quality construction, lots of standard equipment and the option of increased performance with PTX technology, recommending the 221 is a no-brainer for us. It's a real nice pontoon, and you can get into it for a reasonable price. What's not to like?
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
(It's quick and FREE!)