A Toon for Everyone
Premier builds S-Series pontoons in 235 and 250 models; each is available in RE and RF versions. The 235 RE is 24'4" (7.42 m) LOA, the 250 RE 25'4" (7.72 m); the RFs are a foot longer overall in each model because of their full-beam stern platforms. The basic difference between RE and RF is the platform, or lack of one: The RE has its transom door at the corner with a small swim step adjacent to a ladder; it's fine for swimmers. The RF with the full platform has the transom door on the centerline; this allows facing L-lounges on the aft deck, too.
All S-Series pontoons come with an 11' Evolution Bimini top, the 30" tube PTX performance package, 25" tubes, Cayman carpet, Flexsteel 7-star chairs, Signature couches, a dual command helm with walk-through windshield and a Sony stereo with four speakers, two of them pop-ups at the transom. There's a pop-up changing room, too.
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 250 RF, measures 30" (76.2 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. 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.
We haven't tested an S-Series Premier yet, but Yamaha has: They ran a full performance trial on the 250 RF with a 250-hp V MAX SHO four-stroke outboard on her transom. That's max power for that boat with the 30" PTX tube, and we think most folks interested in the S-Series will want as much oomph as possible. The 235 models are limited to 225-hp – but opt for the 36" PTX tube and you can add horsepower to either model.The results? Top speed was 43.4 mph (69.84 kph) WOT, cruise 17.6 mph (28.32 kph). That was with only two people on board, though – load up your 250 RF with a crowd and she won't be as fast. (The 250 RF is rated for 2950 lbs. capacity; using the wildly inaccurate lbs-to-people conversion factor, that's 15 people. We recommend keeping the party quite a bit smaller.) Range at WOT is about 50 miles (80.5 km), at cruise 68 miles (109.4 km), with a 10% fuel reserve in either case.
The Premier S-Series 250 RF comes with not only a lot of features, but also a price tag around $61,330 with the 250-hp Yamaha V MAX. We think this model and power is the best of the S-Series; other configurations will vary from this price. Skiers and wakeboarders will want to add the optional ski tow bar, but otherwise the boat is ready-to-go as standard.
For comparison, a 25'8" (7.82 m) LOA Harris FloteBote Grand Mariner SEL 230 we tested recently has an MSRP of $62,430 with a 300-hp MerCruiser 5.7L 350 MAG MPI sterndrive (optional power – smaller engines are available). This 3-tube 'toon has ventilated and stepped tubes to increase performance; it's different from PTX technology, but intended to do the same thing. Our captain measured a top speed of 45.5 mph (73.2 kph), cruise 24.8 mph (39.9 kph). Fuel economy at cruise was almost the same as the Premier 250 RF, but the range of the Grand Mariner is greater because of her larger fuel tank.
Our opinion? There are lots of pontoons to choose from, but we like the S-Series's outboard power, sporty persona and overall style, especially the 250 RF version. Order it in black to match the Yamaha V MAX, and you'll be about as cool as you can be on a pontoon.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!