Pontoon boats are popular as roomy, stable platforms for entertaining, angling and cruising on protected waters. Sun Tracker’s Regency Party Barge 250 XP3 is a tri-toon model that targets those who want a comfortable, feature-rich boat on which to welcome guests for cruising, watersports and entertaining. This boat is surprising luxurious.
3 high-performance pontoon logs with strakes for maximum speed
2 wraparound bow lounges
Starboard aft refreshment center
Captain's helm with hydraulic tilt steering, tinted windscreen and full instruments
In-console mounted stereo with convenient dash-mounted remote
Removable tournament-style ski tow pylon
Aft padded sundeck with pop-up changing room, bench and storage
Aft L-lounge with lockable dry, underseat storage and lockable lounge arm dry storage
All fuel consumption numbers are the total for all engines in the boat. Speeds are measured with Stalker ProSports radar gun or GPS. Fuel consumption (gallons per hour) measured with Floscan digital fuel-flow meter or by on-board factory-installed diagnostic instruments. Range is based on 90% of published fuel capacity. Sound levels determined using Radio Shack digital decibel meter on A scale. 68 dBA is the level of normal conversation. Time to plane is measured from start of acceleration to formation of rooster tail behind boat.
Acceleration Times & Test Conditions
Time To Plane
0 to 30
1.75 : 1
14 x 17 Inertia
2 persons, 1/4 fuel, 0 water, 25 lbs. of gear
81 degrees, 36% humidity, 0-5 wind, calm seas
By Capt. Dan Armitage
With a top speed of 50.4 mph and comfortable seating for 11 people, this 250 XP3 makes a good combination of high-speed performance and low-key luxury.
Tracker tells us that the Regency Party Barge 250 XP3 is built for boaters who engage in an active on-water lifestyle with friends and family members that may number more than a half dozen at a time. Two demographic markets are targeted: parents in their 40s with active teens to accommodate and “empty nesters” in their 50s and 60s. These boaters usually want a boat that is large enough and versatile enough to bring family members together for quality time on the water -- and for watersports appropriate for kids from three years old to gramps.
The Regency Party Barge features comfortable, deeply padded, pillow-topped seating throughout. All seating is built atop Roto-molded bases.We really like the storage compartment built into the back of the forward lounge to port, which is large and lockable.
We found the Regency 250 XP3 to offer an excellent balance between the amount of seating and deck space. The seating upholstery is filled with high-density foam that is moisture-wrapped and covered with quality marine-grade vinyl that is double-stitched and under-turned with all fastening hardware discreetly hidden. We also thought the deck space remained open enough to allow passengers some elbow and knee room aboard -- and to walk around when underway.
The layout of the Regency Party Barge 250 XP3.The starboard aft refreshment center is large enough to be practical yet not dominate the deck, and offers on-demand fresh water, food-prep area, drink holders and two lockable storage drawers. Stereo speakers are paired with dual cupholders in molded panels that inset discreetly into the base at the forward end of the bow bench seats aboard the XP3. Note the tight seams and precise fit in the upholstery that accommodates the panel, and the angle of the speakers to direct sound aft into the cockpit.
The helm console and seat are raised on a platform to allow the operator visibility over the deck. The console offers decent legroom and a reclining, high-backed captain’s chair with flip-up armrests.
The full-featured helm includes multi-function gauges with tachometer, voltmeter, speedometer, water pressure, fuel level and trim readouts. We like the in-console mounted stereo feeding four Kicker speakers with a dash-mounted remote. The tilt wheel is power assisted with hydraulic steering standard.One of two storage compartments in the helm console to port of the dash reveals a handy 12 volt accessory receptacle and is pre-wired for USB and MP3 jacks.A full-sized Lowrance fishfinder with GPS and chart-plotting capabilities is standard equipment and flush-mounted in the dash. The throttle control is secured to an angled panel on the starboard gunwale, a position we found handy and comfortable from the helm.A portable competition-style tow pylon can be mounted aft when enjoying active water sports.The Sun Tracker is constructed atop three 26" (66.04 cm) diameter multi-chambered pontoons. The standard 11' (3.35 m) Bimini top has built-in LED lights and a polyester, color-keyed two-tone protective boot.
The three multi-chambered pontoons supporting the 25 foot XP3 are made using .100 aluminum and are fitted with wave deflectors and performance strakes. The deck is built of 7-ply pressure-treated marine plywood supported by full-width, extruded Z-bar supports and surrounded with a heavy-duty extruded rubrail with oversized insert and corner castings. The Regency’s fence panels are vibration- and sound- deadened and elevated from the carpeted deck for added ventilation and drainage and braced with 1.25” (3.18 cm) rails.
All three access gates aboard the Sun Tracker feature Posi-lock latches that are self-locking and easy to operate – unless you are a toddler. Note the fence panels are corrugated for strength and are available in black, blueberry or black cherry high-gloss color schemes topped with a two-inch-wide extruded aluminum rail.Speaking of access, the Regency’s three-step boarding ladder conveniently flips and folds for storage against sturdy handrails that are high enough to offer excellent assistance to those boarding the full-width swim platform.
Powered by Mercury 200 L OptiMax Pro XS the rig will retail for $36,995. This new Sun Tracker tri-toon Regency Party Barge 250 XP3 has much to offer in the form of comfort and functionality. Tracker is known for being a low-price point builder, but it has done itself proud, in our opinion, when it comes to the upscale aspects of this boat. We think boaters in the market should put it on their short list and use it as a benchmark.
Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3 (2013-) is 50.4 mph (81.1 kph), burning 22.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 83.65 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Sun Tracker Regency Party Barge 250 XP3 (2013-) is 14.6 mph (23.5 kph), and the boat gets 4.00 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.7 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 137 miles (220.48 kilometers).
Tested power is 1 x 250-hp Mercury OptiMax Pro XS.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!