The mission of the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 is to provide a comfortable entertainment venue as well as a watersports platform for up to 10 people. She offers three separate and distinct entertainment venues while still leaving enough room for milling about among the guests. With the XP3 performance package the center tube is added to the Party Barge 22 configuration providing more buoyancy along with important performance-enhancing characteristics making her watersports-capable. Plus, all three logs are 26” in diameter. This allows her to carry up to 10 people and have a rating for up to 150-hp.
The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 has a length overall of 22'2" (6.7 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). With an empty weight of 2,840 lbs. (1,288 kg), 20 gallons (75.7 L) of fuel, two people and test power we had a test weight of approximately 3,835 lbs. (1,740 kg).
With a 150-hp Mercury 4-stroke turning a 15 x 15 inertia propeller we reached a top speed of 38.7 mph at 5600 rpm. At that speed we were burning only 14.2 gph giving us a range of 86 miles.
came at 3000 rpm and 17.3 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 3.85 gph meaning the Party Barge 22 XP3 could keep going for 8 hours and 12 minutes or 141 miles while still maintaining a 10% reserve.
We had a quick time to plane of only 2.6 seconds, reached 20 mph in 4.7 seconds and continued accelerating past 30 mph in 8.6 seconds.
Like most pontoon boats she seems to accelerate from a level attitude, and then there is no need to be shy about adding trim. Getting the bow up relatively high puts her into an optimal and cruising attitude for best economy. A side effect of having the bow up so high is that she handles waves better creating a surprisingly dry ride.
With slow turns she tends to remain flat but the performance turns will have her leaning slightly into the turn. This is due to the fact that she is a tri-toon. She responds well to the helm having a fairly small turning radius that stays constant regardless of the speed the turn is entered at. It also means that a boost in the power when approaching the dock will not kick the stern around. When taking power off she settles into the water again, from a level attitude.
The Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 floor plan offers three distinct entertainment venues, all while still allowing plenty of room for moving about in between each. She can be boarded from any of three boarding gates. The portside midship gate is even
The bow features a full-length lounger opposite a two-person loveseat, both flanking a bow boarding gate. A pedestal base lies between to accommodate the standard table. This includes molded and drink holders and raised edges to keep items from slipping off. There are the usual accommodations for storage underneath the seats with the addition of a trash receptacle at the forward end of the starboard lounge. The seats are extremely well padded and upholstered in UV-resistant marine grade vinyl.
The midships area features L-shaped seating, again with storage underneath, lying directly opposite the helm console. Another pedestal base is positioned to accommodate the single table. The helm, to starboard, is attractive in a minimalist sort of way. The helm seat replicates the same level of comfort as the couches and even includes self-leveling armrests for additional comfort when the seat is reclined. A cooler stores underneath the console.
The stern features a double-wide aft facing sun pad/lounge to port. Underneath is a pop-up changing room along with additional storage. Having this lounge located inside the fencing allows it to be used even while the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 is underway. Next to the sun lounge is open space that serves as a welcome staging area for the guests that have either just come out of, or are getting ready to go into, the water.
The following items are part of the Sun Tracker Warranty --
Ten-Year Bow-to-Stern Warranty
-- that means factory-installed workmanship and materials are covered for ten years from the time of purchase, including electrical components, livewells and plumbing, carpet and vinyl, furniture, Bimini top and much more. Your engine is covered by the Mercury manufacturer's warranty.
Lifetime Limited Structural and Deck Warranty
-- provides coverage for pontoon logs, motor pod, other structural elements including deck supports, perimeter fence rails and gates, and more, for the life of the boat.
Transferability to Second Owner
-- the resale value of your boat can be enhanced by provisions to transfer warranty elements to a second owner. Your Sun Tracker dealer can help you put applicable elements into effect when you are ready.
One-stop Warranty Resolution
-- 10+LIFE coverage offers a one-stop solution, eliminating the need to pursue separate warranties with component manufacturers.
Full Coverage During Warranty Period
-- means there is no pro-rating, or reduction of your coverage over time. So the peace of mind you enjoy at the outset carries throughout your coverage period.
In addition, Sun Tracker even backs its optional trailers by warranting the Galvashield steel tubing against structural failure due to corrosion for three years!
Observations and Price
We think Sun Tracker has done a good job creating a comfortable entertainment platform that can hold up to 10 people while still leaving plenty of room to move about, thanks to Sun Tracker taking full advantage of that 8'6" (2.59 m) beam. The XP3 tri-toon package expands her functionality from being simply an entertaining barge to also becoming a watersports platform.
Base Price with 90-hp.
The Party Barge 22 XP3 has an MSRP of $25,995 (plus F & DP) powered by a Mercury 90-hp ELPT 4-stroke. We have not tested the boat with this power so can make no comment on its performance with this engine. Our guess is that she will be able -- even with a load aboard -- to make wake for boarders that typically like the tow boat moving around 20 mph. We recommend that the dealer be consulted before purchase for the best advice as to what horsepower is best for each application.
We think that to make the Party Barge 22 XP3 a truly dual-purpose vessel the optional 150-hp Mercury 4-stroke engine fills the bill. It is not horsepower (and price) over-kill, but it will get the job done towing water skiers who generally like the tow boat going in the high 20 mph range.
Base Price with 150-hp.
Base price with the optional 150-hp Mercury 4-stroke engine is $4,000 more at $29,995 (plus F & DP). It should be noted that not only does this engine provide more horsepower, but it is also one of the latest engines introduced by Mercury Marine and incorporates the latest engineering and design-thinking for this engine-maker.
Party Barge 22 DLX.
For boaters who just want to slowly boat around the lake and entertain there is no need for three toons and a 150-hp engine. For those consumers we suggest they check out the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 DLX (with just two toons) which has virtually an identical interior layout, and comes standard with a Mercury 60-hp ELPT 4-stroke BigFoot engine. The boat has a base price of $19,995 (plus F & DP).
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) is 38.7 mph (62.3 kph), burning 14.20 gallons per hour (gph) or 53.75 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 XP3 (2014-) is 17.3 mph (27.8 kph), and the boat gets 4.48 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.9 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 141 miles (226.92 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 150-hp Mercury FourStroke.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
|Limited Lifetime Yes http://www.suntrackerboats.com/about/warranty.cfm|