Sun Tracker is part of the Bass Pro Group and has been making pontoons since 1983. Its boats feature some neat construction features worth taking a glance at.
Construction. Sun Tracker pontoons are cylindrical, welded chambered and air filled; the latter is of interest as the craft ages. Any holes or leaks can be TIG (tungsten inert gas) welded, and makes a new hull, essentially. No foam to worry about. The pontoon shape makes Sun Trackers ride higher, as well.
The decks are fastened to the pontoons via full-length M-shaped brackets (which are welded to the pontoons; two to each pontoon) to which full width Z-shaped cross members are bolted and to which the deck is then fastened (think of it as joists in a home’s construction). They also use coated TEK-brand fasteners to attach the floor and Z bars; these friction-weld as they are tightened.
There’s quite a bit more but I consider those to be some of the high points of Sun Tracker’s construction methods.
The Party Barge 20 DLX
Now, let’s take a closer look at the 2016 version of the Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX.Sun Tracker didn’t come up with the name “Party Barge” without reason … though the name Pocket Party Barge would have worked as well for this almost-22 footer. As the name says, the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturing Association)-certified 2016 Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX is ready to hold a party — and a comfortable one — all summer long.
The aft deck/swim platform is full width, the fold-up four-step swim ladder is beefy, the foredeck provides nice room for hanging out when anchored, and all the railings (1.25’’ anodized aluminum) are rock solid. There’s substance to this pontoon boat.
Helm Console. The helm is worthy of an offshore boat; the captain’s chair is well padded, swivels and has folding arms. The ergonomic throttle falls nicely to hand (an engine stop/safety lanyard is located just below the throttle), and steering is via a sporty race-style wheel. Cup holders are located on either side of the helm and there’s storage underneath for a cooler. There will be more about storage in a bit.
Instrument Panel. The wraparound instrument panel has lighted rocker switches, the pertinent gauges (tach, trim and fuel) and room for a small fishfinder/sonar dead center. The helm is clean and functional and — needless to say — has room for essentially any type radio one chooses, though the stock radio is an AM/FM/Bluetooth-capable unit with four directional speakers, which ought to satisfy all but the fussiest music aficionados. Oh … the fuse system utilizes auto-style fuses and the electrics feature water-resistant connectors and are wrapped in abrasion-resistant coverings.
Pressure-Treated Deck. The deck is a seven-ply pressure-treated, .75’’ (it comes with a limited lifetime warranty; there’s a vinyl deck option as well) and the entire boat is heavily reinforced throughout, laterally and longitudinally. The pontoons are 24’’ in diameter, multi-chambered units with wave deflectors and internal bracing. The motor pod is all-welded, and the bow structure is reinforced.
Comfort and Amenities. Tracker has paid a lot of attention to the basic amenities. The seats — across the board are first rate and plush. Everything is pillow-top finished with UV resistant, marine-grade 26-ounce vinyl with multiple foam layers. All the seats have rotomolded backs and bases for longevity as well as strength.
Lots of Storage. Everywhere one would look, there’s storage. Under the aft L-shaped lounge there’s lockable storage and there’s storage underneath every seat, lounge, nook and cranny, and where there is storage that can’t be seen, there’s net storage.
Available as Standard. So far, everything mentioned is standard equipment. And — as the game show hosts say — there’s more. The standard Bimini is a 7’ polyester top with LED courtesy lights, protective boot, easy-adjusting straps and trailering-position arms. It stays handily out of the way for sunny days, and is a relative snap to set up, for when there’s just too much sun. The top also has integral storage, and features pull down loops to keep it taut.
Hardware. Hardware throughout this boat is either stainless steel or coated corrosion-resistant fasteners. Gates are dual-latching with finger guards that open inward and there are gate stops to keep them secure when opened. There’s wheelchair access via the portside gate. There are four mooring cleats, navigation lights… heck, they even throw in a fire extinguisher and horn.
Prices and Options
The only conceivable option that one might want would be the rail-mounted barbecue grill. Oh, and maybe the ski tower, if they are so inclined.
The Party Barge 20 DLX comes for a remarkable $18,395 with a Mercury 40-hp ELPT FourStroke. She is also available with a 9.9, 20, 50, 60, 75 and 90-hp 4-strokes, the last only raising the price to a tad over $21,000. (There may be other engine options, dependent on what the dealer offers.)
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, 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.
The Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX comes with what Tracker calls its “best in the industry” warranty, its “10+Life Warranty,” a 10-year bow-to-stern, limited lifetime structural and deck warranty that is transferable to a second owner; the latter, always a selling point when and if a boater wants to move up.Throw in another two grand-or-so for a trailer and get ready to have a feet-up, laid back, red solo cup summer for remarkably little cash.And it’s a lot cheaper than a cabin on the lake.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Standard Bluetooth|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
|Limited Lifetime Yes http://www.suntrackerboats.com/about/warranty.cfm|
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