Captain's ReportSunchaser 8522 CRBy Capt. Rob SmithWhen it comes to leisurely boating, you can’t beat a pontoon. With Sunchaser, you easily can bring along all the family and enjoy a full day of relaxation underway. With the new camper enclosure version, you can extend the fun overnight at your favorite anchorage or hidden cove and enjoy the stars, the moon and the next day’s sunrise with coffee! The full camper enclosure gives you a motor home on the water.Room for Family & FriendsBeginning at the foredeck, the corners are rounded rather than harsh squared corners. Navigation lights are set high to be sure anyone can see you underway at night. Docking lights are mounted under the lip of the deck to make it easier to spot the trailer or your slip at night. Entry doors are wide enough to be able to easily bring on equipment or pass through with walking aids. The new furniture really adds comfort to the equation. Seating is extra plush for long term comfort. Instead of having the tunes come out at your feet, Sunchaser brings them up to mid level with speakers mounted high. Drink holders are in the break between the seat base and back to keep the beverages handy. The bow area is large enough for you to enjoy the family without feeling cramped. Roto-cast seat bases provide plenty of room to store the canvas with ventilation channels to help keep it dry. Side panels around the deck are raised slightly to allow water to drain away keeping everything dry. Since we all enjoy snacks, a table is easily inserted in a floor mount so everyone can enjoy their favorite snack and beverage while watching the kids splash in the water.Speaking of kids in the water, Sunchaser builds the changing room into the end of the bench seat along the side rather than eating up space at the stern like most do. My observation has been that stern changing rooms end up being storage rooms anyway and you crowd the aft lounger area when you do that.Helm FeaturesMoving on to the helm station there is a radio antenna for the AM/FM stereo on the starboard corner and a quick release windshield to make it easier to fit the boat in the garage. The fiberglass helm pod features a ton of room to slide in a carry-on cooler. You will be proud to be in control in the driver’s seat with aircraft style paddle switches with lighted ends that make it easy to see what is on in the dark. Push button breakers are associated with each switch. The basic gauge set keeps it simple to watch the important numbers underway with a fuel, trim, speed, tachometer and voltage analog gauge set. And if you like GPS or want to add a fishfinder, you still have plenty of space. Sunchaser uses a Seaworthy AM/FM stereo with MP3 jack rather than adding the CD player which consistently is a major cause of consternation onboard in a wet environment. There are molded in pockets in the top of the dash for your iPod or cell phone and a 12 volt socket is handy to keep the iPod or cell phone charged. The captain’s chair is plush with comfortable flip-up arm rests.Additional FeaturesAnother wonderful feature of a pontoon is you can bring everyone back to enjoy the ride with you rather than being isolated underway. The aft lounger wraps around from the center port gate to the aft starboard walk through to the swim ladder. This bench also has roto-cast seat bases for additional storage as well as another position for the snack table. Drink holders are built into the corners and seat backs for your passengers. Across the back is a narrow sunpad with bolster to keep you from accidently slipping over the edge. Flipping up the sunpad gives you access to the fuel cell, fuel/water separator and battery. Off the starboard end of the deck is the rear boarding gate and flip-over swim ladder.SpecificationsThe Sunchaser 8522 measures 22’3” length overall with a beam width of 102”. This model weighs about 1950 lbs dry without engine and carries a fuel capacity of 24 gallons. I tested her on a wind-blown inland lake in northern Indiana. I was impressed with her ability to slide into the dockage even with challenging winds and her steadiness underway against the wind. She is quickly on plane in a short 3.9 seconds. I found her top speed to be 26.6 mph at 6000 rpm and her cruise speed to be about 16.1 mph at 4000 rpm for a full tank cruise range of 116 miles.If you enjoy boating and camping, you will love the 8522 from Sunchaser!
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sunchaser 8522 CR is 26.6 mph (42.8 kph), burning 10.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 38.23 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sunchaser 8522 CR is 16.1 mph (25.9 kph), and the boat gets 5.35 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.27 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 116 miles (186.68 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 115-hp Yamaha Outboard.
Standard and Optional Features