We tested the Sylvan 2008 8522 Sport powered by a single 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC engine with two people aboard and 1/2 fuel and got a WOT speed of 41.6 mph. This is quite good for a twin toon pontoon boat. What you are seeing here, thanks to the RPT design hulls, and the torque of the 2-stroke Evinrude engine, is the kind of performance that one would expect to see only on a tri-toon. Time to plane was 4.3 seconds, which is good. It took the boat 10.1 seconds to go 0 to 30.
We will put her “best cruise” speed of the 2008 model arbitrarily at 22.8 mph (3500 rpm) where she gets 3.65 mpg. In fact, for sundown cruising which is what a pontoon boat excels at, her speed would be about 7.9 mph and there she gets 4.24 mpg. That makes for a very long sundown, indeed, giving you plenty of time to catch the green flash.Read a special article on the RPT-desgned hull and see video on the subject...More recently, we tested the 2009 model Sylvan 8522 Sport with a far heavier payload – four people aboard and ¾ fuel. Now we got a WOT of 32.8 mph. Time to plane however was hardly affected, with the boat taking 3.4 seconds instead of the 3.3 seconds on the lighter craft. All pontoon boats are weight-sensitive, and the 8522 is no exception. With the added weight, the boat’s two toons sank deeper in the water creating more wetted surface and more displacement, making it harder for the boat to go fast.Most importantly, at normal best cruising speed where the Sylvan 8522 will be run most often, the boat’s performance is remarkably similar both light or loaded. At 3500 rpm with more fuel and four people aboard we recorded a speed of 21. 6 mph and 3.45 mpg. With the lighter load, the 2008 model went 22.8 mph, getting 3.65 mpg at 3500 rpm.
Take a look at your average 22-foot sportboat, or even deckboat, and you will see that they typically have a passenger capacity of 8-10 persons. Pontoons never fail to up the ante, and the 8522 is no exception with her 14-person capacity. Then there is the stability that a pontoon brings to the table. Finally, there is room for all of those people to move around and not rock the boat. As we said, spouses will love it. But there is more...Inevitably, people will naturally divide themselves into two groups. Sylvan’s designers know this and have created a boat that has both groups not only seated so people are facing each other, but there is no real division between the groups so they can interact equally well.
Not Having a Party...
Watersports are just as much a part of the game plan with this boat. Drop the anchor and enjoy lunch with the removable pedestal table that has a base both forward and aft. If you want to change out of that wet swimsuit, the collapsible changing room at the side gate will keep your privacy without taking up valuable deck space when not in use. One thing that Sylvan could improve on is the swim boarding ladder. Unfortunately it’s on the options list, and that’s surprising seeing as virtually every buyer will likely want to add it.
Captain’s View...At the Helm
The helm seat is above and beyond with a high back and good sized armrests. Exactly what a signature moniker should deliver. Instrumentation includes fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer, and volt meter. The options list allows for a trim gauge and depth gauge. Sylvan correctly placed the AM/FM radio right at the dash where the operator has full control over it rather than giving him/her a remote control. We also like that is has an MP3 jack as standard. The engine control is mounted on the vertical, which takes a little getting used to. We’d like to see a horizontal mount fabricated here as it’s so much more natural to move the control lever forward for faster rather then up, but it’s a small obstacle that doesn’t require much to get the hang of. Steering is hydraulic rather than cable for easier controlling. This is an important standard feature.
We like some of the details that highlight Sylvan’s Signature Series. Particularly the nav light/docking light combos. Just below each sidelight is a bright docking light that takes up no additional room and is not a tripping hazard either. The graphics look nice and the raised “Sylvan” logos are classy. Having three boarding doors is a convenient feature that allows for multiple docking arrangements. Carpeting is 22 oz. for a thicker comfortable feel and it’s laid over ¾” marine grade plywood.
Clearly, Sylvan has taken the battle for pontoon customers to the other builders and has no intention of backing down in the fight. This is a good looking boat with features that make you feel like an executive who has just gotten a Goldman-Sachs bonus. Before you decide on any pontoon, be sure to take a test drive of the Sylvan 8522.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sylvan 8522 Sport (2009-) is 32.8 mph (52.8 kph), burning 15.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 57.15 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sylvan 8522 Sport (2009-) is 21.6 mph (34.8 kph), and the boat gets 3.45 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.47 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 109 miles (175.42 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 150-hp Evinrude E-TEC.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|