Content courtesy ofSquare foot for square foot, nothing beats a pontoon boat for being an entertainment venue on the water. We think the Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX is a good place to start anyone's quest to find the right pontoon boat.
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
Why a Pontoon Boat?
People are coming from all types, sizes and kinds of boats to the pontoon boat market. Why? There are a number of reasons, but in many cases boaters are looking for a vessel in which they can entertain a large number of people in comfort. That often can't be readily done on a bass boat, a center console, most sport boats, multi-specie fishing boats, and even on deck boats or smaller express cruisers. Try putting 10 people in the cockpit of a 45-foot express, that costs over $500,000.
Designed for Crowd
The fact is that most boats were not designed for entertaining 10 or 12 people at once. Usually they were designed for something else such as fishing, water skiing, or cruising. Yes, large motoryachts are designed for entertaining, but their $3 million price tag makes them a bit dear, and who wants to trailer them to the lake anyway? For a fraction of the cost of a large 85' luxurious motoryacht, virtually anyone can afford an entertaining space just as large and just as comfortable on a 20' pontoon boat.
A Boat is Not a Home.
Further, we know a lot of people who prefer entertaining on a boat than at their house. A boat is small and uncomplicated from the standpoint of getting it ready for a gathering. There is not a whole house to clean up, a kitchen to get in order, a lawn, garden and patio to fix up, etc. With a boat simply invite people aboard and let them get comfortable.
Easy Food Prep.
The pressure is off on food prep because everyone knows not to expect gourmet meals on a boat because there is no galley or only a small one. Sandwiches and potato salad from the deli are much appreciated. Hey, burgers off a grill will be great!
When it comes to organizing an activity for entertaining guests, a boat venue solves all the problems -- because the mere act of boating is the activity! No need to come up with charade games, pitch horse shoes, or play croquet -- simply watch the scenery go by….scope out the other boats, enjoy the play of light on the water, watch the sun go down, or look at the stars as they break out over head.
Where to Start?
Step 1. Which brand to look at first?.
Sun Tracker is the largest builder of pontoon boats in the world. It has been building them for many years and knows what people need in a pontoon boat. It knows how people use the boats, how they must be built in order to last, and what makes a practical boat vs. what is a passing fad that looks cool but won't stand the test of time.
Step 2. Figure out the needed capacity.
Ascertain how many people will: 1) "usually" be entertained; and 2) "sometimes" be entertained. Count family as "usually." If the kids always pal around with certain playmates, add them in as "usually". If their parents are also friends, better add them as "usually," too.Typically, a guest list for a boating party might look something like this:Owner and Spouse -- 2Children -- 2Each child's best friend -- 2Parents of each playmate -- 4Total 10 people capacity is neededThere are many variations on this theme, think about it and count heads for different gatherings.
Step 3. What activities aboard are wanted?
Will watersports activities such as towing or fishing be required of the vessel? If so, the boat we will be looking at on this page is probably not for you. Consider these alternatives from Sun Tracker-- ●Bass Buggy 16 or 18 DLX ●Fishing Barge 20, 22, 24 DLX ●Party Barge 220, 250, 254 XP3 (For all watersports activities.)If you are primarily interested in a pontoon boat that is designed for entertaining, you are on the right page.
Step 4. What kind of entertaining will be done?
Some people like cruising around on the lake during the day, some like sundown cocktail cruises, some like taking friends out for burgers and drinks, and others want to simply take the kids out to a quiet cove, anchor and watch them jump off the boat and enjoy the water.The Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX can handle any of these missions.
Step 5. Inventory of the boat's standard amenities for "mission fulfillment."
Following is a list of the features the 20 DLX has aboard to accomplish the owner's entertaining objectives-- ●Storage under all of the seats for life jackets, towels, food and other gear. ●Storage under the helm console for an optional Igloo cooler. ●Pop-up changing room with bench seat and storage net in the stern. ●7' polyester Bimini top with LED courtesy lights and protective boot. ●AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 jack and 4 speakers. ●Trash receptacle under seat in bow. ●Removable table with molded in drink holders. ●Port and starboard bow couches with console-mounted lounge back for comfort. ●Full width swim platform with three-step, extra wide ladder. ●Comfortable seats with multiple densities of foam covered in marine-grade, UV-resistant 26-oz. vinyl. ●Wheel chair accessible.
Step 6. What else needs to be on the boat for the mission?
Now what is not on the boat that is wanted, needs to be listed. For example, some people might want to grill. Sun Tracker offers as an option a rail-mounted propane grill.Others might want a second table. Boaters should make a list of aftermarket items wanted and decide where they will go on the boat.If all of the gear and equipment wanted in the aftermarket cannot fit on to the 20 DLX, only then should a larger, more deluxe boat be considered. For example, Sun Tracker's Regency Party Barge 220 DLX or the Signature Party Barge 22 DLX might be more appropriate. They are larger and offer many more amenities and much more utility.
Step 7. How much power is needed?
The Party Barge 20 DLX comes standard with a 40-hp ELPT Mercury 4-stroke BigFoot outboard. Tracker offers seven engine options for this boat ranging from a 20-hp Mercury 4-stroke to a 75-hp Mercury OptiMax 2-stroke. The Sun Tracker dealer is the best person to consult about which engine would be best for each application.Boaters wanting to go faster or who want to engage in wakeboarding or skiing should consider Sun Tracker's boats with three toons, or logs. These are available in the company's XP3 models.
Step 8. Check out other boats both smaller and larger.
The best way to avoid buyer's remorse is to take a good look at the boats both larger and smaller than the Party Barge 20 DLX. Once these boats have been examined, our advice is always "go with the boat you like the best." Then there is pride of ownership.
Step 9. Bite the bullet.
Having gone through this step-by-step process the chance of making a mistake has been minimized. There is such a thing as getting too granular in the boat buying decision-making process. Quite often there are several good choices, none of which is a mistake. Now is the time to buy the boat and not let another season slip away. There are not an infinite number of them.
The standard Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX is powered by a 40-hp ELPT Mercury 4-stroke "BigFoot" engine. The base MSRP is $16,595.
Boat Trailer is Optional
Most people will need a boat trailer for their 20 DLX. Tracker Marine Group has a division which makes trailers, so the units are tailor-made to the boats and the prices are right. A single-axle for the 20 DLX lists for $2,095. A top-of-the-line trailer from Sun Tracker is $3,095 for a tandem-axle trailer with two brakes.
Snapshot Gallery of the Party Barge 20 DLX--
Pricing Range: $16,595.00Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.