There are more freshwater lakes in Canada than any other country in the world -- nowhere else is even comes close. So, little wonder that Canadians have refined pontoon boat building into a high and respected art form. When we recently inspected Princecraft's SVX 27 we were blown away by the advanced design and the plethora of standard equipment on this model.
Sterndrive Power Has Its Advantages
Sterndrive power is definitely in the minority in pontoon boats, but the SVX 27 I/O should gave many consumers second thoughts. Pontoon boats started out 60 or 70 years ago being powered by outboard engines simply because it was the easiest thing to do and the pontoon boats in yesteryear were relatively small and light -- and had only two toons!But during the last couple of decades great strides have been made in the development of pontoon boats until now it is the single largest type of boat sold in the U.S. -- out-selling sportboats, bass boats and center consoles. As consumers demanded more utility and greater speed, first the tri-toon was introduced, and later a sterndrive engine was put in the center toon. This enabled tri-toons to harness more horsepower economically in a compact package.The standard propulsion in the SVX 27 I/O model is a MerCruiser 4.3 L engine rated at 220-hp. A MerCruiser 260-hp 5.0 L MPI engine, and a 300-hp 350 MAG are also available as options.
Watersports Platform Extraordinaire
Perhaps most exciting and remarkable aspect of the SVX 27 I/O is what we think is one of the finest stern platforms on a pontoon boat. It is made possible because she is powered by a sterndrive engine, not an outboard. In the I/O version of SVX 27, the MerCruiser engine is placed in the center toon which is fabricated aft to handle the dimensions of the engine and its related equipment.
The stern design of the I/O models SVX 27 sets the boat apart from others in class. The forward part of the platform is an integral part of the boat's deck. This is where the engine box is located as well as an aft-facing rumble seat where Mom can perch when watching the young ones paddle around in the water. (Do not use this seat while the boat is under way.)
A Huge Swim Platform Done Well
Abaft the main deck of the 27 is a molded fiberglass platform that extends out well over the sterndrive lower unit. This means that swimmers can slide off or jump off the stern without worry of hitting the metal outdrive. The platform is ideal for scuba diving, letting wake dudes get set up with their boards, as well as being a fun diving platform for the whole family.
Parents with small children know that kids always want to be together no matter what is going on. No one want to be left out. With this huge platform a whole gaggle of little ones can be playing on and around this watersports platform.The swim ladder is attractively ensconced under a fiberglass lid on the starboard quarter and is angled out, away from the lower unit. The swim ladder is a telescoping type that has four steps. Regular readers know that we are strong advocates of four-step ladders, and we are happy to see that Princecraft didn't cheap-out on this important detail. In looking over the boat, we happily discovered that the builder didn't cut corners on much of anything else, either.
A Helm Loaded With Standards
Starting with the helm console we see attention to detail that is impressive. First, all needed equipment installed, plus some that is simply desirable is included as standard. Second, the helm is raised above the deck. This is an important attribute in a pontoon. These boats are designed to be entertainment platforms and to have a crowd of people aboard. It is one of the things that make pontoon boats so much fun. But that means there will be lots of heads in front of the skipper and the raised platform greatly improves visibility.
Molded into the front of the console is a handy sink. There is a cooler under, along with a portable water tank. On the business side of the helm is a large, comfortable helm seat that slides fore and aft, swivels to face the settee on the port side, and reclines so when the vessel is at anchor the skipper and relax with a cold soda. The 27 comes standard with a sport steering wheel that has tilt. Most important, power steering is included.
Her Instrumentation is First Rate
On the dash is the Mercury SmartCraft instrument system with 11 functions. Standard equipment includes a Lowrance X-5- depthfinder with water temp gauge (remember the boat is made in Canada!) In addition to the other regular equipment the helm is equipped with a 200-Watt Clarion M309 AM/FM/CD w/wireless remote. The console is also Sat radio compatible and has USB, MP3, and iPod ports. We like the lighted toggles on the console not only for operating at night but also as a redundant signal in addition to the stitches' position.
Roto-Cast Furniture and Quality Upholstery
Princecraft has built the furniture in the boat with the same thoughtfulness seen in the rest of the boat. A high-quality "soft touch" vinyl is used on all the seats which is both plush and heavy-duty at the same time. The bases and seat back of the furniture are all Roto-cast which means that they won't rot or hold moisture. There are two portable, padded arm rests with cup holders that everyone likes, two Chaise lounges, and of course, stowage under all of the seats.We don't often see the gate panels on a pontoon boat upholstered, but Princecraft has done it on the SVX 27. There is also a large pop-up privacy enclosure for changing out of wet bathing suits. We're happy to see that Princecraft has also included a Bimini convertible buggy top in the list of standards. Not only will it keep sun protection, but it is also a place to get out of the rain.
Princecraft has an impressive story to tell when it comes to the construction of the SVX 27, but we will leave that for another time.
The 27'10" (8.5 m) LOA boat has an 8'6" beam (2.6 m) and weighs about 4,524 lbs. (2,052 kgs.). The boat's tubes are 25" (62.5 cm) in diameter. The maximum rated carrying capacity of the boat is 1,780 lbs. (807 kgs.) or 13 people, whichever is greater. Her MSRP is $59,776 with the 4.3 L engine.
The SVX 27 is also available in an outboard-powered version as you will see in some the pictures on this page. However, we feel so strongly about the added utility that the sterndrive model offers, that we would go for it instead. If you are in the market for a large, high-quality tri-toon, we recommend that you go to the trouble to find a Princecraft dealer and see this boat. Check out the stern of this boat and see if you don't agree with us that it is a terrific design.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Optional Snap-in|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
|NMMA Certification Other Certification||Yes Canadian Coast Guard|
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