By Bill Jennings
With the pontoon industry hotter than a two dollar pistol, it’s no surprise that a large successful company, like the Berkshire Hathaway group, would join the party. Especially since their Forest River division has been manufacturing motor homes, campers and trailers since 1996. What company could be better positioned to transfer their expertise and experience, into manufacturing pontoon boats? With a solid reputation for quality products, the company burst into the pontoon business with a strong line up of contenders that are sold under three brand names: Berkshire, South Bay and Trifecta. We tested a Berkshire, 25 Sport, CL9.
As with many pontoon manufacturers, Berkshire offer a wide choice of models and sizes. They are divided into three different series. The Sport series models project a sleek design with many different floor plans. The STS series presents a more traditional exterior design, but with smart interiors that can even include entertainment centers. The CTS series models include the same structural benefits, but are positioned as the most economical. Berkshire buyers can choose lengths from nineteen to twenty seven feet. For boaters who do not want to sacrifice performance, Berkshire offer four different special performance packages.
Driving the Berkshire, 25 Sport, I drew plenty of favorable looks and comments wherever I stopped.
It’s easy to understand that customer satisfaction is a strong point with Berkshire. As icing on the cake, buyers can join the “FROG” club. This no charge “Forest River Owners Club” has 105,000 members including their road division buyers. The club hosts regular fun social events for Forest River customers.
Here’s a manufacturer that is going to be here when you need them. Forest River is currently one of the worlds largest recreational vehicle manufacturers, owning and operating seventy five manufacturing facilities. Good sense dictates that pontoon buyer prospects, should check out the offerings from Berkshire.
Length: 28’ / 8.53 m
Weight: 3,130 lbs / 1,419 kgs
Pontoon Diameter: 25”
Fuel: 52 gals / 196 L
Max Capacity: 15
Max HP: 400 hp
MSRP (CAD $): from $169,900 with a 400R Verado
For more information visit www.berkshirepontoon.com