Budget and family friendly fishing ‘toon.
By Capt. Bill Jennings
Boat Test #1611
SunChaser pontoons were originally launched as a budget-friendly line of pontoons offering high value for the price point, and specifically targeting entry-level buyers. The brand has been steadily spreading their reach further into more upscale models.
SunChaser currently offer six pontoon model series, each of which offer a choice of different floor plans. All SunChaser pontoons follow the standard ‘fence’ around the platform design. While some manufacturers have incorporated shaped fencing, fiberglass and/or fancy graphics, SunChaser pontoons have remained traditional in appearance. This can actually be to your advantage. As a buyer, it is interesting to note that the high end pontoons that feature new looks and costly options depreciate much faster than do the traditional models. From this, you can conclude that SunChaser offers not just well made boats, but ones that will hold their value.
SunChaser’s all-new for 2020 Vista series models offer a total of eight cruising and three fishing layouts ranging from 16’ to 22’.
We looked at the Vista 22 Fish. This fishing oriented, yet multi-purpose pontoon is perfect for a family on a budget. With two pedestal fishing chairs at the stern, and an aerated livewell behind the helm, the intent is obvious. Moving forward, a single pedestal Captain’s chair sits behind a well laid out helm featuring a black vinyl three-spoke wheel, cupholder and plenty of room to add your favourite fishfinder either on or in the dash. Opposite, a long lounge with an aft-facing seat back is great for watching the kids on the tube. Forward of the helm, two facing lounges with ample storage space underneath for day gear and a removable table in between them, make this a family-friendly cruising pontoon for a great day on the water. I like the SunChaser seat bases that flip out and down to provide easy access to items that are even in the bottom of the storage compartment.
While the layout may be straight forward in design, the 22 Fish includes some practical niceties, such as upgraded “sea weave” flooring and a Bimini top. Other standard items that you may not notice are, pop-up cleats, custom corner castings, quick release top and an extended swim platform with a robust four-step reboarding ladder.
One unique feature that SunChaser dealers will be sure to point out, is the fold out galley. Here’s how it works: The portside lounge arm, cleverly rotates to reveal a sink water tap, cup holders and bottle storage. This is a feature that you will enjoy using. I would also recommend that buyers opt for the “convenience package”, as it includes some very useful equipment. Specifically, a Jensen AM/FM stereo, a lighting package, tilt steering, GPS, and gauges for speed, volts and trim.
You may have noticed while reading through these reports, that certain unique features will be offered by more than one manufacturer. This is not always a coincidence. To gain ‘quantities of scale’, different pontoon manufacturers will partner together to improve their buying power and share engineering breakthroughs and customer benefits. A good example of this is the SunChaser warranty, which is lifetime on hull and structures, 6 years on components, (parts and labour included) and it is transferable to a second owner. You will find the same warranty within each of the company group of SmokerCraft, Starcraft, SunChaser, and Sylvan. While sharing production benefits, each builder continues to work on improving their specific brand. SunChaser pontoons are remarkably affordable yet well built. Roll in their valuable warranty and standard features and you have a pontoon that offers excellent value.
Length: 22’ 10” / 6.85 m
Beam: 8’ / 2.4 m
Fuel capacity: 38 gallons / 144 L
Max persons: 9
Max weight capacity: 2,027 lbs / 921 kgs
Tube diameter: 23”
Max OB power: 115 hp.
Starting from Approx: $26,995 CDN
For more information: www.sunchaserboats.com