Pontificating On Pontoons

By Michael Vatalaro
Published: August/September 2013

Whether pontoon or deck, powered by engines big or small, lake boats excel at entertaining your guests, and lots of them at that. Maybe it's time you toon'd in?

Hurricane Sundeck 2690

If your boating requires more freeboard than a pontoon boat offers, a deck boat may be a good choice. Unveiled at the 2013 Miami boat show, the Hurricane Sundeck 2690 sports a new hull design from C. Raymond Hunt Associates, a nine-foot beam, and is designed to run with outboard power up to 350-hp. With a squared-off bow that features a forward swim platform with integrated swim ladder and plenty of seating in front of the windshield, the Sundeck 2690 is built for fun on the water. To port, across from the helm seat is an enclosed head with sink. Immediately aft of the helm seat is the standard electric grill powered by an inverter and sink, with an optional refrigerator available. At the stern, the builder snuck an "Integrated Cooler Enclosure," (ICE) into the portside lounge. But unlike other coolers under cushions, this one has a small sliding lid under an equally small cushion panel . Lift the cushion panel, slide back the lid, and fish out a cold drink, all without having to move out of your seat.

Photo of a Hurricane Sundeck 2690 LOA: 26' 4" | Beam: 9' | Weight: 4,150 Lbs. | Fuel: 96 gal.

SouthWind 212 Sport Deck

SouthWind builds its deck boats with an emphasis on being saltwater ready, with no-wood construction and the same stainless-steel components used on their sister-brand's Sailfish fishing boats. The 212 SD features a full head, with sink and shower, which you won't find on most 21-footers, plus insulated coolers both bow and stern, and a freshwater wet bar. Powered by a Mercury outboard from 115- to 250-hp, the 212 SD pairs nicely with the 200-hp Verado, which is how the boat I drove recently was equipped. The boat also had the optional MercMonitor digital gauges that can display up to 42 different functions, three pieces of data at a time, and the MP (Moving Prop) Alert system. The aft-mounted warning light, a ring of six amber-colored LEDs that spin when the prop is in motion, tells a swimmer at a glance whether or not the outboard poses a danger.End of story marker

Photo of a SouthWind 212 Sport Deck LOA: 20' 6" | Beam: 8' 6" | Draft: 13" (motor up) | Weight: 2,500 Lbs. | Fuel: 50 gal. | Max Person Capacity: 10

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