There’s been a lot written about the latest evolutionary jump in pontoon boats — much of it right here in the magazine you’re reading. These stable, versatile watercraft have always been hard to beat when it comes to their crowd-pleasing proportions. But now, thanks to more builders incorporating upscale amenities, they’re hard to beat as crowd pleasers period.
Take the new South Bay 25 Sport RS9 DC. The only thing keeping it from being classed as a luxury sport boat is the running surface: three 25-inch logs, which, by the way, boast 4-inch lifting strakes and an aluminum under deck performance skin. Seastar hydraulic steering is also standard. Horespower ranges from 350 for a single outboard up to 800 for twins! Want the ultimate in high tech? Add a Mercury Marine certified joystick control.
Gone are the days of rickety side fences and rabbit-fur carpeting. This South Bay comes with molded fiberglass side panels in your choice of eight colors, along with beige or gray tropical weave flooring. The same high degree of personalization goes for the vinyl, canopy and accent stripe colors.
The bow area features twin benches with full coaming pads, stainless-steel handrails forward and backrests with articulating armrests. A tinted wraparound windshield leads into the cockpit with dual consoles. Here, a 12-inch touchscreen color display with GPS, depth sounder and digital instrumentation — plus two inputs for optional front and rear cameras — serves the captain. Both consoles have high-backed chairs with hydraulic adjustments for deluxe comfort.
In the stern are two more lounges with full coaming pads and rear-facing backrests and armrests; they’re ideally situated so spotters can watch skiers and boarders behind the boat. An aluminum ski tow bar is standard, as is an electric-powered arch with bimini. The swim platform has a boarding ladder, and a standard transom washdown and stereo remote are within reach.
It can be little things that make a big difference, and this is where the 25 Sport RS9 DC shines. Do you like night lighting? The boat’s six stereo speakers are lit with LEDs, as are the cockpit pathways, exterior rails, cup holders, table base and helm seat base. Under deck and underwater lights are optional. There’s a tilt-out trash receptacle, lockable glove box and 4.3-inch remote display at the port console, and a pop-up changing curtain in the cockpit.
And those are just the standards; the menu of options includes things like wakeboard racks, a sport hardtop, saltwater edition package and more. The South Bay 25 Sport RS9 DC is a generous and daring model, and another bold step forward in the evolution of pontoon boat design.
Length Overall: 27’9”
Dry Weight: 3,360 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 52 gals.
Base Price: TBD
Author: Brad Kovach is the editor/publisher of HeartLand Boating magazine