Read Jeff Hemmel's Cypress Cay Seabreeze Test Notes

We hear a lot about “bang for the buck” in today’s boating market. A lot of it’s hype, but some of it is valid. Take Cypress Cay’s Seabreeze. This is a price-point entry level model, that still uses a lot of the same quality construction and materials that Cypress Cay uses on their higher end models. Let’s take a closer look at this entry-level pontoon.

Interview with Jane Schlegel, Cypress Cay
Cypress Cay is relatively new to the market, but I know you have a full a range of models. How do you keep the quality up in a price-point boat like this?

Jane: Well what we did on this boat is we make it a no frills boat. We just provide the quality materials and construction method that we know people will value. What we don’t have are all the frills that we do on our upper level models. We still offer things like the same quality vinyl that we have on the bigger boats, protected by the prefex. We have a fiberglass helm, stainless steel hardware. And also we give people a lot of room inside the boat. So these boats have a lot of seating capacity. And we think at this price point that’s the kind of value people are looking for.

Cypress Cay also also doesn’t scrimp on construction. Rather than 23” pontoons, Cypress Cay uses exclusively 25”. Larger pontoons offer more buoyancy, stability, and produce a better ride. Likewise, M brackets feature solid exteriors, rather than segmented supports. That reduces the torsional forces that affect a pontoon in rough water. Cross members are sturdy C channel throughout the length of the boat for the most support.

On the water, the Seabreeze displays a nice predictable handling. I’m able to carve in and out of corners with precision. Not as aggressive as some of the triple-two configurations on the market, but it’s really a solid ride, good for the audience that it’s intended for.

Trim down to get up and running, but once you get up on plane you notice most pontoons will like a decent amount of trim. When I trim the boat up right now I get the bow up which increases my top speed. It also improves my ride.

While the Seabreeze’s 60hp Mercury outboard probably doesn’t offer enough acceleration for hardcore skiing or wakeboard duties, it’s certainly adequate for taking the kids tubing, even if you just want to open it up and feel the breeze through your hair. Measured against the GPS, we recorded a top speed just shy of 22 mph.Cypress Cay Seabreeze thumbnail

Decisions are made to keep costs in check. The seat bases are left exposed plastic, rather than covered in vinyl. The dashboard lacks a speedo, and while I like this iPod-ready stereo, I’d have to add a bracket, probably right in here, to hold my iPod in place.

But the basics are well covered. Storage is found throughout the boat in the rotomolded seat bases, all of which feature overboard drainage. A solid rubrail runs the circumference of the boat, eliminating end caps which are easily torn off at the dock. The embossed outer skin adds both rigidity, and a touch of style. Bimini hardware is quick release, making it easy to lower for bridges. And the helm is an attractive fiberglass unit, with open stowage underneath for a carry-on cooler.

My lasting impression? I think Cypress Cay has done a pretty good job of maintaining quality, while still keeping costs in check. If you’re looking for a well-made pontoon boat that can accommodate the family, yet still leave a little money to put fuel in the tank, this may be the boat for you.

For more information, visit Cypress Cay.

hemmelheadshotJeff Hemmel writes for Boating,, and Powersports Business. The former Senior Editor at Watercraft World, Jeff is a multi-time award winner as well as a 2008 inductee into the IJSBA Hall of Fame. His first book, The Anti-Pirate Potato Cannon...and 101 Other Things For Young Mariners To Try, Do, & Build On the Water, recently received a bronze medal in the 2010 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. For more info, visit Jeff Hemmel's website.