Crest Pontoons has nearly 50 years of experience as an independently owned family business focused solely on pontoon boats. Its first pontoon, constructed in 1957, was built using steel logs and was primarily used to transport equipment to diving locations. It wasn't long until aluminum replaced steel as the company discovered the recreational boating potential of these roomy, stable pleasure craft.
The Crest Pontoons Caribbean 2570 demonstrates just how far the company has come in almost half a century in terms of innovative performance features and interior amenities you won't find on other pontoons. The 25-foot Caribbean 2570 sits near the top of Crest's line of boats, and it offers nifty performance enhancements and comfort features that the company is so proud of that it has sought and gained patents for many of them.
In terms of performance, our test boat was loaded with everything Crest offers. The optional Triple-Toon Performance Package includes SeaStar hydraulic steering, three 26-inch Taper-Toons with lifting strakes, a 42-gallon center fuel tank with storage and an HP ski pylon. Crest's patented 26-inch oval-shaped Taper-Toons are actually wider at the stern to offer more buoyancy to help float today's heavier four-stroke outboard engines. As four-strokes began to replace lighter two-stroke outboards, Crest looked for a way to create a pontoon that wouldn't sag at the stern due to the increased load — its Taper-Toon technology worked so well that the company patented it.
Many Crest pontoons, including our test boat, come with adjustable transom mounts that allow you to adjust the height of the engine for optimal performance. Its patented MP4 transom mount has three levels of adjustment in addition to three different heights at which you can bolt the engine to the mount. This allows you to dial in the best engine height for your specific motor weight and boat load situation — something that has long been practiced in the world of offshore and bass fishing boats.
With all these performance-enhancing features, we're not surprised to see that the Caribbean 2570 has a dedicated area for the optional ski tow pylon and is also available with a wakeboard tower. Anticipating plenty of watersports action, Crest took advantage of the center tube by putting a large ski locker down the middle. Even though triple 'toons are common these days, putting the center tube to good use with a fuel tank and deck-accessible ski locker is still rare.
One of the interior innovations you'll like is the pop-up changing room enclosed in the corner of the aft L-group seating. The corner seat and rear quarter of the sundeck lift up and aft to reveal a roomy privacy enclosure. On many 'toons the fuel tank is located in the rear quarter storage area, but since the fuel tank in located in the center pontoon on this boat, it's good to see Crest put that space aft to good use instead of hogging additional deck space to make room for the privacy enclosure.
The seats themselves also had a nifty way of opening and staying open. They pull inboard and then swing toward you on hinges to the point that they will stay open. With the seats open they will help hold up a mooring cover while allowing themselves to vent at the same time — very clever.
These are just some of the main innovations we noticed, and you can be sure that all the usual stuff like carpet, cleats and compartments were present as well. Before we even turned the ignition key, we could tell this was a well developed 'toon.
With so many performance enhancements bolted on, we were excited to give the Caribbean 2570 the gas to see how it handled. We had three people aboard for our test and a quarter tank of fuel (about 11 gallons or 69 pounds). For power we had a 250 hp Yamaha F250 four-stroke spinning a 17-inch Yamaha Salt Water Series II stainless steel 3-blade prop.
The Caribbean 2570 spooled up to 30 mph in about 7.5 seconds and reached a top speed of 43.9 mph at 5,800 rpm. The F250 maxes out at 6,000 rpm, so there's a little wiggle room to experiment with a different prop for a slightly higher top end. Cruising range at top speed with this setup will be about 76 miles, and our sound meter registered only 88 dBa at top speed.
Our most efficient cruising speed was 23.5 mph at 3,500 rpm, which would yield a cruising range of 129 miles — not bad considering we were working with a 250 hp outboard. The sound level at cruising speed was a scant 80 dBa; we consider anything under 85 dBa to be outstanding. Just keep in mind that the sound readings will most likely change if you use a different engine or go without the aluminum under skin.
We only get a chance to test a high-performance pontoon every-so-often, and we were pleased with the handling of the Caribbean 2570. It responded well to hard-over lock-to-lock turns with a minimal amount of rpm loss in the tight corners — it even banked a little on the turns. Our performance package included SeaStar anti-feedback steering, which was made even better with optional electronic power-assist steering (which can be turned on or off via a rocker switch on the helm). Steering was entirely effortless with the power-assist steering engaged.
We're impressed with the Crest Pontoons Caribbean 2570. While all the pontoons we test certainly have their place in the market and have something positive to offer boaters, the Caribbean 2570 just seems to have that extra 10 percent the coach is always asking for.
The boat we tested is an example of Crest putting one of its best feet forward, so it should be no surprise that this boat, including the optional Triple-Toon Performance Package and Yamaha F250, lists for more than $40,000. We can understand how you would have high expectations in terms of performance, fit and finish and quality for that kind of money, and we think the Caribbean 2570 will meet your expectations and then some.
Editor's note: To subscribe to Go Boating magazine for the latest boat test and product reviews, visit Go Boating online.
Manufacturer Contact Information
Maurell Products, Inc.
2710 South M-52
P.O. Box 190
Owosso, MI 48867