If you want to experience the great outdoors but you're reluctant to give up the comforts of home, the Godfrey Sanpan 2200 RS may be your family's ticket to adventure. Designed for first-class entertaining (and first-class lounging), the 2200 RS is one of several models in Godfrey's Sanpan Series — the creme de la creme of the company's impressive pontoon lineup.
The 22 foot Rear Entry Special Edition model incorporates the convenience of a stern entry gate with thoughtful accommodations, such as a port side pop-up changing room. Godfrey has also added several new features for the new model year, including upholstered gate pads with expandable mesh storage compartments, remote lighting control, radiused furniture design, and precision color-matching on the gates, helm, carpet and rail skins.
At the 2002 Godfrey dealer meeting in South Bend, Indiana, we were lucky enough to score a ride aboard one of these floating relaxation centers. Our test boat was outfitted with the Supertoon package, which added a third oversized pontoon and hydraulic steering for effortless control. The moment we sank our hindquarters into the plush vinyl seats, we knew we were in for a real treat.
Make Mine Supersized
Adding the Supertoon package to the Sanpan 2200 RS also bumps the maximum horsepower rating from 120 to 150, but unfortunately, our test boat came equipped with only a 115 hp engine. Although we weren't able to test the boat's true capabilities that afternoon, we were able to get a feel for what it could do, even with the base-model performance package.
With three tubes, the maximum weight capacity is 2,310 pounds, or roughly 16 adults. We had two adults and a 1/4 tank of fuel aboard. As we expected with this size engine, the pontoon didn't jump up on plane, but acceleration was steady and smooth.
About 3,200 rpm seemed ideal, moving the boat along at a modest 15 mph and offering great fuel economy at more than 5.5 miles per gallon. With the boat's built-in 24 gallon fuel tank, that would give you a range of around 132 nautical miles. The engine topped out at 5,500 rpm, giving the Sanpan 2200 RS its top speed of just over 30 mph.
Our Yamaha four-stroke outboard was outfitted with a 13.5 x 16 stainless steel propeller, which bit down hard in the water. We executed a full-power turn at 30 mph in the narrow confines of the St. Joseph's River. There was little drop in rpm, and the boat easily completed the turn within the width of the river.
There was a 1 to 2 knot current but no chop for us to test the ability of the 2 inch lifting strakes to hold the spray down. However, we did notice that the full-length keel helped keep the boat on course. The Sanpan 2200 RS is large enough to carry a heavy load yet still small enough to make tight turns and weave around floating debris.
Even with the smallest performance package, this pontoon can easily pull waterskiers, wakeboarders and inflatable toys. Godfrey offers an optional ski tow bar for those who are planning to use the boat for watersports.
I Just Want to Relax for a Minute
The best thing about a nicely appointed pontoon is that it doesn't cater to only one activity, like a fish or ski boat might, but rather satisfies the needs and desires of a diverse group.
Sure, you can still fish or ski, but you're certainly not restricted to doing just one or the other. The kids may want to swim and play while the adults would rather sit back and enjoy each other's company.
Socializing is encouraged by face-to-face seating at the bow and a wrap-around settee in the aft cockpit. A swiveling captain's chair enables the driver to join in on conversation.
Calling the 2200 RS a luxury pontoon is an understatement. Just take a seat to understand what we mean. The upholstery is made of GX48 vinyl, which is exclusive to Godfrey. Like fine home furniture, multi-density foam provides four layers of soft-to-firm cushion. When sat on or stepped on, the seats recover immediately.
When you stretch out on the chaise lounge, your cold drink is only an arm's reach away, atop the alpha-stone table. Sit back and enjoy the suspension seating of the captain's chair while you navigate through the water from behind a helm station outfitted by VDO (the company that makes instrumentation for Mercedes-Benz). Add a Clarion sound system with four speakers or a double-wide helm seat for even greater comfort.
Abundant stowage allows everyone to bring enough gear along for a full day of family fun that doesn't have to end when the sun goes down. Throw some burgers on the rail-mounted gas grill (optional) and treat your guests to an impromptu dinner under the stars. Under-seat mood lighting creates a warm glow and makes it safer to walk around after dusk.
As a further precaution, Godfrey designed the boat's gates to open inward, so that unsuspecting passengers will not fall overboard if they happen to lean against one of the three entrances.
Let Your Worries Float Away
While walking the boat shows, keep in mind that quality construction is just as important as a boat's style and amenities. Of course, this holds true for all purchases, but it's especially important when you are buying a boat that will be used (and abused) by the entire family.
On a Godfrey pontoon, the keel, saddle brackets, rubrails and structural components are made of extruded aluminum, which is formed in a custom-designed die to assure maximum strength and integrity. In comparison, many other builders use bent aluminum construction, meaning an aluminum flat sheet is cut and then bent into shape. The bending process creates stresses that compromise the strength of the aluminum. For example, the corners where the metal stretches when it is bent are thinner than the rest of the piece.
Godfrey also offers some warranty advantages that other manufacturers don't. Its pontoons come with a full 20-year warranty against weld failures, and a five-year structural warranty on rails and gates. The GX48 vinyl and marine-grade carpet are backed by a three-year warranty, and the decking has a limited lifetime warranty against decay that is transferable to the second owner.
|Dry weight||2,060 pounds|
|Fuel capacity||24 gallons|
|Weight capacity||2,310 pounds (up to 16 adults)|
|Tubes||3 (two-tube version also offered)|
|Maximum power||150 hp|
|Base price with 115-hp Yamaha outboard||$25,877|
|Price as tested with 115-hp Yamaha outboard and Supertoon package||$29,425|
|Top speed||30.2 mph|
|Cruising speed||15 mph|
|Miles per gallon at 15-mph cruising speed||5.5|
|Fuel cost for 100 miles||$20.90**|
(Fuel cost based on a fuel price of $1.15 per gallon.)
|Model||Yamaha F115 TLRA|
|Bore and stroke||3.11" x 3.49"|
|Maximum engine speed||5,000-6,000 rpm|
Full-length skirting, Sony AM/FM stereo CD player w/four speakers, marine-grade carpet, stern table, Sunbrella upholstery covers, mood lighting, navigation/docking lights, tilt steering, deluxe VDO instrument panel w/electric horn.
Fish finder, Clarion CD player w/four speakers, sink, double-wide pilot chair, portable head, gas grill, extra removable upholstered cup holders, ladder (stowable or telescoping), vinyl deck covering, canopy, ski tow bar, playpen cover.
For more information
4500 Middlebury St.
Elkhart, IN 46516
(888) GODFREY or (219) 522-8381