The Bryant Potenza is an all-new 26-foot 8-inch runabout designed to deliver a smooth, quiet ride with plenty of comfort and a wide-open layout. Bryant has loaded this model with standard features that are typically options on bowriders in this class. We were really impressed with the fit-and-finish and attention to detail we found on this boat, top-quality components, and a solid feel in the water. Our video boat review took place on a blistering hot afternoon on Lake Tellico in Tennessee; click on the picture below to watch the review.


Boat Test Notes


  • A runabout that makes the most of its cockpit and platform space, is loaded with standard features, and is aimed at the experienced owner who’d rather not go the pontoon route.


  • Not a splinter of wood to be found in this boat, even in the transom, which is cored with Coosa Board, a high-density foam material infused with glass fiber and resin that's lighter, stronger and more durable than laminated wood.

  • All deck hardware is stainless-steel, as are the stout hinges.

  • One-piece fiberglass deck and liner incorporates seat bases and consoles to create a solid, rattle-free assembly.

  • Hatches are lipped to keep out rain water.

  • Transom deadrise is sport-boat steep at 24 degrees.


  • A 430 HP MerCruiser 8.2L and Bravo III drive put this boat smartly on plane and topped out at 52.0 MPH.

  • Economy is not so hot at 2.6 MPG at 3500 RPM, but that's about what we’d expect with this big engine.

  • This older-style engine sends more intake noise into the cockpit than then the newer MerCruiser engines, which aim the intake aft.

  • Our test boat was equipped with through-hull exhaust, which is fun but loud, even when we closed the baffles from the helm.


  • The deep-vee hull performs as advertised, slicing through chop and wakes and heeling over a bit into turns.

  • Mercury drive-by-wire DTS digital controls would be a nice upgrade over the cable controls, especially around the dock.


  • Standard pressure water system feeds sinks in the head compartment and cockpit, a flushing lav, and a transom shower.

  • Aluminum sport arch incorporates a Bimini top that’s rattle-free, plus mounts for giant can speakers and LED cockpit lights.

  • Stout hinges and gas struts on most seats that cover stowage.

  • Very well finished; there are no rough edges on this boat.

  • Sunpad has a pivoting backrest that faces fore or aft, which makes for a great lounging space.

  • Port cockpit seat also has a pivoting backrest.

  • The “1.5” helm seat is extra wide, and all the seating is deep and placed about three inches higher off the sole than normal, which makes a big comfort difference.

Visit Bryant for more information on the Potenza. To start shopping for one, see these Potenza listings.

Written by: Charles Plueddeman
Charles Plueddeman is's outboard, trailer, and PWC expert. He is a former editor at Boating Magazine and contributor to many national publications since 1986.