Peruse the listings on boats.com and you’ll find plenty of pontoon boats that cost more than a high-end European luxury car, but plug “Cypress Cay Seabreeze 250” into the search box, and the results may surprise you. I know I was startled to see listings start at, well, more like what you’d expect to pay for a low-end econo-box of a car. And after spending a day running around Lake Wawassee on a Seabreeze 250 I’m convinced: big fun doesn’t have to cost big bucks.
Let’s start with what the bottom-line price doesn’t get you—it doesn’t include a big powerplant, a third log, or any fancy features... like an onboard air-compressor for blowing up tow-toys, a kick-butt Polk stereo, or a stainless-steel grill. These are all cost-adding options. But even fully dressed up like the model I tested, the Cayman 250 can still be had for under forty grand. And when you’re talking about a 25-footer with a Mercury 115 FourStroke powerplant and a full tri-toon performance package with all the bells and whistles, that’s pretty darned impressive.
If price is your priority, of course, you probably won’t jump at the chance to add in all this stuff. And to me, some of the big investments seem like overkill. Even with the performance package, for example, you won’t see the shock-and-awe speed and handling you get with an uber-expensive performance pontoon. We cruised at over 20 MPH and hit 36.1 at wide-open throttle. That’s plenty of zip for most people, but if you’re not into watersports and low-key relaxation is more your style, you could save a lot of gas money by going with two logs and a more diminutive powerplant. The call is yours.
More importantly, all of the ingredients for serious on-the-water relaxing were present and accounted for on our test boat. It had a pair of lounges in the bow, a third lounger with a dinette table aft, a pop-up changing room, ands bucket seating at the helm. And like most Cypress Cay models the Seabreeze is highly customizable. You want fishing features like a livewell, rodholders, and an electric trolling motor? No problem. Maybe you’d rather be rigged for watersports with items like a ski tow-bar and a five-step boarding ladder? Done deal.
The place many builders cut corners in cost-conscious pontoons is the construction. A thorough inspection proved this isn’t true of Cypress Cay. The 25” tubes are 0.08” thick aluminum, furniture is built on hefty roto-molded bases, and the deck is constructed with industry-standard pressure-treated ply.
The deck also offers an example of a good place to invest some extra cash and get a big pay-back; add on the snap-in Woven Seagrass flooring, and you’ll have a sure footing even when it’s wet, easy clean-ups, and much better stain-resistance and longevity than the usual carpet can offer.
|Fuel capacity||32 gal.|
Does the Cypress Cay Seabreeze 250 fit into your budget? The heck if I know. But for the average American lake boater, the answer is probably going to be “yes,” whether that means a basic boat or an optioned-out triple-log version. Either way one thing is for sure—this is going to be fun.
Other Choices: the Princecraft Vectra is another pontoon boat that can be had in either a relatively low-cost base version or dressed to the nines.
See Cypress Cay Seabreeze listings.
For more information, visit Cypress Cay.