Aloha likes to use the term "design uniqueness" when it describes its Paradise Series 250 Sundeck and other pontoons in its Paradise Series class. If you've seen a number of other pontoons, you'll quickly realize what the company is referring to. In the bow of any boat in Aloha's Paradise Series you'll find what the company refers to as an "aerodynamic compound curve swept-back bow railing" — we prefer the shorter descriptive of "swooped bow" ourselves.
We have to hand it to Aloha: The bow of the Paradise Series 250 Sundeck is unique compared to any other pontoon we've seen. The swooped bow definitely lends the boat distinction and style while doing a lot to get away from the "boxy" look pontoons are always tagged with.
Other deign elements we found attractive on the 250 include wave-patterned sculpted carpet and a three-tone wave design incorporated into the furniture. This, taken together with the complementary styling on the fencing, completes the equation Aloha is going for: a look of upscale pontoon luxury that separates the 250 from the rest.
There's another feature on this boat that you won't find on most pontoons: an 8-foot by 8-foot top deck. The deck features the same sculpted carpet found on the main deck and it even has stylized fencing to complement the look of the boat. Those looking to enjoy large family outings will find the extra space topside invaluable, and the constantly shaded area on the main deck will be appreciated by those who want to duck out of the midday rays. The ladder leading up to the sundeck has a nonskid surface on the rungs to provide traction for wet feet — and the ladder is curved slightly to improve ergonomics as well as add a little more style.
Because this is an upscale pontoon, you can expect the list of standard features to be robust. Some of the standards we thought worth noting include a drop-down changing room, a storage area for refreshments, a 36-quart Igloo ice chest, an in-dash digital depth sounder/fish finder and GPS, long bow couches with forward-facing chaise lounges, aluminum under-deck skin and a snap-on floor mat for the front gate area.
Unlike most other pontoon manufacturers, instead of just offering a third tube down the center as an option, Aloha offers a triple-tube version of this boat as an entirely different model. The triple-tube model equipped with a Yamaha F250 and hydraulic steering lists for $42,694 (price includes boat and motor).
When we test a boat it's not at all unusual for the boat to be brought to us loaded with as much power as possible, which promises flattering performance results. Sometimes, however, a boat is brought to the dock with whatever power is deemed standard equipment for that boat, which was the case with the 250 Sundeck.
Our test took place on Missouri's Table Rock Lake with calm water and a slight wind. We had two people aboard and a quarter tank of fuel (7 gallons or 44 pounds). For power we had a Yamaha F115 spinning a 13-inch, 3-blade aluminum prop.
With the throttle all the way forward we reached a top speed of 25.5 mph at 5,950 rpm, which is very close to the F115's maximum operating limit of 6,000 rpm, so the prop is well matched. The sound level at top speed was 86 dBa, which isn't bad at all, and you can expect to get about 61 miles of range while running flat out. Our most efficient cruising speed was 15 mph at 3,500 rpm, which would yield a cruising range of about 99 miles. The sound level at cruising speed was low at 78 dBa.
Performance-wise we found that the 250 Sundeck would air out nicely with the engine trimmed properly and the handling was responsive in the turns. Keep in mind that you can load this craft with as many as 14 people — that taken together with a full complement of fuel, gear, food and drinks would certainly affect performance (but we doubt many would bring more than eight to 10 people aboard). If you do plan on loading the 250 Sundeck to capacity, you can always up the horsepower to 150 or even 250 if you decide to invest in the triple-tube version.
When it came time to pull out the tubes and wakeboard to get a watersports impression, the F115 provided plenty of oomph for us to have a good time on the end of the rope. We couldn't get too crazy, but there was more than enough power to bounce more than one open person off the tube.
Some of the performance features on our test boat worth mentioning include two .100-gauge 26-inch diameter tubes (which are more robust that the typical 25-inch tubes), nosecone keel reinforcements and bolded construction on all decking and railing, which will prevent the craft from vibrating itself loose as pontoons with screw fasteners are prone to do.
The Aloha Paradise Series 250 Sundeck is the kind of pontoon that will resonate with the type of boater who is interested in distinctive looks and style, luxurious furniture and the ability to broaden the party with a top deck.
The 250 is definitely a mid-level to upscale pontoon, and it comes with a price tag to match. Still, a base price of $29,234 is not that much over what we would consider entry-level. After investing in a few options and adding on sales tax and other fees you'll still probably be able to get this boat out the door for about $33,000 to $34,000.
All taken together, the 250 Sundeck actually gives you a number of ways to enjoy your time on the water that many other pontoons just don't, and we imagine that will certainly be worth something to those who want an above-average 'toon.
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Manufacturer Contact Information
North Little Rock, AR 72118