By Craig Ritchie
While it’s true that pontoon boats have grown larger, faster and more capable over the years, it’s also true that they’ve continued to represent amazing value. Perhaps no better example of this exists than Sunchaser’s popular 8524 LR DH.
The largest model in Sunchaser’s Classic Cruise series, the 8524 LR DH has been a bestseller for many years. But in the spirit of never being completely satisfied, the designers at Sunchaser have given the 2015 model a complete update, making a great boat that much better. For starters, there’s all-new pillowtop upholstery. While the seating on the previous edition of the 8524 was comfortable, the new seats are fantastic, with extra cushioning support and an attractive pebbled surface that looks like it is right out of a luxury sedan. The 8524 LR DH seats up to 14 passengers, with twin front and rear wrap-around loungers, and twin bucket Captains chairs amidships for the driver and navigator. The navigator even gets a private console to port. Just ahead, the rear facing of the port-side front lounger conceals a pop-up change room for swapping out of wet swimwear.
No matter where you sit, a beverage holder big enough for a large Slurpee is never out of reach, and you’ll find ample secure storage space in the lounge seat bases and in the bottom of the beautifully sculpted helm console. Stereo speakers in each corner of the boat provide great sound everywhere, while pedestal bases in the floor between each of the front and rear loungers allow the removable table to be positioned wherever it’s needed.
The helm console is nicely finished with an attractive burled dash that houses primary gauges – speedometer, tach, volt meter and fuel – right up top where they’re easily seen. Overhead, an all-new Bimini top with a gracefully arced frame works with the console to give the boat a more fluid look, and better complements the detail work in its attractive fencing.
All-new Touring graphics give the 8524 LR DH a fresh, contemporary look, complemented by a new stainless steel, four-step retracting boarding ladder on the stern deck. Our review boat included optional full Teak Weave flooring that looked just great next to the new furniture. It also came with the X-Treme PR 25 Performance Package, which consists of 25-inch outside tubes with inside strakes, a PR25 inside tube with strakes and a built-in 60 gallon gas tank, performance shield, hydraulic steering, and heavy hat channel construction. The addition of the third tube also provides a useful and vast in-floor storage locker, accessed through the forward deck.
Additional options in our review boat included a ski pylon, a fantastic Babbito under-deck lighting package, underwater lights, lighted cup holders, a double top and a playpen cover.
We were pleased to discover that a lot of features we assumed to be optional upgrades are, in fact, standard on the 8524 LR DH. That includes the Bimini top, an AM/FM stereo with MP3 input, a removable table with integrated beverage holders, and the fantastic swiveling helm seat with slider base and folddown arm rests.
Sunchaser’s 8524 Lounger DH is a pontoon that offers space and comfort for all of your family and friends to have fun on the water. As part of the Smoker Craft family, SunChaser boats are backed by the company’s Lifetime Plus 6 limited warranty, which provides lifetime coverage on major structures like decks, transoms and other major components while providing six full years of coverage on components, including marine grade carpet and upholstery. It covers all parts and labour, and is transferrable to the second owner should you ever want to trade up to a newer SunChaser.
By Craig Ritchie