This affordable pontoon balances comfortable amenities with incredible value.
SunChaser has established itself as a leading manufacturer of affordable, value-packed pontoon boats that seem to do everything well. One of the most intriguing models in its 2019 lineup is the all-new Geneva Cruise 24 LR DH, which follows a traditional four-lounger floor plan that makes the most of its 25-foot, nine-inch overall length.
The great thing about pontoons is that they’re easy to board, with no need for anyone to have to climb over a gunnel or negotiate slippery stairs. A wide entrance gate on the port side of the big Geneva offers the easiest access from the dock. If you need to pull in to starboard, extended swim platforms and equally wide entrance gates at both the bow and stern still allow comfortable boarding. Not every pontoon allows this, so kudos to SunChaser for getting it right.
The standard flooring in the Geneva is plush 22-ounce marine carpet with fast-drying vinyl on the rear platform, which makes a sensible arrangement – the carpeting feels great under bare feet, while the vinyl in the stern gives swimmers a fast-drying place to towel off after a dip. Additional flooring options, such as Sea Weave or faux teak, offer appealing alternatives to the standard carpet.
The Geneva Cruise 24 LR DH follows a traditional pontoon layout with twin Captain’s chairs amidships and comfy loungers in each of the four corners. The upholstery treatment in this boat is impressive, with the generously proportioned seat cushions covered in a durable yet soft marine vinyl, giving the seats a nice balance of comfort with support. You’ll find cup holders recessed into the seats keeping cold drinks always within reach, and stereo speakers in the seat bases both front and aft.
Those swivelling Captain’s chairs for the driver and companion each come with fold-down arm rests for added comfort. The passenger gets a small console along the port side, complete with a built-in beverage holder. The fiberglass helm console is a compact and smart-looking affair topped by a compact but surprisingly efficient windshield that does a terrific job of deflecting the wind away. Standard Faria gauges – a speedometer, tach, fuel gauge and volt meter – use a classic black-on-white design and are cosmetically enhanced by light chrome bezels. The dash is clean and uncluttered, with all the primary gauges positioned in a neat cluster. The Gucci Verona steering wheel adds a real touch of luxury. The helm also houses the control head for the standard Jensen MS3A stereo with Bluetooth wireless connectivity, which can be upgraded to a Kicker KMC 10 unit if desired. A side door on the console provides access to yet another massive storage cabinet, providing a secure and dry spot for valuables.
Overhead, a standard colour-coordinated Bimini top provides relief from the midday sun.
The extended rear swim platform deserves special mention, first for its sturdy, retractable boarding ladder, and second for being deep enough that adults can comfortably sit here and enjoy the sun. That’s not something you can do for long on too many other pontoons.
The Geneva Cruise 24 LR DH is rated to handle outboards to 175 horsepower, giving it plenty of power to pull the kids on a tube or just go for afternoon joyrides to the ice cream place on the other side of the lake.
By Craig Ritchie