Pontoon boat owners and enthusiasts are always looking for new information and ideas about their boats. And for those who are planning to buy a new one, they want to get as much info as they can about it. If you are either of the two, then you are on the right page. This article is going to discuss the G3 suncatcher pontoon review.
The G3 Suncatcher line of pontoon boats is one of the best luxury pontoon boats developed by G3 Boats. This company is lauded by water sports enthusiasts and anglers for its well-designed pontoon boats. The majority of their boats provide the style, performance, and comfort that many are looking for at an equitable price.
If buying the new G3 Suncatcher Pontoon is on your horizon or you may want to upgrade your current bait, then you better read these reviews before making that purchase.
A Brief History of G3 Boat Company
G3 Boat Company is still young in the industry if you compare it with others. But it does not discount their ample experience in boat manufacturing. In 1997, the company was absorbed by Yamaha. This company already has Skeeter under its wings. With this acquisition, Yamaha now has two divisions for its boatbuilding. G3 for its aluminum boat division and Skeeter for the production of the fiberglass hull.
The manufacturing center for G3 also moved to Lebanon, Missouri, otherwise known as ‘the aluminum capita of the world’. With this relocation, it expands its products into a wide variety of boats according to made, accessories, and price. Their price range for boats became varied as well, from $5,000 for its basic pontoon boats to as much as $75,000 for their Elite series.
Many people thought that G3 manufactures pontoon boats only. However, this is not true because it has other different products other than pontoon boats. The company is also a primary maker of bay boats, Jon boats, and deep-V boats.
The term Suncatcher refers to their line of pontoon boats and they are categorized based on their price, build, and accessories. Each of these types will be discussed in the succeeding section of this article.
Types of Suncatcher Pontoon Boats
Here is a closer look at each of the Suncatcher Series.
This is the embodiment of what a luxury pontoon boat is. It is comparable to the high-end pontoon of other distinguished boat manufacturers like Regency, Harris, or Avalon.
There are 10 models under the Elite series and all of them are trimarans. Its engine options are its most esteemed characteristics and the smallest engine in this series is an awesome 225hp and the strongest is at 300hp. Although the weight of its dry hull is between 3000 to 3300 pounds, which is 1000 more than the other Suncatcher series, it does not matter with its powerful engine.
Aside from the powerful engine, it has all the bells and whistles you might be looking for in a luxury boat. What more is to look for when you have a hardwood flooring, custom consoles equipped with GPS and more, a high-class sound system, ski tow, full-length shield for the underdeck, accent lights, rich-suede fabric for the seats, cooler bars, integrated deck storage, and many other fixtures you’ll ever want on board.
Of course, these boats under the Elite series do not come cheap. The smaller boat like the Elite 322RC is priced at a whopping $55,000 while the topnotch Diamond Elite 326 GT is up for sale at $80,000.
The X-series is the mid-range boat that could be your best option if the Elite model is too much for you. It is still a good choice because it has a powerful engine too. You can choose between 115, 150, and 225hp and between a catamaran and the trimaran. Both are built with full-length under skinning. There are 12 pontoon boat models in this series.
When it comes to accessories, the X series leaves up to its position in the Suncatcher. It is a middle ground between the Elite and the V series, which is the budget series under the line.
Its features include something in-between hardwood and soft-touch vinyl for covers, custom console with fish finder and GPS mapping, top-quality sound system, high-back recliners, and plush loungers. Other models have the in-deck storage and two of the other accessories of the Elite series but that’s it. If you want more, you can add them at an extra cost.
The last type of pontoon boat under the Suncatcher series is the budget line, the V-series. Instead of being a party boat for 15 like the Elite series, the V series is more like a family boat. It is perfect for a boat owner who likes to bring their family for fishing or a day at the lake.
It is the beginner’s boat and G3 capitalizes on it under the marketing tagline “You Need to be Here.” The boat does not have the powerful engines that the two other series have. Instead, it is fitted with a small engine at 60 hp and the biggest is the 115hp.
The 115hp engine is a perfect fit for a 22-feet boat complete with a full load and towing a tube. The speed of the boat will be just much and not too fast, which is good enough for beginners. It also has a trimaran build but the most common are catamarans.
The V series has 21 boats under the series. It begins with the small V16C for a 16-foot boat that carries not more than 6 persons. The 22-feet V322SS can carry twice as many people safely. A 115hp will be fast enough to pull wakeboarders, skiers, tubes, and many other water adventurers. It will be a little bit slower when it’s overloaded.
Unlike the two earlier models we have discussed, the V series does not have the customizations they have. What it has is the average. A soft-vinyl for the floors, swivel chairs, plush loungers, average sound systems, and some in-deck storage. These features are not the premium kind but they are not cheap looking though.
What many found a disadvantage with these boats is the partial skinning or none at all in some models. It can be an issue, especially in more humid areas. As for the price, they are affordable. The V22RF, which has a 115hp engine, is valued at $30,000.
The Suncatcher’s Performance
The G3 SunCatcher pontoon boats incorporate all the comfort, luxury, and performance that boat owners are looking for in the best quality boats in the market today. It all boils down to the G3 core values – Quality, Performance, and Satisfaction and you can find them in every SunCatcher boat.
Pontoon boats have a reputation of being a glorified raft. It does not look very hydrodynamic and cannot stay out in the storm and ride the waves. That is not the problem of the Suncatchers but all pontoon boats.
The G3 pontoons perform just as well as other brands including their competitions. The differences in its speed, stability, and other factors lie in the different series of Suncatchers. What matters is, beyond the accessories, fixtures, and high prices, the Suncatcher can perform well. You can depend on it to work with a variety of tasks other than fishing. It is the boat you can take for cruising, partying, having a good party at the lake, and anything else you want to do with it.
The Suncatcher will not be as fast as your traditional V-hull boat but it is already expected. Its job is not to go as fast as these boats do. However, it can deliver a wide and stable platform that the V-hull cannot provide. In this boat, you can sit on the edge and it will not compromise the balance compared to a fishing boat.
Another great feature of the Suncatcher is the location of its fuel tank. Other companies put them under the captain’s chair, which makes the boat unstable. In this pontoon boat, you’ll find it centrally located.
Reliability Where It Counts
Aside from the Suncatcher’s construction details, another topic worth discussing its reliability. And when we talked about reliability, we are going to where its heart is, the boat’s engine. Yamaha is probably the world’s best when it comes to boat engines. They are also known in the motorbike world for the same reason, its engine.
Yamaha continuously improved the boat engines through the years. And the same is true with Suncatchers. The 115hp weighs about the same as the 90hp version, only 337 pounds. However, it thus delivers the oomph needed to take the pontoon boat smoothly in the water.
The F300 engine is 200 pounds more, totaling to a massive 562 pounds and has 300hp engine. This only shows that in the Suncatcher, the power to weight ratio has improved greatly. The only downside with the 115hp has shortened its warranty from the usual 5 years to 3.
This is quite odd considering that Yamaha is quite proud of its engines. So far, there are no complaints about the engine though. It seems that there is not much to fuss about the warranty.
The Under Skinning
The bigger discussion among the Suncatcher owners is the lack of under skinning in some of its models. In the drier areas, this is not an issue because the boat can dry up quickly when it’s off the water.
However, the issue is more pressing in humid environments. It is easy for the wooden decks to get moldy when they are exposed to water and can lead to rotting in due time. It also contributes to a bumpy ride when the water hits the cross members of the boat.
Another issue across the Suncatcher models is the hinges attached to the gates. Although they are made from heavy-duty material, they are quite small. You will not have any problem when it comes to opening and closing the hinged gates. The problem lies when someone accidentally leans on the gate. The hinges can give up easily sending the boat to the repair shop. It could have been better if the hinge is full-length or the gates are reinforced with two or three more.
The Styrofoam Lining
Perhaps the best feature of G3 pontoon boats is that they’re filled with foam. The G3 made this thoughtful addition so that their pontoons will not sink, even if it has sustained damage or pierced or cut. With this construction, you can be sure that in the event of a damage midtrip, the passengers will not have to swim ashore. The Styrofoam-filled boats do not bend when they are hit. Meaning, this design feature is not only a safe aesthetic addition but more for consistent performance.
The Splash Guard
Another great feature that is unique to the Suncatcher is its splash guard located in front of the boat. Other boat companies have built a bent piece of metal to serve the purpose, but Suncatcher went the extra mile by putting double-reinforced splash protection.
This may not mean much to you when you are buying a boat, but when you are out there on a windy day, you’ll see how important it is. A simple and inexpensive splash guard will most likely break or bend easily. The one on Suncatcher will stand against the wind because of its double reinforcement.
As you have read from our Suncatcher pontoon reviews, G3 has set the bar higher for the standard in manufacturing pontoon boats. Other companies will have their hands full trying to catch up. All G3 Suncatchers are considered as the safest on the market and are certified by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. These are pretty big shoes to fill considering that it has a strict standard on the boat’s safety.
The Suncatchers line of pontoon boats is popular with boating enthusiasts and boat owners because of its awesome features. They also make boats that are durable and made to last for plenty of years in the water.