Landau DX20 RE: Performance Test

Landau's DX20 RE offers power and versatility for families who like to fish.

21st May 2002.
By Go Boating

The Landau DX20 RE is a compact, affordable cruising pontoon that incorporates fishing and watersports.

The Landau DX20 RE is a compact, affordable cruising pontoon that incorporates fishing and watersports.

With America getting back to basics, many people are rediscovering the benefits of outdoor recreation as a way to spend quality time with the family. Boating is a great way to do just that, and today’s versatile pontoons fulfill a variety of needs to suit your entire crew.

The Landau DX20 RE is a compact, affordable cruising pontoon that incorporates fishing and watersports, so that families can get the most fun for their money. It is also the most popular fish-n-ski pontoon in the Landau lineup.

Part of Landau’s Deluxe Series, the DX20′s RE classification stands for Rear Entry model. You can board the pontoon from the stern, portside or bow.

Built on 16 inch centers, the 20 foot deck is roomy and features a large padded sunshelf at the stern, a refreshment center, plus plenty of fishing features not ordinarily found on a pontoon of this size.

At the bow, you’ll find new fiberglass molded bow boxes with integrated red and green running lights. The boxes conceal an aerated livewell, a cooler, tackle trays and trolling motor battery storage.

Anglers can look forward to comfort even after hours of fishing, in oversized high-back casting chairs that also swivel. Increase the DX20 RE’s fishability with an optional digital depth gauge, a Lowrance X28 fish finder, a Motor Guide trolling motor or a livewell with padded seat.

For the boaters who would rather sit back and enjoy the ride, the DX20 RE is appointed with a cushiony L-shaped settee and chaise lounge, with seating for up to 10 people. There is also a removable table, under-seat storage, cooler storage in the helm console and a sink with freshwater storage.

With the addition of a ski tow bar, the DX20 RE can easily pull waterskiers and kneeboarders. A portable four-step boarding ladder makes getting in and out of the water easy, and a hidden changing room located under the galley console offers a convenient place to change out of your wet clothes.

The captain can pilot the boat from the comfort of a deluxe barrel-style helm chair. All switches are located within arm’s reach, for ease of use. The stylish matching instrumentation package is accented by a stainless steel steering wheel.

New for 2002, the acrylic helm console, galley console, tabletop and bow boxes all match and feature a high-gloss finish.

Even though the DX20 RE is appointed with many standard features, Landau also offers many options that enable you to custom design your boat, including a pilothouse enclosure, a CD player with two additional speakers, a rail-mounted barbecue grill, aluminum canopy tops and a portable head.

The DX20 RE also has a Cruise version, for the ultimate in cruising comfort. Spacious forward and rear settees with chaise lounges take the place of the casting chairs and rear entry gate.

It’s All About U

With a rich heritage of more than 25 years of boat building experience, Landau produces some of the highest quality pontoon boats on the market.

Two oversized 21 by 25 inch pontoons run the length of the DX20 RE and have solid core foam-filled nose cones to provide extra support in rough waters. Because they are filled with foam, they would be able to keep the deck afloat even in the unlikely event that they became fractured.

The logs are constructed of lightweight .090-gauge aluminum and are U-shaped, to provide additional flotation when needed. When the boat gets loaded down with extra weight, its U-shaped tubes deliver greater flotation in the upper half than in the lower part, to prevent water from accumulating on top. With a round tube, the flotation decreases in the upper half, because the log begins to carry water weight from its decreasing radius.

The flat top of the U-shaped log enables it to be bolted directly to the flat surface of the deck cross members. This construction eliminates the “flex” of round tube pontoon boats and gives the DX20 RE a solid feel cutting through the waves.

Landau uses 30 ounce marine grade vinyl on all its upholstery, which is specially treated to resist mildew and fading. The furniture is custom manufactured in Landau’s plant, on rotationally molded seat bases.

The pontoon’s fences have a baked-on enamel finish with formed ridges, for added strength. Landau uses 1.25 inch anodized tubing on the rails, which helps to resist corrosion and keeps them looking new.

Seven-ply marine-grade plywood provides the DX20 RE with a quiet and solid floor, which comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Let’s Go for a Log Ride

We went for ride aboard the DX20 RE at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. The water was very choppy from lots of boats, which is typical of this place — and it made for some extreme test conditions for a smaller pontoon with only two logs.

Our test boat was outfitted with a 90 hp Mercury four-stroke outboard, which is the maximum horsepower allowed for the twin pontoon model. Mercury Marine’s overhead cam design enables its 90 hp four-stroke engine to idle as low as 750 rpm.

Since there’s no need to mix gasoline and oil, it offers clean, smoke-free operation, whether you’re trolling or running full throttle. It also boasts excellent fuel economy, as we estimated the boat’s range to be around 153 miles with its large 29 gallon fuel tank.

With two adults and a full tank of fuel aboard, we reached plane fairly quickly and determined the cruising speed to be around 16 mph (3,400 rpm). The fastest we were able to get it to go was 29.6 mph (5,500 rpm). You must be careful when trimming the engine, as we discovered a tendency for it to cavitate when over-trimmed.

The boat held nicely in turns and felt solid when we crossed over wakes. Its compact size made it easily maneuverable in and out of the docks, and we had no trouble backing it in a straight line.

If you want even better handling and more pulling power, the DX20 RE is available with a performance package, which includes a third log and a full-length drag shield. This would raise the maximum horsepower to 150 and the weight capacity to 2,850 pounds.


Length 20’6″
Beam 8′
Draft 1’3″
Dry weight 1,365 pounds
Fuel capacity 29 gallons
Weight capacity 1,850 lbs. (up to 10 people)
Tubes 2
Tube diameter 21″ x 25″
Maximum power 90 hp

Estimated Performance

Top speed 29.6 mph
Cruising speed 16 mph
Miles per gallons at 16-mph cruising speed 5.3
Fuel cost for 100 miles $20.57
Range at 16-mph cruising speed 153 miles

(Fuel cost based on a fuel price of $1.09 per gallon.)

Engine Specifications

Model 90 hp Mercury four-stroke outboard
Propshaft horsepower 90
Cylinders 4
Displacement 97.4 c.i.d.
Bore and stroke 3.11″ x 3.2″
Gear ratio 2.07:1
Maximum engine speed 6,000 rpm
Weight 386 pounds

Standard Features

Wave sculpted carpet, fiberglass console with courtesy light, high-definition graphics, fiberglass galley with changing room, stainless steel steering wheel, bolstered sunshelf, AM/FM cassette stereo with two speakers, lockable console storage, tinted windscreen, bow cooler, aerated livewell, trolling motor battery storage, lure trays, navigation and docking lights, adjustable captain’s chair, two high-back fishing seats, aerated seat livewell, vertical rod holders, one portable and numerous fixed cup holders, stowable boarding ladder.

Optional Features

CD player with two additional speakers, digital depth gauge, Lowrance X28 fish finder, Motor Guide trolling motor, vinyl floor, rail-mounted barbecue grill, mooring cover, pilothouse enclosure, Sea-Deck (includes tri-log with full-length spray shield), tilt hydraulic steering, tilt wheel, trailer, ski tow, dual helm seat with slider and storage, barrel chair upgrade, livewell with padded seat, portable head, full-length spray shield.

For more information:

Landau Boats LLC
2000 Industrial Drive
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9126

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