Premier 25 Legend Sport Dek: Performance Test

Premier 25 Legend Sport Dek: The plane truth.

11th October 2004.
By David McIntosh

The 25 Legend Sport Dek handles like a hybrid between a pontoon boat and a deckboat.

The 25 Legend Sport Dek handles like a hybrid between a pontoon boat and a deckboat.

We’re so confused: Pontoon boats don’t have planing hulls, but Premier has built an entire line of “pontoon boats” that can reach plane — so where does that leave us? With the Premier 25 Legend Sport Dek, the pontoon boat unlike any other.

We should first say, however, that calling the 25 Legend Sport Dek a pontoon boat is a bit of a misnomer, because the boat doesn’t have any traditional tubes. Instead, it has a unique aluminum tri-hull design that is built with two full-length rectangular sponsons that have been joined to form a conventional hull.

The Premier 25 Legend Sport Dek makes for an interesting comparison with Starcraft’s Galaxy 2000, which we tested in last month’s issue. The Galaxy 2000 has a pontoon boat layout atop a deckboat hull, and one could say almost the same thing for the 25 Legend Sport Dek; however, whereas the Galaxy 2000 feels like a deckboat with a unique layout, the 25 Legend feels like a pontoon boat at its core. In turn, this makes the Galaxy 2000 a great match for deckboat lovers who want a touch of pontoon boat in their craft, and it makes the 25 Legend Sport Dek a great match for pontoon boat lovers who want a touch of deckboat in their craft.

With that out of the way, we’ll consider the Premier 25 Legend Sport Dek a deckboat of sorts, and it rides like one in many ways. This not only gives the boat sharper turns and tighter handling, but also faster speeds.

The 25 Legend Sport Dek handles like a hybrid between a pontoon boat and a deckboat, giving you more stability than your typical modified-V hull while also delivering excellent turns. We were impressed by the boat’s performance, especially when it reached a top speed of 39 mph with its 150 hp Mercury 150 EFI outboard. The engine proved a good match for the boat; however, you can get an engine as large as 175 hp if you desire. We had two adults on board during our run, and the 150 EFI was sporting a Mirage Plus prop with a 17-inch pitch. Premier has tested this boat and engine package combination at a top speed of 42.1 mph.

The 25 Legend Sport Dek’s planing hull causes its bow to come up a bit more than regular pontoon boats on the way to plane, but no more than a standard deckboat, so visibility remains excellent at all times. The boat hits plane at around 3,000 rpm, where we expected to see a big jump in speed, but instead, the speed climbs steadily throughout the rpm range.

Playing the Expectations Game

Premier doesn’t save its out-of-the-box thinking for just the boat’s hull, though. The company also brings a fresh approach to quality, making sure its boats are built with the finest materials. Moreover, Premier gives you all sorts of choices for those materials.

For instance, Premier boats come with several deck choices, including pressure-treated marine-grade plywood and Nida-Core honeycomb fiberglass, the latter of which allows you to have a 100 percent wood-free boat. There are also several different types of carpeting, so you can choose from an array of colors and carpet weights.

Although the 25 Legend Sport Dek’s hull has a revolutionary design, its layout is classic pontoon boat. The craft has a swim step at the front, which makes for easy boarding, and the docking lights are recessed into the front gunnel molding.

A slightly J-shaped settee flanks each side of the bow, with the starboard settee being slightly longer, because it runs all the way back to the helm console. The port settee, on the other hand, is slightly shorter to make room for a portside entrance with a gate.

Another J-shaped settee is located on the other side of the port gate, and it wraps around to the point where the front of its seat is in line with the back of the captain’s helm seat. A giant sunpad is attached to the aft side of the J-shaped settee. The sunpad has two parts: one is a pop-up enclosure, and the other is simply an empty space with stowage.

In addition to the gate at the center of the bow and the aforementioned portside gate, there’s a third entrance gate built into the starboard quarter of the boat, making it easy to get to the engine.

Now is probably a good time to point out one of the other advantages that comes with the 25 Legend Sport Dek’s deckboat-like hull: It’s great for waterskiing. The boat has the hole shot necessary to pull skiers up out of the water, making it a great vessel for boaters who have a skier or wakeboarder in the family. Moreover, the boat has a ski/wakeboard locker built into the deck, and a ski tow eye is standard.

We also have yet to give the helm console its due. The helm comes with a full set of instrumentation, plus a Carling electronic control system (ECS) that features a delay timer for your lights, as well as priority shutdown protection. The ECS will also keep you from running your battery low, so you’ll never be stranded because of a drained battery.

The captain’s seat is very posh. Premier has teamed up with Flexsteel Industries to produce the 7-Star Chair, which can recline for flexibility and comfort.

The boat has been rated for a capacity of 13 people (or 1,833 pounds), but we’d feel more comfortable with a maximum of 11 or 12 persons in real-life conditions. After all, no one should be sitting up on the sunpad when the boat is under way, and that sunpad takes up a lot of space.

The Premier 25 Legend Sport Dek is also available as an Escape rather than a Legend. The Escape configuration features two chairs at the bow instead of two settees, and the railing is pushed all the way to the edge of the deck, so there’s no boarding step at the bow.

Premier’s 25 Legend Sport Dek has the open roominess of a pontoon boat and the superb handling of a deckboat, but the fact that it is also a great boat for pulling skiers and wakeboarders seals the deal. Families are going to flock to this one-of-a-kind boat from Premier Marine, because it delivers the plane truth.

Premier 25 Legend Sport Dek Specifications

Length 24’6″
Beam 8’6″
Weight 2,830 pounds
Fuel capacity 30 gallons
Maximum power 175 hp
MSRP $35,138

Standard Features

In-floor ski storage, ski eye, exterior mood lighting, shallow-draft Sport Dek aluminum hull, Flexsteel 7-Star helm chair, sport helm (Legend), pristine helm (Escapade).

Options

Galley, ottoman cooler, T-top, toe kick courtesy lighting, ski tow bar.

For More Information

Premier Marine
26612 Fallbrook Ave.
Wyoming, MN 55092
(800) 815-6392
www.pontoons.com


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