By Go Boating
South Bay 925 CTT IO Luxury Performance Series: Go Boating Test
SouthBay 925 CTT IO: One sweet, fast ride.
We’ve seen shiny exhaust pipes hinting at wicked horsepower poking out the stern of a pontoon boat before, but never before on a production model craft that’s available to all of us.
The brand-new South Bay 925 CTT IO Luxury Performance Series comes to us from Indiana-based Forest River Marine, which is the manufacturer of the popular Odyssey line of pontoon boats. The 925 CTT IO can be considered a step up in just about every direction.
The first talking point about the 925 CTT IO is that it is reported to have the world speed record for a single-engine pontoon at 60 mph. This comes from the same company that is said to have the world speed record for a twin-engine pontoon at 88 mph.
While bragging rights abound in the speed department, there are other aspects of the 925 CTT IO worth looking at as well. As a craft that sits near the top of the South Bay line, you can expect bells and whistles aplenty. Some of the features that caught our eye include designer rails, stainless steel hardware, a refreshment center built into the forward helm, an oversized changing room and a raw-water washdown.
In the construction department, the continuous riser gives the craft a nice, clean look as well as improved rigidity, while the triple 25-inch diameter tubes, lifting strakes, underbelly splash shield and 16-inch cross-member spacing work to lend this craft a maximum horsepower of 425 — that’s way up there for a ‘toon.
The first order of business, obviously, was to open the throttle wide and see how close we could get to 60 mph ourselves. According to Forest River Marine, the 60 mph record was achieved on calm water with one driver and a very light load of fuel. In our case, we had calm water, two people on board and a full tank of fuel (39 gallons — about 244 lbs). For power we had a 425 hp 496 MAG HO MerCruiser with a Bravo Three X drive spinning a 19-inch set of three-blade dual props.
After trimming the craft out as much as we dared we were able to post a top speed of 56.9 mph on our GPS at 4,600 rpm. Not bad considering we were carrying at least 400 pounds more than when the 60 mph record was posted.
Satisfied with the craft’s straight-line performance, we banked the 925 CTT IO into a series of sharp S-turns. Thanks to electronic power assist steering it was easy to throw the craft into a tight corner with ease.
This craft had too much horsepower for what our fuel-flow meter could handle, but you can be sure that a big engine like this will likewise have a big appetite for fuel.
Slowing down to a cruising speed of 29 mph at 3,000 rpm yielded a comfortable ride with no vibrations or rattle — our sound meter held right at 82 dBa while at cruising speed.
While the most attention-grabbing aspect of the South Bay Luxury Performance 925 CTT IO is its ability to satisfy that need for speed, it’s worth remembering that Forest River has also gone to great pains to create a comfortable and luxurious interior.
We’ve been on a lot of pontoons and we can say that in terms of lavishness and opulence, this ‘toon is at the upper end of the curve. With a price tag in excess of $53,000 for our test boat, you should have high expectations.
For those who aren’t so stuck on speed, you can still have the same boat with the same interior for considerably less with a smaller stern drive or outboard.
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Manufacturer Contact Information
Forest River Marine (a wholly-owned subsidiary Berkshire Hathaway)
51773 County Road 39 North
Middlebury, IN 46540