By Jeff Hemmel
Cypress Cay Cayman 250: Video Boat Review
Boats.com reviewer Jeff Hemmel checks out the Cayman 250 and concludes: this is not your father's party barge.
Read Jeff Hemmel’s Cypress Cay Cayman 250 Test Notess
VIDEO BOAT REVIEW TRANSCRIPT
Say goodbye to the days of a pontoon being little more than a slow-moving party barge. With high-horsepower and triple pontoons, boats like the Cypress Cay Cayman 250 are rivaling the latest and greatest V-hulls. Let’s take a closer look at this premium pontoon model…
Interview with Jane Schlegel, Cypress Cay
Jane, this Cayman features Cypress Cay’s optional T3 performance package. Obviously that adds a third pontoon to the traditional configuration. But I also notice that pontoon is actually dropped slightly lower than the two outer pontoons.
Jane: Good observation. We dropped the center pontoon a full inch below the other two to give it the V-hull shape so it starts to cut through the water. We also added a full aluminum skin underneath the deck and that just helps keep resistance down and again increases your speed. Then to give you that planing effect, we’ve added lifting strakes to the insides of the tubes, and then on both sides of the center tube. So when the Cayman gets up to speed, it really planes out and cruises nicely.
The ability to head into bigger waters and handle higher horsepower requires some solid construction below. The exterior of this M bracket, which attaches the tube to the cross members, is one solid piece. Cross-member s also alternate between heavier duty C channel at the bow and stern for support, with Z channel through the center to reduce weight. Finally, the deck is attached with carriage bolts, featuring nylon lock nuts.
TESTING THE RIDE
I was expecting some thrilling performance out of the Cayman, and I wasn’t disappointed. With a 225hp Mercury Verado outboard, this boat accelerated strong out of the hole, and reached a top speed of nearly 45 mph. Handling was also quite spirited, with the boat carving aggressively tight turns without blowing out the prop or suffering any lack of stability.
There are a number of items that stand out on the Cayman. The first of which is its size. Though it’s listed at 25 feet, there’s actually closer to 27 feet of usable space.
• I also like this in-floor ski locker. It’s made possible by the depth provided by the center tube, plenty of room for all your water toys, even equipped with a bilge pump.
• There’s storage beneath all the seating. They even make use of the space behind the backrests.
Take a look at this automotive-inspired helm. On the front side, a unique storage compartment provides a handy spot for charts or other items, and though it’s not insulated, it’s got a drain so you can fill it with ice and use it as a cooler.
• And in the back of the boat, below the sunpad, rests a standard pop-up changing room.
• One final touch? Rather than a boxy structure, the Cayman features flowing rail lines far removed from the traditional pontoon boat style.
Now I get paid to critique boats. This one impressed me. I did however find one major flaw. In fourteen feet of seating space, there’s only four cupholders up here. What was Cypress Cay thinking? Fortunately however, they provide an option that is a solution: the portable cupholder.
Now obviously, this is not your father’s party barge. It provides a lot of the same speed, comfort, handling of a fiberglass V-hull. But yet at the same time, it keeps that company-friendly open layout that every pontoon should have. If that describes what you’re looking for, you need to take this boat for a ride. I enjoyed it.
Read Jeff’s full review: Cypress Cay Cayman 250: Not Your Grandfather’s Pontoon
For more information, visit Cypress Cay.
- Jeff Hemmel writes for boats.com, Boating, PersonalWatercraft.com, and Powersports Business. The former Senior Editor at Watercraft World, Jeff is a multi-time award winner as well as a 2008 inductee into the IJSBA Hall of Fame. His first book, "The Anti-Pirate Potato Cannon...and 101 Other Things For Young Mariners To Try, Do, & Build On the Water," received a bronze medal in the 2010 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. For more info, visit Jeff Hemmel's website.