Material Difference: Carolina Skiff Introduces the Fun Chaser FGP 2100 Pontoon Boat

Carolina Skiff is aiming this fiberglass pontoon boat at the coastal market, but quality components and lots of stowage make this flat-top appealing in any region.

19th August 2013.
By Charles Plueddeman

I accept the proposition that the new Carolina Skiff Fun Chaser FGP 2100 is a pontoon boat, even if it doesn’t float on aluminum logs. It offers the two key attributes of a pontoon: stability and lots of elbow room.

carolina skiff fiberglass pontoon boat

Build a pontoon boat out of fiberglass? Carolina Skiff says, why not?

This 21-foot 4-inch all-fiberglass boat was designed with a nod to the growing popularity of pontoons in coastal markets, where they often run in salt water. There’s nothing wrong with running an aluminum boat in salt water – the Navy does it every day – but there’s no question a fiberglass boat better fits the décor, if you will, in the coastal community. In other words, you won’t look like you just moved in from Minnesota.

The Fun Chaser hull has a one-piece catamaran-type bottom topped with a perfectly flat fiberglass deck, to which fiberglass seat bases are mounted. The outboard face of the seat bases form the “sides” of the boat. The seating is typical for a pontoon, with a pair of facing lounges forward and a wrap-around aft lounge in the port corner. There are boarding gates at the bow, amidships to port, and at the stern where there’s a bit of a swim platform and a ladder. All the lounge seats have deeply-bolstered backs and a polished stainless top rail, and stainless steel drink holders are scattered liberally about.

Stowage below each seat is so generous I was able to climb into it, because the deck is cut away so the compartment goes down into the hull. Watch the video to see:

The 27-gallon fuel tank is placed below the aft seat.

pontoon boats

Like all proper pontoon boats, the carolina Skiff has a pop-up changing room, called the “cabana”.

A standard propane grill stashes in a dedicated compartment under the deck at the port entry, and a standard canvas changing cabana equipped with a portable head folds out of the aft seat base into that same walk-through space. There’s a modest sunpad over the motorwell, and the standard cocktail table stows below the pad.

The helm is a molded fiberglass console with locking stowage below, a removable windscreen, and a comfy captain’s chair seat. The standard audio system drives four speakers. The long list of standard equipment also includes dramatic blue LED cockpit lighting, an eight-foot Bimini top, a 70-quart cooler, and a stainless steel ski tow bar. The few options available include a forward Bimini top, a raw-water washdown and a 13-gallon freshwater shower.

This Fun Chaser features many of the same components Carolina Skiff uses on its rugged and reliable fishing and utility boats, (get a peek at one of their standard-bearers by reading Carolina Skiff J 16: Simplicity is Beauty) and they are all intended to resist saltwater corrosion, from the polished stainless hinges and latches to the sealed electrical connectors and stainless gas-assist struts supporting hatches. It’s all stout, quality stuff.

Specifications
Length 21’4″
Beam 8’6″
Draft 1’1″
Deadrise NA
Displacement 3,375 lbs
Fuel capacity 27 gal.
Water capacity 13 gal.

In saltwater use I think the fiberglass deck, which will be easy to hose down, presents a key advantage over the carpet-covered plywood deck found on most aluminum pontoon boats.

Performance Data
Test conditions: Slight chop, light winds, 2 POB. Performance data provided by Mercury Marine.
RPM MPH GPH MPG
1000 3.7 0.8 4.7
2000 7.0 2.1 3.3
3000 10.7 5.0 2.1
4000 22.6 8.6 2.6
5000 34.8 12.8 2.7
5500 39.3 14.6 2.7
Power Single Mercury 150 FourStroke outboard, swinging a 14.7″ x 16″ three-blade Enertia stainless-steel prop.

I ran the Fun Chaser 2100 at a Mercury Marine outing in Louisiana, so it was naturally powered by a Merc outboard. The boat is rated for 175 horsepower, but ran well with a Mercury 150 FourStroke on the transom, a choice that will also save some fuel as this Mercury model is especially thrifty. Fuel economy peaked at 3.2 mpg at 3500 rpm, and stayed around 2.7 mpg to full throttle and a top speed of 39 mph. At rest and when underway, the Fun Chaser has a bow-high attitude that I was told is intentional, as the designer assumes there will often be a number of passengers in the bow seating area, and when that happens the boat will run near level rather than plowing bow-down. In a light chop I thought the ride was outstanding, with typical catamaran stability. Abrupt changes of direction are not this boat’s forte, as it also turns like a cat, maintaining a flat attitude as the motor tries to push both hulls through a turn. Just because it’s fiberglass does not make it a sport boat, and I’ve run aluminum pontoon boats that handle better.

The Fun Chaser 2100 will also float just fine in fresh water, of course, so let’s not put this boat in a salt-water pigeon hole. Any pontooner will appreciate this boat’s generous stowage, the long list of standard equipment, and the quality components.

For more information, visit Carolina Skiff.


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About the author:

Charles Plueddeman

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Charles Plueddeman is Boats.com's outboard, trailer, and PWC expert. He is a former editor at Boating Magazine and contributor to many national publications since 1986.

7 thoughts on “Material Difference: Carolina Skiff Introduces the Fun Chaser FGP 2100 Pontoon Boat

  1. Hello, my father recently took delivery of a fun chaser fgp. It was rigged with a merc 150 two stroke. When we first ran the boat it’s wot was 3600 ROMs about 17mph. After reading your review the dealer swapped out the 21p prop for a 15p three blade aluminum. Now wot is approx 4700 rpm about 20 mph. The prop cavitates(I think that’s the term) at anything but a very wide turn, also trimming the motor up is nearly impossible so the motor is trimmed down constantly. The boat seems to porpoise over waves instead of cutting through. We get a lot of side spray at just about any speed, unlike the videos we’ve seen. We’re going nuts here. The dealer is not much help as it was like pulling teeth for them to change props for us. Carolina skiff is also referring us to the dealer as they don’t cover rigging. We don’t know if the motor is too high or low on the transom. Or the prop isn’t correct. We can’t seem to get any information from the dealer or CS. If you have any further knowledge on this boat we would really appreciate it. BTW it’s not our first boat, but first pontoon/cat hull.
    Thank You
    Keith Radecsky

  2. From our outboard expert, Charles Plueddeman:
    “The Mercury Boat House Bulletin for the Carolina Skiff Fun Chaser specifies a 14.7 x 16 x 3 Merc Enertia prop for the 150 FourStroke, pulling 5500 rpm. I think you have way too much prop with a 21. Whoever supplied the prop should be willing to exchange it if it’s not dinged up.”
    Lenny Rudow adds:
    If changing the prop doesn’t help, the motor mounting height would be the next suspect. Clearly your boat isn’t running the way it ought to, and your dealer should be working hard to make sure this gets straightened out.

  3. One problem is the 14 SS cup holders that were NOT set up for drainage when bought………so therefore the storage bins always stays wet!! Disappointed that they were not engineered and already hooked up for drainage into the bilage so the “so called” bins will be “dry storage”. Would of been a preferred and sensible way to engineer this style boat, especially with 14 cup holders!!
    Also they are starting to rust.

    Regarding your Prop……we have a 4 blade SS Pontoon prop and plane at top speed around 5300 at 33/35mph. We get some side spray but usually gets to the back seating area only. Not that bad though depending on speed and chop.

  4. We purchased a Fun Chaser at the Atlantic City Boat Show from a NJ dealer. It was set up with a 115hp e-tec. From day one we’ve had nothing but problems with performance. We’ve had it back to the dealer 4 times. We’ve changed the prop, had power head replaced and had it checked out by an Evinrude technician who now tells us that the boarding ladder is throwing water into the intake. Has anyone ever had this issue? We are so frustrated at this point.

  5. An addendum to my previous post….we just found out that a “Carolina Skiff Team” is heading to the dealer where we bought our Fun Chaser because out of 13 boats sold by this dealer, 10 are having problems!! Our problem is that our boat is in VA and the dealer is in NJ. Our boat has spent more time being trailered than it has in the water. This whole experience has been TERRIBLE…the engine reps blame the boat and the boat reps blame the engine. HELP!

  6. Hey Judy – we’re sorry it’s been a rough experience, but we’re also glad to hear Carolina Skiff is stepping in and taking action. They’re a reputable company that has been building boats for a long, long time, and there’s no doubt in our minds that they will make things right. Please check back in with us, and let us know what happens!

  7. Thanks for your reply, Lenny. We took possession of this boat in May and have had it back to the dealer 4 times– a big deal because it is a 6 hour trip from VA to NJ including transporting boat and trailer on a ferry– also very expensive. We are trying to negotiate with Carolina Skiff to have someone look at the boat at a dealer closer to us. The boat is currently at a dealer in DE who sells and services both Evinrude and Carolina Skiff. Hopefully they’ll agree to have someone check it out there. We had very little use of the boat all summer and have been given the run around by all involved. I must say that Carolina Skiff has not been very helpful so far so I hope your assessment of the company is correct. I’ll let you know if they’ll agree to look at the boat in DE. We DO NOT want to haul it back to NJ. We are on the verge of contacting legal help because we just don’t know what else to do.
    I’ll keep you posted, Lenny.
    Thanks, again, for your encouraging words.

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