Boat Test: 2016 Sylvan S3

Boat Tested2016 Sylvan S3
Price As TestedNot Available
Category Pontoon Boat
Manufacturer Sylvan
Length24ft 10in / 7.57 m
Beam8ft 6in / 2.59 m
Drive TypeOutboard
Engine MakeEvinrude
Fuel Capacity30
By Steven Bull
As a staunch Detroit Lions supporter, I’ll admit I was taken aback when I was told I’d be testing the “Seattle Seahawks” boat. Joking aside, that was an intensely accurate description of the vibrant colourscheme on the S3 I was about to take out for a ride.

The very cool new Evinrude G2, colour-matched to the lime green accent on the navy blue exterior, amplifies the bright and cheery factor of this boat.

Fittingly, the S3 itself is also a winner. A popular pontoon, and one of my personal favourites in the segment, the S3 is fun to drive. The RPT Performance tubes with V-shaped bottoms cut down on drag and slice through waves.

I put down the throttle and in three-and-a-half seconds the Sylvan was tearing past 20 miles per hour, reaching 30 in less than seven seconds.

With our test load, we maxed out just above 40 mph, which is really moving on a 24-foot boat. Handling, too, remained true to reputation and thanks to well aligned hydraulic steering, with one hand on the wheel I could peel around tight corners smoothly.

The colourful exterior carries into the upholstery with subtle accents of lime green, or whatever colour you go with. It pops without being overwhelming. The layout was more my style as well with multiple bucket seats in place of the forward bow bench.

The wakeboard tower is more than just decorative with the solid mid-range performance numbers put forward by the S3. With its big bumpin’ speakers, you’ll be putting the stereo to work quite a bit.

There’s tons of storage under the benches and the popular stern loungers are coupled nicely by jump seats on the massive swim platform.

As the sun started to fade I relinquished the keys to the S3, but not before flicking one of the stainless rocker switches to turn on the many LED lights that line the boat. 

Test Boat EngineEvinrude E-TEC G2 250, 3,441 cc (210 ci), 250 hp two-stroke V6 with DI 
ACCELERATION (mph/sec)0-20 / 3.6; 0-30 / 6.2
TOP SPEED (rpm/mph)5,200 / 40.4
3,300 / 19.5; 4,000 / 25.3; 5,000 / 36.4
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