Boat Buyer's Guide 2014
Author: Alan Jones
Folks looking to join the pontoon parade, which is growing in size every year, know that the cost of participation in boating’s hottest trend can get a little pricey, especially when considering top brands. But Cypress Cay has made it easy for even the budget-minded to get out on the water in style with its Cabana 220. It’s available in a number of floor plans, and our test pontoon features the FS layout that gives you four fishing seats and rod holders in all four corners with an option for a livewell. All the fishing seats are within the fence, so they become cruising seats while underway. In the stern, there’s a large rigging table, and our deck material is optional faux mahogany that looks great, stays cool and makes cleanups hose-off easy.
Amidships, the Cabana 220 FS takes care of passengers looking to relax in comfort with an L-lounge to port of the captain, who sits on a low-backed bucket seat. Forward of the helm console is a shorty lounge to match the one to port. All amidships couches, which have roto-molded bases for longevity, have storage underneath seat bottoms that are hinged to open from the back to front. In entertainment mode, the fishing station in the rear becomes an hors d’oeuvre display station, and adding another table forward gives even more snacking square footage. With a capacity of 12 people and the option to add a grill, this Cabana can host a respectable-sized dinner party at any minute.
Our test Cabana 220 is the two-tube version and is modestly powered by a Mercury 90 FourStroke. But it still has just enough power to facilitate watersports such as tubing, wakeboarding and kneeboarding. For easy boarding, there’s a five-step ladder with large hooped grabrails. The Mercury 90 has decent low-end performance and pushed the 23-foot, 8-inch-long Cypress Cay to plane in 3.3 seconds and to 20 mph in 5.6 seconds. Top speed was a respectable 28.7 mph, but it was more in its happy zone when cruising at about 20 mph. Looking for more performance? The two-tube model can be powered by up to a 150. But the real gain comes when you option it to a three-tube model, which can accept up to a 225 hp Mercury engine (Cypress Cay is built by Brunswick, the makers of Mercs).