One of the hottest pontoon trends in 2017 is something called the “Black Out” edition, which, despite its connotation, has nothing to do with the cessation of power. Instead, it refers to the use of black hardware. Cypress Cay showcased such a look nicely on its Cabana 220, which featured contrasting True Red fencing (one of six available colors). The package is a $1,130 add-on, but it includes black anodized rubrails, black powder-coated D-rails and black corner caps. To complete the look, add a black 11-foot, 6-inch Sport Bimini top that’s attached to a forward-swept tower ($2,190). For skiing, add a stainless steel ski tow bar for $530, since the tower has no tow point. There’s a matching four-step boarding ladder with swimming pool-type grabrails that are set far apart for better leverage. To stow boards, get the in-floor storage option ($980), which requires a third tube.
Our test boat featured the dual helm chair floor plan, which includes four chaise lounges with armrests in all four corners of the boat. The lounges are really comfortable and don’t feature any ersatz headrests or other intrusive protrusions on the backrest. All four curve toward the center, so a filler section creates a U-lounge on either end. Another entertainment-enhancing option is the rolling cooler table ($600), which slides open at the top for easy beverage access. Set into the backrest of the forward portside lounge is a popup changing room ($510) that can be equipped with a portable toilet ($210).
The triple-tube Performance Plus setup ($3,600) on our test boat came with an aluminum underskin and lifting strakes, and it can be bundled with the ski tow bar and in-floor storage, to save a few bucks. The tubes can be upgraded to 27-inch logs (from 25-inchers) for better seakeeping in rough water, but during our test, the standard tubes did a good job. Our Cabana 220 test boat was powered by the Mercury 150 hp FourStroke, which gave it a good blend of performance and economy. On plane in 3.1 seconds, it reached 30 mph in 9.4 seconds and topped out at 36.4 mph. Boaters in a bigger hurry can power it with a Honda BF225 or a Mercury 250 Verado.