Boat Buyer's Guide 2013
Author: Alan Jones
This year we’re seeing more out-of-the-box thinking than we have in years, and Lowe’s X214 is a great example of a boat design that is giving people new reasons to want to buy. Boaters are attracted to pontoons because of their versatility, but with few exceptions you are locked into a particular seating arrangement. With the X214’s modular configuration, however, you can literally have a new boat every day of the week. Lowe uses 11 pedestal receivers set into the deck and a combination of individual pedestal seats and benches with pedestal supports to create the perfect setup to suit your purpose … that day. You can option up to three benches, seven pedestal fishing seats or even six captain’s chairs, to customize your rig. Having a dance party? Get rid of everything.
The X214 is designed primarily for fishing and gives owners some features not often seen on pontoons, such as four port-side horizontal rod holders with tubes to protect fragile tips. You can add more fishing options, such as a trolling motor in the bow, a large stern cleaning/rigging table that has four additional rod holders and a livewell. If you are into watersports, you can also get a combination cleaning table and ski tow. And when shifting into entertainment mode, the table makes an excellent food-prep area complete with a pair of bins for trash or ice. The X214 comes standard with a Fusion iPod-ready stereo with four speakers, and you can option it to include a subwoofer.
Although you can get the X214 with twin tubes, our test boat is rigged with the optional XL Performance Package, which gives you triple 25-inch tubes with lifting strakes, spray deflectors and a 50-gallon fuel tank for excellent range. You can power it with up to 200 hp, but the Mercury 150 FourStroke on our boat provided all the push we needed, putting the X214 on plane in 2.4 seconds, with a 0-30 mph time of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 39.4 mph. The driver is sitting pretty with a plush captain’s chair and faces a fully featured console with gauges that have extended chrome bezels to add some extra flair. You can even choose from 15 bold exterior wraps, including a wild skull motif for some bad-to-the-bone attitude.