Boat Buyer's Guide 2014
Author: Alan Jones
Just when we think we’ve seen every permutation of pontoon boat layout, we’re surprised by something we’ve never seen before. This year’s “wow” moment was the Parti Kraft Monaco 240 RL, and this one’s guaranteed to be an eye magnet with its striking high-backed patio-style furniture throughout its interior. Looking like a spread from Better Homes and Gardens, the beige lounges set above the basket-weave bases radiate high-end class and are accented by the judicious use of tropical striping on the optional moveable ottoman, helm seat sides and throw pillows.
Up front are two recliner benches. The one in front of the helm is the longer of the two. In the stern are two rear-facing layback couches that give guests four places to go horizontal. Not only is the patio furniture comfortable, its tall design is good for kid containment. Perhaps the most amazing part of this bold new design is that it comes on Parti Kraft’s new mid-level Monaco series, and the 240 RL is priced at less than $40,000 equipped with a Yamaha F115 outboard such as on our test boat.
Our 240 is set up for leisure cruising with the standard two-tube setup with 25-inch logs. It got out of the hole quickly and reached plane in 2.5 seconds, accelerated to 20 mph in only 4.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 24.2 mph. There’s an expansive rear deck, and on our test boat it features the optional Seagrass covering that can replace the standard Palm Sand cockpit carpeting — for an extra-tropical feel. The stainless steel Easy Climb boarding ladder is artfully curved, which helps it live up to its name. Although our boat isn’t equipped with a ski tow bar, the rear deck is a perfect place to stage watersports, so I’d advise you to unleash its full potential with the optional Comfort Performance Package, which gives owners a basic ski tow bar, a short third tube, lifting strakes and an under-skin for better hydrodynamics. With this package, it makes sense to power it with the maximum 150 hp outboard and get hydraulic steering to make this a watersports delivery system. To help this Parti Kraft live up to its name, replace the two-speaker standard stereo with the upgraded Sony Bluetooth system, which includes four speakers, a transom remote and a subwoofer.