Author: Alan Jones
If you close your eyes and try to imagine the ultimate party platform on the water that could accommodate all your friends and family and do it in a stylish and sporty way, we know what you’d see. Open your eyes, because your virtual playground looks a whole lot like the Premier Boundary Waters 310 Sky Dek.
There’s no doubt the standout feature on this pontoon is the 12-foot-long second-story Sky Dek. For seating up top, there’s a pair of Flexsteel 10-Star settees facing each other, for easy sky schmoozing. But the kids won’t even stop to notice because they will be drawn, like a bee to your Mountain Dew, to the standard waterslide with a built-in water pump. This kid-sitter leaves the adults free to enjoy their day on the water without once hearing the phrase, “I’m bored.”
For 2011, the Boundary Waters’ upper level has been totally redesigned and features artfully curved support tubes, scalloped fences and seatbacks, which eliminate the boxy look of Sky Deks past.
OK, so you have a 31-foot, 4-inch double-decker pontoon that weighs 4,900 pounds … it’s got to be slower than 60-weight motor oil in January, right? Not if you have a Mercury 300 Verado on the transom, plus Premier’s PTX triple-tube setup. The PTX system uses a giant 36-inch center tube with beveled flat planing surfaces, designed by performance boat designer Fred Cotey. In addition, the 27-inch outer tubes have lifting strakes on the insides. All of this technology helped the supercharged Verado push us out of the hole and onto plane in 3 seconds flat with minimal bowrise. We hit 30 mph in 9.1 seconds, which proved to be a good cruise speed with the Merc turning 4500 rpm and only registering 81 decibels. Top speed was a surprisingly rapid 40 mph (busted … it was actually 39.8 mph, but I super-sized lunch). Not enough? You can strap a max of a pair of 350s onto the transom.
The kingly looking test driver sat atop the Imperial Command View raised helm station for better visibility over his seated subjects. There I gripped a Murano six-spoke sport wheel in one hand and a MerCruiser DTS Digital Throttle and Shift scepter in the other, which was just a little too far forward for this royal pain … er, highness.
For a yacht-sized pontoon, you might expect it to be rather stately when cornering, but the PTX system showed its true grit when we whipped the boat around in corners. One of the traits of the larger middle tube configuration is that it leaned over pretty far when cornering hard, like a sportboat. Of course, with a 10-foot, 2-inch beam, it doesn’t bank like Premier’s 225 SunSation, but it will dance circles around any pontoon with round tubes.
One of the points of having a pontoon this large, in addition to its mind-boggling 25-passenger capacity, is how it handles rough water. The ultra-long, extra-large pontoons provide lots of buoyancy, and the slim leading edges mean you’ll be able to slash across large lakes when the wind kicks up a bit. It even has the Rough Water Package, which includes an underskin for less resistance. The only downside is that this baby is a handful to trailer, with its oversized beam and considerable heft.
Kid Rock thought the Boundary Waters 310 Sky Dek would be the perfect party platform for the video for his song “All Summer Long,” which featured a bevy of bikini-clad dancers. With two-dozen guests, your refreshment center had better be restaurant grade, and Premier’s Caribbean II Galley fits the bill. The signature feature is the acrylic vessel sink, which looks like something you’d see in a Malibu beach house. There’s about an acre of counter space for snack assembly, complete with cupholders and fiddle rails and a host of 12-volt appliances such as a refrigerator, a blender and a coffeemaker, which have their own battery supply.
Like the mezzanine, the orchestra-level deck comes with top-of-the-line Flexsteel 10-Star furniture that’s overstuffed for your seating enjoyment. The menfolk will no doubt gravitate toward the twin helm seat look-alike thrones that feature cupholders set into both armrests for custom refreshment whether you are a left-lifter, a right-elbow bender or a double-fisted drink seeker. In between, there’s a slim table with two more cupholders. An Ottoman/cooler underfoot means that a reload for the cupholder is just a leg scoot away. The upholstery features Premier’s exclusive NANO Bloc Technology (NBT), which not only fends off UV rays but resists whatever stains your pack of wild Munchkins can inflict with just a swipe of the NBT Clean towelettes.
You can get the Boundary Waters 310 in two different configurations: with the Sky Dek or topless. As long as you are going extreme, I say go with the second story, unless you have low bridges or are vertically challenged in another fashion. One consideration, though, is that the rear half of the pontoon will be in solar-eclipse mode. If more shade is required, there’s a standard 9-foot Evolution Bimini for the bow (a 13-foot, 6-incher for models without a Sky Dek). But another plus is that Premier offers an enclosure for the area beneath the hardtop, which transforms it into an all-weather pontoon.
The Boundary Waters comes stacked with standard features such as the Sony six-speaker sound system (add a subwoofer, though), a changing room, LED lighting and a Humminbird 788ci color GPS. Add a porcelain pumpout head for the standard changing station, and if you really want to go for the “wow” factor, get it equipped with Sea Legs, which raises it above the water like a four-legged Transformer.