Boat Buyer's Guide 2013
Author: Alan Jones
Rear-lounger pontoons are currently a hot ticket, but you’ve probably never seen one like the Custom Rear Facing Lounger on the Sun Catcher X 324 RS. More than doublewide, the hot tub-contoured Soft Touch vinyl-upholstered pad is perfect for a party of two-plus, but it’s wide enough for two buds to hang out without getting too chummy. A forward-facing backrest is included, for folks who prefer to see where they’re going. Hidden beneath the rear lounger is a pop-up changing room. The lounger is positioned on the port side, which leaves enough room for a wide walk-through between it and the starboard-side entertainment center.
Identical swivel bucket seats sit amidships for the navigator and captain. Our test boat is equipped with an optional flush-mounted, in-dash Garmin GPS, which came in handy on 43,000-acre Table Rock Lake on the border of Missouri and Arkansas, where we tested it. A pair of multifunction gauges cant inward on either side for easy reading, and the captain gets a footrest for comfort along with a standard tilt sport wheel. The Sony stereo remote is at the helm and controls the four-speaker system that’s iPod and MP3-ready.
Our test boat is powered by a Yamaha F150, which is no surprise, since G3 Boats is owned by Yamaha. This engine is in the middle of the available options — from the F90 to the lightning-fast V MAX SHO 225, which brings better-than-two-stroke performance to the four-stroke family. The F150 is the smallest engine you want when choosing the X Tri-Log Performance Package our boat is optioned with. Thanks to triple 23-inch-by-25-inch U-shaped tubes that provide plenty of lift, the X 324 got on plane in 2.5 seconds and reached 30 mph in 8.2 seconds. With a top speed of 35.9 mph, the boat can accommodate any watersport. A removable ski pylon comes standard, and all triple-tube models come equipped with an in-floor ski storage locker.
On all X-Series pontoons such as ours, plush 28-ounce carpeting is standard, and the standard setup includes two forward recliner couches. A filler couch option turns the entire bow into a U-shaped seating arena that gives ample seating for up to 13 passengers on this near-24-footer.