SunChaser Geneva 22 LR DH Sport

SunChaser’s new Geneva series is all about matching lifestyle and pontoon at an affordable price.

SunChaser’s Geneva series gives buyers a choice of three paths, depending on how they intend to use the boat: Cruise, Sport or Fish. We tested the Geneva 22 LR DH Sport, which is optimized for families whose active lifestyle includes watersports. And while the model has some luxurious appointments, it’s priced starting at $22,985 (boat only), which provides plenty of budget wiggle room for personalization.


SunChaser Geneva 22 LR DH Sport – Boat Test Video


Unique Factor

One issue with many outboard-powered pontoons is that the motor pod bisects the swim platform, which is usually the busiest place on the boat, for jumping into the water and climbing out and for staging watersports. But the X-Treme PR 25 Performance Package mounts the center tube farther back, to create a mounting bracket, and places the outboard behind a large, unbroken swim platform that’s covered in vinyl as a standard feature. It’s plenty big for hanging out and gearing up.

The Geneva series is new for SunChaser, replacing the Classic line, and features a fresh look inside and out. Our test boat featured the hot trend of black rails over gray fencing with two black accent panels. The Bimini top was color matched to the rails. For a sleeker look, the pontoon featured radiused corners. The color coordination extended to the Evinrude E-TEC G2 200; its changeable side and top panels on this boat were black. But if the owner wakes up one morning and decides he’d rather have a red outboard, he can do it for a few hundred dollars.

Inside the boat, the fencing isn’t sullied by rails, and the gray theme continues to the upholstery, which is light enough to remain cool on blazing summer days. The SunChaser features gates that are 30 inches wide, which is wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, since they are typically 26 inches wide.

Performance

The X-Treme PR 25 Performance Package is a fairly costly upgrade, at $5,909, but it’s the key to the Geneva 22’s outstanding performance. It includes three 25-inch logs with an aluminum Performance Shield underskin, Performance Strakes on the center tube for extra lift, an integrated 60-gallon fuel tank for extra range and SunChaser’s full Heavy Hat channels. The latter provide an industrial-strength connection between the deck and the pontoons and are far stronger than the industry-standard C-channels, which can flex over time — especially important for enjoying the pontoon on large bodies of water that can get rough.

Even though the Geneva 22 LR DH Sport is rated for up to 250 hp, the direct-injected two-stroke E-TEC G2 200 hp ($19,896) outboard proved to be plenty of power to move this near-24-footer with a 12-passenger capacity. When I jammed the throttle, the G2 200 hp exhibited a slight hesitation, as is typical for DI two-strokes, but then it pinned us back in our seat with a blast of acceleration. The G2 pushed the SunChaser on plane in three seconds and to 30 mph in 6.4 seconds. Top speed hit 42.2 mph at 6000 rpm. SunChaser will rig this Geneva with any major outboard brand, which gives buyers many power options, starting with 60 hp (don’t do it!).

Handling

One of the Evinrude G2’s best features is its iSteer integrated hydraulic steering system whose adaptive resistance system changes based on the boat’s current speed. The G2 has the cleanest rigging in the industry. Only one large hose comes off the engine’s mount, and it doesn’t move when it’s turned, which will reduce wire and hose fatigue. Evinrude’s drive-by-wire system means effortless shifting, and a light indicates when it’s in neutral — something that’s often difficult to discern because of the subtle detent many digital shift and throttle systems exhibit.

The X-Treme PR 25 tube setup has lifting strakes on both sides of the center tube and on the inside of the outer tubes, which gives it plenty of lift, allows it to ride high in the water for better seakeeping and helps it to turn really well. When I cranked it in a progressively harder turn, it leaned in a bit and really hooked up well. With the wheel turned all the way to the stops, the boat carved an impressively tight circle without prop blowout. At high speeds, a little up-trim released the drag on the hull and it settled into a happy cruise speed of 27.1 mph at 4500 rpm.

Best Uses

The quad lounger setup is versatile and accommodates large groups with a 12-passenger rating. In smaller groups, all passengers get the best seat in the house, if they are into reclining. SunChaser ensures all the lounges are comfortable for facing forward or aft, and puts storage underneath in the rotomolded frames whose seat bottoms flip inward and stay open on their own. To the left of the driver is another high-backed captain’s chair, which is part of an Executive Helm package, normally a $2,717 option, that also includes a raised helm that provides better visibility. Also included is platform lighting, an Italian sport wheel and a special gauge package that includes a trim indicator.

For watersports, the X-Treme PR 25 tube package includes a tall, removable ski pylon. And there’s an available in-floor locker ($900) for storing skis and vests. A flip-up changing station in the back of the port bow lounge can be equipped with a portable toilet ($220). Although there’s not a watersports tower on the options list, buyers can get a shade-producing 10-foot Bimini for a $260 upcharge. To totally eclipse the deck, a double Bimini is available for $1,325.

Preferred Setup

An upscale Kicker Bluetooth system is standard, but the upgraded 200-watt Infinity Bluetooth PRV350 stereo with a subwoofer will amp up the party vibe. For night cruising, underwater lighting is available for $620. A gray faux-teak cockpit table is standard; a second one is an option thanks to the fore and aft receivers. Buyers who like to stay on the water overnight or who like to hit the water when it’s raining or a little cool should add the full camper enclosure ($4,280).

This particular model doesn’t have any fishing features available — is any boat truly unfishable? — but SunChaser has four Geneva 22-foot models that are optimized for angling. The one closest to the LR DL Sport is the Geneva 22 CNF. Designers moved its rear fence back a couple of feet and moved the helm forward a bit, which created a roomy rear fishing area with twin pedestal seats, a rigging station with vertical rod holders and cupholders. The table has a large working surface that can do double duty as a snack table during parties. Seating is still aplenty on twin lounges in the front and an L-lounge just in front of the fishing section.

Owner Review

Purchased by Charles and Anita McDaniel, King’s Mountain, N.C.

Purchased at Long Island Marina, Terrell, N.C.

What we liked

Stout construction and clean welding/Aluminum underskin/Attractive styling/Quiet Yamaha F150/Roomy interior

What we would change

We would love a built-in cooler.

Why we bought it

Although we’ve had other boats, this is our first pontoon boat. Our four kids are grown, and we have three grandkids, so we wanted a boat that had enough room for everyone. I am pretty mechanically minded, so the quality of build was very important to me. I looked at just about every brand and was really impressed with SunChaser’s attention to detail, like the sturdy connection between the deck and the pontoons and the clean welding. We do most of our pontooning on Lake Wylie and Moss Lake and really just spend most of our time cruising around. The kids like going to the sandbar and we like to have cookouts at Catawba Park. We haven’t done any watersports yet, but now that the grandkids are old enough, we plan on taking them tubing this summer. We were really impressed with the time Chris Hamilton from Long Island Marina spent with us when we were shopping. He answered every question and put no pressure on us to buy. After the sale, he also spent a lot of time with us making sure we were comfortable with the boat’s operation.

Specifications

LOA: 23 ft., 10 in.
Beam: 8 ft., 6 in.
Fuel: 30/60 gal.
Engine: tested with Evinrude E-TEC G2 200 hp two-stroke
Base Price: w/test power $48,790
Standard Equipment:

Kicker Bluetooth stereo, 5-step aluminum ladder, polished corner caps, Bimini top, 22-oz. carpeting, changing room, docking lights

Optional Equipment:

Dual Axle-trailer, upgraded Infinity Bluetooth stereo w/subwoofer, double Bimini top, full camper enclosure, raw-water washdown, Minn Kota Talon shallow water anchor

Builder: Smoker Craft Inc., sunchaserboats.com

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