SunCatcher Select 322 SS Review

If you’re looking for a pontoon boat that’s made for maximum relaxation, the SunCatcher Select 322 SS awaits.

When you need a boat for kicking back and relaxing on the lake, it’ll be nearly impossible to beat a pontoon. All pontoon boats, however, are not created equally. Some are best for cruising, some are more inclined to satisfy the angler in you, and some others are party barges. But if simply relaxing is job number-one, you’ll want a pontoon suited for this purpose with multiple loungers, plenty of comfy seating, lots of deck space, and some extra pleasure-providing perks. You’ll want a model like the SunCatcher.

suncatcher_select_322SS_pontoon_boatSunCatcher Select 322 SS Pontoon boat. Image credit: SunCatcher 

The Pontoon’s Features and Functionality

When we were on this boat, we felt like it was those dual aft loungers that really clinched the deal. A couple can stretch out and enjoy the scenery with arm rests and drink holders close at hand, while the standard Jensen Bluetooth/iPod/MP3 stereo system broadcasts their favorite tunes through the four-speaker system. They can flip open the mini glove-boxes and plug their phones into the USB ports, stow knick-knacks in the pockets on the lounger’s sides, and flip on the floor-level courtesy lights as the sun goes down. And yes, when we did a test-rest we thought these loungers were just as comfy as they looked.

When we checked out the Select 322 SS we also liked how the forward seats were set up to do double-duty. Many pontoons have standard-issue couches up in the bow, but on this pontoon the aft backrests are angled back. So you can sit facing the center of the boat in an upright position, or you can kick back facing forward and relax by reclining up here, too.

When it’s time for a dip, just swing up those lounger bases to access monster-sized stowage compartments that will swallow up everything from towels to life jackets; note that drainage channels are molded into the furniture bases, so if water gets inside it’ll drain right back out without soaking all your gear. Watersports equipment that will come aboard wet can go into the center tube in-floor stowage compartment. And if you need to change into a bathing suit before jumping into the lake it’s no problem — just opt for the pop-up changing room lounger insert. When you’re done swimming, getting back onboard will be a piece of cake thanks to a four-step reboarding ladder that’s curved and angled to make climbing back up easier.

Setting The Pontoon’s Performance To The Test

The “3” in Select 322 SS denotes that this boat has a third center log, and is actually a tri-toon. What’s the difference? In its 22 SS form, the boat can handle a maximum of 115 hp. The triple-logger, however, can take almost twice as much power and carries a max hp rating of 225. That kind of oomph will have you blazing across the lake at speeds up into the mid-40s, and cruising all day in the mid-30s. Equip this boat with an F150 Yamaha and you’ll likely still feel like you have plenty of power at your fingertips with a cruise in the mid-20s and a top-end breaking 35 mph.

How does the Select 322 SS get this kind of performance? It isn’t just a matter of sheer power. This model also features an under-deck skin which reduces resistance, and performance-enhancing strakes are welded on the logs. On the vast majority of the other pontoon boats out there, these features are considered cost-adding options, not standard fare. To ensure that the boat can handle high speeds the pontoons also get 1.25” aluminum nose cones, and are secured to the deck with construction techniques including heavy-duty deck extrusions on 16” centers and the use of through-bolts rather than screws. As an added back-up, closed-cell foam floatation blocks are added inside the pontoons.

While those heavy-duty construction tweaks enable the SunCatcher to ride across the lake like a thoroughbred, a close inspection proves that they carry this build-it-strong attitude through multiple facets of the boat. The Bimini top frame provides an excellent example. It’s 1.25” aluminum, which is beefier than you’ll find on the average pontoon. Gates have reinforced bracing. And the deck is constructed of seven-ply marine-grade plywood which has a lifetime guarantee from the manufacturer and is sheathed in woven vinyl that’s easy to clean and easy on bare feet. In fact, SunCatcher is so confident in its construction methods that it backs the 322 SS up with a five-year bow to stern warranty that’s even transferrable to a second owner.

Bespoke Pontoon Options

Another nice SunCatcher perk is the fact that this boat is available in a number of different graphics and colors with no additional charges. This allows you to customize the look of your boat, with fence, graphics, furniture and furniture accent, flooring, and canvass colors. While many builders do allow you to pick and choose the colors for an item or two, most also add an extra charge if you want something different from the norm. Not so, in this case. And in the same breath, we need to note that the Select 322 SS is priced quite reasonably. Even with max power, pricing remains under the $50,000 mark. With a 150 on the transom, it’s significantly less.

What price-adding options will you need to add to get a turnkey package? None, really. The boat’s list of standards includes all the must-haves and then some, from tilt-hydraulic steering, to the ski tow bar, to the stereo system. That pop-up changing room we mentioned earlier adds a few hundred dollars to the price tag and trailer-boaters will also want to get the painted or galvanized tandem axel trailer (which goes for around $5,000), but otherwise the 322 SS is ready to go right out of the box.

That means that once you sign on the dotted line there’s only one thing left to do: kick back and relax.

See SunCatcher pontoon boat listings.

SunCatcher 322 SS Pontoon Specifications:

LOA – 22’6”
Beam – 8’6”
Draft – NA
Displacement – 2,821 lbs.
Transom Deadrise – NA
Fuel Capacity – 37 gal.

Written by: Lenny Rudow

With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.

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