A pontoon with everything - including the kitchen sink
Stretching 25 feet, 10 inches in length and riding on a full 102-inch beam, the SunChaser Eclipse 8525 Entertainer offers all the comfortable seating and luxurious amenities we’ve come to expect from pontoon boats, with a breakfast bar-styled rear entertainment center that’s guaranteed to be a hit with parents everywhere.
Since the kitchen is the most-used room in any home, the engineers at SunChaser made a counter top and seating the heart of this boat. It’s a brilliant approach, and one that will resonate not only with young families but anyone who likes to entertain on the water.
Let’s start up front, where traditional twin wrap-around lounge seats are the ideal spot to stretch out and soak up the sun. Or, tuck in your legs and you can seat a small group here. Either way, you’ll appreciate SunChaser’s top-shelf upholstery work, with supportive yet plush cushioning under a buttery soft marine vinyl skin that that feels far more like leather than any kind of synthetic.
In the floor between the front lounge seats is an aluminum receptacle that accepts a removable pedestal-mount fiberglass table, with two integral cup holders. Having the table here is a great option – it provides a convenient spot for a cold beverage when soaking up the sun, and provides a comfy lunch spot for four. If you should opt for a third pontoon tube on your Entertainer, you’ll also find a large door here, that provides access to a substantial in-floor storage locker that’s part of the middle pontoon.
Because this boat was made for good times afloat, the base cabinets of the forward lounge seats neatly conceal a pair of stereo speakers, while still offering cavernous storage space for PFDs, bags and other gear. The aft end of the port-side bow lounger features a large door which opens to reveal a pop-up change room, allowing guests a private spot where they can trade wet swimwear for dry clothes. An optional Porta-potti can be added to this space, to provide your guests with even greater comfort.
The SunChaser Eclipse 8525 Entertainer features three 30-inch entry gates – wide enough for strollers or wheelchairs alike – with one at the front, one at the stern, and a third gate amidships on the port side. Step forward through the front entry gate and there’s a small front deck should you feel the urge to take a refreshing dip. It also provides a convenient boarding option when using shorter cottage docks.
The standard flooring in the Eclipse is a sumptuous 22-ounce woven carpet, but our review boat came with SunChaser’s spectacular Sea Teak flooring upgrade. The synthetic flooring is one option that not only delivers plenty of wow factor, but provides real value by being easier to clean than carpet, much faster to dry, and far better able to handle daily wear and tear. And, it offers effective anti-skid properties while still feeling great on bare feet.
Moving to the stern of the boat you’ll find another inviting wrap-around lounge seat in the aft starboard corner, which faces a cozy club-style seat in the port aft corner. Ahead of it, on the port side, is the entertainment unit which is very much the heart of this boat.
The entertainment unit extends from the port gunnel swinging inward and aft, providing plenty of clearance for the port-side entry gate and creating an inviting peninsula breakfast bar-type of space for four on elegant, pedestal-mount bar stools. Talk about the ideal spot for lunch with a view! Under the shade of the protective overhead Bimini top, it’s the one spot no one will ever want to leave.
That Bimini top, by the way, is a full 10-footer with a hefty, square-tube frame. Sometimes manufacturers cheap out on the Bimini top, but SunChaser has gone the opposite route and upgraded the tops on all its 2017 models.
Step through the aft entry gate and a large, expansive rear swim platform, with a four-step retractable boarding ladder on the starboard end, invites a mid-day dip. Retractable cleats protect against stubbed toes, while perfectly positioned anti-skid strips in the extruded aluminum deck cap provide added security when boarding this area from the dock.
The driver gets spoiled with a fiberglass executive console with multiple beverage holders and a wood grain dash panel that’s topped with a small but effective wind screen. The classic black-on-white analog gauges with chrome bezels offer a timeless charming look, with the speedometer and tach mounted up top and the volt meter, fuel gauge and trim gauge slightly below.
Illuminated rocker switches with breakers for the boat’s various electrical components flank the main dash panel on either side while to center, a sporty Torcello steering wheel adds a dramatic touch of Italian sports car flair. The control for the Infinity PVR250 stereo – with MP3 input and Bluetooth connectivity – sits to the inboard end of the console where everyone can reach it.
The helm seat is a beautifully upholstered Captain’s chair with fold-down arm rests, which is mounted on an elevated fiberglass platform for enhanced visibility. The seat rotates, of course, and rides on a slider base for automotive-like comfort adjustment. The executive platform is itself lit with LED courtesy lights for added safety when operating at night.
With its infinite ability to please, the SunChaser Eclipse 8525 Entertainer is an ideal boat for delighting family and friends. Spring for the maintenance-free Sea Teak flooring upgrade, and maybe add a ski pylon, and you have everything you need for making the memories of a lifetime.
SunChaser Eclipse 8525 Entertainer
- Length: 25’ 10”
- Beam: 102”
- Dry weight: 2,471 lbs.
- Passenger capacity: 14
- Fuel capacity: 30 gal.
- Maximum power: 175 hp / 300 with optional tri-toon