Blending luxurious amenities with family fun
In recent years a lot of emphasis in the pontoon boat market has been on big, fast, sporty designs that accept large outboard engines of up to 300 horsepower – or even bigger boats that take twin engines and can hit speeds of over 60 mph. While these performance models are exciting to drive, they also carry hefty price tags, putting them squarely out of reach for many buyers. They’re also a lot more boat than most people actually need.
Maximum Power: 90 hp
Maximum Capacity: 9 People
One manufacturer to recognize this reality is Sylvan. Although the company is a leader in building high performance pontoons, they’re only part of a large and diverse product line that includes huge numbers of mid-sized models and smaller pontoons designed to work with small outboards for boaters on lakes with horsepower restrictions. As one of America’s original pontoon boat manufacturers – it first set up shop in the 1940s – Sylvan knows what its customers want.
One of the most interesting models in Sylvan’s 2017 lineup is the elegant Mirage 822 LZ, a 23-foot, 10-inch long pontoon that neatly blends luxurious amenities with family fun. And, does it at a price that many families can afford.
The Mirage 822 LZ follows a proven four-lounger layout, with sumptuous lounge seats in each of the four corners and a pair of sporty bucket seats amidships for the driver and navigator. This arrangement provides maximum versatility and makes the most of the boat’s generous interior space. Sylvan has long been known for its exceptional upholstery work, and the plush seating in the Mirage 822 LZ demonstrates why. The buttery-soft marine vinyl feels great against bare skin, while the seat cushions themselves offer the perfect balance between support and comfort. The tight, even stitching reflects a high level of care in their construction – it’s a level of attention to detail that’s refreshing in today’s market.
Each of the lounge seats rides on a Rotocast base, providing a huge amount of secure storage space beneath the seat cushions for life jackets, coolers, fishing tackle and all sorts of other gear. Look closely and you’ll notice the stereo speakers and twin beverage holders nestled into the sides.
Now look down between the seats and you’ll note a small aluminum receptacle mounted in the floor between both the front and rear loungers. This socket accepts the pedestal base for a removable fiberglass table, which features a pair of integrated beverage holders. The option of placing the table between either the front or rear seats lets you pick from dining in the sun up front, or under the protection of the standard Bimini top that shades the rear seats.
Underfoot, plush 22-ounce marine carpeting provides a secure, non-slip surface that’s soft on bare feet. The rear portion of the boat uses Sylvan’s Sea Weave flooring – a better choice than carpet on areas like the huge rear swim platform, which will see a lot of wet feet.
The swim platform really is large on this boat, and speaks to Sylvan’s focus on family fun in the sun. A sturdy retractable boarding ladder to the starboard side makes it a lot easier for tired swimmers to climb back aboard after a dip. An on-board changing room provides a private spot for swimmers to change back into dry clothes.
While the driver’s companion gets spoiled with a luxurious Captain’s chair and a private console with a cup holder, the driver gets a similar Captain’s chair that not only swivels but slides as well, allowing it to be easily adjusted to comfortably fit drivers of all sizes. The full fiberglass console includes a beverage holder for the driver, a small but effective wind screen, and an automotive-style dash with the essential gauges right up top where they’re easily seen. There’s also a Millenia PVR19 AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth connectivity, so you can stream your own music from a smartphone or tablet anywhere on board.
While the Mirage 822 LZ comes with a long list of standard features, one of the great things about Sylvan is the options that you can choose from to really make the boat your own. Select from a range of flooring choices, canvas top upgrades, stereo upgrades and lighting options, or add amenities like a Porta-potti, a wash-down kit, mood lighting or a stainless steel grill. Many of these options are available in convenient packages, that make ordering easy and save a few dollars as well.
Designed to accommodate outboard motors to 90 horsepower, the Sylvan Mirage 822 LZ delivers an enjoyable ride on its standard 23-inch pontoon tubes. It handles nicely, and is a a boat that quickly inspires confidence behind the wheel – an important consideration should younger or less experienced drivers be encouraged to learn how to operate the boat.
Sylvan has been building remarkable pontoon boats for nearly 70 years, and the Mirage 822 LZ holds up that glorious heritage with its comfortable amenities, luxurious appointments and family-friendly pricing.
Sylvan Mirage 822 LZ
- Length: 23’ 10”
- Beam: 96”
- Dry weight: 2,027 lbs.
- Passenger capacity: 9
- Maximum power: 90 hp