Pontoon and Deck Boat
Lake Royalty
Our 10 Roundup

Water Tube Extravaganza

Maine Attraction

Discovering Sebago Lake

Is The New 600hp
Merc For Pontoons?

You Better Believe It Is!

April 2021
Lady on Pontoon boat
Introducing the NEW
Remember the feeling you got while listening to the world’s noise being drowned out by the gentle sound of water splashing against your boat? It’s time for you to create more of those memories in the XRE Family! Introducing the NEW 2021 XRE Family available in 20’ and 22’ lengths.
Pontoon boat
2021 Qwest XRE Family
The XRE Family is fully equipped to handle all of your leisure and adventuring needs. There is plenty of seating for family and friends, it is equipped with a live well, and two premium back facing captains chairs which are perfect for fishing. In addition the open rear deck gives you easy access for loading and unloading.
Kicker Marine Audio Logo

Shop for your Real MarineTM audio system at an authorized KICKER Marine Audio dealer, in-store or online.

#kickeraudio #livinloud @kickeraudio

Photo provided by Smoker Craft, Inc.
April 2021 | Volume 26, Number 4
From the Bow
Read Lake Royalty
Life Aboard The Barletta L25UC
Read Utility and Sport
Sylvan L-3 CLZ DH & SunChaser Geneva 22 LR DH Sport
Read Our 10
Water Tube Extravaganza
Read Watersports Gear
The Right Equipment For A Perfect Day
Read PDB Adventures
Discovering Maine’s Sebago Lake
Print Flic
Readers: remember that behind every PrintFlic logo is exclusive video content waiting to be discovered! This includes behind-the-scenes interviews and top-of-the-line boats cutting through crystalline water! Download the app, open it up, scan the page. It’s that easy!
COVER DESIGN BY: Chloe Adelizzi
Starcraft Marine logo
60th Anniversary Fiberglass Boat Building Excellence logo
CSI Award logo
Plus Life Time Limited Warranty logo
NMMO Certified logo
CSI Award, Plus Life Time Limited Warranty, NMMO Certified logos
Red Starcraft boat with people on it
Starcraft boat pulling a wakeboarder behind it
White Starcraft boat in use
The All-New SVX OB. More Affordable Fun.
The all-new SVX series proves that fun on the water doesn’t have to come with a big price tag. Available in models from 17’ to 23’, all offer sporty performance with an all-new deck and hull design that features higher sides for greater comfort and a V-pad running surface for better performance and fuel economy.
See Our 2021 Product Line-Up at Starcraftmarine.com

Executive Editor Brady L. Kay
Editorial Staff Nicole Richens, Heather Magda Serrano,
Roy Sparks, Seth Harper, Brittnie Gavin
Editorial Correspondents
Dan Armitage, Gini McKain, Sky Smith, Bill Guis


Advertising Director
Greg Larsen, glarsen@pdbmagazine.com
Advertising Executives
Brad Anderson, banderson@pdbmagazine.com
Administrative Assistant Samantha Stroud


Marketing Director Cameron Bischoff


Circulation Director Chuck Harris


Lead Designer Chloe Adelizzi
Production Jim Donovan

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Publisher Greg Larsen
Executive Editor Brady L. Kay
Production Manager Janet Chase
Circulation Manager Chuck Harris
Controller Clayton Ward
Production Janet Chase


Founder Darryl W. Harris
President Jason Harris
Vice President Chuck Harris
Vice President Ryan Harris
Vice President Steve Janes
Vice President Greg Larsen
Treasurer Clayton Ward
Secretary Janet Chase

Print Flic
Copyright, PDB magazine is published 11 times per year by Harris Publishing, Inc., sub rates, back copies, foreign, reproduction prohibitions, all rights reserved, not responsible for contents of ads and submitted materials, mail permits printed in Idaho Falls, ID.

The basic subscription price is $19.97 for 11 issues. Cover price is $3.95. Canadian and Foreign subscriptions add $20.00 per 11 issues. U.S. funds only. Limited back issues are available for $5.00 each.

Copyright 2021 by Harris Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission is strictly prohibited.

Call 800-638-0135 to purchase a subscription, to correct your mailing label, or to order back issues.

Harris Publishing
corporate office

Harris Publishing, Inc.
520 Park Ave., Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(800) 638-0135 • Fax (208) 522-5241

Also publishers of Houseboat and Great Lakes Boating magazines.

Brady L. Kay Headshot
Captain's Chair
By Brady L. Kay
Is The New 600hp Merc For Pontoons?
New 600hp Merc in back of boat

In case you missed it (hey, I don’t know your life), Mercury rocked the industry in February with the release of a very innovative, V12 600 horsepower Verado. I was one of the fortunate marine journalists who were able to put the throttle down on this new extremely quiet outboard before the news was officially released. Mercury had six vessels at its testing facility on Lake X in Florida, but the shortest boat was still 40 feet long and not a single pontoon could be found.

You don’t need to twist my arm to get me to Florida in February, even if pontoons aren’t included, and I could completely understand why there were only larger boats to test. In fact, there were no single outboards in the water. Twin Verados were the minimum with one 54-foot Formula boat actually having four! If you’re not a math major that’s 2400hp and 48 cylinders on the back of one boat. Whoa!

I had an exhilarating day running these larger boats to say the least, but I did catch a little flak when I said the new V12 wasn’t exactly for the pontoon segment of the boating industry. I recall saying the same thing when Yamaha first released its 425hp beast that weighs in at over 900 pounds, only to see a Bennington with these twins a few months later. Simply put, I should have known better and it turns out pontoon manufacturers as well as dealers are already doing everything they can to get their hands on one. At over 1,200 pounds each I’m even hearing rumors of a twin setup on a pontoon coming, which is exciting even to think about.

From The Bow | Better Boater
Are You
Tips To Get You Ready For An Emergency
By Brittnie L. Gavin

uick! Your grandson, in a moment of playfulness, has just bonked his head while you and your family are out cruising. There is blood, there are tears, and there is most likely a concussion. When you are out boating, fun in the sun is high on the list of priorities, but a wise boater is prepared for when fun turns to serious. For that matter, enjoyment will not have to stop for too long when your pontoon or deck boat is equipped with items you need in an emergency. 

Whether someone is injured, has an allergic reaction, leans too far out and falls overboard, or you need help from another captain, no boater can be too prepared by keeping a few emergency items on hand. Of course, no one wants to make way for an emergency, but in case of that, it is important to prioritize being safe to avoid being sorry. 

If you are a new boater, have no fear. This is a list of tips, tricks, and products that no boater should leave the docks without. 

From The Bow | No Wake Zone

Where’s The Paddle?
Hidden paddle

A paddle is hiding inside each issue of PDB and the names of the first ten readers to find it are printed in an upcoming magazine! In our February issue the paddle is on page 28, hidden behind the driver. Here are the readers who spotted it first:

Brian Skelton, Lake Zurich, Ill.
Gary Wanke, Fox Lake, Ill.
Bob Dempster, Bridgeport, NY
Neil Saari, Menomonee Falls, Wis.
Bob Reed, Pendleton, Ind.
Fran Wendt, Woodbine, Iowa
Diane Goss, Orange, Calif.
Dave Stirton, Overland Park, Kan.
Jim Greenwald, Little Rick, Ark.
Bill Locke, Jackson, Mich.

As soon as you find the paddle, email its location, your name, and hometown to paddle@pdbmagazine.com. Paddle on!

PDB Tested | Boats and accessories we’ve tested
PDB Tested
Our PDB Tested section is compiled of pontoon and deck boats, new products, gear, tools, aftermarket accessories and more.

Simply put, if it can be tested and it applies to our favorite type of boating, you’ll find it in this section. And the one thing each review has in common is they were all tested and evaluated by one or more of our qualified PDB staff members.

PDB Tested | Boats and accessories we’ve tested
Brad Young in his boat
Brad Young and friends
#313 Living Like Lake Royalty
He’s Not The Mayor, But He Could Be
By Brady L. Kay
Brad Young is not the mayor of Indianapolis in Indiana—or any other city for that matter. However, based on his deep knowledge of the area, you could argue that he could be the mayor of Geist Lake—if there were such a thing. As a magazine we were in town to meet with Brad and his wife Connie and as this couple cruised around their home lake, their tour guide-like knowledge automatically kicked in and they began sharing intimate knowledge of the homes surrounding the shore line. They were also able to point out celebrity homes as well as squash any talk of celebrities rumored to have a home on this lake that apparently do now. Turns out Andrew Luck, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, never did own a house on Geist. Who knew? The couple spoke with authority because they know the area well, that much is clear.

The Youngs currently live on the lake and it’s the third house they’ve owned as lakefront property owners on this body of water. That alone is of course the main reason they know a lot of the history of Geist. It also doesn’t hurt that they spend countless hours on the water every summer, especially after taking delivery of their new Barletta pontoon in June last year.

PDB Tested | Boats and accessories we’ve tested
Sylvan L-3 CLZ DH

#314 Utility & Sport

Sylvan L-3 CLZ DH
& SunChaser Geneva
22 LR DH Sport

By Brittnie L. Gavin
If you are looking into a pontoon with utility, fashion and power, Sylvan and SunChaser absolutely know where it’s at. We can say this for certain after testing the Sylvan L-3 CLZ DH and the SunChaser Geneva 22 LR DH Sport that are manufactured together at the Indiana-based plant. 

No matter what you’re looking for, the Sylvan L-3 CLZ DH and the Geneva 22 LR DH Sport have you covered. Let’s take a deeper dive into these high-quality pontoons built by the SmokerCraft boat manufacturer.

Sylvan L-3 CLZ DH
When making this boat, Sylvan seriously did not leave any stones unturned. Standard for the Sylvan L-3 CLZ DH, this pontoon comes with an extended rear deck that includes a four-step telescoping ladder so no matter what you are doing you have plenty of space for it. At night, you can liven up the mood too with blue interior mood lighting, bringing you to a whole new world while out enjoying the ambiance.
Princecraft logo
princecraft boat displayed
Brunswick Boat Group
Canadian DNA
About Brunswick
Headquartered in Mettawa, Ill., Brunswick Corporation’s leading consumer brands include Mercury Marine outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard packages; Mercury global parts and accessories including propellers and SmartCraft electronics; Power Products Integrated Solutions; MotorGuide trolling motors; Attwood, Garelick, and Whale marine parts; Land ’N’ Sea, BLA, Payne’s Marine, Kellogg Marine, and Lankhorst Taselaar marine parts distribution; Mercury and Quicksilver parts and oils; Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Crestliner, Cypress Cay, Harris, Heyday, Lowe, Lund, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Rayglass, Sea Ray, Thunder Jet and Uttern boats; Boating Services Network, Freedom Boat Club, NAUTIC-ON, OnBoard Boating Club and Rentals.
For more information, visit brunswick.com.
About Princecraft Boats Inc.
Since 1954, Princecraft Boats Inc., headquartered in Princeville, Quebec, Canada, creates unparalleled experiences on the water for fishing and boating enthusiasts with “professionally rigged and ready” packages of aluminum fishing boats, pontoon boats and deck boats. Its commitment is borne out of a deeply rooted heritage of unmatched craftsmanship, incomparable performance and the promise of years of trouble-free boating. More fishermen, families and dealers than ever join the Princecraft family, and create some of the best moments of their lives.
Princecraft Boats Inc. © 2020 | A Brunswick Company
Features | Our 10
Our Ten
Water Tube Extravaganza
By Seth Harper
Finding the right tube can make all the difference between a good summer and a great one. With a variety of options to choose from, we’ve narrowed down the search a little with choices from a wide range of prices. Here are ten tubes to consider purchasing your next water toy.

Features | Watersports Gear

Watersports Gear
The Right
For A
Perfect Day
By Seth Harper

atersports bring family and friends together for a day out on the lake. Some of the big watersports include wakeboarding (a warmer take on snowboarding), waterskiing (a warmer take on snow skiing) and tubing (a warmer take on sledding). These sports may vary in the amount of skill or experience needed to look like you know what you’re doing, but all get you outside and active.

Although there’s a number of watersport activities—from jet skiing to parasailing or paddle boarding—we’ll just focus on the ones that put you on top of the water while being pulled behind a boat.

Whether you’re an experienced skier, still getting the hang of boarding or just like being tossed around on a tube, the right equipment makes all the difference. Here’s a rundown on a variety of options to improve your boating experience when buying a new pontoon or deck boat.

Features | PDB Adventures
Discovering Sebago Lake
Print Flic
There are several sandy beaches and shallow anchoring area for boaters to visit along the 100-plus miles of Sebago Lake shoreline.
By Dan Armitage

iscussing story angles with my contact at the Maine Office of Tourism, I mentioned that I had editorial outlets for magazine articles on pontoon boats and trout fishing. Hailing from the Midwest, where trout fisheries can be few and far between, fishing for salmonids has always held a special appeal for this angler, so I jump at every opportunity to experience it. As for the pontoon subject, well, you’ve got an example of that outlet in hand.

When I inquired about combining the two activities in a mid-summer visit to Maine, Charlene Williams, representing the Maine Office of Tourism, said, “We can do that.”

Four months and an 800-mile road trip later, we were doing just that aboard a Sweetwater pontoon from Godfrey Marine, cruising atop Maine’s deepest lake, the namesake for a famous boat shoe manufacturer named Sebago. Situated about 30 miles inland from Portland (and the outlet shopping Mecca of Freeport) in south-central Maine, Sebago Lake has been a popular family vacation destination for generations.

Departments | Tackle Box
Like many preyfish species, walleyes invade the shallows this time of year in search of young-of-the-year fry and baitfish. Using a live minnow under a bobber is a sure-fire way to hook-up.
You’ve got to keep minnows alive and kickin’ to consistently catch gamefish with baitfish. Make sure you keep the minnows in the freshest, coolest water possible whether in a bait bucket or a baitwell.
The key to catching more fish with live minnows such as this shiner is to use care when rigging the bait, passing the hook lightly through the lips or the skin to keep it alive and swimming as naturally as possible.
Minnow Matters
By Dan Armitage

hances are, at some point this season you will want to try using live bait to catch the fish you want to catch. Offering fish the ‘real deal,’ living samples of the very food they crave, seems like a no-brainer, especially after attempting to fool the fish with imitations, from artificial lures to prepared baits, to no avail.

“Our minnows are guaranteed to catch fish—or die trying!” reads a sign in my local bait and tackle shop. And I’m betting that minnows are among the live baits you are considering. After all, we know that big fish like to eat little fish, and offering built-in swimming action a properly hooked fathead minnow, emerald shiner, shad or pinfish, the sacrificial preyfish will do most of the work of attracting a predator fish within chomping distance. All we need to do is present the finned offerings in waters when and where our target gamefish like to feed, wait as they ring the dinner bell, and hope our fishing tackle and experience stand up to the task of setting the hook, battling the fish boat-side, and getting the catch onto the deck.

Departments | Staying In ’Toon
Staying in 'Toon

Boating Tips and Observations with Sky Smith

Sky Smith sitting in his boat and smiling
Water Toys

was going to take this time to talk about a few of the cooler “water toys” that are available right now. I figure you can never have too many water toys. However, as I mentioned in the past, my water toys were based around water skis and maybe a kneeboard. If you remember that story, I was able to dig my custom competition slalom ski out of storage after years of collecting dust and proceeded to tear my hamstring. That basically forced me to change my opinion of what a good water toy is.

However, I did pick out a couple that I think would be good investments. One is the Connelly Party Cove Cooler. We all know the stories about “party cove,” right? People drinking, listening to music blasting from stereos and floating around between rafted-up boats. So, what could be better than a cooler that floats around with you and keeps your drinks cold? The Connelly Party Cove Cooler holds the drinks with ice like a regular cooler, plus it has drink holders on the outside to keep your drink from spilling.

Pontoon and Deck Boat
Thanks for reading our April 2021 issue!