Photo Credit: Nicholas Upton
Pontoons are all about the creature comforts. The model doesn’t matter a whole lot as long as everyone aboard is having a good time. To than end, Premier Pontoons opted not to introduce a new model for 2015 and focus on style and comfort.
Boating Industry got a chance to look at the new updates for the 2015 line of Premier Pontoons during the company’s dealer meeting. While there are no new models to ogle, Premier created a smorgasbord of design, layout and furniture options for next year for their entire lineup. Many features once seen only on high-end Premier pontoons are trickling down to their economy models.
Roomy RF layouts made their way to the popular Sunsation and Solaris. The layouts boast more open space and new amenities for the price point. A new optional layout for the popular, fishing-focused Castaway model features the new Spincaster helm with a large live tank. At the stern, a new fishing station holds another live well, tackle trays and a rod holder. Premier crammed a lot of angling options into the same space without making the deck feel cramped.
On the deck floor, entry-level models will have new flooring options like the popular seagrass flooring – a fresh departure from carpet and vinyl. Sales and marketing coordinator Connie Weinmen said dealers and consumers really appreciate the new styles.
“Sales are way up on all our new seagrass flooring,” said Weinmen.
New patterns and colors make the flooring especially attractive, as does the comfort high durability. A new 10-year manufacturer warranty on seagrass flooring (on top of Premier’s seven-year warranty) makes the new flooring appealing for cost-conscious buyers looking for a long-term boat or a good trade-in price down the road.
Of course, you can’t talk about the new options without touching on the Evinrude’s E-TEC G2 engines. The new engines pack quite a punch.
Testing on the Grand Entertainer with a pair of early engines was impressive, clocking 0-30 mph in just 4.6 seconds. I have to say, I haven’t piloted a nice pontoon for probably 10 years, but sitting at the helm with the G2s was quite a treat. Automatic trimming, great power and fantastic maneuverability made it quite an enjoyable ride. The modular design of the engines will also keep customers happy with many casing color options.
Speaking of colors, Premier launched a few new options for design pallets this year. Dealers were talking a lot about the new chocolate panels. Weinman said dealers were also talking about a new, lighter color.
“We’re keeping stone; which was well-received last year, and we’ve got a new base color called cream that the dealers are really excited about,” said Weinman.
The cream color also compliments the new options for furniture in 2015 known as Opulent; which will appear on Premier’s mid-range pontoons. Weinman said it was high time they got another furniture vendor, and the reception so far has been glowing.
Overall, the 2015 lineup isn’t going to make any big news, but it might bring some new energy to the sales floor. There were only a few design changes like 30-gallon transom fuel tanks and the first iteration of a tubing bar for the Premier family. But lots of other little tweaks like the inset LED lights on the entry-level models; new galley, helm and seating options across all their pontoons refresh the company’s lineup without a new model.
“We didn’t need a new model in our lineup,” said Weinman, adding that they’ve launched several new models in the last year. The 2015 update was laser focused on tweaking their existing offerings.
Though they haven’t been marketing their entry-level models too heavily, the many new options will make it easier for dealers to get boaters into the Premier family, and hopefully get a trade-up to the higher-margin pontoons a few years.
“We’re pretty excited about that, we’re reaching a demographic that we didn’t before,” said Weinman.
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