Aqua Patio 250 WB The party starts now!
A patio is generally something that’s open air and used for dining, recreation and entertainment – and it’s easy to see why it’s such an apt name for the latest Aqua boat. If hanging out on the water in complete luxury with your entourage of partygoers is your style, the Aqua Patio 250 WB is for you! The Editor, Dean Castle, checks out this elitist’s pontoon boat.
This is the Aqua Patio 250 WB. It’s the biggest craft in their Leisure Marine line-up and WB stands for Wet Bar – showing that this really is the bee’s knees – if you’re looking to do plenty of on-thewater entertaining.
This is an amazing family cruising pontoon which is absolutely packed with features and pushes the limits as to what pontoon boats are all about.
When it comes to entertaining, the 250 WB is simply made for you with its two very large lounges found in the bow and stern area. On the port side of the bow, you get double stitched seams, while the cushioning is colour co-ordinated. It’s also designed as a forward facing chaise longue and is a great spot to get comfortable on when you’re out on the water. To the starboard side, the lounger is even longer and also conceals a trash bin to keep cans, wrappers and more, ensuring the deck stays neat and uncluttered.
A third lounger is found towards the stern and is also designed to be a rear-facing recliner. The stern lounger cushioning, like the forward loungers, can be hinged open to reveal more than enough storage capacity than you’d probably ever need.
At the stern you find what it’s truly all about and where the boat’s name originates. The bar area boasts a solid granite top, cup holders, fridge, and a sink with running water. There are two bar stools mounted as well – and since they swivel, they also allow you to face backwards and watch the kids playing in the water or on a tube. Behind the seats is a second counter top, ideal for preparing meals while being flanked by two super-cool speakers. They pop up too, allowing you to have quality sound for the onboard vibe or alternatively an even larger top to work on.
Four boarding gates, located at the bow, port side, and two at the stern, are sturdy when closed and keep everyone safe. What’s neat about them is that instead of latches for locks, they only need to be lifted to allow them to swing open. Fidgety kids tend to be able to open locks and make an escape quicker than Houdini ever could – and the need to lift them generally means that kids won’t be able to make an unseen, swift escape. They open inwards too, so you’d have to take a step further away from the edge before you can get out.Take note of the over-sized canopy. Two tops, which can be zipped together, provide plenty of shade for when the weather is beating down – and gives you the option to have full, half, or no shade. Look forward to taking a total of 14 passengers on board as this is the craft to take the entire party, but the one that gets possibly the most special treatment is the skipper. At the helm, you are met by a generously sized chair which is bulky yet comfortable. With flip-up armrests and a tilting steering wheel, the skipper really does feel an air of opulence with his or her hand on the throttle.
Pontoon boats can be rather cumbersome, and you’d possibly be forgiven if you assumed so since the 250 WB has a total length of 8.18 m and pushed the tape to 2.59 m across her beam. And, as an everyday boat, she’s pretty weighty too – a bulky 1 176 kg dry as stated by the manufacturer. However, lazy she is not! Big and able to put on a more than decent performance, it’s akin to Rebel Wilson in the recent movie Pitch Perfect.
Our review vessel was fitted with a Mercury 250 HP Verado. Anyone that knows their engines knows that a Verado is the engine that gets people weak at the knees. Its sound and performance come together in a blend of ‘let’s go’ like no other as it’s rated at developing 186 kW as measured at the prop. This six-cylinder supercharged engine weighs a great 300 kg but is worth every gram of it!
Put one on the back of an Aqua Patio 250 WB, you’ll see from the accompanying pictures that this craft has got power, and plenty of it, showing that this vessel isn’t for Sunday drivers. This combination will easily allow some worthy skiing and will give tubers a good run for their money in trying to hold on.
Pontoon boats also aren’t known to be neat in the corners, yet the 250 on tight corners leans in enough to ensure that you feel comfortable when the skipper is in a hurry.
As I sit here in my office, writing this review and going through my pictures, I will say that it’s one of the few boats that makes me wish I was still on board. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy owning most of the boats we review, but this is something different. I feel like I’m missing out not being on board! However, the cost of not missing out and having a fantastic family pontoon boat does come at a price – which starts at R650 000. For more information, contact Leisure Marine on (011) 318 8252.