Boat Reviews

Sun Tracker 21 Party Barge

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Islands in the Sun!

Perfect for weekends, vacation days (and maybe a carefully planned “sick day” or two), Leisure Marine’s Sun Tracker Party Barge 21 lets you take your party to the water in style and comfort. Leisure Boating dons the floral shirts, boardies and sandals (well, not really!) and takes a nice slow, lazy cruise on this pontoon.

It’s review day, and our biggest fears were confirmed when dark clouds and threatening rain were looming over Victoria Dam near Germiston. But this is the Highveld we’ve become accustomed to, where summertime is met with sporadic weather patterns. Much to our delight and relief, the clouds and rains moved away and the sun eventually announced its presence (in more ways than one!) as we launched the Sun Tracker Party Barge 21 Signature pontoon.
Sun Tracker 21 Party Barge
With a bit of help from Leisure Marine’s Phillip Jones and deckhand Israel, we made quick work of launching the boat. And as we gently eased her into the water, scenes of warm sunshine days, beautiful girls in bikinis (or family fun), a refreshing drink on the deck or just a slow, lazy sunset cruise down the dam played off in my mind – all the social possibilities that’s synonymous with the 21-foot Sun Tracker Party Barge 21-foot, two-log pontoon boat is pretty standard in terms of layout and features, Sun Tracker has certainly upped its game by improving the seating, styling, convenience and performance of their line-up. For 2011, the all-new Sun Tracker 21 Party Barge continues this trend with a do-it-all mentality that will appeal to those looking to diversify their boating fun portfolio.
For over 25 years, Sun Tracker has pleased more families than any other pontoon boat brand, and for several reasons: superior roominess, stability, comfort and, most of all, its versatility. There’s simply no end to the things you and your guests can do, whether it’s swimming, diving, exploring, relaxing, entertaining or fishing. The Sun Tracker 21 Party Barge features some sleek railings and gentle curves and upscale lounges speak luxury from every angle. The generous wraparound bow couches, aft L-lounge and padded sun deck begs you to slow down and relax – while the full-width, non-skid swim platform invites you to get active and play. And the pop-up changing room invites you to change into something more comfortable—and stay awhile. Stepping aboard either the door aft, forward or to port, you have your choice of seating at the bow or stern or the helm to starboard. There’s also plenty of underseat storage, but there’s a couple of surprises as well – namely a special cubby built for a cooler (with so many more potential uses) and lockable armrest storage.
We all know that pontoons are made to entertain, which is why the Party Barge 21 lives up to its name by keeping guests partying in comfort with a folding boarding ladder and drop-down changing room and privacy curtain at the transom. Carpeting and a stable platform makes one feel comfortable and relaxed once onboard. And when the sun gets a wee bit hot out on the water, the bimini top will provide more shade than a 100-year-old oak tree to those heat-stricken guests.
At the helm, the gauges are placed further up so the skipper has better visibility when looking at the instrumentation. Set in an artificial woodgrain accented dashboard, a deluxe sport steering wheel and small tinted windscreen adds a level of comfort and style for the skipper. Legroom and space is also never an issue with the Party Barge, and one can stretch out, dance around or even play a game of Twister if need be! The console also includes a small items tray, cupholders and a trash receptacle. As mentioned, the Sun Tracker might have a standard layout, but the fit and finish is superior and this is perfect for the family man or budget boater looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and unwind on the water – the Sun Tracker Party Barge is perfect for that! But is this enough to keep a buyer happy if the Sun Tracker didn’t shine in terms of performance? It was time to give her a run for her money on the water, and to see exactly what this baby is capable of. Powered by the highly-capable and trusted 115 HP Mercury Optimax 4-Stroke motor, the Sun Tracker 21 Party Barge is more than adequate to take the kids skiing or tubing, and manages to clock a pretty decent top speed – taking the myth that pontoons boats are slow and sluggish, and blowing it out the water! The ride was smooth and steady while accelerating and at various cruising speeds, while turns were slightly wide – typical of a two-log pontoon. The lack of power steering made for some careful manoeuvring around the dock, but wasn’t such a big deal when out on the open water.
While the Sun Tracker 21 Party Barge is sufficiently powered, pontoons boats aren’t meant to clock record-breaking speeds, nor are they meant to do some low-level flying across the surface. They’re meant for those far and few opportunities where relaxing with friend and family is the order of the day. It’s the social aspect of a pontoon that appeals to itself and to its prospective buyers. Fitted with a Sirius-capable AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 jack and two speakers, as well as a removable cocktail table, the Sun Tracker 21 is where the party’s at!
If you’re looking for those fun-filled lazy days in the sun and spending time with family and friends is a priority, the Sun Tracker 21 Party Barge not only lives up to its name, but it is your ticket to leisure land – a place where time stands still, and all your worries are forgotten.

For more information, contact Phillip Jones at Leisure Marine on (011) 318 8252 or Alternatively, visit


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