2011 Sylvan Mirage Cruise 8520 RPT
From our 2011 Test issue
By Matt Spencer
I’m going to be honest right from the start. When I found out I would be testing the new Sylvan Mirage Cruise 8520 with RPT tubes, I got very excited. I’m a big fan of this performance pontoon insurgence and an even bigger fan of the RPT tubes. The way they slice through the water and cut waves makes for an unparalleled ride.
The interior of the Mirage Cruise is nothing out of the norm. It has the usual facing lounge seating arrangement in the bow, along with a spacious L-shaped lounge at the stern. All of the upholstery is premium vinyl, so the seating is comfortable enough for a nap.
The helm features a captain’s chair similar in stature and comfort to my dad’s lazy boy and access to the transom and the 90-hp mercury is simple and convenient. Nothing out of the norm happening here… but this is just fine with me.
Below is another story. Sylvan’s goal with this model was to achieve triple log speeds with a twin log configuration and less horsepower on the back.
It’s often easy to plateau in pontoon performance, which can sometimes lead to almost a waste of horsepower. Sylvan made sure to avoid this with the 90-hp Mercury four-stroke that pushed us to a top speed of 27.6 mph; proving you don’t need three logs to flirt with 30 mph.
Sure a third log increases buoyancy, but it increases weight as well. So Sylvan hit the right chord by sticking with just the two logs, especially since they’re RPT logs. A fine balance has been struck here between leisure and performance, form and function.
You may be more than content with cruising in the luxury of the Mirage Cruise 8520, after all “cruise” is in the name. But sometimes you want to put the throttles down and show off to the neighbours, because there is nothing cooler than a pontoon that planes.
Full performance data and specs: Available at BoatTest.ca.