Pontoon boats have been a staple of the boating industry for decades. These vessels offer an excellent balance of stability, comfort, and performance, making them ideal for everything from leisurely cruises to fishing trips and water sports. However, with so many different pontoon boat brands and models on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one is right for you.
If you’re in the market for a new pontoon boat, you may have come across the Berkshire line of boats. Berkshire pontoons are manufactured by Forest River Marine, a company that has been producing high-quality recreational vehicles since 1996. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Berkshire pontoon reviews to help you decide if this brand is right for you.
History of Berkshire Pontoons
Before diving into the reviews, it’s essential to understand a bit of history behind Berkshire pontoons. The brand was launched in 2009 as a luxury pontoon boat line by Forest River Marine, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. The company produces a wide range of pontoon boats, from entry-level models to high-end luxury vessels.
Berkshire pontoons are manufactured in Indiana, and the brand is known for its attention to detail and high-quality construction. The boats are built using premium materials, including high-grade aluminum and marine-grade upholstery. Additionally, all Berkshire pontoons come with a limited lifetime warranty, giving buyers peace of mind knowing that they’re investing in a quality vessel.
Berkshire Pontoon Reviews: Models and Features
Berkshire pontoons come in a variety of models, including the CTS, the CTS Ultra, the Ultra Series, and the STS Series. Each model offers different features and benefits, so it’s essential to understand the differences before making a purchase.
The CTS model is an entry-level pontoon boat that offers an excellent balance of affordability and features. It comes in lengths ranging from 20 to 24 feet and can accommodate up to 12 passengers. The CTS features plush seating, a Bluetooth-enabled stereo system, and a variety of optional upgrades, such as a ski tow bar and an upgraded sound system.
2. CTS Ultra
The CTS Ultra is a step up from the standard CTS model, offering additional features and benefits. It comes in lengths ranging from 22 to 24 feet and can accommodate up to 13 passengers. The CTS Ultra features a premium sound system, LED lighting, and an upgraded helm chair, among other things.
3. Ultra Series
The Ultra Series is Berkshire’s flagship line of pontoon boats, offering unparalleled luxury and comfort. It comes in lengths ranging from 23 to 27 feet and can accommodate up to 16 passengers. The Ultra Series features premium upholstery, high-end electronics, and a variety of other luxury amenities, such as a wine cooler and a pop-up changing room.
4. STS Series
The STS Series is a sportier line of pontoon boats designed for those who enjoy water sports and other high-performance activities. It comes in lengths ranging from 22 to 27 feet and can accommodate up to 16 passengers. The STS Series features high-performance engines, sport-style seating, and a variety of other features designed for speed and agility.
Overall, Berkshire pontoons are known for their high-quality construction, attention to detail, and luxurious amenities. No matter which model you choose, you can rest assured that you’re getting a quality vessel that will provide years of enjoyment on the water.
Here is a comparison table for various Berkshire Pontoon boats:
|CTS Series 20CL||20′ 1″||8′ 6″||1,660 lbs||10 people / 1,580 lbs||90 HP|
|CTS Series 21CL CTS||21′ 1″||8′ 6″||1,775 lbs||10 people / 1,850 lbs||115 HP|
|CTS Series 22CL||22′ 1″||8′ 6″||1,860 lbs||11 people / 1,760 lbs||115 HP|
|CTS Series 23RFC||23′ 1″||8′ 6″||2,215 lbs||12 people / 2,270 lbs||150 HP|
|CTS Series 25RFC||25′ 1″||8′ 6″||2,530 lbs||13 people / 2,415 lbs||200 HP|
|CTS Series 27SB2||27′ 1″||8′ 6″||3,105 lbs||14 people / 2,970 lbs||300 HP|
|STS Series 23SB||23′ 5″||8′ 6″||2,685 lbs||13 people / 2,280 lbs||200 HP|
|STS Series 25SB||25′ 5″||8′ 6″||2,985 lbs||14 people / 2,520 lbs||250 HP|
|STS Series 27SB||27′ 5″||8′ 6″||3,300 lbs||15 people / 3,090 lbs||300 HP|
Please note that the weight, capacity, and max horsepower can vary depending on the specific options and configurations chosen for each model. It’s always important to consult the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines before purchasing any pontoon boat.
Berkshire Pontoon Reviews: Pros and Cons
As with any pontoon boat brand, there are pros and cons to choosing Berkshire. Here are a few of the most notable advantages and disadvantages of this brand:
- High-quality construction: Berkshire pontoons are known for their premium materials and attention to detail, ensuring that you get a vessel that will last for years.
- Wide range of models: With four different models to choose from, there’s a Berkshire pontoon for every budget and boating style.
- Luxury amenities: Berkshire pontoons are known for their luxurious features, including premium upholstery, high-end electronics, and top-of-the-line sound systems.
- Limited lifetime warranty: All Berkshire pontoons come with a limited lifetime warranty, giving buyers peace of mind knowing that they’re investing in a quality vessel.
- Higher price point: Compared to some other pontoon boat brands, Berkshire pontoons can be more expensive. However, many buyers feel that the quality and luxury amenities are worth the extra cost.
- Limited customization: While Berkshire pontoons offer a variety of optional upgrades, there may be limited opportunities for customization compared to some other brands.
- Limited dealer network: Depending on where you live, it may be more challenging to find a Berkshire dealer than some other pontoon boat brands.
Berkshire Pontoon Reviews: Customer Satisfaction
So, what do actual Berkshire pontoon owners have to say about their vessels? Overall, customer satisfaction with Berkshire pontoons is quite high, with many owners praising the quality construction, luxury amenities, and comfortable ride.
One satisfied customer on Boat Trader writes, “We absolutely love our Berkshire pontoon! The attention to detail is fantastic, and the ride is incredibly smooth. It’s the perfect boat for relaxing on the water or entertaining friends and family.”
Another reviewer on Pontoon and Deck Boat magazine writes, “The build quality on our Berkshire pontoon is top-notch. We’ve had ours for two years now and have had no issues. The premium upholstery and high-end electronics really make it feel like a luxury vessel.”
While there are a few negative reviews out there, the overwhelming majority of Berkshire pontoon owners seem to be thrilled with their purchase.
Final Thoughts: Are Berkshire Pontoons Worth the Investment?
If you’re in the market for a new pontoon boat, Berkshire is definitely a brand worth considering. With its high-quality construction, luxurious amenities, and wide range of models, there’s likely a Berkshire pontoon that will fit your needs and budget.
Of course, as with any major purchase, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision. Be sure to read reviews, visit a dealer, and take a test drive before making a final decision.
At the end of the day, a pontoon boat is an investment in your leisure time and quality of life. With a Berkshire pontoon, you can rest assured that you’re getting a quality vessel that will provide years of enjoyment on the water.
Roy Franklin is a writer and editor for Stellaroutdoorlife.com. He enjoys fishing big lakes, rivers, and streams for trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, panfish, and whatever else he can catch on live and artificial bait. Roy shares his expertise with everyone who wants to learn new ways and tactics to catch fish. He loves testing and rating new products and recommending fishing gear people can try.