The SS230 CL proves sporty to drive and gets you across the pond in style and speed.
My first boat was a 1978 Lowe jon boat bought new in the company’s fourth model year. Since that time, Lowe has exploded into a world-class recreational boatbuilder with many government contracts as well. So with that kind of manufacturing clout behind it, it’s no wonder Lowe’s line of pontoons such as the SS230 CL have such a broad fan base in American boating.
The super-sport style includes triple pontoons for added buoyancy, speed and performance, as well as more comfortable “cornering” in a boat that handles more like a sporty runabout than a floating living room. But it’s that living-room-on-the-water feel that makes pontoons so successful and Lowe’s SS230 CL brings some well-planned creature comforts.
The deck plan includes three seating areas, including the bow lounges and the helm area with an L-shaped wrap lounge — but it’s the arrangement of the wrap lounge that makes this boat most exotic. With the seat back bolster flipped forward, you gain a two-person, aft-facing lounge protected by a stainless-steel safety rail which complements the powder-coated rails and gates around the front of the boat — but its gleaming polished lines won’t disturb the view over the transom like solid gates.
Typical of pontoons are the forward lounges, divided by a bow gate. Each will seat three or four passengers but reclining seat backs transform them into lounges for reclining. Throughout the boat, storage is plentiful to keep the spacious deck clear and the generous walkways unobstructed for … well, maybe dancing to the beat of the premium stereo.
Lowe’s designers created several color combinations of vinyl, flooring, gates and trim that bring the boat together in a far sleeker, more enjoyable look than found on average pontoon brands.
With its triple tubes — and when a high horsepower is selected — the SS230 CL proves sporty to drive and gets you across the pond in style and speed. With the boarding ladder on the roomy swim deck aft, there’s every reason to enjoy towed watersports such as tubing or casual wakeboard riding.
The deck mat has a sisal-grass look but boasts the durability of vinyl flooring.
Hardware selections are sturdy and handsome, such as the removable fender hangers along the rails.
A standard Bimini top covers the deck from helm to aft cockpit rails.
"Cab-forward" design put more cruising space inside the gates.
Full-width swim platform adds ample boarding space to dry off after swimming.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury V-6 200 hp
Drive/Props: Enertia 16" pitch 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Fuel Load: 20 gal.
Crew Weight: 500 lb.
Lowe Boats - Lebanon, Missouri; 800-641-4372; loweboats.com