Premier 310 Encounter

A game changer.

by Mike Menne
Every so often, there’s a company that takes a chance in an attempt to change the game. Each year, manufacturers introduce new models, new graphic colors and new layouts. As the industry progresses — and consumers demand change — so does the availability of boat models and products offered. What we do not often see is something that shakes up the industry quite like the Premier Encounter. This never before seen, brand new 2016 model took some imagination and engineering to dream up.


  • LOA: 33'5"
  • Beam: 10'2"
  • Draft:
  • Weight: 4,000 lbs.
  • Fuel Capacity:
  • Water Capacity:
  • Power: 750 hp
  • Price: Contact dealer

We’re all accustomed to pontoons and their ability to perform while carrying large numbers of passengers. Their open decks and modular floor plans (luxury seating, loungers, bars and multiple areas to entertain on the water) have become the preferred platform for boaters in recent years. They are like floating living rooms with seemingly endless amounts of outdoor space. Most every boat builder has followed this trend and has seen the size of their deck plans and options grow. But Premier stands out among its competition.

Pushing the limits

This luxury pontoon innovator consistently introduces cutting-edge features to the market, sometimes ahead of their time. But the company also actively works to push the limits of what is possible with product development, including their industry-first, 10-foot wide decks, PTX Performance Package, and now the Encounter, the first-ever center cabin pontoon. That’s right — they took the layout of a luxury day cruiser and built that layout into a pontoon boat.

“We saw a need to design a boat that had the stability and luxury of a pontoon with the convenience and comfort of a cabin cruiser,” says Premier president Lori Melbostad. “This model performs like no other pontoon and features a very spacious interior cabin. It will satisfy our customers who like to spend as much time as possible on the water.”

Escape the elements

The Encounter — available in a 290 and 310 model — comes standard in a 10-foot wide layout. In order to support the new package, Premier had to redesign its ever-popular PTX package and widen the tube to a 42-inch center tube. The center cabin actually uses the space from the center tube in its new floor plan with sleeper cabin. The cabin, located in front of the helm, includes a plush sleeper, complete with a mattress, custom bedding and pillow package. This area also makes room for a full head, deck hatch, convertible dining table and facing sofas. It’s an amazing space to get out of the elements or to spend a night on your pontoon. Families will love the features for longer boat rides with children; naptime and bathroom breaks are now possible while underway.

Other features include Premier’s new Prosperity furniture, featuring the softest Heritage marine fabric known in the industry. This material is seen on only the finest of luxury yachts and maintains the yacht-like finishes. The topside of the boat has all of the features you’ve come to expect on a pontoon: there’s a front bench, integrated bow sun lounger and rear wrap-around seating area. These areas accommodate 14 to 16 passengers, making the layout of this pontoon truly unique.

Industry-first innovations

The Encounter is a futuristic and untraditional pontoon. Premier incorporated its new-for-2016 Duro rails into the boat; the new shape and bends give the Encounter a standout look. Evinrude’s new G2 E-Tec powered our test boat, mirroring the contemporary look of the boat. Looking back at the engines, we counted not twins but triple Evinrude 250 G2 E-Tecs. The triple engine feature is new for Premier in 2016 and another one of their industry-first innovations on a production pontoon boat. The triple engine package, with a total of 750 hp, made this craft handle more like a sport boat than a traditional triple-tube pontoon. The increased power allowed us to instantly get the boat up on plane and use the handling benefits of the new 42-inch PTX triple tube. Its top speed pushed 60 mph and it’s a ride you will truly have to experience for yourself.

Other standard features that we found throughout were high-end components, like a Zenith steering wheel, seagrass flooring, an Imperial galley with refrigerator, a front-mount camera and a refrigerated cup holder at the helm for the driver. Premier essentially thought of everything when they designed this pontoon; it’s a specialized boat designed for a specialty consumer.

“Any boat lover has had those days when they can’t bear to say goodnight to a perfect sunset on the lake,” Melbostad says. “This model lets boaters expand their summers with a place to sleep, lounge or just get away from it all.”

If you’re in search of a luxury pontoon company that pushes the limits with design and engineering, Premier is out there looking to change the game yet again. Their products continue to innovate and push the level of what boaters thought was possible with a traditional pontoon boat. If you’re seeking a pontoon boat model that allows you some of the comforts only found in traditional day cruising yachts, the Encounter is for you. If you’re looking for something else, chances are Premier builds it in one of their other 78 models. Here’s to changing the game again. Progress is a beautiful thing.



South Shore JUN17