A great way to fall in love with boating
By Andy Adams
We are excited to bring you this review of the new Parker Poland 800 Weekend. It is a 25-foot cabin cruiser with a 9‘6“ beam which provides the boat with absolutely amazing space given its length. With a single Yamaha F300, 300 horsepower V6 outboard, the boat proved to be nimble, quiet and economical to operate. Parker Poland is very good at maximizing the features and benefits. We think you’ll be surprised at how much accommodation is available on this boat, and at a family friendly price too!
Overall, the boat starts off with that “European style” featuring a full bow for maximum cabin space, a long cabin roof with an inverted and curved windshield and lots of cabin side glass.
No matter where you’re sitting inside, the view out is excellent and the curtains on the boat pull all the way to the back and almost totally out-of-the-way, so even when you’re inside you feel like you’re in the great outdoors.
You can step onboard from either side onto the wide side decks and with well-located grab handles on the cabin roof, you can easily step down into the boat, or walk onboard by the swim platforms at the stern. Either side has a swing-open gate and you can step in on the stern seat or if you prefer, remove the seats if you’re in a harbour and getting on and off the boat frequently.
Canadian Yachting Media Publisher, Jill Snider getting ready to board the Parker Poland 800 weekend – notice the swim platform arrangement with ladder on the port side, storage areas in the transom decking and the removable aft seats accommodate tilting the engine up.
The cockpit has some nice features. First, there are port and starboard side seats that swing out on hinges so you can have them completely out of the way to maximize floor space, or open to maximize seating.
The test boat had an attractive but small teak table which would be great for serving beverages or snacks, but on this boat, there is a conspicuous absence of drink holders in the cockpit area, something that I think owners will want to rectify by adding accessory ones. The cockpit itself is a generous size and the test boat had eight rocket launcher-type fishing rod holders on the cabin overhang along with a spreader light at the back.
The cabin features a sliding glass aft bulkhead in three sections which latches open at different positions. This really opens up the interior of the boat in warm weather, or at the docks. We were on board on a cooler day and it was nice to have the shelter.
the cockpit side seats can fold out of the way and the cocktail table is removable for those who want to fish room to fish. The sliding glass bulkhead is a great feature.
Sliding glass windows on the port and starboard help to bring outside air in and the window immediately beside the helm allows you to reach out and drop a fender or grab a line as you’re coming into the dock. There is also a manually operated overhead sunroof and as I mentioned, curtains all the way around.
As you step into the cabin, on the starboard side is a galley unit. The test boat had a two-burner Wallas 85Dt Ceramic Diesel stove.
There is a sink but it’s small and there is a cabinet below with five different drawers including a bottle locker. The galley features a composite countertop and a fair bit of teak trim on the test boat including teak flooring and the teak table top with a nice inlay to give the interior a warm nautical look.
The convertible dinette is on the port side and we found substantial side pocket storage for small items that was fitted with a useful cargo net. There are power points for personal electronics, battery switched and breakers in the seatbases and it’s a fairly spacious dinette which will be comfortable for meals plus, this converts to a sleeping berth.
The adventure aspect of the 800 Weekend is reflected in the sturdy rails and cabin roof optional searchlight. We really liked the big reversed curved glass windshield with wipers.
The forward dinette seat has a flip-flop backrest so it can convert into a forward-facing companion seat. That way, up to five adults can be seated facing forward as you travel, all with a good view out. That’s a great feature.
Under the helm seat is a Vitrifrigo refrigerator and there is a large storage space under the cockpit sole for bulky items. I did feel that the piece of hardware for lifting was undersized for the heavy floor section and deserves to be upgraded.
An unusual feature is that ahead of the companion seat is a fold-down footrest which is held in place by a piece of cloth and when you put this in the “up” position, it gives access to a little cabin space that makes a reasonable single berth underneath the dinette and it’s quite well finished. Young kids will love it.
In the companion side console are two compartment spaces for storing small items and four drink holders. The test boat also had port and starboard windshield wipers and we will talk more about the helm in a minute.
There is a full solid door to the forward cabin which has a mirror in the forepeak, a porthole on the port side, cargo nets and flip-up cushions to make it easier to get in. Then there’s an escape hatch overhead with a snap-fastened curtain. We found a little bit of storage on the port and starboard sides, plus underneath the cushions is more storage. The cabin features a fairly generous, shaped double bed.
The galley is by the aft bulkhead glass doors and includes five drawers and lockers, cooktop, sink and the refrigerator is under the helm seat.
People will appreciate the fully enclosed private head compartment with a manual pump out MSD, a sink and there is even a hand-held shower. The test boat has optional hot water available so you can have a shower in the head compartment.
At the helm is a seat that slides fore and aft and has a flip-up bolster so that you can drive seated or standing and there’s a footrest for sitting operation. The test boat was equipped with the Yamaha Digital Throttle and Shift which also includes electric steering and 12 V power point and USB connections at the helm. There was also an optional searchlight and the boat has trim tabs with a handy joystick control that we liked. For docking ease, the Parker Poland 800 Weekend was equipped with a Side Power bow thruster.
The test boat featured a Yamaha digital engine readout as well as a 9-inch Lowrance multi-function display with sonar, navigation and other features. The test boat was set up to comfortably explore waters like Georgian Bay.
Rob Hopkins at Bayshore Yacht Sales took us out in the Parker Poland 800 Weekend and he has had a fair bit of experience driving the boat since it first came into the marina. We were surprised to learn that the Yamaha F300 gets about 1.9 miles per gallon at almost any planning speed suggesting that the Parker has a very efficient hull design.
Jill demonstrates that the dinette seating gives a good view forward for up to four passengers.
With a 4.2 litre V6 engine and 300 horsepower, acceleration is quite good and you’ll have no problem planning off a load of passengers and supplies for the weekend or using it for towed sports. We did not have a chance to see the boat out of the water but we believe that the boat has a stepped hull design. We could crank the wheel hard over at normal cruising speeds and the boat would just carve a tighter and tighter turn without complaint. The ride at high speeds was very good and on the cool fall day we were running the boat, we closed the bulkhead and the forward cabin doors and found that it was a very quiet and comfortable ride.
The best cruising speeds seemed to be 21.7 mph at 4,000 rpm where the Parker showed 2.1 mpg on the engine instruments. Wide open we hit 5,900 rpm at 40.8 mph, so the boat really goes!
For the price, a young family can get a brand-new cruiser on a boat mortgage and have years of great summers exploring Georgian Bay and other similar vacation places. Go fishing. Take the kids tubing. Strap SUPs or kayaks to the roof. The Parker Poland 800 Weekend is simply a great way to fall in love with boating!
Engine: Yamaha F300, 4.2-litre 300 horsepower V6 engine with Yamaha built-in Digital Electric Steering and Thrust Enhancing Reverse Exhaust system. Stainless-steel prop.
PERFORMANCE RPM MPH
Length OA: 25’ 11” / 8.5 m
Beam: 9’ 6” / 2.9 m
Weight: 5,622 lbs / 2,550 kg (without engine)
Fuel Capacity: 62 gals /230 L
Fresh water: 10.5 gals / 40 L
Holding: 10.5 gals /40 L
Price: As equipped – $249,000 Cdn
Boat and price supplied by: Bayshore Yacht Sales, www.bayshoreyachtsales.com