mowin

School me on pontoon boats. Ok boats in general.

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I've been on boats frequently. Last time was this past weekend on lake Champlain for the father's day contest that I've been in since 2001. Always on my cousin's deep V 17'.  

Have a 5th wheel RV were not using, and thinking about trading it for a pontoon boat. 

I know I want a 4 stroke outboard. But the only place that will take our 5er on trade is boat n rv warehouse in Coxsackie where we purchased the rv.  

The wrinkle.   Rv has 4 slides. The smallest slide I discovered is damaged. Yes we have insurance, but I'd rather trade it in before a insurance claim as we all know that effects insurance rates.  Dealer is aware of the slide damage.

Only boat I've owned was a 14' stick steered.  Didn't have a steering wheel, but wasn't steered from the tiller. 

So if the numbers work, we might be getting a pontoon. 

But what are the must haves other than a trailer as we don't live on a lake? 

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1. Some kind of safety operators course

2. Life jackets for everyone on board

3. Fire extinguisher

4. Noise making device (whistle or horn)

5. Flares

6. Anchor

7. Truck to pull the trailer lol

8. Chart plotter/fish finder 

9. Gas $$

10. Lots of worms

Jokes aside, I have an OUPV (6 pack captain lic, 3rd issue) pm me if you have any specific questions

Make sure the vessel is sea worthy (she floats and doesn’t take on water) and have a mechanic check out the motor, steerage, electrical, etc.

 

Edited by squirrelwhisperer
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My brother and sisters own one, but they have a secluded waterfront cottage where they leave it docked for the season.   A drawback on trailering pontoon boats is that they are very difficult to launch and recover if there is any significant cross-wind.   They are also difficult to attach to a dock in a cross wind.  I fight that myself now and then with the big one my father in law has up at his place in the Adirondacks.   If there is any wind over 5 mph, we just leave it tied at the dock and take out the v-hull rowboats.  My brother and sister have a much easier time with theirs on a wind-protected cove off the St Lawrence river.   My father in law's is on an open lakeshore that is almost always subjected to the prevaling SW winds. 

If you have to trailer it, I would recommend an open-bow v-hull boat as they are a lot easier to control at the boat launch.   You might still be able to get an Evirude E-Tech, but all other outbaords made today are 4-stroke as far as I know.   I don't care for them because they are so much heavier than the 2-strokes.   I always dread the job of carrying my father in law's super heavy Honda 4-stroke up the steep stairs at his place every fall, for winter storage.   

   

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10 minutes ago, wolc123 said:

My brother and sisters own one, but they have a secluded waterfront cottage where they leave it docked for the season.   A drawback on trailering pontoon boats is that they are very difficult to launch and recover if there is any significant cross-wind.   They are also difficult to attach to a dock in a cross wind.  I fight that myself now and then with the big one my father in law has up at his place in the Adirondacks.   If there is any wind over 5 mph, we just leave it tied at the dock and take out the v-hull rowboats.  My brother and sister have a much easier time with theirs on a wind-protected cove off the St Lawrence river.   My father in law's is on an open lakeshore that is almost always subjected to the prevaling SW winds. 

If you have to trailer it, I would recommend an open-bow v-hull boat as they are a lot easier to control at the boat launch.   You might still be able to get an Evirude E-Tech, but all other outbaords made today are 4-stroke as far as I know.   I don't care for them because they are so much heavier than the 2-strokes.   I always dread the job of carrying my father in law's super heavy Honda 4-stroke up the steep stairs at his place every fall, for winter storage.   

   

Suzuki is the only major manufacturer that still makes 2 strokes. 

Edited by squirrelwhisperer

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Just sold a Pontoon Boat .... if we had a Lake close by we might have kept it but on the Hudson its no fun with just one engine ! The wind will take it wherever it wants to !


Answer to No One !

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Thanks for the feedback everyone.  

I've definitely have to rig to tow it. 2019 F350.  Not worrying about launching or loading.  Back trailers up everyday.  As far as a pita to tow, can't be any worse then a 40' 5er. 

Don't plan on carrying or removing a 90+ hp motor, lol.

The wind is what I'm concerned about as far as loading. But if it's that windy, I probably won't go out. 

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If you want to take the family out and get some sun, drink a few beers, and cruise the lakeshore, get a pontoon and hope the wind isn't over 5  MPH when you load and unload...

If you want to fish, get a deep V 17 like your cousins.....Good luck and have fun...

 

Edited by Pygmy
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I got a tritoon with 150 4stroke there is some getting use to wind but after a few times you get the hang of it and playing the wind when putting it in hoist or trailer not a big deal at all,,,,and there are diffrent types of trailers some easier then others..

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An 18 to 20 foot bow rider would allow for pulling a skier or floats. Still plenty of room for lounging and slow ride cruising. Much easier to launch and load in the wind, than a pontoon. And a V hull will handle any moderate chop, and wind that may come up during the day too. Much more versatile than a pontoon in my opinion.

If you enjoy fishing, a fish-and-ski boat, is a good compromise between family fun and a fishing rig. 

Good luck, and have lots of family fun with whatever craft you get.

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Pontoons do get blown around in the wind but they aren't bad in moderate chop to drive. It's just sitting you move pretty good.  If just going for rides no big deal. Or can anchor and wouldn't have to worry about the wind. But if trying to bass fish a shoreline or something they are just too hard to control even with a troll motor it's tough.  

If cruising on the lake with some friends and some light fishing they are great.  We used to take 14-15 people on one and go to some islands on the St Lawrence and have a clam bake. It was fun. 

Go with a minimum 75% of the horsepower rating for any boat so your not under powered.  Get power tilt and trim as well. Yamaha , Honda, Merc, in that order if have a choice. 

And they aren't that hard to load unless in real heavy wave and then all boats are tougher to load. 

Edited by Robhuntandfish

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All boats get pushed around by wind. Don’t let that discourage you. You will learn to deal with wind/water current. 

I agree with Rob....Yam is #1 motor....Merc is the #1 American motor

Edited by squirrelwhisperer
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I'm definitely not worried about the wind while loading/unloading.  I've seen deep V and pontoons load/unload at the crown point and Vermont launch on Champlain in 15 mph winds.  Challenging, but not impossible. 

Definitely not looking for a fishing rig. Most of my fishing is waiting for a bobber to disappear, lol. 

Also seen many a pontoon pulling skiers or tubbers. But I'm not looking to pull people around all day either.

One thing I'm hearing from people that have or had one is definitely don't be underpowered. 

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My father has a 2013 24' pontoon boat we use on chautauqua lake all the time. He picked this particular model because it was geared towards fishing and pleasure. It has a pair of pedestal seats in front and in back. 2 live wells, a big bench/couch seat also. We've had 10 people on board comfortably. On windy days it is hard to stay in one spot, that is why it has 2 anchors on board. Is it harder to slip into his boat lift on windy days than a v haul, yes but definitely no game changer for us. 

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Wife always wanted one , her thought was if you don’t have a cottage ,it’s a good way to spend the day on the water, grill ,tube ,swim whatever .

I always needed to slalom ski, so I stuck with our little Run about, it has a sweet wake and a nice V for stability, even though drivers will say when I’m cutting, I’m the one steering the boat .

Deck boats seems like a nice compromise, if I wasn’t cheap, I’d think about it, but hard to justify,when I only go,out 15-20 times a year .

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Edited by Nomad
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If you want to see some videos of pontoons boats getting swamped, Google "haulover pontoon boats". As with all things pushed beyond their limits, they will fail. Does not sound like you are looking to push the boat to the limit and beyond. Good luck with it.

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19 minutes ago, cdbing said:

If you want to see some videos of pontoons boats getting swamped, Google "haulover pontoon boats". As with all things pushed beyond their limits, they will fail. Does not sound like you are looking to push the boat to the limit and beyond. Good luck with it.

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Any boat can be pushed beyond it's limits.  

I've been on my cousin's 17' deep V where I was wearing a life vest and clutching 2 more with a death grip on lake Champlain. That lake can get extremely ugly.  Most of the lakes around me are a bathtub compared to Champlain. 

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Agreed. I've had white knuckle moments in all kinds of boats. Took water over the bow or stern more than a time or 2. Even deliberately capsized small sunfish and rowboats to learn how to right-side them as a teen. Just saying operate within the limits and enjoy the boat.

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54 minutes ago, cdbing said:

If you want to see some videos of pontoons boats getting swamped, Google "haulover pontoon boats". As with all things pushed beyond their limits, they will fail. Does not sound like you are looking to push the boat to the limit and beyond. Good luck with it.

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You can watch 20+ deep v blue water boats getting swamped at haulover. Its one of the more dangerous inlets around.

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