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Pontoon Advice


TV BOY

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Any advice out there as far as brands that are the best value or ones to avoid. We are looking at the boat show, hopeing to come away more educated and now I'm almost more confused. Wood vs aluminum deck, wood vs plastic moulded furniture. etc.. Amt of horsepower. outboard vs i/o

Any help would be great.

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IMO stay away from alum deck. Pontoons that I have been on with alum deck really vibrated, the wood soaks up the vibrations. I would stay with outboard, on most pontoons, access is a real problem on I.O's. Just changing spark plugs is a nightmare. As far as furniture the main thing I would look at is the quality of the vynil. You want a good heavy duty vynil that will hold up for years. For brands I am partial to Bennington, they have excellent quality.

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would echo what he said. wood floor. may have to be replaced ... after 20 years but you will have a better ride i think.

outboard gives you more flexibility i believe. of course having an inboard and getting up on plane with a huge a$$ inboard would be a thrill :-)

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One must is a 4-stroke engine you can barley hear them run which is nice on a pontoon for hearing people talk along with no smoke or adding oil.

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I'd go for a 2275 Bennington with a 100 horse four stroke...

Bennington makes a good pontoon IMHO... their fit and finish is almost automotive quality... what other pontoon manufacturer ships their pontoons to dealers with bedsheets covering the vinyl to protect it during shipping?

marine_man

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I'll echo Marine Man's opinion, but go with a much smaller engine. That will free up some cash to allow you to install the Sea Legs. Which will again save you money from buying a pontoon lift. Bennington builds a quality pontoon. Just my.02.

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Sea Legs are a nice addition to any pontoon, that's for sure... if you plan on trailering your pontoon a long ways they make the pontoon more unstable for trailering, but if you're only trailering it to put it in and to take it out they're great!

And nothing wrong with a smaller motor.. a four stroke 50 is what you'll see on most pontoons... that or a 9.9, but with the 9.9 you won't get too far too fast... but you'll be sipping gas instead of swallowing it.

marine_man

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What are opinions on trailers: buy or rent, bunk or drop down? It would be nice to take the pontoon to my friends lake places which are within an hours drive. I know a marine dealer that rents them per day.

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go with the biggest diameter floats you can get you will not be dissapointed. you can get up on plane faster and its a super smooth ride. wink.gif

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I would suggest going with a bunk trailer. It sure is nice to store your pontoon on a bunk trailer for the winter rather than on the ground.(Keep in mind, with Sea Legs, a scissor trailer should not be used. The legs get in the way of the scissor trailer bed, making the pontoon top heavy and risking sliding off).

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nothing like deciding last minute that you want to take your boat to another lake and just loading it up on a bunk trailer you own.

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Definately a bunk trailer if you plan on travelling any distance... they're a lot more stable for trailering, and as someone else mentioned a crank up style trailer will not work, or is not advised for use with Sea Legs.

The next question then becomes do you have a vehicle suitable for trailering a pontoon?

marine_man

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Pulling power is covered.

Another question would then be with a bunk trailer would one consider the 3rd pontoon or just stick with two. The lake we live on is small about 200 acres. But have friends on Ida an other bigger lakes. Kids are too small to be skiing or tubeing.

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The extra pontoon is nice... it makes it a lot more stable and less flex when you're in the bigger waves...

Bunk trailers and pontoon lifts can be configured for 3 pontoons, so that shouldn't be a problem... the bigger question is how much of cost adder is the extra 'toon, and how often will you really need it? I would say that you'll be fine with two pontoons on Ida, but if you can afford it I'd go for it...

The extra pontoon will mean that you won't be able to get sea legs though... not sure if this is a big deal or not...

The other option that is nice to get is the full splash guard on the bottom of the pontoon... basically they put aluminum shields on the bottom of the pontoon from pontoon to pontoon which should give you a lot better floring life...

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TV: I've got a 24' Eroca with a 115 merc four stroke and couldn't be happier. The Hexagon pontoons, the only one I know that has them, allows it to plane quickly and it'll do 34MPH on the GPS. It's very quiet at trolling speed and just sipps gas too. The model I have will seat 14 people, never had more than 8, in "Couch Comfort". As for a trailer, I have a bunk type, which isn't great if you are unloading on land for storage, but at the ramp, she floats on and off with ease. On the road the pontoon does not sway or bounce. I do have a lift when it's on the water, as the prevailing westerly wind will bounce it into the dock without one... I've had this setup now for 5 years, except I upgraded to the 115 Merc a couple of years ago from a 60 HP 2 stroke because of the oil smell when crusing in a party mode... Kaz grin.gif

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We have been looking at the "Sun Tracker" through "Link Recreational" We liked the design of the 21' "Fishing Barge". Does anyone have any comments good or bad on this brand?

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I have a Sun Tracker 21 ft "party barge" I love it.... i have no complaints....I have had it for 2 seasons....it has the 60 4stroke big foot....it seems to be plenty...the kids tube...I have even tubed and got outside the wake and i am 250 lbs....The other thing I like is the transom sits back farther than other pontoons...so the outboard is set away from the boat...which gives you more storage in the back...I have had my whole family on it 12-13 peaople and it did great...I would recommend the sun tracker....so far it has been great... grin.gif

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Check out the Crestliner angler pontoons they are available in several models and sizes.

Biggest tubes in the industry at 27 inches!

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