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Old 11-14-2017, 03:26 AM   #1
loonguy
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Default Pontoon Boat?

Due to the seasonal low lake levels and many underwater hazards near Lees Mill and the Loon Center in Moultonborough, we recently sold our bow rider, which had a 39 inch draft, and are considering buying a tritoon, which has a 14 inch draft. Another option might be a jet powered boat. I welcome any comments and perspectives that might assist our decision. Thanks. (Yes, this is a duplicate of the post I mistakenly posted under the Boating Issues forum. I hope this is not viewed as a contentious issue.)
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:06 AM   #2
thinkxingu
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We have a tritoon in Hanson Cove and have never had an issue with depth, even last year with the low water levels. We don't go to Lee's Mills a lot, but that whole northern area is pretty similar.

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Old 11-14-2017, 06:08 AM   #3
Greene's Basin Girl
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Our pontoon boat is in Green's Basin. We go to Lee's Mills all the time without any problems. We own a Harris tritoon from Melvin Marina. We love it! go talk to Matt if you are interested in looking at one.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:29 PM   #4
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Good question. Since you apparently know your way around Moultonborough Bay, it would seem draft is only a problem if you don't have enough water at docks you frequent, like your own. I have a 24' deep-vee runabout that draws 25", engine full down. This leads me to believe that your bow-rider with 39" draft may be considerably larger. Obviously, per foot of length, it's hard to beat the load bearing capacity of a 'toon. If you have other boating expectations, say a quick run to Alton Bay for ice cream, I prefer the feeling of safety sitting inside the boat instead of on top when the weather kicks up.
I'm not sure why we don't see more jet boats--the MP has one that is 40 feet and I recall them saying it draws 14" at the dock and 8" on plane. They can put the bow up against almost anybody's shore and still have engines in the water, not tilted up like an I/O or O/B. Maybe there are more jets than I realize, but there is nothing on the outside that visibly tells me it's a jet?
Any jet people out there? We know there are lots who love their 'toons.
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loonguy View Post
Due to the seasonal low lake levels and many underwater hazards near Lees Mill and the Loon Center in Moultonborough, we recently sold our bow rider, which had a 39 inch draft, and are considering buying a tritoon, which has a 14 inch draft. Another option might be a jet powered boat. I welcome any comments and perspectives that might assist our decision. Thanks. (Yes, this is a duplicate of the post I mistakenly posted under the Boating Issues forum. I hope this is not viewed as a contentious issue.)
This might help with non toon choice...
//www.boatingmag.com/boat-engine-comparison
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:23 PM   #6
loonguy
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Thanks for the helpful perspectives. Based on the comments so far, I am leaning toward buying a tritoon with an outboard motor.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:23 PM   #7
MBNeckguy
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I have a 21 foot bowrider and have had some trouble during a few year on the Kona Shore. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a jet boat. I've never considered one but based on what I'm reading it sounds like a good idea. I still love being able to explore different "shallow" areas of the Lake, a jet boat could be a good option

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Old 11-14-2017, 10:30 PM   #8
Woody38
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A jet boat would be a great choice. Fays Boat Yard is selling Wellcraft jet boats. My next foray into boats may well be a jet.


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Old 11-14-2017, 11:54 PM   #9
loonguy
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The boatingmag link above indicates that, compared to outboard motors, the jet boat tested was very loud, difficult to maneuver, and inefficient with respect to gas consumption. Are there alternative facts out there?
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loonguy View Post
The boatingmag link above indicates that, compared to outboard motors, the jet boat tested was very loud, difficult to maneuver, and inefficient with respect to gas consumption. Are there alternative facts out there?
Sadly for some, we live with only one set of facts in this world.

We thought about a jet boat, but the disadvantages you describe are well accepted, and a few minutes thought on the physics involved confirmed the points for us.
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loonguy View Post
Thanks for the helpful perspectives. Based on the comments so far, I am leaning toward buying a tritoon with an outboard motor.
While not in the market, I agree with that choice. Unless a repair shop gives out a "loaner-engine", buyers that opt for two outboards are much less likely to lose a minute of the season due to repairs.

Because I haven't seen a pontoon boat on a boatlift, I'd have to ask if pontoons are more secure from oversized-boat wakes while "parked" at the dock?

Hurricane Irma didn't harm a neighbor's pontoon boat until his bow-eye fitting got torn from the hull! A "case" for longer, thinner, dock lines?

An outboard's draft is only 3" less than a stern drive, according to Boating Magazine's superb three-boat comparison article. I left a comment: https://www.boatingmag.com/boat-engine-comparison :

Quote:
"I'm a great fan of "close" comparison tests such as this one. Well done! I would add that lower initial cost reduces the effect of higher fuel consumption. Also, much storage cost is based on length, so the cost of storage needs to be added to the longer jet-drive design, and that Rotax makes great engines. Note that it's Government regulations that keep the Rotax the noisiest (inside the boat). There may be a workaround for the engineer-owner.

The best line? 'The jet is obnoxiously loud, unless youíve been riding a personal watercraft and donít know any better.'"


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Old 11-15-2017, 05:04 AM   #12
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How's about a stand-up paddle board?. Looking in craigslist, there's a lot of low priced paddle boards this time of year in their sports section as opposed to the boats section. A high quality , lightweight, fiberglass sup, size 11'6" x 32" only weighs about 35-lbs, and can support someone 250+ lbs while standing up to paddle.

Plus, it uses no gasoline, gives a big exercise workout, and has a draft depth of about 2", plus the 8" fin skeg in the back.

Is good way to lose weight ...... stand up paddle a sup...... no registration, no insurance, no trailer, no motor, no gasoline ..... all you need is an old pair of sneakers, a pfd w/ a whistle, and the big, long paddle.
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterG View Post
Sadly for some, we live with only one set of facts in this world.
And, of course, there are alternate facts.

It's how you assemble the facts that matters. When you assemble facts in different ways you get , in this case, different hull designs, propulsion mechanisms, etc.

There was mention above that jet boats are louder. I will grant that new outboards are very quiet compared to the old 2-cycle type, but I would expect two inboard engines (Jet, full inboard, or I/O, to have similar noise levels if they are based on similar engines. I think conversations are difficult at 35 knots whether you are in a jet boat or on a pontoon, so I would tend to discount this item in choosing one or the other.

One interesting thing about the pontoon: At my Marina, we all back into our slips. Difficult sometimes on a windy day. The 'toon a few slips away from me just drives in and boards at the bow which is close to the dock with no outdrive, swim platform etc to bridge. Very convenient.
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:24 PM   #14
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Because of the above mentioned reasons- I would drive a jet before driving. I do agree that they are quieter than they used to be, but I drove a Chapparal when they first came out, and it seems all of the power is at a higher RPM, so at speed you are around 5-6K RPM, I think redline was up around 8,000. A little engine needs that boost to get the power. Without having a "true" neutral, the boat was constantly moving, I found it much harder to dock than my 'toon. Just my .02.
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Descant View Post
And, of course, there are alternate facts.

It's how you assemble the facts that matters. When you assemble facts in different ways you get , in this case, different hull designs, propulsion mechanisms, etc.

There was mention above that jet boats are louder. I will grant that new outboards are very quiet compared to the old 2-cycle type, but I would expect two inboard engines (Jet, full inboard, or I/O, to have similar noise levels if they are based on similar engines. I think conversations are difficult at 35 knots whether you are in a jet boat or on a pontoon, so I would tend to discount this item in choosing one or the other.

One interesting thing about the pontoon: At my Marina, we all back into our slips. Difficult sometimes on a windy day. The 'toon a few slips away from me just drives in and boards at the bow which is close to the dock with no outdrive, swim platform etc to bridge. Very convenient.
My quip on "alternate facts" was half in just. The serious half was to point out that "alternate" means in place of another. Your post is a combination of additional facts and opinions. But these are not "alternate" to the facts that, apples to apples, outboards are quieter and easier to control.
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:57 PM   #16
SAMIAM
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I know that jet boats use a little more fuel and don't respond as well as other drives at docking speed but I had one and liked it a lot.
No prop to worry about with kids in the water.
No prop or lower unit to worry about in shallow water
Able to reverse at full throttle in case of emergency
They don't back up well but you get used to it and if I was using my boat a lot in shallow water I'd buy one in a minute.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAMIAM View Post
I know that jet boats use a little more fuel and don't respond as well as other drives at docking speed but I had one and liked it a lot.
No prop to worry about with kids in the water.
No prop or lower unit to worry about in shallow water
Able to reverse at full throttle in case of emergency
They don't back up well but you get used to it and if I was using my boat a lot in shallow water I'd buy one in a minute.
I agree. Many years ago I had the 20 Foot Yamaha with twin 135's and enjoyed it a lot. The newer one's are a lot more quiet and have a deeper V so they ride better. The handling was different but it just took some getting use to and it was fine. The thrust when accelerating or pulling skiers was great.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:50 PM   #18
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Fay’s picked up the Scarab jet boat line, which is part of Groupe Beneteau. They own a lot of the popular boat lines.

https://www.beneteau-group.com/en/brands-services/

I bought a 16’ Scarab jet boat last year for use primarily in the shallow backwater near my house in Florida. It’s a fun boat that only draws about 12”. The Bombardier Rotax engine is a great, reliable power plant. Handling is great, noise isn’t that bad at all. Only issue is running in choppy water - it’s like being in a washing machine. But it’s far more practical than a PWC. Fay’s should do well with this line of boats.
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