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Old 01-07-2022, 05:46 PM   #1
thinkxingu
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Default 20' Jet Boat vs. 20' Tritoon

Holla!
There hasn't been enough boat chatter lately, so here goes: one thing I don't love about my 20' Harris Tritoon w/150 HP Mercury outboard is that there's no swim platform on the back to hang out on at sandbars, anchoring spots, etc.
What I love about my tritoon is that it's practically maintenance-free and has lots of space and we have a great resource in Melvin Village.
Someone in my association bought a 27' jet boat last summerócan't recall the brandóbut he said he loves it.

So: does a 20' jet boat exist that might be lower maintenance than an inboard/stern drive/standard fiberglass but also has decent space? Our Harris is going into its 7th summer, so I'm beginning to think about what might be next.

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Old 01-07-2022, 07:08 PM   #2
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Default Jet deck boat

I've rented both toons and a deck boat. The 18' deck boat had significant room compared to a similar size runabout. The similar size toon seemed cumbersome by comparison, although it certainly had an open feeling.
Sea Doo makes a 22' jet deck boat (Islandia) that seems to cover all the bases, including a changing room/head under the helm and a toddler fountain play pool in the bow. Swim ladders at both ends. https://www.boats.com/reviews/island-of-possibilities/

Now is the time to start talking to dealers to see if they will comp some tickets to the NE Boat show. (BTW Different dates this year.)
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Old 01-07-2022, 08:15 PM   #3
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Just a note that I'm limited to 20'.

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Old 01-07-2022, 09:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Holla!
There hasn't been enough boat chatter lately, so here goes: one thing I don't love about my 20' Harris Tritoon w/150 HP Mercury outboard is that there's no swim platform on the back to hang out on at sandbars, anchoring spots, etc.
What I love about my tritoon is that it's practically maintenance-free and has lots of space and we have a great resource in Melvin Village.
Someone in my association bought a 27' jet boat last summerócan't recall the brandóbut he said he loves it.

So: does a 20' jet boat exist that might be lower maintenance than an inboard/stern drive/standard fiberglass but also has decent space? Our Harris is going into its 7th summer, so I'm beginning to think about what might be next.

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Iím not a jet boat fan. They donít steer/dock as well, take more power for the same output, last less hours and fuel consumption is high.

In fact, the first point is so true I stay far away from the Yamaha boats at the docks. Had 3 close calls this year, all Yamaha jet boats.


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Old 01-08-2022, 10:09 AM   #5
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Yamaha makes a 19' and a 21'. I've never owned or driven one, so I cannot comment with personal knowledge on their maneuverability, fuel efficiency, etc, but they sure look nice. And as Billy Crystal's, "Fernando", used to say in those old SNL sketches, "it's not how you feel darling, it's how you look!"

I've heard 2nd/3rd hand that they tend to be less expensive to buy than a comparable I/O boat and with no outdrive hanging down, can go in shallower water. I have also heard that the jet is not as precise as an outboard or I/O in tight docking situations.

Think, being the researcher that you are, I'm sure you will carry out the utmost due diligence on this!
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Old 01-08-2022, 10:18 AM   #6
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We have owned more boats then I like to admit to.
At the lake we currently have a very comfortable tri tune and in Florida a fishing boat with a 300 Yamaha outboard.
We had a jet boat for about 6 years that was the worst boat we ever had , constant maintenance issues, always sucking up the bottom if we went to shallow, gas guzzler, imposable to drive at the dock . I would stay away from them
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Old 01-08-2022, 10:59 AM   #7
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With your length limit I would stay with a pontoon.
I have owned a ridiculous amount of boats over the years and think that a small jet boat in the 20í or less range rides terrible. I had a Yamaha 242X SE last year and enjoyed it but am going Supra next. The Yamaha was maneuverable being twin engine and rode ok but it was a 24í.

You wonít be happy with the much smaller deck space. Just buy a water carpet to carry along.
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Old 01-08-2022, 11:20 AM   #8
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I never had either style but I will say one of the best features of our full inboard Tige was the platform at water level on the back. We lived on it Dogs loved it too. Unfortunately the ducks did too.

Another favorite was the passenger bench (spotter bench) that faced rearward and angled slightly towards the driver.

Another was the transmission. You could smoothly go into reverse even with a fair amount of forward speed. It was a true car like automatic versus how outboards and I/O’s just ram the gears. Drives me nuts when folks change gear to slowly on an I/O and you hear them grinding. It’s like finger nails on a chalk board.

Least favorite was steering when in reverse, you had none. It would always pull to one side. And steering when moving really slow had very little response. Never had an issue but you had to plan for it. Transmission helped solve this because you could goose it forward to get the steering and then stop on a dime in reverse.
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Old 01-08-2022, 11:30 AM   #9
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Default 20' Jet Boat vs. 20' Tritoon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Bob View Post
We have owned more boats then I like to admit to.
At the lake we currently have a very comfortable tri tune and in Florida a fishing boat with a 300 Yamaha outboard.
We had a jet boat for about 6 years that was the worst boat we ever had , constant maintenance issues, always sucking up the bottom if we went to shallow, gas guzzler, imposable to drive at the dock . I would stay away from them

They are the worst. This is becoming widely known enough with seasoned boaters that it makes the issue more pronounced:

Itís usually noobs that buy a jet boat and then later figure out what is good and sell later, which means the jet boats (especially Yamaha bow riders) are usually a bad combination of lack of maneuverability and lack of pilot experience.

This is a stereotype, yes, but it proves itself with regularity. Aside from a rocky river aluminum boat, jet boats have far more cons than pros.

I watched the poor gas girl in wolfeboro drag a 22ft Yamaha backwards around the dock because the guy couldnít get close. Another almost broadsided me because he was looking the other way and another nearly hit me stern to stern in Alton while I was docked. I had to risk limb to shove him away.

Can you tell I hate the damn things?


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Old 01-08-2022, 12:35 PM   #10
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I never liked toon boats even though every neighbor under the sun has one. I kind always considered them the ďmini vanĒ boat. I also hate mini vans and refused to ever buy one.

But we might be buying a boat. Not sure. The ratio of work to fun was low even though I loved our boat. We had thought about one of those Yamaha jet boats but after reading this thread thatís out.

But after being spoiled with a great platform it would be hard to get a boat without one. The only boats I ever see with really great platforms are full inboards. Which are running $80k and up these days. And Iíd be back to maintenance (which wasnít terrible). But I canít help doing stuff myself if Iím capable.

Any way check out this platform for a toon boat. Probable not an option on a Tri toon.

http://www.splashsteps.com/pontoon-water-testing2.html
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Old 01-08-2022, 12:38 PM   #11
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I never liked toon boats even though every neighbor under the sun has one. I kind always considered them the ďmini vanĒ boat. I also hate mini vans and refused to ever buy one.

But we might be buying a boat. Not sure. The ratio of work to fun was low even though I loved our boat. We had thought about one of those Yamaha jet boats but after reading this thread thatís out.

But after being spoiled with a great platform it would be hard to get a boat without one. The only boats I ever see with really great platforms are full inboards. Which are running $80k and up these days. And Iíd be back to maintenance (which wasnít terrible). But I canít help doing stuff myself if Iím capable.

Any way check out this platform for a toon boat. Probable not an option on a Tri toon.

http://www.splashsteps.com/pontoon-water-testing2.html

Pontoons arenít all bad if what you value is deck space. They are low maintenance and simple.

There is a rental stigma, but this lake has enough seasoned pontoon owners and you can usually tell the difference.

Take a look a Hurricaneís lineup. They have deck boats and some in between.


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Old 01-08-2022, 01:58 PM   #12
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I had a 16 foot SeaRayder with a 165 HP and a 20 foot Yamaha LS 2000 with twin 135 HP motors.

The SeaRayder rode extremely hard, to the point that my niece seated in the bow, broke her arm when we went over a boat wake.

The Yamaha was much better but still had a harder ride than a pontoon boat would. The handling in close quarters took some getting used to but I didn't find it terrible. It also used a lot more gas than a similar sized I/O or outboard boat would.

The pontoon boats still seem to be the best for ride, room and utility for what most families use them for. If you are limited to a 20 foot boat the ride will be much better in a pontoon boat than a 20 foot conventional V hull.

I just bought a 25 foot pontoon boat with a Yamaha 250 for Florida. It is the second time I have had a Yamaha outboard and I am still surprised how little gas they use when you spend a full day on the water.
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Old 01-08-2022, 02:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeredithMan View Post
Think, being the researcher that you are, I'm sure you will carry out the utmost due diligence on this!
I hateóHATEóthe feeling of buyer's remorse while also having a tremendous appreciation for the "perfect" machine. The only way to get there without an absurd amount of excessive funds is through research!

Though, from this limited thread, it appears my research might be already completeóI mean, I've not seen this much agreement on the forum in a while!

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Old 01-08-2022, 02:35 PM   #14
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It really depends on your needs. We've had 3 places on NewFound. First was a shared beach which was a bit of walk. We had an 18' I/O back then, but a pontoon might have been better since we would spend 1/2 the day on the boat. We were in the boat a lot to have our own "space".

At our second place we were on the water and had the dock below along with the Tige. Having breakfast on the dock was like being in a Pontoon. Maybe better, because no waves, bathroom in reach and great if you forgot to pack something So the only time we went out was for "sport". Pontoons are probably the least good at sport.

The Tige was horrible on chop though because the bottom was so flat.

As far as maintenance. They are all pretty much the same. They all need to be winterized, protected in winter, oil changed and cleaned. Pontoon looks easier to clean the bottom, but that's about it. Well, you have no windshield to keep clean.

My Tige was pretty heavy for towing. 4500 lbs for 20 ft boat. Pontoons are lighter but catch a lot of air.

Another pet peeve of mine is, I like a real windshield. I like going out when it's glass early to ski. But it can be pretty cool. I'd freeze my ass off in a Pontoon boat.

Also covering the boat. I always used a full mooring cover and always will (unless I have a boathouse or covered lift). Putting the cover on our Tige probably couldn't have been easier. Covering Pontoons looks like a PITA. I watch neighbor do it all the time. And I've done their boat a couple times. I could borrow it any time. And theirs is on a lift and it's still painful to watch.

There are tons of Condo's, Day Trippers, Shared beaches that a Pontoon is better for being on for the day and partly why they are so popular.

If I was on Winni, I think I'd want a Deep V 26+ footer. Maybe with a mini head. But again, locations vary a lot. You might live/stay in a calmer bay and never cross the broads, ever. Or you might live on an island.

Currently this is my "low maintenance" stop gap.



Water was pristine here, sandy bottom and perfect gradual depth. There wasn't many better places to be.
It even had comfy seats suspended over the water. It felt more in the water than the boat did. And literally no maintenance and no gas. Why go putt putt in a Pontoon?



Even the ducks know a good thing
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Old 01-08-2022, 06:54 PM   #15
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Default 20' Jet Boat vs. 20' Tritoon

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It really depends on your needs. We've had 3 places on NewFound. First was a shared beach which was a bit of walk. We had an 18' I/O back then, but a pontoon might have been better since we would spend 1/2 the day on the boat. We were in the boat a lot to have our own "space".

At our second place we were on the water and had the dock below along with the Tige. Having breakfast on the dock was like being in a Pontoon. Maybe better, because no waves, bathroom in reach and great if you forgot to pack something So the only time we went out was for "sport". Pontoons are probably the least good at sport.

The Tige was horrible on chop though because the bottom was so flat.

As far as maintenance. They are all pretty much the same. They all need to be winterized, protected in winter, oil changed and cleaned. Pontoon looks easier to clean the bottom, but that's about it. Well, you have no windshield to keep clean.

My Tige was pretty heavy for towing. 4500 lbs for 20 ft boat. Pontoons are lighter but catch a lot of air.

Another pet peeve of mine is, I like a real windshield. I like going out when it's glass early to ski. But it can be pretty cool. I'd freeze my ass off in a Pontoon boat.

Also covering the boat. I always used a full mooring cover and always will (unless I have a boathouse or covered lift). Putting the cover on our Tige probably couldn't have been easier. Covering Pontoons looks like a PITA. I watch neighbor do it all the time. And I've done their boat a couple times. I could borrow it any time. And theirs is on a lift and it's still painful to watch.

There are tons of Condo's, Day Trippers, Shared beaches that a Pontoon is better for being on for the day and partly why they are so popular.

If I was on Winni, I think I'd want a Deep V 26+ footer. Maybe with a mini head. But again, locations vary a lot. You might live/stay in a calmer bay and never cross the broads, ever. Or you might live on an island.

Currently this is my "low maintenance" stop gap.



Water was pristine here, sandy bottom and perfect gradual depth. There wasn't many better places to be.
It even had comfy seats suspended over the water. It felt more in the water than the boat did. And literally no maintenance and no gas. Why go putt putt in a Pontoon?



Even the ducks know a good thing

You raise two GREAT points about pontoons:
No windshield = freeze your ass. I never really thought about this.
Harder to cover daily, but my brother in law covers his 20í tracker after every ride. Itís an extra few minutes and the top is more fumbly (and high up).

At the end of the day, a pontoon isnít for me, unless I had two boats on the same lake all season. That may change with age, but probably not.

Still, they cruise well, fish well, are efficient, etc.
A good option for many.


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Old 01-09-2022, 11:07 AM   #16
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Pontoon vs. boat, even a deck boat, is such an apples to orange comparison that I think anyone who has been in each probably can decide what they prefer with just a few minutes of thought. Going back to the original question (and thank you for posting a boating thread in January, much appreciated!) I think the question is more like this:

Do I want a 20' pontoon or 20' deck boat?
If the answer to the above is deck boat, then:
Do I want a 20' I/O, jet, or inboard?

I don't agree with much that has been posted about jets. Yes, they burn more gas, yes, they take time to get accustomed to maneuvering. But as mentioned in talking about the Tige inboard, inboards are difficult to maneuver, IMO more difficult than jets, yet those of us that own them figure it out and become adept. Of course with any type of boat there is a group that won't become adept and instead are a hazard. On fuel burn, we are people with the ability to boat on Winni for 1/3 of the year, and most of us put 50-80 hours on a boat in a season. So a jet burns more gas, just not a big factor overall IMO, maybe an extra $250 in fuel over a season.

My take - with the 20' limit I'd go I/O deck boat. If you could go larger I'd still consider a twin jet, they are different but worth a test drive to feel it.
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Old 01-09-2022, 10:27 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by LikeLakes View Post
Pontoon vs. boat, even a deck boat, is such an apples to orange comparison that I think anyone who has been in each probably can decide what they prefer with just a few minutes of thought. Going back to the original question (and thank you for posting a boating thread in January, much appreciated!) I think the question is more like this:

Do I want a 20' pontoon or 20' deck boat?
If the answer to the above is deck boat, then:
Do I want a 20' I/O, jet, or inboard?

I don't agree with much that has been posted about jets. Yes, they burn more gas, yes, they take time to get accustomed to maneuvering. But as mentioned in talking about the Tige inboard, inboards are difficult to maneuver, IMO more difficult than jets, yet those of us that own them figure it out and become adept. Of course with any type of boat there is a group that won't become adept and instead are a hazard. On fuel burn, we are people with the ability to boat on Winni for 1/3 of the year, and most of us put 50-80 hours on a boat in a season. So a jet burns more gas, just not a big factor overall IMO, maybe an extra $250 in fuel over a season.

My take - with the 20' limit I'd go I/O deck boat. If you could go larger I'd still consider a twin jet, they are different but worth a test drive to feel it.
Where I had my inboard I could get away with itís challenges in maneuvering. If I had to pull into some of those public docks on Winni, with peak traffic, it would be tough. I can do it, but you canít rush me And everyone else is in a rush at those spots.
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