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Old 07-16-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
Aguamenti
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Default Another wannabe first-time boat owner - questions

Our home is on Mirror Lake, so I could get a small bowrider or a pontoon, but I really, really want to have the option to boat on Winni as well.

I'm not an experienced pilot, so no plans to cross the Broads, though I would love the ability to put in at Nineteen Mile or Winter Harbor and cruise along the perimeter and in the calmer areas of the lake. I would regularly be carrying 7-8 people (though 4 of them are kids). I drive a small SUV that is tow-rated for only 4500 lbs.

With those limitations, do you have any thoughts about what, if anything, would work for me? Thanks for any input.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
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The big lake is really not the best place for a novice to pilot a large boat.
Probably better to begin with a smaller boat and fewer people.

But if you must the pontoon boat is probably more practicle for that many people.

MANITOU
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by songkrai View Post
The big lake is really not the best place for a novice to pilot a large boat.
Probably better to begin with a smaller boat and fewer people.

But if you must the pontoon boat is probably more practicle for that many people.

MANITOU
Thanks, I am limited in boat size anyway due to my tow capacity. I have noticed not many pontoons on Winni and assumed that the water was too rough.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:51 PM   #4
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You would be fine with a smaller pontoon boat. A boat of 18 feet would be perfect for Mirror Lake and big enough to do some careful exploring On "Winni".
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguamenti View Post
Thanks, I am limited in boat size anyway due to my tow capacity. I have noticed not many pontoons on Winni and assumed that the water was too rough.
Rough water on Winni is fine if you have a large pontoon boat with 3 tubes. Our boat can easily handle the broads on a rough day.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:04 AM   #6
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I would go look at some of the boat shops. Even if you never go for a ride. Find out the largest boat you can haul and then see how 7-8 people would fit.

A 21' bow rider will be near your weight limit and might hold 7-8, but it will be crowded unless half are kids. I think your tow vehicle will drive your selection.

You can always do a little research online, most boat builders list their weights and capacities even for recent previous years. Don't forget to add the trailer weight.

There's a whole bunch of pontoon info in recent threads here, I never owned one so I can't add much, but they seem to be all the rage recently.

Another thing to try maybe a stroll down the Wolfeboro town docks. See some boats you like and ask questions, boat owners love to talk about and show off their boats. Don't ask for a ride, but some may offer a tour at dockside.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:11 AM   #7
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There are many pontoon boats on the lake. There are plenty of "smaller" crafts that venture out to all areas of the lake as well. You will learn the limitations of the equipment and your comfort level as you gain experience. (People have crossed the Atlantic in a row boat)

You can rent 18 or 20 foot bowriders or different pontoon boats (25 hp to 150 hp) from Irwin Marina to test your thinking about what you may want to own. You can also spend time with the sales staff but you will get limited operation experience.

The excitement of having an idea of wanting something, going through the rationalization process, then commiting to a purchase is a real thrill. Good luck and keep us posted on your adventures!
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:29 PM   #8
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There are many pontoon boats on the lake. There are plenty of "smaller" crafts that venture out to all areas of the lake as well. You will learn the limitations of the equipment and your comfort level as you gain experience. (People have crossed the Atlantic in a row boat)

You can rent 18 or 20 foot bowriders or different pontoon boats (25 hp to 150 hp) from Irwin Marina to test your thinking about what you may want to own. You can also spend time with the sales staff but you will get limited operation experience.

The excitement of having an idea of wanting something, going through the rationalization process, then commiting to a purchase is a real thrill. Good luck and keep us posted on your adventures!
Thank you. Funnily enough, I know the woman that has crossed both the Atlantic and more recently, the Pacific, solo, in a rowboat (Roz Savage). She'd probably laugh at my fear of The Broads.

You are right, this has been a purchase a year in the making now. I have owned a Bizer chart and study it. Getting ready to act is very exciting.

I'm thinking we'll be happiest in a smaller bow rider for now, sticking to Mirror Lake and close to shore on Winnipesaukee until I have more experience.

I really appreciate all the advice.
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