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Old 08-23-2021, 08:49 PM   #1
Juiced06GTO
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Default Trade the deck boat for a pontoon??

Need some guidance here. We are a family of 5, boys are 7/5/3 now. We typically are boating with a few other families, this year there were 14 of us total. The 224 Funship did great and handled all of us fine for the most part, but once all the kids get a little older and bigger, it is going to shrink fast!

I've never owned a pontoon, I grew up with a 17' Bayliner, then a 20' Harris Kayot deck boat that were my parents, then purchased the 24' funship 4 years ago. Looking for positive and negatives from anyone who has made the switch.

I'd be looking at something like a 25' tri toon. Ideally that would still fit on our family place on Upper Suncook and handle the big lake with no issues too.

Any input either way would be appreciated! Thanks all!
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Old 08-23-2021, 09:52 PM   #2
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Need some guidance here. We are a family of 5, boys are 7/5/3 now. We typically are boating with a few other families, this year there were 14 of us total. The 224 Funship did great and handled all of us fine for the most part, but once all the kids get a little older and bigger, it is going to shrink fast!

I've never owned a pontoon, I grew up with a 17' Bayliner, then a 20' Harris Kayot deck boat that were my parents, then purchased the 24' funship 4 years ago. Looking for positive and negatives from anyone who has made the switch.

I'd be looking at something like a 25' tri toon. Ideally that would still fit on our family place on Upper Suncook and handle the big lake with no issues too.

Any input either way would be appreciated! Thanks all!
The toon will ride better than a deck boat! I will always run deep hulled (22 degrees or more) boats but some of the new pontoon boats ride amazingly well. Put as much power on it as it can take!
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Old 08-23-2021, 10:07 PM   #3
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Put as much power on it as it can take!
This would be my major concern. If y'all are just tootin' around, a solid tritoon would be fine, but if you're gonna do watersports with that load, you'll need some horsepower. I bet something like a Manitou XPlod or whatever with, like, four 300's on the back would be sa-weeet. JK, though not really.

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Old 08-23-2021, 10:20 PM   #4
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'Toon or plastic doesn't matter. Get a a boat with an enclosed head, not one of those things where you hold up a canvas tent. The ladies and kids will love you. Be prepared for gas bills because your group will only go on your boat.
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Old 08-24-2021, 02:44 AM   #5
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1) With 14 people you will never really go fast.
2) What to look for:
A) For Winni, Tri-toon only.
B) Largest toons you can get...ie:14 riders.
C) Toons with drains on the rear.
D) 10 foot top min., when its hot there is never enough shade!
E) Fuel tank in the 3rd toon...saves weight.
F) No rug on the floor...smell, stains and weight when wet.
G) Skinned and with strakes will help with m.p.h. and fuel.
3) Research the different makers...a lot of bad welds and short cuts going on.
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Old 08-24-2021, 07:35 AM   #6
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Definitely do it.
I had several deck boats before I reluctantly made the move to a toon,thinking it's and old folks boat for booze cruises but I quickly became a fan.
My Bennington tritoon tracks like a deep V and does around 50mph
Plenty of room for family.friends and water toys.Great for the lake and great in SWFL
Like VB says.......go big on power
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Old 08-24-2021, 08:45 AM   #7
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I reluctantly went from a Bowrider to a Pontoon last season. I too looked at it as a sign of getting old but I quickly fell in love with it as did my family.
Get the biggest and baddest one you can afford, you won't regret it!
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Old 08-24-2021, 08:46 AM   #8
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There is a 25' Premier w a 250 Merc on it that was listed a few days ago on FB Marketplace. Maybe we'll go check her out this weekend! Thanks guys!
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Old 08-24-2021, 09:23 AM   #9
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The pontoons are crazy popular and offer a lot of utility such as plenty of space and comfort for guests and a lot of load carrying capacity. Given their weight, they probably get decent fuel mileage. Their outboard power offers lots of options and easy maintenance and replacement should you need to upgrade. Overall they look like less up-keep than a fiberglass boat, not much cleaning and waxing to be done.

On the down side are a lot of concerns for me personally as I considered this option a while back.

The pontoons are more problematic if you are planning to trailer them between lakes. They really appear to be much more of a handful to trailer to me, but I'm sure some will disagree on that point. Same with winter storage, they look like more of a pain to store unless you have a big barn/garage or are paying someone to professionally shrink wrap it. I also feel like when I see people docking at the public docks, they seem to struggle much more to find a space and get it in and out. I'm also not convinced that they hold they value as much as a higher end fiberglass boats. They may be on par with value retention with mid-level fiberglass, but at the moment the market is crazy so all normal standards are kinda out the window.

Lots to consider and in the end its more of a personal decision than anything else. For me the real deal breakers were trailering and storage and where I wanted to be marina wise, there was no option for valet for a pontoon. Your needs, wants, and concerns may be very different.

Good Luck its always a big decision to change boats and you really want to try to get it right as there is so much at stake given the current costs of boats.
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Old 08-24-2021, 09:34 AM   #10
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The pontoons are crazy popular and offer a lot of utility such as plenty of space and comfort for guests and a lot of load carrying capacity. Given their weight, they probably get decent fuel mileage. Their outboard power offers lots of options and easy maintenance and replacement should you need to upgrade. Overall they look like less up-keep than a fiberglass boat, not much cleaning and waxing to be done.

On the down side are a lot of concerns for me personally as I considered this option a while back.

The pontoons are more problematic if you are planning to trailer them between lakes. They really appear to be much more of a handful to trailer to me, but I'm sure some will disagree on that point. Same with winter storage, they look like more of a pain to store unless you have a big barn/garage or are paying someone to professionally shrink wrap it. I also feel like when I see people docking at the public docks, they seem to struggle much more to find a space and get it in and out. I'm also not convinced that they hold they value as much as a higher end fiberglass boats. They may be on par with value retention with mid-level fiberglass, but at the moment the market is crazy so all normal standards are kinda out the window.

Lots to consider and in the end its more of a personal decision than anything else. For me the real deal breakers were trailering and storage and where I wanted to be marina wise, there was no option for valet for a pontoon. Your needs, wants, and concerns may be very different.

Good Luck its always a big decision to change boats and you really want to try to get it right as there is so much at stake given the current costs of boats.
This exactly.

In terms of docking, I think there are two variables that may explain what you're seeing: parachute effect and newbies/renters.

Juiced: throw another 250 on that Premiere, and you'll be great!

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Old 08-24-2021, 10:21 AM   #11
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This exactly.

In terms of docking, I think there are two variables that may explain what you're seeing: parachute effect and newbies/renters.

Juiced: throw another 250 on that Premiere, and you'll be great!

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If I was buying new I'd want a 25' with a 400
At least 300 if you plan on large groups and water sports
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Old 08-24-2021, 11:23 AM   #12
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This exactly.

In terms of docking, I think there are two variables that may explain what you're seeing: parachute effect and newbies/renters.

Juiced: throw another 250 on that Premiere, and you'll be great!

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Re docking; my observations were these were privately owned boats and the weather was calm as I usually only go boating in good weather.

It was my belief they they were simply struggling with tight spaces at the docks, and in Wolfeboro and Weirs, the docks themselves are much tighter than Meredith. As with any boat docking, I'm sure I observed some folks who had a pretty good idea what that were doing and made it work but with some struggle, and others who were frightening to watch, and a few who actually could not do it and relied on help from people on the docks.

It has been my observation that even under perfect conditions, pontoons are harder to dock on a busy day simply because they are bigger. There may also be some additional control and response issues that I dont know about as compared to a heavy fiberglass boat. Someone who owns one would have to speak to that.

These are just observations, so dont put too much into it at the moment.

The very best advice I can give you is to either rent one, or go to a marina on the water and ask to test drive one. I would not invest a lot of money into one until I drove one and docked it myself to get a feel for what I was getting into.
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Old 08-24-2021, 11:48 AM   #13
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What you need to decided is what is important to you.

If you enjoy watersports etc. likely you will not find a Pontoon, or Tri-toon to really be suitable. While you can tube, ski etc. with them, you need crazy power to do so... You will want to stick with your deck boat....

IF you concern is comfortable cruising, with an occasion tube ride for the kids, Toons make sense. I have quickly fallen in love with a used one I picked up. However even if I upgraded the motor, to the Make horsepower, for my pontoon it will not really be suitable for skiing... Tubing yes, but skiing it just will not go fast enough.....

With that said, I am sure there are performance pontoons out there that will allow for skiing, however how will the respond to an adult sking behind them is another thing. When I have seen people skiing with Pontoons, what I have witnessed is a lot of slide slipping, when the skiier is pulling hard off to one side or the other....

Bottom line is it is all about what you want to prioritize.... With Kids not showing as much interest in the lake now that they are older and have independence and options, the wife and I are strongly considering a toon with more power, and dropping the speed boat, which I have kept for water sports.
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Old 08-24-2021, 12:06 PM   #14
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A group of us rented a 25' Sweetwater with a Yamaha 250 in the spring. It had a capacity of 16 but we only had 12. Had a great time and it had plenty of power although we didn't try water skiing.
There aren't too many boats that you are going to water ski off of with 12 people on board.
Probably the best thing to do is rent one for a couple days this fall to see how you like it.
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Old 08-24-2021, 09:43 PM   #15
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Thanks for the posts everyone! The wife and I are just starting the conversation now, so we'll see what happens. The Funship is also all paid for and I'm not sure I want to take on a payment for a toy, so maybe we'll squeak another year out of it.

I don't intend to ski/tube with that many people on the boat, the deck boat won't do that either. We also don't tube and ski much on Winni and do most of that over on Suncook.

Maybe the solution is to keep the deck boat on the dock at Suncook for water sports, cruising and fishing and slip a pontoon at Winni......I'm sure the wife will love the idea of two boats....haha!
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Old 08-25-2021, 07:30 AM   #16
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One other consideration......tritoons cut through chop like a knife. There is absolutely no slap or pounding even in moderate swells.
Bowriders have modified V's and bounce you around a lot especially if you're sitting up front. My wife never liked our 26' Hurricane for that reason but loves the Bennington
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Old 08-25-2021, 12:50 PM   #17
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One other consideration......tritoons cut through chop like a knife. There is absolutely no slap or pounding even in moderate swells.
Bowriders have modified V's and bounce you around a lot especially if you're sitting up front. My wife never liked our 26' Hurricane for that reason but loves the Bennington
I have limited experience with toons, but on really rough days or running into sharp wakes, yes, the cut through instead of going over. That means a flooded deck, especially if you have a heavy load. If your deep vee is pomnding and slappung, you're trying to go too fast, or you aren't properly trimmed. And yes, to me, the bow seats in a bow rider are always bouncing. I stick to closed bow/cuddy styles. If you're getting into a 26'-27' traditional boat, I like the amenities: Vee berths, microwave, grill, stand up head, ice maker, generator, better weather protection, etc. If you don't use the boat in spring and fll when you don't care about heat and A/C, and you only venture out on beautiful days, you don't need all those comforts. In a small pocket cruiser, you can leave a lot of stuff onboard and you don't have to pack and transport so much every time you plan a trip.
In sum, one style boat isn't better than the other, they have different uses where each might excel. If I were a sandbar guy, I'd definitely go for the double deck 'toon with a water slide.
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Old 08-26-2021, 08:49 AM   #18
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I have limited experience with toons, but on really rough days or running into sharp wakes, yes, the cut through instead of going over. That means a flooded deck, especially if you have a heavy load. If your deep vee is pomnding and slappung, you're trying to go too fast, or you aren't properly trimmed. And yes, to me, the bow seats in a bow rider are always bouncing. I stick to closed bow/cuddy styles. If you're getting into a 26'-27' traditional boat, I like the amenities: Vee berths, microwave, grill, stand up head, ice maker, generator, better weather protection, etc. If you don't use the boat in spring and fll when you don't care about heat and A/C, and you only venture out on beautiful days, you don't need all those comforts. In a small pocket cruiser, you can leave a lot of stuff onboard and you don't have to pack and transport so much every time you plan a trip.
In sum, one style boat isn't better than the other, they have different uses where each might excel. If I were a sandbar guy, I'd definitely go for the double deck 'toon with a water slide.
Yes, well saidÖ there is no one perfect boat. You need to find the one best suited to your boating style.

Regarding bouncing bows, virtually every V hulled boat would benefit from trim tabs. They allow you to level unbalanced loads (no more having Joe move to the other side of boat). More importantly, they allow the operator to push the bow down, stopping bounce and using the sharpest angle to push through slop. We can run the broads in 3-4ís at 30 plus in relative comfort.
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Old 08-27-2021, 06:24 AM   #19
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Arrow Wait! Wait!

SeeDoo makes a pontoon boat with choice of Rotax engines:

https://youtu.be/tISoR3NfDgs
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Old 08-27-2021, 09:59 AM   #20
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Default Sea Doo Switch

Can't decide on pontoon configuration? Try this!
https://www.sea-doo.com/us/en/pontoo...ALL%7CBR%7CPHR

I have a deep v on Winnipesaukee. Very suitable for whatever is thrown upon it.
I have a 20 ft pontoon on Winnisquam. Very suitable on this lake. The lake doesn't get wild like 'pesaukee.
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Old 08-27-2021, 05:23 PM   #21
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Default Over the top!

When 70 MPH just isn't fast enough. Never have to wish you'd gone for more power...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyG8-7D4p9I
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Old 08-27-2021, 09:51 PM   #22
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When 70 MPH just isn't fast enough. Never have to wish you'd gone for more power...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyG8-7D4p9I
Now that looks like an accident just waiting to happen.

I noticed it was shown on perfectly flat water, sure makes you wonder what happens when it hits a good sized wake at that speed,,, I would be seriously concerned about blowover.
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Old 08-28-2021, 07:29 AM   #23
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When 70 MPH just isn't fast enough. Never have to wish you'd gone for more power...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyG8-7D4p9I
There are a number of pontoon boats on Winni (both) that are capable of 60+ and at the sandbars and beach bars, they love to brag. Poor me the LEOs picked on the Formula types and ignore the sleepers.
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Old 08-28-2021, 04:37 PM   #24
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There are a number of pontoon boats on Winni (both) that are capable of 60+ and at the sandbars and beach bars, they love to brag. Poor me the LEOs picked on the Formula types and ignore the sleepers.
There are very, very few speeding tickets written on the lake. That makes sense since David Barrett, the former head of the new Hampshire Marine Patrol testified when the law was proposed that it was not needed.

I think you would really have to go out of your way and do something stupid to get a speeding ticket.
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Old 08-29-2021, 07:49 AM   #25
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I've owned a GF boat or two over the years as have many of my friends and neighbors and this is my take on speeding.
Most are very experienced boaters and know the law but like to make an occasional speed run just for the fun of it. Usually when conditions are right and when there are no other boats in the vicinity.
Most serious accidents and deaths have been caused by capt boneheads and/or alcohol. I can't recall any caused by speed alone although someone may prove me wrong.
My boat will barely do 50 and I'm burning 30 GPH wide open so most of my boating is at planing speed or less
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Old 08-29-2021, 01:21 PM   #26
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I've owned a GF boat or two over the years as have many of my friends and neighbors and this is my take on speeding.
Most are very experienced boaters and know the law but like to make an occasional speed run just for the fun of it. Usually when conditions are right and when there are no other boats in the vicinity.
Most serious accidents and deaths have been caused by capt boneheads and/or alcohol. I can't recall any caused by speed alone although someone may prove me wrong.
My boat will barely do 50 and I'm burning 30 GPH wide open so most of my boating is at planing speed or less
RE; "like to make an occasional speed run just for the fun of it. Usually when conditions are right and when there are no other boats in the vicinity."

When GF boaters do as you state above, I see no problem nor need to restrict them.

And in truth your statement about accidents; "Most serious accidents and deaths have been caused by capt boneheads and/or alcohol.I can't recall any caused by speed alone" is in truth irrelevant of speed, they will have accidents at any speed,,, So again I dont see the need for a speed restriction myself and like you, my current "family" boat will only break 50 when there is only 1 or 2 people on board and a light load of fuel and gear, and most of the time we are cruising 30 - 35 MPH, so at the moment I have no personal impact from the speed limit, I just see it as unnecessary and restrictive of those who might enjoy the occasional blast down the Broads. I say ENJOY! Be careful, but no reason to prevent it.

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Old 09-01-2021, 07:29 PM   #27
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I reluctantly went from a Bowrider to a Pontoon last season. I too looked at it as a sign of getting old but I quickly fell in love with it as did my family.
Get the biggest and baddest one you can afford, you won't regret it!
I too made the same switch this year and itís been great. Went from a 23 foot bowrider to a 25 ft tritoon with 200 hp. Fills all the family needs !
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Old 09-02-2021, 09:35 AM   #28
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Maybe the solution is to keep the deck boat on the dock at Suncook for water sports, cruising and fishing and slip a pontoon at Winni......I'm sure the wife will love the idea of two boats....haha!
I think that really is the best solution. A 25 ft. pontoon with 300 on Upper Suncook isn't a good fit. Kind of like a juiced '06 GTO on a road that is a half mile long.

On the watersports question, the pontoon is fine for little kids but as they get older you want them skiing/wakeboarding and a pontoon just doesn't do it well, so a smaller watersports oriented boat is a must. Or, the kids will just tube and do nothing else which seems like a shame.
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Old 09-03-2021, 09:24 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by LikeLakes View Post
I think that really is the best solution. A 25 ft. pontoon with 300 on Upper Suncook isn't a good fit. Kind of like a juiced '06 GTO on a road that is a half mile long.

On the watersports question, the pontoon is fine for little kids but as they get older you want them skiing/wakeboarding and a pontoon just doesn't do it well, so a smaller watersports oriented boat is a must. Or, the kids will just tube and do nothing else which seems like a shame.
I like the way ya think! The GTO was actually most at home on a 1/4 mile road, but that was quite a while ago now!

Maybe we'll take a trip around the marinas while we're up this weekend and see what people are turning in for the end of the season.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 09-03-2021, 09:32 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Juiced06GTO View Post
I like the way ya think! The GTO was actually most at home on a 1/4 mile road, but that was quite a while ago now!

Maybe we'll take a trip around the marinas while we're up this weekend and see what people are turning in for the end of the season.

Thanks again everyone!
I've been watching jetski prices, and it appears they're already starting to plummet. This week, there were a few on Marketplace that were not just good deals (given the end-of-season timing) but good deals in general. Not sure if that's applying to boats, but good luck!

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