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Old 06-22-2018, 06:05 PM   #1
Sundancer320
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Talking Ok, old man boat or not?

So, we are considering downsizing our boat from a 32í SeaRay to something a bit smaller. Wife wants a pontoon boat...me? I think I am too young to go pontoon and want a Cobalt or Yamaha.... so whatís the verdict? You Ďtoon owners love em? Why? Proís and Conís cause I think I might lose this round!
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:24 PM   #2
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There are some pretty sweet tri toons out there with huge engines and towers with speakers. They are not your old school pontoons. If you are in your early 20s maybe you are too young but 30 on and you are good in my book.


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Old 06-22-2018, 08:17 PM   #3
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My hips would probably like the break from climbing out the side windows and walking up the side rail to the deck...
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:14 AM   #4
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Boats are expensive, get a dirt bike!
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:40 AM   #5
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We were looking between runabouts, deck boats, and pontoons. As a suburban father, the "coolness" struggle can be hard, but we're glad to own a 20' tritoon with 150hp Merc. It does everything we need and is super comfortable. When we hang with friends on their 22" bowrider, it only takes a few minutes for me to be annoyed with stepping over and around others or stowing the cooler and gear just right, etc.

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Old 06-23-2018, 07:57 AM   #6
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As a guy that owned a few performance boats over the years the time came when it made sense to go with something more practical especially with grandkids around.
At that time,my opinion of pontoon boats was that they were designed for people over 70 for booze cruising at 3mph and nothing else.
That is until I picked up my 24' Bennington tritoon sport arch with a 300Merc.
48.9mph,handles and turns like a deep "v" great for skiing and tubing as well as riding well over choppy water which makes wifey happy.Nice styling and room for 10 or 12 people if you want to do the cruise.Highy recommend this boat to aging GFBL boat owners.
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Old 06-23-2018, 08:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundancer320 View Post
So, we are considering downsizing our boat from a 32’ SeaRay to something a bit smaller. Wife wants a pontoon boat...me? I think I am too young to go pontoon and want a Cobalt or Yamaha.... so what’s the verdict? You ‘toon owners love em? Why? Pro’s and Con’s cause I think I might lose this round!
Go for the toon, you won't regret it! There are some pretty sweet ones out there now. I saw one with twin 400 Merc Verado's on the back.

Last edited by Biggd; 06-23-2018 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:03 AM   #8
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Our family conversation about boats surprised--the biggest advocate of the pontoon was our 18 yo daughter. She declared them "The Ultimate Party Boat". So maybe this relates to various forum geezer complaints about the younger generation?
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundancer320 View Post
So, we are considering downsizing our boat from a 32í SeaRay to something a bit smaller. Wife wants a pontoon boat...me? I think I am too young to go pontoon and want a Cobalt or Yamaha.... so whatís the verdict? You Ďtoon owners love em? Why? Proís and Conís cause I think I might lose this round!

Went from a 32' Scarab with twin 354's to a 26' Bennington tritoon with 300 Verado. I love the Bennington. My wife loves it even more. And my 30 year old son does as well. Great boat. Performance and fuel economy is superb.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:38 AM   #10
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Iíve been boating 6 years and am on my second pontoon boat. I have a 23í Berkshire Triton with 150 mercury and with 8 people on board it goes 28 mph. Itís like driving in your living room. Plenty of room and very comfortable. Weíre in no hurry to go 40+ mph when weíre on the lake. Weíre more interested in conversing and taking in the natural beauty of the lake as we get from point A to point B. Additionally itís easier to board and exit in a pontoon. Only cons I really see are speed and maneuverability . Maybe you and your wife should rent one and take it out for a day to determine your own pros and cons. Either way good luck trying to persuade your wife to not buy a party boat lol


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Old 06-23-2018, 09:55 AM   #11
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Default Rough water

I think the nicest surprise we have found with our 23' tritoon is how it handles in rough water. Keep the nose up and a little speed and it just floats on top of the waves. Without a doubt the smoothest riding boat we have owned, and the one that guests enjoy riding in the most.

It takes a little getting used to landing in a cross wind.
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Old 06-23-2018, 01:13 PM   #12
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So many different things to consider, and so many choices to pick and choose from, but for me, when the time comes, I think I would look at a deck boat before a pontoon boat, and compare pros and cons to my situation(s). There are pontoon's out there today that will do anything a Cobalt and/or Yamaha can do, age has nothing to do with it anymore...

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Old 06-23-2018, 01:16 PM   #13
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Nothing about this says old man to me.....


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Old 06-23-2018, 05:28 PM   #14
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I have a simple tritoon, nothing special as toons go but my 22í with itís Yamaha 150 horse gets out of the hole so quick itís almost scary. I havenít even tried top speed yet. Not your grandfatherís toon for sure! By the way, Iím 68.
Make wifey happy and go for it...
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Old 06-23-2018, 07:47 PM   #15
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So many different things to consider, and so many choices to pick and choose from, but for me, when the time comes, I think I would look at a deck boat before a pontoon boat, and compare pros and cons to my situation(s). There are pontoon's out there today that will do anything a Cobalt and/or Yamaha can do, age has nothing to do with it anymore...
A deck boat will knock your teeth out compared to a tri-toon, And now the pontoons go just as fast.
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Old 06-23-2018, 08:39 PM   #16
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Looked at the crest 250 and 230...wife loves the loungers! I gotta say, me too!
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Old 06-23-2018, 10:39 PM   #17
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We can go out in the broads with our tri-toon when it is extremely rough. No problem. Now my Seadoo PWC is a different story.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:54 AM   #18
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We rented several toon's over four years, ended up with a 23' 150 HP Premire. We call it our "fast living room".

My only regret is I did not get a full length center Toon, they ride much different than a 3/4 center toon. The 3/4 center toon's tend to turn flat and not bank in a turn. They also have a lower top end. All in all this boat works for us as the dogs like the flat turns . Also the layout was just what I wanted, doors on all 4 sides, 2 captains chairs and extra decking on both ends outside the pen.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:22 AM   #19
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Default Formula vs Bennington

I tried both. Very happy with them. I prefer the deep Vee solid hull on windy days and weekends. Slice the waves like a knife at speed.
On calmer waters the pontoon shines! Great for partying and sight seeing.

I also notice marine patrol does not pay attention to pontoon boats. Been zipping around at 60 mph without a ticket. The Formula well it's like a red Corvette on the interstate. My buddy has 300 hp on the back of his pontoon!

Deep Vees on weekends and tourist season. Pontoons other times or on the smaller lakes, like Winnisquam, Newfound etc.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:22 AM   #20
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Attachment 13947

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Nice in the blackout...mine is silver.....FYI you can get an extra 2 mph with the bow door open
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Old 06-24-2018, 03:00 PM   #21
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FYI you can get an extra 2 mph with the bow door open
Thanks for the info!

I never tried that but it makes sense! Going to have to give that a try!

Dan
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Old 06-24-2018, 03:08 PM   #22
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Default OK, OK I get it

I'm considering making the move from a 19' Glastron bowrider 185hp Volvo stern drive to a pontoon/tritoon for next year.

Family getting bigger, 7 kids, 2 married, 2 grandkids.

Major uses cruising, tubing, picnic lunch and dinner. Lake Wentworth is home.

Like to research, hate to shop. Where do I start?
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Old 06-24-2018, 03:21 PM   #23
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Default OK, OK I get it

Oh, and one more thing: I have a buddy who bought a pontoon several years ago, took the fam out on Winni from Alton Bay, got trapped by wind (couldn't maneuver), and sold the boat.

How much of a hazard is is inability to maneuver in high wind for these boats?
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Old 06-24-2018, 03:49 PM   #24
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I'm considering making the move from a 19' Glastron bowrider 185hp Volvo stern drive to a pontoon/tritoon for next year.

Family getting bigger, 7 kids, 2 married, 2 grandkids.

Major uses cruising, tubing, picnic lunch and dinner. Lake Wentworth is home.

Like to research, hate to shop. Where do I start?
Here’s my recommendation...

If your shopping for a toon get one with a performance package which would include three logs, lifting strakes, underskinning and other performance characteristics. Get the biggest motor you can afford! I have never seen anyone complain when they have purchased the max horsepower! I have seen many many with buyers regret for not getting enough power and eventually trade up or repower and take a bath financially. I also recommend 24’ long for WINNIPESAUKEE. Do it once and do it right and you will save money in the long run.

As far as brands go most of the manufacturers are putting out some pretty nice stuff right now so it’s tough to go wrong. I personally have owned Manitou, Premier and currently a Bennington all with performance packages and big motors including Evinrude Etec, Mercury Verado and Yamaha. All of these boats and motors had their good points. Though Bennington’s 10 year stem to stern warranty is hard to beat! I think it’s more important you buy from someone dependable and respected that is on the lake for servicing purposes. For what it’s worth I bought my last two toons at Winnisquam Marine and could not be happier with their service after the sale! I’m sure many on here will say the same about whatever Marina they bought their boat at.

Edited to add...To respond to your second question, I live on the lake 24-7 and I have never had an issue navigating my pontoon in the wind or in any condition Wiini can churn up. I’m not sure what your friend was doing wrong but that is certainly nothing to worry about...

Good Luck!

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Old 06-24-2018, 04:04 PM   #25
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Default OK, OK I get it

Thanks for the advice, .308

Is $30K reasonable to get started?
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:16 PM   #26
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Thanks for the advice, .308

Is $30K reasonable to get started?
Thatís a tough one as it all depends what options and motor size you go with. You can easily spend up to $100,000.00 for a high end plush, big motor performance tri-toon. I would say you could get something decent for $50,000.00 or less if you downsize the motor, just remember what I said about motors....

Honestly Go Kart, go see Ryan at Winnisquam Marine and I know he will be able to help you out.

Good Luck!

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Old 06-24-2018, 04:44 PM   #27
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Thatís a tough one as it all depends what options and motor size you go with. You can easily spend up to $100,000.00 for a high end plush, big motor performance tri-toon. I would say you could get something decent for $50,000.00 or less if you downsize the motor, just remember what I said about motors....

Honestly Go Kart, go see Ryan at Winnisquam Marine and I know he will be able to help you out.

Good Luck!

Dan
The other people who always get good recommendations are Matt and Kevin at Melvin Village Marina.

Agreed on everything above, especially on motor size. Godspeed!

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Old 06-24-2018, 05:02 PM   #28
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Thanks for the advice, .308

Is $30K reasonable to get started?
You can get a good deal if you wait for end of season...marinas that rent tritoons will sell their rental fleet at seasonís end. You can get a 24í triple log with a 150 horse with well under 100 hours for $30k or less. You an also bargain for winter storage and next seasonís valet as well! Bundle bundle bundle!
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:11 PM   #29
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Hereís my recommendation...

If your shopping for a toon get one with a performance package which would include three logs, lifting strakes, underskinning and other performance characteristics. Get the biggest motor you can afford! I have never seen anyone complain when they have purchased the max horsepower! I have seen many many with buyers regret for not getting enough power and eventually trade up or repower and take a bath financially. I also recommend 24í long for WINNIPESAUKEE. Do it once and do it right and you will save money in the long run.

As far as brands go most of the manufacturers are putting out some pretty nice stuff right now so itís tough to go wrong. I personally have owned Manitou, Premier and currently a Bennington all with performance packages and big motors including Evinrude Etec, Mercury Verado and Yamaha. All of these boats and motors had their good points. Though Benningtonís 10 year stem to stern warranty is hard to beat! I think itís more important you buy from someone dependable and respected that is on the lake for servicing purposes. For what itís worth I bought my last two toons at Winnisquam Marine and could not be happier with their service after the sale! Iím sure many on here will say the same about whatever Marina they bought their boat at.

Edited to add...To respond to your second question, I live on the lake 24-7 and I have never had an issue navigating my pontoon in the wind or in any condition Wiini can churn up. Iím not sure what your friend was doing wrong but that is certainly nothing to worry about...

Good Luck!

Dan
I was wondering if the boat was underpowered causing him to have trouble in the wind??
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Old 06-24-2018, 06:33 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by gokart-mozart View Post
I'm considering making the move from a 19' Glastron bowrider 185hp Volvo stern drive to a pontoon/tritoon for next year.

Family getting bigger, 7 kids, 2 married, 2 grandkids.

Major uses cruising, tubing, picnic lunch and dinner. Lake Wentworth is home.

Like to research, hate to shop. Where do I start?
Go Kart,

Sorry but I just noticed you said Lake WENTWORTH was your home. If you plan on keeping the boat there and not bringing it to Winni you can really downgrade the performance and motor as you will never use it on WENTWORTH. Heck you could go with a two log toon!

Sorry for the confusion!

Dan
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:19 PM   #31
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Lots of thoughts here about toons, hardly any about Cobalt or Yamaha. Going from a 32' Sundancer to a Pontoon is a whole different kind of boating. We store a lot of stuff on our boat so we are prepared for different activities. Extra clothing, cooking equipment, ice maker, fridge, generator etc. without a lot of advance planning. I don't know many pontoons with those sorts of amenities, and a cabin for early and late season boating. As a personal feeling of safety, I like to be inside the boat, not on top of it and the same for kids and pets. I note that one of the 'toon posters here also has an Eastern with a hard cabin so he has choices depending on weather, planned activity, etc.
I have a friend who recently bought pontoon, but looks for rides from people with boats when the weather turns sour..
And one who has difficulty at docks because he only has a gate on one side. It can be tough to back in or to turnaround to get that gate in the right place. Absolutely, a gate on each side.
When we come back to the marina Sunday night, I pretty much secure the lines and lock the cabin. Others (toons) I see with tons of canvas to enclose the aft area and separate covers for various seating sets. I'm not much in favor of playing with canvas when it is hot and muggy or raining. I do like to go inside and turn on the AC in those conditions.
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Old 06-24-2018, 09:25 PM   #32
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Lots of thoughts here about toons, hardly any about Cobalt or Yamaha. Going from a 32' Sundancer to a Pontoon is a whole different kind of boating. We store a lot of stuff on our boat so we are prepared for different activities. Extra clothing, cooking equipment, ice maker, fridge, generator etc. without a lot of advance planning. I don't know many pontoons with those sorts of amenities, and a cabin for early and late season boating. As a personal feeling of safety, I like to be inside the boat, not on top of it and the same for kids and pets. I note that one of the 'toon posters here also has an Eastern with a hard cabin so he has choices depending on weather, planned activity, etc.
I have a friend who recently bought pontoon, but looks for rides from people with boats when the weather turns sour..
And one who has difficulty at docks because he only has a gate on one side. It can be tough to back in or to turnaround to get that gate in the right place. Absolutely, a gate on each side.
When we come back to the marina Sunday night, I pretty much secure the lines and lock the cabin. Others (toons) I see with tons of canvas to enclose the aft area and separate covers for various seating sets. I'm not much in favor of playing with canvas when it is hot and muggy or raining. I do like to go inside and turn on the AC in those conditions.
All good points! Iím lucky my wife doesnít mind going inside the canvas on hot days to put the poles in place! You can buy full/partial enclosures for a toon but again, itís lots of canvas to manage! Nothing like a solid cabin with a door!
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Old 06-25-2018, 06:59 AM   #33
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All good points! I’m lucky my wife doesn’t mind going inside the canvas on hot days to put the poles in place! You can buy full/partial enclosures for a toon but again, it’s lots of canvas to manage! Nothing like a solid cabin with a door!
The OP hasn't indicated if he owns a waterfront home or just has a boat at a rental dock. I do agree that if your boat is your vacation home then a pontoon is probably not the best option.
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:04 AM   #34
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Oh, and one more thing: I have a buddy who bought a pontoon several years ago, took the fam out on Winni from Alton Bay, got trapped by wind (couldn't maneuver), and sold the boat.

How much of a hazard is is inability to maneuver in high wind for these boats?
Very true that that catch a lot of wind compared to single hull boats but I found it's just a matter of learning through trial and error. You have to plan for the wind just as you do for the tide. If docking with the wind I just apply throttle to keep me straight and let the wind push me in. Against the wind I drive in at 45 degree angle, secure a bow line and then reverse into the dock. Also keep a boat hook and bumpers close by just in case.
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:36 AM   #35
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Very true that that catch a lot of wind compared to single hull boats but I found it's just a matter of learning through trial and error. You have to plan for the wind just as you do for the tide. If docking with the wind I just apply throttle to keep me straight and let the wind push me in. Against the wind I drive in at 45 degree angle, secure a bow line and then reverse into the dock. Also keep a boat hook and bumpers close by just in case.
Hardest place for me is coming out of Melvin Village Marina in wind and, since it's usually the first cruise of the year, I'm rusty. A couple weeks back was ROUGH--I was practically being blown sideways back towards the loading ramp.

That being said, practice is all it takes. (And keeping the bimini/kite down in high wind!)

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