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Author Topic: Pontoon boat  (Read 7326 times)

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Offline DanG

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Pontoon boat
« on: July 13, 2009, 11:12:42 PM »
I recently bought a 24' Grumman pontoon boat at a bargain price.  It has a 125hp Force outboard on it, which is way more hp than it is rated for.  I have the engine running well, but it isn't pumping water and I can't find the parts to fix it.  I now have a chance to buy a 2004 40hp Johnson for a real good price, with very little running time on it, with a dealer warranty.  My question is, will this be enough motor to keep ol' DanG reasonably happy?  I don't want or need to go real fast, but would like to get a little bit above rowing speed, if ya know what I mean.  Most all of my fishing will be within five miles of the landing.

Anybody got experience with pontoon boats?
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Offline LeeB

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 12:06:00 AM »
40 horse will be a tad small. It will push you around, but at a snail pace. 60 - 100 would be better and closer to 100.
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Offline DanG

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 01:39:17 AM »
Thanks Lee, I know it is minimal, but speed isn't all that important to me.  Since posting this question, I've been poking around on some boating sites and the concensus there is that it is adequate as long as you don't want to pull skiers.

My next question is, do you have pontoon boat experience, or general boating experience?  A pontoon is a whole different ball game, which I am brand new to.  I know you can't compare it to a solid, planing hull, as there is no lifting surface.
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009, 01:58:16 AM »
My thought, and some limited experience, would be getting caught in a strong wind, and needing to get to your destination (like trying to get back across a lake to home port) with limited motor size to do it.  But on calm water, 40hp should move you along in a reasonable clip.
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Offline LeeB

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2009, 01:59:01 AM »
I haven't owned one, but my FIL had one. I think it was 24' and i know it had a 40 horse. It was ok, just slow. I have rented a 24' a couple times with a 70horse and it would get you there but I don't believe it would have pulled a skier. I don't suppose they are really meant for ski boats any way. They are great for fishing and general family/pleasure boating. I have a bass boat that I'm gonna trade for one if the fellow will ever call me back. I'm not all that hot on speed either and I'm for sure too fat for skiing.
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Offline ely

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2009, 02:04:59 AM »
ihave loads of boating exp. and in the event you get a 40 hp motor with a long enough shaft to reach the water. it will be severely lacking in power on that boat, to the point of being unsafe.

in a perfect world you could use it to get the boat around on the water and fish.
unfortunatly we dont live in a perfect world, and people tend to need more motor to control such a boat in rough water and wind that sometimes comes up pretty quick.

an underpowered boat can and will quickly become a liability to you and any passengers you may have.

dang i have the greatest respect for you, but please think this through.
that pontoon will catch more wind than any type boat short of sailing craft.

Offline gary

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2009, 05:23:23 AM »
I rent pontoon boats 3 or 4 times a year . They are 24 footers and have a 9.9 engine on them.

Offline fishpharmer

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2009, 06:39:14 AM »
DanG, I have a good bit of boating experience.  Not exclusively pontoons though.

I believe the Force motors were manufactured by Mercury, they may interchange parts but I am not sure.  I did find a few links for Force parts which may help.

http://www.iboats.com/Force_Impeller_Kits/dm/cart_id.648328115--session_id.443422962--view_id.271682

http://www.boats.net/parts/search/Merc2/Force/125%20H.P.%20(1986)/parts.html

You said the 125 is way over the rating.  What is the maximum horsepower rating for your boat?   If you don't fish out in open water a lot and mostly stay near the shore of the lake, I think horsepower is less of an issue. 

I personally think the 40hp will be okay if you have the right prop to do the job.  I think you will be more satisfied with a low pitch propeller and probably a three or even four blade, to get more bite in the water.  Long shaft may be better, but it really depends on how the transom of your boat is configured, it may be made for short shaft motors, I have seen some like that.

Here are several links about propeller and horsepower ratings that may be useful.

Mercury has a great propeller calculator, just enter your info.
http://appcenter.mercurymarine.com/propSelector/home.do

http://www.caravelleboats.com/propeller%20info.htm

http://smalloutboards.com/choose.htm

http://www.ntsb.gov/Events/symp_vessels/Documents/ABYC%20Pontoon%20Power%20Loading_H-35.pdf

Just my $0.02.


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Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2009, 06:58:18 AM »

 If the Johnrude has a Stainless prop, it will haul yer butt around OK. Aluminum props are junk.

  We had 2 Johnrudes on the river barge. It WAS flat bottom pontoons, but, it would plane out and put tears in yer eyes on cold mornings.  8)
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Offline Larry

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2009, 07:28:42 AM »
I had a 24 footer with a 50 on it.  Used to load it up with people and tow a ski boat to some far off cove.  Used it like a mother-ship.  Worked for me and easy on gas.

No matter how much horsepower ya put on a toon its gonna be slow unless its a tri-toon.  And wind is always a problem...if your water is windy all the time I would want a bit more engine.  Light winds and 40 hp should be ok.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2009, 07:51:52 AM »
Quote
I know you can't compare it to a solid, planing hull, as there is no lifting surface.

If it's not a planing hull then it's a displacement design. Like a sailboat or a canoe. It's low speed, and needs to slip through the water rather than going fast enough to lift and plane.

So putting extra power on the back is an exercise in futility... trying to push it over about 20knots is almost impossible. Where as a planing hull, you have to get to 20knots to plane and get any sort of efficiency.

It's designed to cruise around at 10-15 knots and a 40hp should push it along at that sort of speed.

Mate had a 21 ft trailer sailor, motored fine with a 12hp outboard, as long as you only wanted 10 knots.

FDHs comment about stainless props are probably valid in river conditions, stainless will chew up some sand and still be a prop. Alloy.. a good sandbar and you have Mr Stubby.

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Offline zopi

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2009, 08:46:55 AM »
The 40 is too small IMO...I'd imagine the Force just needs an impeller, or uptake tube seal or somesuch..
I do believe MErcyury made them...they put them on Bayliners for several years...

if you run that big motor, you might consider a mechanical throttle stop or somesuch...
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2009, 10:23:29 AM »
40 is plenty for a pontoon fishing boat, I fished on plenty of them with far less then that. As long as you are not in a hurry, or racing around for a bass tournament 40 is all you need. Lynda's pontoon boat is at least 24 and has a 25 horse that does it just fine. Like Ianab says, you can only push pontoons so fast, they are not meant for speed. They are meant for casual recreation. Puttzing around.
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Offline DanG

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2009, 11:20:39 AM »
Thanks for all the responses. :)  Whether I get the Jonrude or not, the Force is gonna be short-term.  The boat is rated for 70hp max and the big motor has already cracked the transom.  I have the stuff to fix that, thanx to Mr. Hootie, but the motor is entirely too big and heavy for it.

For those who aren't familiar with pontoon boats, it is basically a pair of aluminum tubes about 20" dbh ;D with a platform built on top.

The Force motors of that era were made by Chrysler, who's outboard division was bought by Mercury about the time my motor was built.  Though the engine is running well right now, they aren't making parts for them anymore...not even aftermarket parts according to the six boat dealers I've been to in search of a gasket. ::)  I did find an impeller, but it was the only one in the whole area

Last night after posting here where my real friends are, I went surfing and found a bunch of info.  Recommendations varied according to what the posters' concepts of acceptable performance were.  I also found parts catalogs, but the parts I need for my oddball are "out of stock" or discontinued. :-\

Like most of you, I have a bunch of time logged in all sorts of boats, but none in pontoons.  I chose it because I have several friends with various handicaps, who cannot get in and out of a regular boat.  One of them is in a wheelchair because of a severe lack of legs.  I'm not looking for a ski boat here. ;)

I've just about, but not quite, talked myself into the 40, considering that I could always sell it and get something bigger.  The price is lower than the value because the guy is hurting for money to pay the light bill.  The motor comes with a SS "elephant ear" prop made for pontoon boats.
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
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Offline DanG

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2009, 12:01:46 PM »
Just so we all know what we're talking about, here's a pic of my boat, taken by Woodbowl the day he found it settin' by the road. :) :) :)

 

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"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2009, 12:02:29 PM »

 That Johnrude will suit you just fine.
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Offline fishpharmer

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2009, 12:50:47 PM »
DanG, if the forty already has the "pontoon" prop, that sounds like the way to go.  Those pontoons are great, several guides I knew fished off them.  If I get another boat it will be a pontoon.  Shows what a great guy you are, wanting to have room to take your FF friends fishing ;)
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Offline DanG

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2009, 02:01:17 PM »
Yep, I think I've just about decided on the 40.

Fish, I got a place in mind to take you whenever we get the chance, but we'll have to use the canoe or jon boat, and my Son the Lawyer will have to draw up an airtight secrecy contract for you to sign. ;D  I also gotta do some exploring to see if I can even find the DanG place again. ::) :D :D :D
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Offline Lanier_Lurker

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2009, 02:33:22 PM »
I would only worry about the 40 horse not being enough if you were in a river with decent current (like below Woodruff Dam) or out in the flats fishing for trout.  In still water lake conditions you should be fine.

If fishing is your main goal I would definitely put a trolling motor up front (if there ain't one already).  A 12 volt (one battery, yay) at about 40-50 lbs thrust should be plenty.

Offline DanG

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Re: Pontoon boat
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2009, 02:49:40 PM »
I agree, LL.  I've fished the Apalachicola before and didn't particularly care for it.  I much prefer the lake, particularly Lake Talquin, which is a bit over 20 miles from here.  On both Talquin and Seminole, there are landings all over the place, so there is no need to run the boat for miles and miles.

I'll be getting a 55-65 pound foot-controlled motor for the bow, and I'm thinking of mounting my 33lb tiller steer Minn-Kota on the stern for a little extra control in the tight spots.  I'm thinkin' a couple of good river anchors are going to be the most valuable assets, though.
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."


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