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Old 07-20-2010, 05:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Pontoon boat ideas or, it's the little things boat edition

School me on some pontoon ideas. I remember Camo's thread that kinda turned into a dumbass saying "you won't get laid!" I, however, know I wouldn't get laid even if I was pulling a ski pyramid behind the Trump Princess, so it's moot point.

anywho, I'm looking to get a somewhat smallish pontoon that is junk and rehab it into what I want. I want something light enough that I can tow it with my VW camper and able to take our two dogs on. I'll probably never go bigger then a 9.9 on on it, and just want to cruise, fish and chill. I just sold my Baja ski boat, and frankly, would prefer a 'toon.

So, how bout some sweet home grown boat tricks, and some advice on what I can pull off, I'm guessing I need to keep it around 1500-2000 pounds with the trailer.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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New carpet, find some cheapish furniture, at least one piece that you can lay down on and plenty of cup holders and fishing rod holders and you cant go wrong.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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folding camp chairs, 4 posts and a tarp, and a stripper pole (they are mandatory on a pontoon) I want one too. I have a 23' Nova, and an I/O is a pain to maintain.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't know any tricks really, they are pretty simple to work on/fix.

I would definitly go with something bigger than a 9.9 unless you have a specific lake(s) that are 10hp limited. My buddy has a 20ft pontoon with a 35hp and on the river it struggles to go up stream when the current is fast so a 9.9 would be alot worse. If you are buying a used motor to slap on a fixer upper from what I have seen a 9.9 costs as much as up to a 90hp used.

Only thing special on mine is a grill, which makes it pretty nice to grill while on the lake and relax.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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we tore out the old moldy carpet and used grey Herculiner over the decking...water proofs it and makes a nice nonskid surface.

Marine coolers fastened to the decking for seating in front of the center console.

12v/ 120 inverter for blender and other amenties for weekend long campouts on the water.

LED lights under the deck to illuminate the water for those awesome moonlight swims.

Ipod hookup to a bumpin sound system for those wild times moored with friends near the dam.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Saw an 18' the other day that looked pretty nice for what you want, but it is still probably to heavy. ... Just looked and the sun tracker bass buggy is probably what you are looking for. Combo weight is 2300lbs with the trailer. 18' long and is built to fish. They have made them since the early 80's so you should be able to track one down to rehab. If so I would go with a plastic seat kit.

You will probably want a removeable table as you have dogs. It was tough to eat on ours because my dog wanted the food and without the table she doesn't know any better. Food on the floor or couch is game on.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Saw an 18' the other day that looked pretty nice for what you want, but it is still probably to heavy. ... Just looked and the sun tracker bass buggy is probably what you are looking for. Combo weight is 2300lbs with the trailer. 18' long and is built to fish. They have made them since the early 80's so you should be able to track one down to rehab. If so I would go with a plastic seat kit.

You will probably want a removeable table as you have dogs. It was tough to eat on ours because my dog wanted the food and without the table she doesn't know any better. Food on the floor or couch is game on.
Sweet, I'll have to keep on the lookout for one. I was thinking about just trying to find a junker so we could build it how we want. I'm thinking making everything modular so I can swap a table for a chair for a grill all in the same port in the floor. and I don't have a bunch of crap built on the deck to keep weight down.

I'm mainly planning on cruising the lakes at state parks, a lot of my local fishing spots are 9.9 limit, so I plan on running that til I get a screamin deal on a larger engine.


And that herbie pontoon is badass....
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sweet, I'll have to keep on the lookout for one. I was thinking about just trying to find a junker so we could build it how we want. I'm thinking making everything modular so I can swap a table for a chair for a grill all in the same port in the floor. and I don't have a bunch of crap built on the deck to keep weight down.
That's what I was thinking. Something similar to a recessed hitch receiver. Then you could mount the matching piece to different furnishings and just slap them in and go. BBQ grill, stereo cabinet, kegerator, etc.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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our old pontoon had marine carpet. Our new pontoon has marine carpet that snaps in and out. Its great because in the summer, we leave it out because of all the sand and water that gets into it. When you have a carpet full of water, and then cover the boat, you get mold.

In the fall or winter, when we are just cruising around the lake and not going onto the beaches, we leave the carpet in because it is warmer, and it stays dry/free of sand.

Grill would be cool, but sometimes that can be more of a hassle on a boat as small as you are talking. If you had it on a 25', it would be more practical, but on an 18' it takes up a relatively larger amount of real estate.

Its gonna be hard to find a pontoon that is 2000# with trailer, and you can tow with the camper. Our old 22' pontoon I could just pull with my Jeep Cherokee. If I had the stock size street tires on it, the boat would pull my jeep down the ramp with me standing on the brakes (ramp was pretty shallow). If i had my 31" mts, I was fine. I would occasionally have to put it in 4wd to pull the boat out, because the ramp was so shallow that in order for the boat to float, I'd have the rear tires damn near under water - and if the rest of the ramp was wet or had sand on it, I couldn't pull it.

9.9 won't cut it. Our old boat had a 60hp on it, top speed was 19 with just the driver, and less than that with a full load. Our new pontoon boat has a 150hp motor on it, and would do 38 with a clean pontoons and a driver, and will do 18-20 with 17 people on it.

Our old pontoon boat (about 10 or 12 years old) is for sale. no trailer, my dad would probably let it go cheap. Has a 60hp mercury on the back. Its in clemson, sc. That's not very far from ohio is it?
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I just did some quick looking and my bus is rated to tow 1700 pounds....i know it wont have a problem with ramps, what with being rear engined and all and having a pretty good first gear. It climbs slick hills better than my super duty. I have a slightly stronger than stock engine, a late model (1998) VW master cylinder to improve braking, and I planned on adding trailer brakes to the boat trailer, just for some extra whoa.

I need to nail down an actual weight on one of these little boats...
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
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That thing will be jsut about useless with a 9.9. It'll take forever getting anywhere.

Ours is 24'. Front grill. Side sink. Seating for 14. Rear changing area and portapotty thing.

75 Honda motor. At its fastest it goes 20 mph, GPS verified. It's rated for a 120. I'll get one one of these days.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You can buy them cheap. Once the plywood deck starts getting soft, owners drop them. The decks are super easy to replace. Strip the top off the deck, tear off old plywood, replace with new, install new carpet and bolt all the stuff back on top.

The deck and motor is really the only thing to watch out for on a pontoon.

I'm probably going to sell my 16' fishing boat next spring and get a pontoon. The lakes around the house have a 9.9 HP limit and a pontoon isn't going to move any slower than my 16' with a 9.9. We'll have room to get up and walk around. I can spend the night on it, and take a couple more people without being a crowd. My current boat fishes 2, if you add a third it gets a little tight, 4 people is a no go.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have been looking for a great deal on a "rebuild" pontoon for the past year or so. Around here, seems like people think they are solid gold. It seems like buying a 4-5 year old pontoon in good shape is the best way to go, they seem to be in the $8k-$12k range. The 30 year old ones with a 25 hp motor and rotten deck and dry rotted trailer tires are in the $3k-$5k range.

http://www.pontoonstuff.com/forum/
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:49 AM   #16 (permalink)
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On the grill, just weld a socket into the deck frame at a 45 degree and put a pole on the grill. Let it hang over the side when not in use and swing in when you want to use it. I have one that clamps to the stern rail on my sailboat and swings away from the rail when no in use. I wanna grill, grab it, pull it in and pop the pin in, grill, eat, drink, pull the pin, grill falls back off the rail 2 foot. I've also got beer can inserts for my rod holder back there and or the winch crank bucket. Yes, its a Ranger 29 configured for professional drinking.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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That thing will be jsut about useless with a 9.9. It'll take forever getting anywhere.
Dude, I'm towing it with a VW bus, I'm pretty used to it taking forever to get anywhere.

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You can buy them cheap. Once the plywood deck starts getting soft, owners drop them. The decks are super easy to replace. Strip the top off the deck, tear off old plywood, replace with new, install new carpet and bolt all the stuff back on top.

The deck and motor is really the only thing to watch out for on a pontoon.

I'm probably going to sell my 16' fishing boat next spring and get a pontoon. The lakes around the house have a 9.9 HP limit and a pontoon isn't going to move any slower than my 16' with a 9.9. We'll have room to get up and walk around. I can spend the night on it, and take a couple more people without being a crowd. My current boat fishes 2, if you add a third it gets a little tight, 4 people is a no go.

This is my reasoning, we take the dogs everywhere, otherwise we would just get a little 14' fishing boat or even a set of kayaks to explore in. I enjoy just floating as much as I do cruising the lake, and I've already done the stupid fast boat thing.

I actually get the idea from cruising around on my buddies 20' 'toon with a 5 hp engine, it did alright with 5 of us on it.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:24 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Dude, I'm towing it with a VW bus, I'm pretty used to it taking forever to get anywhere.




This is my reasoning, we take the dogs everywhere, otherwise we would just get a little 14' fishing boat or even a set of kayaks to explore in. I enjoy just floating as much as I do cruising the lake, and I've already done the stupid fast boat thing.

I actually get the idea from cruising around on my buddies 20' 'toon with a 5 hp engine, it did alright with 5 of us on it.
Same with us. We have two dogs and one kid (so far). We had a 21' Chaparral I/O but it was not terribly dog friendly. Plus, it was a pretty heavy boat. We would love to get a camper and basically have this setup with a light pontoon boat.

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Old 07-24-2010, 12:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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They make small ones too


I have a 150 Yamaha 4cyl outboard screaming to go onto something that size. Anyone know how long this thing is? I've been holding on to this motor until I find the right rebuild pontoon boat to put it on but I want to be able to pull people behind it on a tube or skis.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:22 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Cheap, easy, way easy to tow, and goofy as hell....

18' Hobie, Prindle, etc catamaran, bracket a motor on that bitch, done.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:53 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm mainly planning on cruising the lakes at state parks, a lot of my local fishing spots are 9.9 limit, so I plan on running that til I get a screamin deal on a larger engine.


And that herbie pontoon is badass....
So can you get a 25 and put a 9.9 cover on it??
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:28 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The old johnson 9.9 and 15hp were the same except for the carb. You could just change the sticker.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:42 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I have a 150 Yamaha 4cyl outboard screaming to go onto something that size. Anyone know how long this thing is? I've been holding on to this motor until I find the right rebuild pontoon boat to put it on but I want to be able to pull people behind it on a tube or skis.
You would want to put a third toon in the middle, that much power you would be ducking waves and submerging the boat. Even with the third toon in there, with that much power you would probably still go submarine.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:55 PM   #25 (permalink)
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oh hell yeah!
or put a Westy on it and go for a week.
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