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OT totally off topic if ya don't fish


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$600 a month? Was he using it every day @ WOT? I think we spent $1200 last summer on gas for our boat, with our gas guzzlers...and we used it every weekend from april to october. Just informed she gets wet next weekend. Yikes, lots to prepare in weeks time.

Not much of a pontoon guy. How big is the lake? Why not just get a 20' runabout. What exactly is making your want to go the pontoon way? If your serious about fishing, your going to be limiting youself serverly with the mobility of the pontoon boat.

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Like dtel, I've rented one several times a year for the last 3 years. Honestly, if I were closer to a lake (I'm 4 hours one way from one), I'd probably own a pontoon boat. But here in coastal Atlantic waters with wind, tide, and ever changing seas - no way! Anyhow......

Having owned and operated several types of boats, I can't agree more with the comments about correctly powering your craft. And the correct power is???? It's the most horsepower (within reason) you can afford. Trust me, I have never heard ANY boat owner ever say, "Boy....I wish I'd have never bought that Yamaha 225. Wish I'd have gotten the 150." And it's not just about speed but pulling power. Oh - and although you might tell yourself that you'll never need to run acoss the lake at 50+ mph, those words will come back to haunt you when a freak lightning storm comes up and you're trying to beat it back to the ramp. Ask me how I know about that.

Lastly, I will also have to agree that if you intend to go fishing and/or joy riding a just few times a year, you'd be better off renting a pontoon boat. They loose their value faster than ANY other water craft and that's a fact. And it's for that reason why I rent even though it costs me $250 or so a weekend. I don't have to tow the boat to the lake, launch it, retrieve it, tow it home or clean it. I show up to the marina, sign the papers, put our junk on board, the thing is in the water & full of gas, turn the key and away we go. Bring it back, top off the tank, toss them the key and go home.

If you just gotta own your own, hit up a rental place that changes out their fleet each year. This past January at the Atlanta Boat Show there was a dealer that was selling 1 year old rental pontoons that were nicely equiped for almost half the cost of new. Plus they carried a full as-new warranty, the carpets had been completely replaced, torn seats replaced and a new prop if the old one was damaged. They looked brand new and we came very close to pulling the trigger on one.


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Most 24' pontoon boats require 90hp to reach 25mph, this according to BoatTest.com I joined for free and found tests on dozens of pontoon boats, complete with video and test results. Definitely join if you're researching a boat purchase.

I was just guessing at the 20-25 MPH, I have had a bunch of boats, none with a speedometer so it was a guess. I went back and looked at the pictures, we werent exactly skipping across the water but we were moving along ok.

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Problem with the "Rent em when you want to use em" idea is ther are no lakes within 2+ hours of me where you can do that, the only boat rental in San Diego are ocean or bay rentals so I'd still have to tow em to use em. But thanks for thinking of other options. I've got at least 4 boatable lakes within an hour of me. One as close as 10 minutes away, the ocean is just 10 minutes the other way.

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J.4, The one I had was a Crest Family Fisherman 25. It had 3 lounge "sofas" and in each corner of the boat (4) swivel bass-style seats. It had an aereated livewell under the rear "sofa", built in tackle boxes and was pre-wired for a trolling motor. It was a very nice boat but when we moved from Columbia to Charleston it really didn't fit the bill for Saltwater use. I bought a Center Console and it's much more suitable for coastal waters. You'd really like the Crest. It's a very well built pontoon with an excellent warranty.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Definitely get "Enough" motor to keep yourself out of trouble.

Underpowered boats can get you in trouble and won't be able to get you out of danger.

Storms, wind, current, and wreckless boaters are hazards to be avoided. You need that reserve power to keep you safe.

Last summer on Geist reservoir I was fishing a small flat from deep water. I heard a large boat approaching and headed directly at me. I watched as it got closer and realized I was seconds from being rammed. I jumped to the console, fired the old 150 Merc up and shoved the throttle forward. The large craft never saw my boat and missed me by MAYBE 15' or so. My boat "launches" when throttled out of the hole. A slower boat would NOT have gotten out of the way.

As our boats cleared I looked up to see a "She Male" Captain holding a baby in one arm, what appeared to be a Doubles glass in the other hand, and looking to the rear talking to a passenger. She never knew I was there until I screamed at her as she went by. That's the closest I've ever came to a boating accident and as close as I want to be.

Let us know what you decide to buy. Boating is a great escape, loads of fun, and fishing is a way of life.


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I have owned lots of boats between 14 and 21 feet- no pontoons- several ferinds have them- spent lots of time fishing for crappie-catfish- stripers on them. BEWARE of the slick talking boat salesman that tells you that all you need is 50 HP for a pontoon that is rated for 150. I would strongly reccomend buying at the rated HP or just below.big engines are big bucks and the salesmen can get folks into a underpowered boat for a lot less- falling within budgets and credit approval- plus knocking a home run on the profit side. I walked through bass pro the other day looking for shotgun shells and I noticed deveral pontoons with smaller engines and low monthly payments advertised. Big boats- little engines- big profits. Like Harry said- you need something with some juice when a situation or a storm approaches.

Do not let a salesman trick you with the "smaller motor will troll better" trick. That is true but to troll effectively you should buy an additional small outboard for that application if trolling is your thing.

I bought several underpowered rigs when I was broke and regretted it later. You will get killed trying to trade up to a bigger motor. My last 2 boats were a Stratos 20 ft tunnel Bass boat with a 200 evinrude XP- 80 mph- ans a 20 ft Stratos center console with a 225. The payments were killing me and I was too busy working to use them. Sold them and bought guns and sports cars. I tried the rental thing here- a rental for a weenend equals a boat payment. Better idea= become buddies with someone who owns a boat.[:D]

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