Boat Buy opinions

swampratt

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I have had a lot of boats and weight is a killer for speed. but if you are not in a hurry it is a non issue.
Pontoon boats are slow and thirsty.
My 1998 20 foot with oil injected 75HP mercury will get about 1 MPG with people and top up and backed off just a bit from full throttle.

Hate that thing as far as MPG.
I do have an old 15 foot closed bow bayliner but over 3 people and it gets crowded the 50 HP mercury gets excellent MPG.
over 24 gallons of fuel in a day of fishing in the Pontoon and 6 gallons used in the Bayliner fishing the same places.

What others have said about size of boat I am sure has sank in.
With the wind up you can't hardly drift slow in the Pontoon as it is a giant sail.
Hard to anchor it in the wind with a smooth bottom like sand/mud.

But it sure is roomy and nice to fish from.
Wife loves it.
The darn thing will suck the MPG from the tow vehicle also where the small Bayliner does not.
 

Bigdawg90

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So I’ll be trying to meet him at a lake. Hopefully the 16’ is just going to be my small fishing boat. I want a pontoon but having never had a boat, I wanted to start small. I tried to sit in a canoe and just laughed because that wasn’t gonna happen. Even my wife and I are pushing capacity on the 12 footers.

I don’t have much experience with speed on water. Our community has a private boat launch that meets up with my cove pretty quickly, but my cove is pretty shallow. I’m not an “in a hurry” kind of guy. So taking 3-5 hours to get around a lake isn’t a big deal. As long as I take my son with me, my wife is happy for the break. 😂.
I’m wanting a 22’ pontoon for more family practical time, buts that down the way when I know how to maintain a boat properly and the ins and outs of owning one for a more realistic budget.
 

HoLeChit

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Like everybody said, check for water leaving the outboard, check for cracks in the hull and transom, check and make sure the wiring is t gonna catch on fire. Bigger is definitely better. I just bought a 1540 alumacraft, it’s a good size for me and a buddy. The wiring was a nightmare, and the previous owner had about 200lbs of wood a deck screws in the thing. I’ve ripped everything out and am rebuilding it from scratch with rivets and aluminum. If it didn’t come with 3 finders, a worn out trolling motor, and a really nice mercury outboard I would have been better off with a bare boat, but I did get a good deal. Jon boats are great because you don’t draft a lot and they’re tough. I can float my boat in 4 inches of water.
 

swampratt

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For all of you that have or get a Pontoon boat be aware of 1 very overlooked safety issue with some of them.
Especially if you have children.

It is the deck on the front of some of the Pontoon boats does not come out to the front of the Pontoon.
You or a child can fall off the front of the deck and hit your head on the pointy toon and very easily die.

Just be aware of this.
I know some that have dangerous pointy toons and the short deck and they put a life jacket over the pointy end when they have passengers.
Very dangerous.
Slip or stumble and it can end a nice lake trip.

Now on the 2 stroke engines DO NOT run the fuel out of the carburetors.
I know many that feel this is what needs done at the end of the boating trip but it severly hurts the engine.
A 2 stroke gets oiled from the fuel, rings Rod and main bearings and cylinder walls and everything else needs this lube.

Proper way is to pull the fuel line and use the screw on the carb lower section of the bowl and let the fuel drain out.
2 stroke oil is it's own fuel stabilizer.
I have used Quicksilver marine 2 stroke in my 1975 bayliner since the 80's and never drained the carbs and they were taken apart 4 years ago and not a spec of any debris in them.
That was the first time they have been off since 1975 Perfect condition.
Just needed new fuel lines going to them.
 

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