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  #11  
Old 01-06-2013, 08:07 PM
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madcityskier madcityskier is offline
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I've heard great stuff about Premier and Bennington, but if it's me, gotta go with a MasterCraft. Pontoons are overrated anyway.
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:15 PM
EricB EricB is online now
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We have a TMC pontoon (built in Poskin, Wi) and bought it used with a 50 Honda. It's 24.5 ft, 2 toons and a nice interior. Not lavish, but nice and clean. Since we already had a ski boat, we did not feel like we needed any more "omph" than the Honda would provide.
The pontoonie is a 1998, and it looks almost brand new. Just take care of it an it will last. Honda engine has given no problems at all. Interior is original, has a treated plywood deck with no soft spots. But we have gone through 3 covers. Dont ride hard-put away wet.
Bottom line is if you use it alot with kids (as a swim raft) and it's your only boat, then spend more. If it's not, find a good used one an it can fill the bill.
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:16 PM
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jafo9 jafo9 is offline
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madcityskier:

My wife and I had that debate. The only answer we could come up with was to have both. For what they do, its hard to beat a pontoon. I would never consider grinding my MC up a beach but I don't think twice about it with my toon. In the same light, having both, I would never consider using the pontoon as a towboat again.
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2013, 09:46 PM
liledgy liledgy is offline
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Keep the replies coming, love it. We are going smaller because it will be easier to store, dock and, since it will stay in the water, not beat the dock ( or boat) up to bad. Less of a sail too on the windy days. I dont see us pulling skiers or tubers except on a rare occasion. We ( all in our 50's with kids) just want a reliable long lasting pontoon. I thought premier and Bennington went composite, oh well that just opens it up to other brands. Sun is usually the killer on the interior anyway. Do certain brands have better canopys?
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  #15  
Old 01-06-2013, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liledgy View Post
Keep the replies coming, love it. We are going smaller because it will be easier to store, dock and, since it will stay in the water, not beat the dock ( or boat) up to bad. Less of a sail too on the windy days. I dont see us pulling skiers or tubers except on a rare occasion. We ( all in our 50's with kids) just want a reliable long lasting pontoon. I thought premier and Bennington went composite, oh well that just opens it up to other brands. Sun is usually the killer on the interior anyway. Do certain brands have better canopys?
My dad has an Aqua Patio with a Yamaha 115 hp and while it is a great boat, getting really good gas mileage, he still would like a bigger engine. He has told me the next toon he will buy will be a Harris with a 150hp engine. Harris puts Mercs on the back of theirs and my dad is more of a Yamaha fan, although most of the 4 strokes are good. Bombardier/Johnson, have some kind of service plan on theirs to where you do not even have to touch the engine for the first three years, I believe. If I were you, I would probably consider looking at a 75 hp at a minimum. It would help on resale with a larger engine, when that time comes.

I believe most of the brands have a plywood deck, with sheet metal on the bottom side, keeping it dry from the lake water. a few of them also offer an aluminum deck, which may be what you are thinking. I did notice that Bennington has a lifetime structural warranty, which includes (deck, cross channels, tubes, ladder, bimini fittings, seat frames, motor pan, etc.) The canopy can usually be customized just about any way you want it. You typically do not see a full canopy on a smaller pontoon like what you are considering though.

I know there are many hard core MC fans on here, but a pontoon absolutely has it's place. My dad, (60 yrs old) does a good bit of cruising and on a rough day, I would hate going across the lake in my MC. It also makes a decent fishing platform at night.

Avalon is another nice brand. Harris also has a "bargain" brand called Cypress Cay. They are still very nice boats but it will save you a few thousand over the Harris.

You may want to take a look at this checklist before you make a decision. It will help answer some questions you may or may not have.

http://psndealer.com/dealersite/imag...rs%20guide.pdf
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  #16  
Old 01-07-2013, 12:03 PM
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94PS190 94PS190 is offline
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We have a 25 on the pontoon and it as all we ever needed. I have never understood why you would put a 150 on a pontoon? if it was the only boat, maybe. We ski behind the prostar and drink on the pontoon. I can think of anytime we have been in any kind of hurry with the pontoon. 99% of the time it is just in gear. plus, horsepower is expensive. Just my 2.
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  #17  
Old 01-07-2013, 12:54 PM
bobx1 bobx1 is offline
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I purchased a new Bentley (low end boat) a few years back to see if we would use it much. It was a 20' with 90HP 4 stroke Merc. Ended up using the boat a lot (keep it in the water) and upgraded to a South Bay 22' with 115 Merc 4 stroke two years ago. South Bay is not top of the line but is a good mid-level quality boat. Bennington, Harris, South Bay, Godfrey, G3 are the most popular around me but poplularity typically reflects the quality of the local dealer.
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  #18  
Old 01-07-2013, 01:14 PM
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wheelerlake wheelerlake is offline
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have you considered just redoing your current pontoon? Ours is a '89 26 ft Palm Beach Nicollet with large pontoons. We have a 48hp Johnson '88. Over the years we've replaced the flooring (with marine plywood), carpeting, bimini and the seats. It looks brand new yet. Seats came from a made to order place and they are awesome. My hubbie did all the work himself. That way you could get composite floor if you want. My dil made the comment "why didn't you just get a new one"? but we saved at least $10,000 over a new one that size! With the grandkids, kids, and friends around the lake we cruise with that size is just what we need. My $.02.
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  #19  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:14 PM
liledgy liledgy is offline
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The old. One looks and runs fine. But, it barely fits in our pole barn for winter storage. It is also I little to big for our dock if the river is high. We would just like to downsize a bit and also get a trailer for it. Plus the convenience of not mixing any oil is appealing.
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  #20  
Old 01-07-2013, 11:08 PM
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jakethebt jakethebt is online now
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I stopped by a "new in town" marina this past spring for some parts and looked at the pontoons on the way to the parts dept. I am pretty sure they were bennington brand. I asked the price and the dealer told me how they won the lottery that year and this was the boat that was in the pics for their marketing and books and it was a really good price. The only reason that I mention it is that I figured the factory had some pride in this boat. After looking at it a little more close, it was built like crap. The quality of the welds was scary. It looked like a little kid did then with his eyes closed. None of the pcs of the pontoon even looked like they fit together right. Once I started looking, I was really surprised how bad it really was. I would be surprised if they even used jigs or fixtures for the pontoons. I bet they added 10% drag just due to poor quality.

One thing I would do when you are at the boat show is look at the build quality. Keep in mind these boats are all "low volume production" and there may be a huge difference in quality and construction.

As for the outboards, if you can afford the Honda, you cant hardly go wrong.
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