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Old 04-03-2013, 02:50 PM
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tdelong tdelong is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Boat: Mastercraft x2 2012 ilmor
Location: midwest
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Talking Advice on Pontoons

I finally talked my dad into looking for a pontoon for the family. I'm the oldest of three boys and I've got a few friends on the lake and I always wanna have friends on the boat but our Mastercraft just isn't the boat for it. We aren't gonna be picky we will just use it to get people on this instead of the X2. We know the size has to be between 22-24 (give or take). So my question is, as a first time pontoon buyer, what should we look for or look out for? Must haves, avoids, advice, etc.

Here in Michigan it's getting a little warmer and I am going insane with excitement about pulling the boat out of the garage. I can't wait to get back on the water. Just thought I'd throw that in too cuz I'm so pumped
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:06 PM
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helton333 helton333 is offline
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Posts: 637
We have a MC and a pontoon just for this. I have been through this exact thought process. We bought a 22', only because so much of the floor area is unusable, but it still seats around 15. We bought a Leisure Kraft, hand made and sold out of the factory in Crossville, TN. Here is what I would definately want 1) Vinyl flooring (ours looks like berber carpet, but it's not - it is vinyl) - carpet is bad in pontoons because people ARE going to eat and drink, and lots of it. 2) Ours has the larger (I want to say they are 24" inch pontoons) - the industry standard is more like 19" - this makes the float a lot more stable. Also, since we knew we were not going to be going fast, we opted for a smaller engine to save money - the MC is for pulling - if that is your thinking, don't put a lot of money in the motor. Last thing I can think of is we paid to add a trolling motor, simply for fishing - which may sound weird, but it actually makes the boat quite usable for only another $200 or so. I would highly recommend Leisure Kraft - www.leisurekraft.com/
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:53 PM
bobx1 bobx1 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Boat: Was 2007 X1 - now looking
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I did the same thing a few years ago and have put plenty of hours on our pontoon and really enjoy it.

Your four biggest decisions will be:

1 - Length
2 - # of toons (2 or 3)
3 - Engine size
4 - Manufacturer

With this in mind, some questions you should consider:

Will you pull anything with it (i.e. tubes) and if so, you need decent HP (and possibly 3 toons).

How big is your lake/river and how far and fast will you want to go/cruise (HP and number of pontoons).

Can your primary lake/river get rough (will dictate 2 or 3 toons and horsepower).

How many people will typically be on the toon (will dictate length and ultimately # of toons and HP of engine).

Will you ever fish out of it (can dictate seating arrangements)?

Will you trailer often to multiple locations?

I purchased a 20' Bentley (low end) with 90HP 4 Stroke then after two years moved to a 22' South Bay with 115HP 4 Stroke (2 toons). Our home lake is about 10 miles long and 1 mile wide so we dont go long distances and the water is calm. We have a boat for tubes/wakeboards/ski and have a jet ski as well - all of which factored into what we needed.

There are a lot of high end, medium end, low end boats with Bennington, Harris, Premier, South Bay, being medium to high end poplular boats around here.

IMPORTANT - Helton hit the nail on the head with Vinyl flooring. My Bentley had carpet and I will never do that again. The South Bay has vinyl and even in the south, it does not get too hot.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:15 PM
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tmacx2 tmacx2 is online now
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So is 115 HP enough power for several people and pulling a tube?
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:39 PM
waterlogged882 waterlogged882 is offline
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Last edited by waterlogged882; 09-19-2015 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:54 PM
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helton333 helton333 is offline
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yes, 115 will pull plenty well for a tube.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:09 PM
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mzimme mzimme is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Boat: 2006 20' Vdrive
Location: Kansas City
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One of these is what you need. Anything less and you're just being a baby:

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Old 04-03-2013, 08:28 PM
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Slinkyredfoot Slinkyredfoot is offline
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Boat: 1979 Mastercraft, 1998 ProStar 205
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You own a MasterCraft so I assume you know what quality is all about.
Our family was in the same dilemma early last year, went to the local boat show here and compared several pontoon boats and after all the dust settled opted for a Bennington 22 SL series with a 115HP Merc.

We have been nothing but pleased with the choice, power is good for pulling tubes for the kids, roomy enough for 10 adults, and the quality is top notch. We did not opt for center pontoon, lifting strakes, or any of the performance stuff that make it go faster, we wanted a cruiser that is roomy, and glides along the water at 28mph with a great ride. We also opted for a good size rear platform so when we go to the sandbar to swim kids and grandkids have a ladder and a good place to jump in from. Whatever you decide on, make sure you get the max HP rating for the boat.

Link for Bennington


Good luck, pontoon boats are great and bring family and friends together.
If for some reason you start to believe you are a person with influence, just try ordering somebody else's dog around.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:23 PM
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captain planet captain planet is offline
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Boat: 2003 PS197, MCX, Powerslot
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Two letters will give you the answer to your questions......JC. Best built pontoons on the water.
2003 ProStar 197, MCX and Powerslot.
"When the government lies, the truth becomes a traitor."
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:14 PM
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lakeoz tristar lakeoz tristar is offline
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Might be a bit excessive but hey I'd take it
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