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"We're gonna need a bigger boat!"
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I admit to being an old guy now. Considering a new boat and keep coming up with the idea of a pontoon boat.....
Don't do much bay fishing anymore, too old and fat to wade, too many issues that vibrio would give me fits.
Not much into the offshore game anymore
So that leaves me with just cruising the rivers/lakes, light fishing in the winter on the river under the lights (think a pontoon platform is ideal for this btw)
A passel of grandkids who would love to be on a tube behind a boat (last time I owned a bay boat, this is what we ended up doing 80% of the time with my kids)


But I've not had much experience with them, so looking for any pros or mainly cons that I am not seeing.....


Input appreciated!
 

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Don't call it a dream, call it a plan...
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788 Posts
We have owned a pontoon boat for about 5 years and love it.
Very stable.
Plenty of room.
Plenty of shade.
Easy to fish.
Not a speed demon.
If I had to do it over, I would get the tritoon.
I found it hard to find a good used boat because most people just keep them.
If you are going to use it in salt water, the "salt water version" is a must!!
Go for it!!
 

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340 Posts
my wife wants one for the lakes around Austin.
I have my fishing boat up from the coast right now and she has really enjoyed being on the water..

I think you can get some pretty good deals and over the next few months I think if you have the extra cash is going to be a good time to jump on a deal
 

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Just call me JJ
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7,594 Posts
I built a barge of sorts off an old 24' pontoon, put a center console on it with a leaning post and the two rear seats. It can literally haul a ton of weight with a big open deck space. I really love the layout and envision it would be perfect for catfishing or leisure cruising or even ship channel fishing for big uglies and bull reds on more mild days. We've had that thing across West Matagorda bay in some seriously horrible conditions and it's not let us down. The cons are they're slow and wet rides, both of which are addressed with the newer TriToon hulls and the planing angles they put on them nowdays. Another con is when it's rough you better know how to handle the water because they will scoop if you dip the bow into a wave and it's not fun but that goes with a lot of boats and I'd run the barge through anything I'd run my Boatright though (on the rough end I mean, obviously Boatright will go shallow).
 

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COME AND TAKE IT
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11,420 Posts
only people who do not like Toons have never owned one. For what you describe sounds about perfect. If you do start fishing from it more often not the best. Works good on anchor, but any other kind of fishing not all that good, more so when windy.
 

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As long as you don't want to go fast and don't mind a rougher ride in choppy conditions they're great. I highly recommend getting one with a galvanized trailer and a fishing package. The livewell/baitwell is big if you ever want to fish and the galvanized trailer is for those times when you do want to go to the salt. Sure you're somewhat limited in the salt with it but there are plenty of areas you can still fish with it. And they make great motherships for kayaks.
 

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27ft Seahunt Gamefish 27
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3,636 Posts
A pontoon boat is like buying a van...the resell is horrible and they're horribly overpriced. If you don't have 10 grandkids, get a bay boat with a gps trolling motor. You'll be able to keep it in one spot and fish without having an anchor, it can fish the river, the lakes and even in the bay if you choose, bay boats tend to have better resale value and you can definitely pull a tube/ski.
 

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Based on your profile, I'd say you aren't old at all. I'm old and have a 22 foot bay boat that I keep in a slip parked between two pontoon boats. Every time I have my grandkids and extra family people I wish I had one of those boats next to me. However, most of the time I fish, I'm fishing solo or just with my wife. I definitely don't want to fish solo or just with my wife using a pontoon boat. When fishing solo, I can throttle up, get to my fishing spot, hit the spot lock on the self deploying trolling motor and I'm fishing by the time I turn the key off. Somehow, I just don't see pontoon boats as a fishing machine unless you are talking about anchored up and over night fishing with lights. Now cruising with a bunch of kids or friends, well a pontoon seems ideal.
 

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Pontoons can be fantastic boats when used within their design purpose. That's why their popularity is soaring. I can see myself owning one in the future if I end up retiring on a lake. I will take this occasion to remind you that they are not small cities, and shouldn't be lighted as such. They are boats and SHOULD be lighted in accordance with the navigation rules.
 

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The only downside is when people buy the incredibly underpowered cheap versions.

Must haves are
Lifting strakes even on a regular toon
Tri toon if it’s in your budget
Ski tow bar


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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"On the Run"
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I just bought a 20’ Fishin Barge and I’m loving it so far. It’s no comparison to my last Shoalwater as far as bay fishing but if you’re not in a hurry they can still do plenty. I’m setting it up so I can still do some fishing on the coast, but still head to the lake or river and just cruise. It drafts 14”-16” with 35 gallons of fuel so I can still idle around shallow, especially with the trolling motor and jack plate I’m installing.

Might not be able to jump up in a foot of water anymore, but soaking some bait off the front while I’m kicked back on the couch under the top sounds pretty good.
 

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Tritoon - get a 150 or plus HP

We had one for 10 years. Suntracker Elite 23. The Tritoon was very stable and it needed a 150 or greater. The mistake on every pontoon is underpowering them. I would have put a 200 on it. In a decent chop we would go about 24-28 with the 150. Not a speed demon but man it was stable.
 

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As mentioned get more power than whats on the boat. They sell them way under power. If you are really interested in one spend the money and rent one for the day or weekend. This way if you do not like it you are not stuck with it. I have been on one a few times and would prefer a center console which I have. You can get a large bimini top for the center console and stay away from the T tops. T tops great for fishing and storage but with family you want a bimini top. Lots more shade and can add electric fans. Yeh I have 2 fans. Also as mentioned they can run like a bat out of he!!. There is a triton with a 300 on Conroe. It will run.
 

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I've owned hundreds of boats with the majority of them being pontoons. My currant boat is a 27' southbay tritoon. It has all the bells and whistles, lifting strakes, big fuel tank (52gal), jackplate, and a 350hp verado. In my opinion, they are the most versatile boats. We can cruise long distances, handle big rough water, run 50+mph, fish, haul 15+ppl or fish fairly shallow water. They do fish well, especially if you add the same equipment you would on a bay boat. Things like a big trolling motor with spot lock, power poles or talons, drift socks all make fishing a breeze and they are also very comfortable.
 

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DIY enthusiasts who build their boat from literal scratch should consider the size of it. In general, your boat should be 3 to 4 feet shorter than your trailer. Otherwise, you may have to buy a new automobile just to launch your boat. The pontoon frame can be made of either PVC water pipes or plywood. If you’re using plywood, make sure it is water-treated or your wooden pontoon boat will fall apart quickly.
 
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