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A good River Pontoon Boat...

78Southwind

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So what is the perfect Pontoon boat for the river, with say most of the trips being in Bullhead with several trips to Park Moabi and maybe one or two trips a year to Lake Havasu?

I am not sure when I will pull the trigger on this but if it happens it will probably be next year, so I want to start doing my research right now. I want something that will be easy to maneuver on the river but I also want something that will travel up river around 30 MPH. I was thinking of a tritoon in the 22' range with 200 HP or so. Most of the time it will probably have 2 to 4 people on it but it would be nice to have up to 10 people. I will probably leave it in our Marina so I need something durable with an outboard that will be able to rise completely out of the water with a really good mooring cover that will protect the boat. What say the RDP brain trust? What companies? What models? What size? What power? What am I missing? I am I on the right track?
 

Water Romper

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Look at the beast RD has...now THATS a pontoon. All kidding aside, its all about budget. Got 5 grand? then that's the budget you work with, got 150 grand? (and a 10 thousand dollar watch) well, there ya go. Looks like, by your "spec's" you want a family "chill" boat, no high performance model. Maybe just a older Suntracker with a solid stock 150 / 200 Merc on the back. They are "almost" indestructible, safe for kids, stable, you can get up and walk around, lots of seats. If you like to fish- perfect for that too.
Get a double Bimini to keep the sun off, make sure its removable so you can use the mooring cover for the winter. I would look now and buy during the Christmas/Winter time. As far as length ? What are you comfortable with? Longer the boat, more boat to maneuver... Just my .02 cents
 

WTR&PWR

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We had a Tritoon and I really enjoyed it. With everyone going big motors you can find a significant drop off in price if you’re willing to buy something that’s a lot slower. If you bought something in the 200-250hp range of would give you a reasonable amount of power loaded and still be less motor than the guys spending big money want. I’d go 24’+ if you can store it and tow it easy. I enjoyed the extra space.

Also, it takes a lot of space to store and blows like a sail in the wind so think about that when finding storage. They’re a pain to tow back and forth on long trips. They are light and are like towing a billboard down the road.
 

78Southwind

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Look at the beast RD has...now THATS a pontoon. All kidding aside, its all about budget. Got 5 grand? then that's the budget you work with, got 150 grand? (and a 10 thousand dollar watch) well, there ya go. Looks like, by your "spec's" you want a family "chill" boat, no high performance model. Maybe just a older Suntracker with a solid stock 150 / 200 Merc on the back. They are "almost" indestructible, safe for kids, stable, you can get up and walk around, lots of seats. If you like to fish- perfect for that too.
Get a double Bimini to keep the sun off, make sure its removable so you can use the mooring cover for the winter. I would look now and buy during the Christmas/Winter time. As far as length ? What are you comfortable with? Longer the boat, more boat to maneuver... Just my .02 cents
I am coming from 18 Jet Boats and 21 V-Drives, I definitely don't need anything like that beast. Now, if I lived full-time in Havasu it would be mandatory. :cool: I can go new or used but prefer to buy my toys with cash so probably a $50k to $60k price point. I could sell some investments or get financing but I am kind of old school when it comes to toys. I checked the Sun Tracker website and it looks like you can get a 2021 Sun Tracker Party Barge 22 RF XP3 with a Mercury 200 HP for around $50k (I can't remember if that was with a trailer or not). I also saw a 2021 Trifecta 22C 2.75 with a Mercury 150 HP for about 60K.
 

78Southwind

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We had a Tritoon and I really enjoyed it. With everyone going big motors you can find a significant drop off in price if you’re willing to buy something that’s a lot slower. If you bought something in the 200-250hp range of would give you a reasonable amount of power loaded and still be less motor than the guys spending big money want. I’d go 24’+ if you can store it and tow it easy. I enjoyed the extra space.

Also, it takes a lot of space to store and blows like a sail in the wind so think about that when finding storage. They’re a pain to tow back and forth on long trips. They are light and are like towing a billboard down the road.
I was thinking Mercury 200 HP unless Honda or something else is more dependable. I just want to make sure I can make it up river 30 MPH loaded. If I make a trip from Bullhead down to Moabi/Havasu I don't want it to be a two day trip coming back up river. A 24+ pontoon just seems huge to me for the river. There was a guy in our complex that had a 25' Pontoon and it didn't really fit in our Marina slips well. I saw him trying to maneuver it in the wind and it just seemed like a joke.

I won't be towing the pontoon much, it's going to spend most of its life in a slip at our Townhouse.

Marina2.jpg
 

monkeyswrench

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Last year an inmate went to the Avalon dealer thing back east. All kinds of options from the baller editions, to the 90hp cruiser. For reference, my inlaw has a shitbox mid-90s Sun Tracker. Rental, beater, not too pretty. It's a 20ft with a 90. With 7 of us on it, adult size (maybe a bit bigger), it will do a touch over 30 headed up river.

Before covid pricing, and a certain election, I was really looking at getting a comparable, albeit newer, little pontoon.
 

throttle

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I think a used 22 or 24 tri toon would fit your needs well. Maybe a 200 or 250 hanging off the back. I prefer the mercury set up for lots of reasons, but one big thing to consider when going Honda or Yamaha is where will you find parts and service for them if you get in a bind. I dunno, just seems like lots of authorized merc places always around.

be patient, I think if you are not in a rush you may be able to find something near the end of this season.
 

78Southwind

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Last year an inmate went to the Avalon dealer thing back east. All kinds of options from the baller editions, to the 90hp cruiser. For reference, my inlaw has a shitbox mid-90s Sun Tracker. Rental, beater, not too pretty. It's a 20ft with a 90. With 7 of us on it, adult size (maybe a bit bigger), it will do a touch over 30 headed up river.

Before covid pricing, and a certain election, I was really looking at getting a comparable, albeit newer, little pontoon.
Before I sold one of my other boats I was thinking about going with something like a Voyager 20' with a Honda 90. The guy said the Honda 90 needed to be re-jetted because it ran too rich. He said that Honda didn't jet them right. Do you know anything about the Hondo 90's? Does that sound right? lol

1996 Voyager 20 Pontoon with 90 Honda.jpg


1996 Voyager 20 Pontoon with 90 Honda11.jpg
 

monkeyswrench

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Before I sold one of my other boats I was thinking about going with something like a Voyager 20' with a Honda 90. The guy said the Honda 90 needed to be re-jetted because it ran too rich. He said that Honda didn't jet them right. Do you know anything about the Hondo 90's? Does that sound right? lol

View attachment 1001131

View attachment 1001132
My inlaw's is a little Merc 90. All I really know about it is how to make a new bus bar for the solenoid pack...the "boat mechanic" that replaced a solenoid over torqued something, breaking it. Learned how to make one at 2am because somebody was borrowing it the next morning.
90hp is capable. Too fat seems like it may also just be in the mixture more than jets on something like that Honda though. Real pricey if you lean anything out too much.
 

RiverDave

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I was thinking Mercury 200 HP unless Honda or something else is more dependable. I just want to make sure I can make it up river 30 MPH loaded. If I make a trip from Bullhead down to Moabi/Havasu I don't want it to be a two day trip coming back up river. A 24+ pontoon just seems huge to me for the river. There was a guy in our complex that had a 25' Pontoon and it didn't really fit in our Marina slips well. I saw him trying to maneuver it in the wind and it just seemed like a joke.

I won't be towing the pontoon much, it's going to spend most of its life in a slip at our Townhouse.

View attachment 1001114
where is this?
 

rickym20

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We picked up a 23 ft Avalon off a member last year. It’s got the Yamaha 250 and it does everything I need it to do. That is of coarse until another tritoon like RD’s passes me up and then I get twin engine envy haha.

The model is the quad lounge and it carries 10 comfortably. Also has no problem yanking the kids around on the tube when needed.
 

78Southwind

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Gonefishin5555

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78Southwind

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so it doubled in value in a year?
Yep... They got a deal in 2020 though, it was probably worth closer to $200,000 to $250,000 back then.

There is nothing available. My neighbor paid $340,000 in 2006 and my other neighbor on the front row paid $440,000 in 2007. So they are just starting to recover from 2008 and 2009. I have been getting letters to my residence asking me to sell for the last 5 years. This year I got a new letter and it had a purchase contract with the letter...lol
 
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Gonefishin5555

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Yep... They got a deal in 2020 though, it was probably worth closer to $200,000 to $250,000 back then.

There is nothing available. My neighbor paid $360,000 in 2006 and my other neighbor on the front row paid $440,000 in 2005. So they are just starting to recover from 2008 and 2009. I have been getting letters to my residence asking me to sell for the last 5 years. This year I got a new letter and it had a purchase contract with the letter...lol
So funny i sent one of those letters to one of the owners on my buddy's street. It was a beat to shit mobile home on a nice lot. The guy was never there and I thought maybe he would give up and sell it to me. I offered him land value so it probably went in the trash.
 

DLC

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I think one of the Tritons 2FF has is a perfect toon type boat, for just cruising around, grilling and floating watching sunsets and taking friends for a dip in the lake.

in the past 5-6 years they have made some real progress in toon construction and lifting streaks, big middle toon etc to make them a good all around boat, some of the no frills type 90hp 18-20 boats don’t have any of that type of performance so I would stay away from that type of a toon....

what ever you think you want I would rent one for a day and take it out and try it! In real life performance expectations - full cooler, 2-4 people, full tank of fuel....etc dual Bimini up

I love my toon, crest 23 rated for 400 hp! Dual Biminis I have a Merc verado 350 and it’s nice, comfortable, easy to pilot! We cruise 32-42mph depending on conditions, people & gear, the grill lives on the toon! Nothing like hot dogs, brats, burgers or even Lamb lollipops when your floating in a cove!
it’s really just easy and fun.

taking 2-3 days to go down river or better yet up river, ! just sucks

i don’t agree with the 47 mph with the 250 and then take people & gear / coolers, dual Biminis up with out a prop change. The toons are not a very aerodynamic boat and catch a lot of wind and they change with a little extra weight added to it.
 

mash on it

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Ozark 24' pontoon boat, actually more like a cat deck boat, with pontoon style seats/furniture.
454, Berkeley jet drive. Runs over 50 mph.
Perfect river pontoon boat.

Yore welcome

Dan'l
 

mobldj

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somehow pontoons went insane,do they really need to go 60 plus.thought the whole concept was slow and comfort.specially on the river.so what you get to the sandbar 5 min before me. i myself would just buy a go fast regular boat for the insane big motor prices of a tri toon. just my opinion.........but that doesnt mean you cant have them shiny.
pontoon polishing 2.jpg
 

78Southwind

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Ozark 24' pontoon boat, actually more like a cat deck boat, with pontoon style seats/furniture.
454, Berkeley jet drive. Runs over 50 mph.
Perfect river pontoon boat.

Yore welcome

Dan'l
I saw this one for sale back in 2010 (I was thinking about buying it back then). Pretty cool deal but I am looking for something that I can keep in our slip. The water in our Marina is filled with what I believe is Nitrate from the wash that spills into our Marina causing crazy plant/algae growth. In about two weeks this is what it did to my Southwind. For some reason it doesn't affect the metal toons like the fiberglass hulls.

Ozark_Deck_Boat_24_Jet2.jpg


Ozark_Deck_Boat_24_Jet.jpg


Ozark_Deck_Boat_24_Jet1.jpg


Before_Hull_Cleaner.jpg
 

78Southwind

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Seeing all that scum on your pretty Southwind makes me sad....
I know it looks like my Southwind was sitting in the Marina for a couple of years. No worries though, I was able to get the scum off with this stuff (can't remember the name) which is a plant based non toxic acid from Walmart. However, the shit sure smelled toxic. I can't seem to find it anymore. The Marina didn't use to have this problem until the wash flooded. We probably need to dredge the Marina but since the Marina is basically a pool with a concrete floor we have to use a hydraulic dredge (kind of expensive).

Southwind Transom.jpg
 

Wbinder

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All you need is a 60hp pontoon for a booze cruiser, you can even single ski behind it haha

IMG_0368.jpg



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78Southwind

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All you need is a 60hp pontoon for a booze cruiser, you can even single ski behind it haha

View attachment 1001517


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To be honest with you cruising up to the Dam just before night and floating down is probably about 30% of our trips. We use to do it all the time with my Southwind. Then stop at Harrah's and watch the Beach Party or listen to a Cover Band...

 

C-Ya

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A double Bimini top is a must have item...... to me.

I owned 3 Playcraft tritoons........ the one with the double high speed Bimini top was by far the most practical. Once I had it, I wondered how I lived without it.

You’ll still come home with a sunburn.... but it will be your right arm that’s most effected!
 
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