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Old 08-09-2005, 12:43 PM
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Default how much horsepower do i need?

hi guys. i'm new here. looks like a neat community.

i'm new to the boating world so be patient with me.

i've recently purchased a place on a inland fishing lake in indiana so here i am, in the boating market. i will be purchasing a pontoon boat next year but plan on purchasing the engine this year. as the subject line infers, what size engine would you guys recommend? it's a fishing lake, so i'll be going no faster than 20 mph (assume a 16' pontoon boat or so) and not pulling any skiiers.

thanks,

jay

p.s.

oh yeah, if it matters assume i would be buying a 4-stroke honda engine.

also, what is the difference between the 'long-shaft' and the 'short-shaft'?
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

the difference in 'long-shaft' and the 'short-shaft'. about 5 inches, i think.

question....your purchase is not ordinary. why are you not buying a package from your local dealer? boat/motor/trailer is usually cheaper when purchased as a package. that would also elimnate the questions about HP.
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

Plus, if you buy the engine now and even if you don't install/use it, the warranty will be in effect and ultimately shortened by the time that you do start using it.

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Old 08-09-2005, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

thanks but what is different about the applications for long and short shafts? is it simply the depth of the lake that is being boated in?

in regard to your question, due to budgetary constraints, splitting the purchase into to sub-purchases is much more cash-viable but if you think the savings is that significant i would certainly reconsider.

thanks for the input!
let me rephrase my question to avoid future confusion: what size honda 4-stroke engine to i need to make a pontoon boat go 20 mph max?

thanks,

jay
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

Some boats require the long shaft to get the prop down lower into the water so it doesn't cavitate when turning. Most pontoon boats that I know of (and even my own some years ****** require a long shaft.

Also, long shafts can allow a higher transom so they are a little safer while out in rougher water (or to keep water from entering the back of the boat by going over the transom). Hence the 25" shaft lengths.
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

I'd put the money that you would spend on the motor into a savings acct (or other higher interest acct) and let it grow while you are either saving up or waiting for the right boat to come along.

Better to have the cash in the bank earning something than having a motor sitting in the garage losing value and eating up your warranty time.

Package deals would be better price-wise anyway.
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

Inflatable, small dinghies, and most car-topper type aluminum boats will use the short (15") shaft motors.

Most kickers (when sold new for that purpose) will be long (20") shaft, due to having to be mounted on a separate bracket or transom and they need to reach down into the water to operate. Some folks with existing motors will turn them into kickers, but they might be too short and they aren't much help out in the rough stuff (the prop leaves the water ).
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

i was talking with a guy i work with who has a lakeside "camp" in maine....16 foot pontoon boats are popular, and the standard package comes with a 25 horse....he said the prevailing sentiment is that the 25 horse is too small, and those of a mind to go up to 40 or more pretty quickly

long shaft motors are generally used for kickers on sailboats....

i am no expert, but i think most decent size motors have a 20 inch shaft....15 inch is common on smaller outboards

the long shaft i have gathering dust has i think an 8 inch extension sandwiched in between the powerhead and the lower end.....i can't think of where else other than a sailboat you could use it
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

the shaft length WILL be dependent on boat maker. it looks like the hondas of the HP you are asking about are either 15" or 20". sounds like from the pontoon crowd that the longer shaft is normal for the 'tooners. i have a friend who is a 'tooner, he has a 19 or so footer with a 40 hp 2 stroke on it. its a dog. BUT a little 16 footer is not much beer can to push, so i bet a 40 might actually be more than you want. i see honda does make a 30 hp. maybe thats the comfortable middle . on the thought of when to buy. remember, a boat is a liability, not an investment. meaning its going to go down in value, not up. the motor you buy and store today, is not going to be worth what you paid for it, a year from now. even if it has not been cranked or even taken out of the crate. if you are dead set on new and dead set on a 'bargin' another option is to try and find a left over year model motor. its an option,but it may be a wild goose chase with the lower HP hondas. and you are going to have to pay someone to rig it to your boat. that might eat up any savings you might have found.

c'mon! with rates the way they are, you could finance a little pontoon for 10 years and your payments couldnt be over a hundred bucks a month! just do it!!
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

got salt has the right idea....this same guy told me how his nephew had a choice between a brand new 16 with a 25, or a year old 16 with a 40.....same price....he bought the 40
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

The length of motor required is a function of mounting height (meaning dependent on the boat). If you know what boat you'll be getting, find out what length shaft it requires, and that's what you buy. If you don't know, then you may end up picking a boat to fit your motor instead of the other way around. BTW, correct shaft length is a must for correct performance.

Buy a motor that approaches the max horsepower rating of the boat you intend to purchase, another reason NOT to purchase a motor and then the boat. Never heard anyone complain of too much power, but frequently hear of underpowers.
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

Buy the boat FIRST...put an electric trolling motor on it and fish w/that til you can afford the Honda.OB...you're gonna want a trolling motor sooner or later...plus you'll know what HP and length shaft your boat needs...I'm having difficulty making sense outta buying motor first...but I understand everyone looks at things differently...I've been in one boat or another for 25+ years and seems to me the boat comes first...JMHO
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Old 08-10-2005, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

HP requirements will depend alot on the diameter of the pontoons. The larger the diameter, the greater the bouyancy and the less HP needed to meet your performance goals. A 17 foot pontoon boat with 21" diameter tubes will need more power to achieve your goal than an 18 foot boat, with 24" diameter tubes.

At the current cost of financing, look around at a leftover 2005 model that is packaged with motor and (if you need it) trailer. Use the funds you have for the motor as a down payment and finance for a longer term to keep the payments low enough so you can double or triple up on them. If you don't have the discipline to pay it off sooner, then take out shorter term (I lack that discipline, so I know)

Buy as much Horsepower as you can comfortably afford, this way you will never be unhappy. As we all know, there are times when you will wish you had more, but never a time when you will say you have too much horsepower.

As far as shaft length is concerned, I have not seen a pontoon boat with a 15" shaft. All those that I have seen have been equipped with a 20" shaft. I have even seen one with a hydraulic jack plate and a 200-HP Johnson Ocean Pro. Damned thing is reported to have a top speed of nearly 50-MPH! Too funny when you see this 30' barge running up the ICW with a (mini) rooster tail!!!
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Old 08-10-2005, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: how much horsepower do i need?

threadkiller - looks like everyone has avoided youir question and went off into a ramble about shaft lengths and theories. Here's the bottom line, buy a 40 or 50 hp for that Indiana lake pontoon boat. It'll easily propel you to 20 and beyond but will do it with ease and not woork so hard. you, in turn will enjoy better longevity out of the engine. DO NOT go with a 25hp, it may get you to 20mph but it won't last near as long as the 40 and you'll be working her very hard. i am not familiar with Honda's current offerings in the hp range you need but a 40 would be my magic number if it were my boat - good luck!
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