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Old 10-19-2010, 07:09 AM
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Default Pontoon boats and the Sea?

Been wanting to ask this for some time now, on a trip to Fl. we were sitting on the beach (around Sarasota) when my wife say, "I thought you told me we can't get a pontoon boat cause there not safe to take out in the ocean!"

I looked up and said "They are fools, I am not" and closed my eyes. About 20 minutes later she said, "So they must be fools also!". And sure enough there was a second pontoon boat just off the beach, fully loaded (maybe 10 people).

I explained to my wife that the west coast of Fl wa called a "Sea" not an "Ocean" like the Atlantic (hoping to just cop out of an argument) and insisted they were still fools. She countered with, "If a wave come over the bow it would just roll right off the back part of the deck".

I left it with the first wave of any size would tear the pontoon off the deck and you'd be shark bait.

So, tell me were these guys fools or is the west coast of Fl. along the beach on a calm day near an inlet OK for a "PONTOON BOAT"?
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:26 AM
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I was on a pontoon boat up where the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers merge and we stuffed the bow.....and it kept on going, thought we were going to do a submarine act. Got the driver to throw it in reverse and the buoyancy finally corrected it. Scary moment.

So yes they are crazy going in the ocean or sea, stick to back waters and lakes.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:26 AM
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I would'nt take a pontoon in the ocean but my step brother has a large pontoon stripped down with only a console, drivers seat and a cooler running down the center. He uses it in lake moultrie and we have been in some very rough water with large waves and they come right over the deck and off the back and sides. The first time I was nervous but it seems to hold together and he has had the boat like 10 years.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:27 AM
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They rent them down there. You used to be able to rent them here, but I think people just used them in the salt pond. I brother in law bought a used one from them. They don't hold up well in the salt.
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:41 AM
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I live in Sarasota and can almost guarantee that the pontoon boats you saw were rentals. They're everywhere down here and obviously have no idea what they're doing. I've seen rental pontoon boats and rental Hurricane deck boats try to make it out Big Pass in 2-3's that were just beating the snot out of them.

That said, on a calm day off of Sarasota it's probably ok to take a pontoon boat out of the beach. Obviously not 30 miles offshore to fish, but on a calm day they should be fine. Of course there are some big boats going in and out of the passes and throwing big wakes, and depending on the tide/wind the waves can stack up on the sandbars surrounding the passes and make it pretty dicey, but for the most part a calm day stays a calm day and they should be ok. That said, I would never own one if I intended to be going out the pass every time I took it out, but if it's a one day rental that's a little different.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:00 AM
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I have a 27 foot pontoon boat that I take into the Gulf during scallop season up in the Crystal River. It has triple extra large diameter pontoons, and is powered by an F250. I think most people would be shocked if they saw this thing perform in rougher water, it can actually hold its own. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I'm ready to plan any Gulf Stream crossings in it, but it can handle seas much better than most give it credit for.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:00 AM
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there was a 26ft toon with twin 225 yamaha's that was for sale here in SC a year or so ago.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:07 PM
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On the west coast of fl you'd be okay in a 6' inflatable and a plastic paddle many days in the summer... I'm sure the pontoons are fine if they time the weather right.
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:25 PM
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I have a 25' and have taken it out in the gulf several times when its calm...no more that 3 or so miles......as far as the Atlantic...never & never will...
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:33 PM
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Thanks guys now I can show this to my wife (who is very understanding and trusting of me except when greeted with a pontoon boat in the ocean). She'll be glad we got our SeaHunt.
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Old 10-19-2010, 02:27 PM
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I watched one in OC MD inlet - it took a 2-3' ground swell over the stern, breached & had just about the entire deck wiped out. Tackle boxes, bait, rods, coolers - all went overboard. The people were on the floor sloshing around - this was late November.

So no, you will never see my fat ass in one anywhere near a inlet or a "sea".
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obbayer View Post
I was on a pontoon boat up where the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers merge and we stuffed the bow.....and it kept on going, thought we were going to do a submarine act. Got the driver to throw it in reverse and the buoyancy finally corrected it. Scary moment.

So yes they are crazy going in the ocean or sea, stick to back waters and lakes.

we were in the same situation on a rental in panama city. thought the boat was going under for sure. i was at the controls and told everyone to shift back (as if anyone needed directions-they all tried to chase the runaway ice chest full of beer).
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Old 10-19-2010, 07:32 PM
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Pontoons aren't what they used to be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIqbJ...eature=related
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikem View Post
I would'nt take a pontoon in the ocean but my step brother has a large pontoon stripped down with only a console, drivers seat and a cooler running down the center. He uses it in lake moultrie and we have been in some very rough water with large waves and they come right over the deck and off the back and sides. The first time I was nervous but it seems to hold together and he has had the boat like 10 years.

I have actually seen a couple pontoons at the jetties in Charleston and one time, glass slick day, saw one at nearshore reef

Should be ok but I would not want to take the chance, some of those freighter ships that come through the rocks throw one hell of a wake
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:01 AM
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I have thought about using a pontoon boat in rough conditions myself. I don't own a pontoon boat, but a pontoon boat would be very nice in the area that I live in. All inland, fresh water.

However, I also like to boat on Lake Erie which is alway choppy and can get very rough.

My concern about a pontoon boat in rough water is that after continued use, the metal framing that connects the pontoons has got to eventually fatique. Waves are a very random thing. In rough water, one pontoons going to want to be lifted more or less than the other for each wave you encounter. I would envision constant twisting forces being applied to the metal work connecting the pontoons. I just don't see a pontoon boat lasting after continued use in rough water. Maybe if you really beefed up the metal framing connecting the pontoons perhaps, but I doubt they come that way from the manufactorer.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s_ebels View Post
Pontoons aren't what they used to be.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIqbJ...eature=related
But that's on smooth water.
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:27 AM
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But that's on smooth water.
Yah I realize and appreciate that very salient fact. I just thought the sight of a pontoon blowing past at 70mph+ was freaking hilarious. Not something your mind conjures up when you hear the word pontoon.........
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08087 View Post
Been wanting to ask this for some time now, on a trip to Fl. we were sitting on the beach (around Sarasota) when my wife say, "I thought you told me we can't get a pontoon boat cause there not safe to take out in the ocean!"

I explained to my wife that the west coast of Fl wa called a "Sea" not an "Ocean" like the Atlantic (hoping to just cop out of an argument) and insisted they were still fools. She countered with, "If a wave come over the bow it would just roll right off the back part of the deck".

"?
Actually, it's called the * Gulf Of Mexico *, not a sea or an ocean. Pontoons are always running in the gulf, provided it's a decent day for boats, period.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:50 AM
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I thought it was part of the Caribbean Sea

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Old 10-20-2010, 08:57 AM
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A regular pontoon....no way! Those Tri-toons like Islander11 has are a different breed. Supposedly much stronger and built for speed (and strength I would assume).

At the LOTO shoot-out this year (2) tri-toons tied for fastest on the water..100mph even in both of them!!!!
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