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Pontoon Boats on Lake Erie

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Old 07-03-2018, 07:55 AM
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Default Pontoon Boats on Lake Erie

I live in Cleveland, so the nearest lake to me is obviously Lake Erie. I'm considering getting a pontoon boat and was wondering if anyone has had experiences on Lake Erie with one. I'm not planning on boating to Canada or to the middle of the lake. Always be near shore, maybe a drive up to Sandusky, or one of the Islands. are they able to take the waves of Lake erie? Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:57 AM
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A tri-toon would be recommended, though I have seen plenty of 2-tube pontoons on Erie. Mostly just have to watch the conditions.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:01 AM
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Do you know when they started making the Tri-toons? I've heard really good things about them. Trying to find a used one. Thanks so much for you input!
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:12 AM
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No way I would take a pontoon to the islands from Cleveland. The lake can kick up way to fast for that. I don't remember the last time I've seen one in my neck if the woods either (huron/vermilion). If your primarily going to putt around inland lakes with the occasional short trip on Erie I'd say your ok but if you want to be able to go out with anything more than a 10knot south wind I'd look at something with a hull.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:13 AM
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I don't think I saw a single toon on Erie until about 3 years ago and now I'm seeing them more and more. I get it, they are the best bang for the buck, but I think it'd be a wild ride. even 1 footers could get ugly. sitting up on top of the water and given Erie's non-directional slop I'd think It'd be a recipe for sea-sickness.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:25 AM
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1 footers will be a problem? Are you joking? A tritoon will out ride a monohull of equal length in anything 2.5 feet or less.

Tritoons ride like cats and cut through the waves and provide a very soft ride.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:26 AM
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If you're seriously interested in a pontoon for Lake Erie, go to Erie Outfitters in Sheffield and talk to Craig. He's got some tri-toons that he's been out on in 2-3's and was impressed. I personally haven't been on one of these boats but I keep hearing good things. They've got a model specifically set up for fishing, another that;s more of a fish & ski. Check him out. He's a great guy.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:48 AM
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Thanks for the info Rob. I'll stop by and talk to him. I'm hearing so many different things from everyone
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisguga View Post
1 footers will be a problem? Are you joking? A tritoon will out ride a monohull of equal length in anything 2.5 feet or less.

Tritoons ride like cats and cut through the waves and provide a very soft ride.
wasn't commenting on a tri-toon, very different animal I agree....as far as traditional toons, I'd like to submit Exhibit A :D
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Old 07-03-2018, 09:38 AM
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I own a pontoon and dock up in Marblehead and do venture out into the lake just to hit the beach now and then (mostly cruise around East Harbor). Bought mine for a specific reason that I won't bore you with (not by choice, but a necessity).

I'm not sure where you would normally launch from in Cleveland ynot25.

If your mostly going to boat from Edgewater or 55th St. Marina you could cruise behind the breakwall, cruise the river, and maybe take a peek out in the lake on a good day now and then. I would not suggest a standard pontoon or even a triton to cruise over to the Sandusky or the Western Basin. You have to realize the pontoons are only bolted to the floor. Over time and the repeated pounding you will take, something has to give.

From Cleveland to Sandusky you only have Rocky River, Lorain Harbor, Beaver Creek, Vermillion, and Huron to duck into in the event good old Erie rears her head (I don't think I missed a port). Some of these places are fairly far apart when the *hit hits the fan" out there and it will be a challenge for you if not down right dangerous.

I'd suggest trailering to Sandusky Bay. The bay is really nice to boat in. Also, you could boat all the way back to the Sandusky River and go to Fremont for lunch. It's quite a nice run. There are also a number of restaurants in the bay accessible by water.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Walleye Guy View Post
I own a pontoon and dock up in Marblehead and do venture out into the lake just to hit the beach now and then (mostly cruise around East Harbor). Bought mine for a specific reason that I won't bore you with (not by choice, but a necessity).

I'm not sure where you would normally launch from in Cleveland ynot25.

If your mostly going to boat from Edgewater or 55th St. Marina you could cruise behind the breakwall, cruise the river, and maybe take a peek out in the lake on a good day now and then. I would not suggest a standard pontoon or even a triton to cruise over to the Sandusky or the Western Basin. You have to realize the pontoons are only bolted to the floor. Over time and the repeated pounding you will take, something has to give.

From Cleveland to Sandusky you only have Rocky River, Lorain Harbor, Beaver Creek, Vermillion, and Huron to duck into in the event good old Erie rears her head (I don't think I missed a port). Some of these places are fairly far apart when the *hit hits the fan" out there and it will be a challenge for you if not down right dangerous.

I'd suggest trailering to Sandusky Bay. The bay is really nice to boat in. Also, you could boat all the way back to the Sandusky River and go to Fremont for lunch. It's quite a nice run. There are also a number of restaurants in the bay accessible by water.

Thanks for the input. If I wanted to go so far, I'd just boat at Portage Lakes. Which may be an option. I would dock probably in Mentor or Eastlake. I was considering E55 as well.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:33 AM
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Portage would be a nice choice for a pontoon but don't they have a HP limit? Perhaps I am thinking of another lake down that way.
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Old 07-03-2018, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BoatBrain78 View Post
wasn't commenting on a tri-toon, very different animal I agree....as far as traditional toons, I'd like to submit Exhibit A :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiXCQQFokMg
I didn't see it sink, I just saw the people get really wet. I have been running a 20' Harris for 35 years all over SW Florida in all sorts of weather. It can certainly be a very wet ride but you have to try pretty hard to flip one or sink one.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:12 PM
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I have a 22 Tritoon with the performance package and lifting strakes on all toons. Wow its fun to drive and I can run through boat wakes at speeds boats the same size slow down for or get beat up going through the wake.

Its a pretty smooth ride and will run over 40. You can get a Tritoon for around 5 to 6 grand more than a Pontoon, Well worth the upgrade. More stable and cruises much faster.
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:26 PM
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Those people in the video were planning to fail. Everyone was in the front of a boat with the rail far to forward to let anyone ride if you are in rough water. If everyone was in the back half they would not have stuffed the bow.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Walleye Guy View Post
Portage would be a nice choice for a pontoon but don't they have a HP limit? Perhaps I am thinking of another lake down that way.

You are partially correct. The HP limit is 400...except it is no wake accept 2 of the lakes which have times when you can speed or ski. It's odd. I don't like this type of rules. LOL. I grew up going to Lake Chautauqua every summer weekend Was driving boats long before a car. They had no restrictions there exception a handful of areas.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:24 AM
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We ran out the inlet as Destin, gosh, last time there, about eight years ago. Started out a nice day but the tides and winds, I knew would make the return a little rough over the bar. The calm conditions early drew out the usual crowd of bass boats and toons. Most have enough sense to stay inside. On the run back in we saw a 'toon ahead of us. We pulled up and there were several boats gauging the sets and grabbing a wave to get in on the back. We picked a nice one and rode on in easily enough. Back behind us the toon rolled over after stuffing the bow and I guess hitting bottom. Now several hundred yards back behind us I could not really see what happened. I do not think them particularly worthy of the sea. J
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:33 AM
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Lake St Clair is a lot like Erie only shallower and smaller.Pontoons are the most popular selling boats around now.They are indeed a nice platform to enjoy the water with a crowd.Safe and comfy,if you know how to boat.Get one as large as you can handle.I'd go 24' minimum and 30 mph minimum.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by gfretwell View Post
I didn't see it sink, I just saw the people get really wet. I have been running a 20' Harris for 35 years all over SW Florida in all sorts of weather. It can certainly be a very wet ride but you have to try pretty hard to flip one or sink one.
That was a skipper error and not the boat's. That was pretty dumb to try to punch that wake with five passengers forward.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:54 AM
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Inlets are always tough. A friend of mine flipped a 24' Carolina Skiff coming out of St James City (Pine Island).
Capsized at night is no fun.
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