What to look for on used pontoons

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FuzzyGrub
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What to look for on used pontoons

Post by FuzzyGrub »

I have my first grandchild on the way, and time to think about a used pontoon boat. I sold my 20' bowrder that we had for over 18 years :( But if I kept it, it wouldn't be used enough and I have other things to do outside of doing maintenance on a boat fleet. ;)

So, starting the search for a used 22-24' pontoon w/a minimum of a 60HP 4-stroke motor. I have rented and used a few over the years, but never examined them closely for purchasing. Is there anything unique to be taking into consideration? Anyplace that corrosion raises its ugly head? Are the tunes filled with foam? Any tips for checking them out that are unique to this type of boat?

Thx for any help.
Project: 1995 1648 DMI/1998 25HP Merc:
1967 Starcraft 14' Mariner V/1987 Nissan 40C
1997 Bayliner Capri 2050/350 4brl Vortec Mercruiser
JohnS https://www.joefishin.com/

eeshaw
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What to look for on used pontoons

Post by eeshaw »

I have a 20 foot pontoon. It came with a 90 Johnson on it and it does a good job getting us around. I removed a 60 Bigfoot from a pontoon for an acquaintance and they're good motors, a person just has to keep up on the maintenance and not abuse any motor to keep it reliable. The Bigfoot motor came with a different gear ratio in the lower case than the standard engine and I think (don't quote me) a 4 blade prop was standard. The tubes on my pontoon aren't foam filled, they're hollow compartments (segments). I pull mine from the water after each use so I don't have any problem with corrosion.

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FuzzyGrub
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What to look for on used pontoons

Post by FuzzyGrub »

Thx for the input.

Yea, I'd lean toward more HP if possible. The ones I rented were 60HP and seemed to push the 20 or 22' toons enough, for our planned uses. I just have to watch out for requiements creep or I'll end up with a 250HP tri-toon. :LOL2: I have seen some with 40 and evan 25HP motors, and they are definitly out.

I know that some toons came with treated plywood floors so will look carefully around the support structure. The boat will sit in the water from late spring to early fall. I don't recall seeing anodes on any toons. Maybe not needed or they just bond to the motor, but everyone raises it out of the water to prevent fouling. I know that the magneisum anodes on my bowrider would deteriate over time.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, that these motors had solid lifters and adjusting was a bear. I'll need to try to find a service manual and see. Outside of my son's new jet, four stroke outboards are new to me.

Thx again and would appreciate additional info from anyone.
Project: 1995 1648 DMI/1998 25HP Merc:
1967 Starcraft 14' Mariner V/1987 Nissan 40C
1997 Bayliner Capri 2050/350 4brl Vortec Mercruiser
JohnS https://www.joefishin.com/

MrGiggles
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What to look for on used pontoons

Post by MrGiggles »

FuzzyGrub wrote: 12 Jul 2022, 11:06 Thx for the input.

Yea, I'd lean toward more HP if possible. The ones I rented were 60HP and seemed to push the 20 or 22' toons enough, for our planned uses. I just have to watch out for requiements creep or I'll end up with a 250HP tri-toon. :LOL2: I have seen some with 40 and evan 25HP motors, and they are definitly out.

I know that some toons came with treated plywood floors so will look carefully around the support structure. The boat will sit in the water from late spring to early fall. I don't recall seeing anodes on any toons. Maybe not needed or they just bond to the motor, but everyone raises it out of the water to prevent fouling. I know that the magneisum anodes on my bowrider would deteriate over time.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, that these motors had solid lifters and adjusting was a bear. I'll need to try to find a service manual and see. Outside of my son's new jet, four stroke outboards are new to me.

Thx again and would appreciate additional info from anyone.
Some have shims and some don't. I have a 2011 90hp that uses shims. You'd need to pull the powerhead to swap any of them. However, they hardly ever need adjustment.

Looks like some of the 60 fourstrokes have adjustable rockers which is nice, although I'm not sure what years.

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LDUBS
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What to look for on used pontoons

Post by LDUBS »

FuzzyGrub wrote: 12 Jul 2022, 08:55 I have my first grandchild on the way,

Congrats!
Have Rod - Will Fish

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FuzzyGrub
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What to look for on used pontoons

Post by FuzzyGrub »

LDUBS wrote: 13 Jul 2022, 00:40
FuzzyGrub wrote: 12 Jul 2022, 08:55 I have my first grandchild on the way,

Congrats!
Thx, can't wait to get a fishing pole in his/her hands! :)
Project: 1995 1648 DMI/1998 25HP Merc:
1967 Starcraft 14' Mariner V/1987 Nissan 40C
1997 Bayliner Capri 2050/350 4brl Vortec Mercruiser
JohnS https://www.joefishin.com/

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JL8Jeff
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What to look for on used pontoons

Post by JL8Jeff »

Look for rotted out floors, most the pontoons on the river around here have to replace the flooring over time since the carpeting or artificial turf on the flooring can trap moisture. Boats left in the (fresh) water around here need to have the pontoons scrubbed down several times during the season due to the algae buildup. So if you get a tri-toon 24-28' long, that's a lot of scrubbing! :lol: Do you plan on cooking out and eating on the boat?
Pretty much everyone around here does, so they have picnic tables or gas grills located somewhere on the boat. I would get a boat with some amount of a roof (hardtop or tonneau) so you can hide from the sun if you need to.
2001 Lowe Roughneck 1652 VT with Merc 60/45 jet 2 stroke

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FuzzyGrub
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What to look for on used pontoons

Post by FuzzyGrub »

Thx. It will have a Bimini top, for the few calm hot days we get. It is more of a light rain protection. A hard top would prevent entry into one of our lakes.

If no grill one will be added. :)

We have nice clear water and only get a light tan slime coating over the whole season. That is good because it is too shallow at our dock for a lift.

Is water in the toons an issue? Or part of the design? Ie ballast.

PS: the new owners picked up the bow rider on Sunday. Kinda bittersweet.
Project: 1995 1648 DMI/1998 25HP Merc:
1967 Starcraft 14' Mariner V/1987 Nissan 40C
1997 Bayliner Capri 2050/350 4brl Vortec Mercruiser
JohnS https://www.joefishin.com/

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JL8Jeff
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What to look for on used pontoons

Post by JL8Jeff »

FuzzyGrub wrote: 19 Jul 2022, 10:03Is water in the toons an issue? Or part of the design? Ie ballast.
I don't think there should ever be water in the pontoons so that would be a sign of a leak somewhere.
2001 Lowe Roughneck 1652 VT with Merc 60/45 jet 2 stroke