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Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

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  • Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

    Recently, our friends pontoon boat did a nose dive while going. There were a couple of Sea Doo/Wave Runners that came by them. It caused waves that came over the front of the Pontoon boat-not a whole lot though. they were going approximately 12 mph. The pontoon immediately did a nose dive down. The whole boat went down 10 feet then popped back up after a few seconds. Some were wearing life jackets, the ones that weren't went under with the boat. Everyone was fine but obviously shaken up. We own a pontoon boat and now I'm freaked out about this--especially to take my small children on the boat (even if they are wearing life jackets). Question, what cause this? How can we prevent it? Have you ever heard of this? Is this common among Pontoons?


  • #2
    Re: Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

    Wow...sounds like you had a weekend. I'm wondering at what angle your boat took the wake. I've taken a couple over the bow in our bowrider and it is scary.Waverunners can create quite a wake. Depending upon your boat type, weight, horsepower all make a difference on how you might want to take on a wake of any size.With my type of boat 18' bowrider, when coming up to a small wake, I'll slow down, stay on plane, and take it at close to a 45 degree angle. When taking on a large wake, I'll come up to it at a 45 or so and then work the throttle so that I can keep the bow up on the initial and subsquent waves.Hope this helps a little.

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    • #3
      Re: Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

      i think the only way to avoide it is keeping the bow as light as you canand now that you realize it can happen just being carefull and find out what the boat can cross safelyi have pitched poled a 14 ft hobie cat sailing and i dont think my wife has forgiven me 24 years latter tommays
      If a dirty bottom slows you down what do think it does to your BOAT

      1970 Cal 29 Sea Fever
      http://cal29seafever.blogspot.com/
      1981 J24 Tangent 2930
      http://s565.photobucket.com/albums/s...%20for%20sale/
      Tommays
      Northport Ny

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      • #4
        Re: Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

        This is more likely with pontoons and deckboats when a lot of people are crowded into the bow section. With hardly anybody in the back of the boat. If the people are evenly distributed along the length of the boat then such a "dive" incident should not be so severe.Kelly Cook

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        • #5
          Re: Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

          Scary incident, to be sure. It sounds to me like you've gotten very good advice here about weight distribution. That said, I'd still be concerned about the possibility of such a thing happening. In the face of a large wake, I believe I'd slow the thing down considerably.It may be that your friend's pontoon was overloaded, as well. Such an event simply should not take place from the wake of a couple of PWCs.Maybe a river barge, but not PWCs. I'd ask your friend when the last time he checked the pontoons for water inside.

          Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!

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          • #6
            Re: Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

            With power on, a down attitude on the nose will cause it to dive like a submarine. Next time you are in your car at 40 MPH or more, put your hand out the window with finger tips forward. Tilt your hand down slightly and you will immediately see why your toon dove. Hydrodynamics and aerodynamics are very much the same. Given enough speed and an "up" attitude would cause your toon to fly (at least momentarily). Never allow so many people on the front of a pontoon that it takes a nose down attitude.

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            • #7
              Re: Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

              i have worked with pontoons commerciallay and once we had it really loaded down with a lot of workload and she started to go under with a large wake. it is possible for this to happen even at slow speeds if the wake hits the bow of the boat evenly. when it dives you have to kick in reverse and you usually can pull her back out without everyone going under. like they said the best way is to not have a heavy load up front while underway.

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              • #8
                Re: Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

                Stick to the recommended capacities of the boat and you will be OK. Pontoons can easily be overloaded with people and thier crap because of all the wide open space. I've seen a few so overloaded that the logs were nearly submerged. I know it's serious and could have been a lot worse but you gotta laugh at the image of a pontoon diving under. I bet the water got a LOT warmer in that spot, LOL! I'm glad everyone is OK and hope the boat is OK too.How big was the pontoon and how many people were on it (before it dove)?
                Shell Lake 1960 Grandpa's 1947 HD-25

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                • #9
                  Re: Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

                  I was on a toon once that took a short dive. The toon was a 24 footer, with a 40 horse. There were about 8 adults and 10 kids aboard. Too many went up front to see what was going on. A small boat wake came over the bow and made it to the stern. As the bow went under the moter came from the water and the process stopped. Then the bow popped back up. A near disater was narrowly averted. I dont think we were overloaded, just too much lard moved forward.Uncle Dave

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

                    That is scary when it happened, but avoidable with the good advice above. I know of a group of folks who enjoyed doing that on purpose. They had an old pontoon with nothing on it except a railing and a small console. They would get the boat going and then run to the front and submarine for a bit. They stopped when the local environmental police issued them a $1000 fine for poluting the lake. Every time the 'tune went under, a small amount of fuel would leak out. Not to mention the safety issue.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pontoon Boat Did a Nose Dive while going

                      WOW!! That is an amazing story! I've operated several toons and have never come close to doing that, but I see from the above posts that it is very possible.Just took my kids to boaters safety class last weekend and learned a lot of things that I haven't thought of in my 39 yrs of boating. I spent a lot of time talking with the Coat Guard personnel about data plates. They basically said that if you exceed the max capacities of your boat and an accident happens your amount of negligence goes through the roof. Even our state boater rules says that "exceeding the maximum capacities of your boat is excepted evidence that you are operating your boat unlawfully". You probably will not get a ticket for doing it, but you had better hope nothing happens on the water...

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