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Pontoons on the river

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  • Pontoons on the river

    Long time lurker, first post. I need a little input. We are buying a cabin on a wonderful piece of river in WI. I currently have a 1988 Lowe 18' alum pontoon I've rigged for fishing. I'd love to keep it but am concerned with depth. I need some opinions from you guys. Like most rivers it has it's deep and shallow spots. Channels 8'-10' and bars that get to about 2'-3'.

    From what I can estimate with the motor fully down (not moving) I think I'm drafting about 18"-24". Is there any rule of thumb for how deep a toon will draft when running full? I can use the trolling motor to get over the really shallow areas. How much of a difference would lightening the load and distributing the weight make? I've considered switching from my older 55hp to a smaller 20hp, removing the couch on the back and maybe moving the gas tank ad batteries from the back. I should also note the toons are foam filled.

    What do you think? Can I use this on the river?

  • #2
    depends on the river and the speed of the current. if your running the fox in the spring, no
    1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - http://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

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    What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari


    • #3
      First, congrats on the waterfront cabin. Awesome place to make memories for a long time.

      Regarding moving the weight around and lightening the rear, how much good that's going to do is going to depend on how low the back is currently floating. The further it's off from level, the more good you'll be doing when working towards level - which would be my target.

      If I were shopping for the "perfect" engine, it would be a twin for sure, and it would have power trim and tilt.

      Last, after being cautious in the area of the cabin a season or 2, you'll get to know the water in your area pretty well and it won't be near as big a deal. Until then, carrying a spare prop and the tools to change it might pay off handsomely some day.....


      • #4
        If you get it anywhere close to level, you're only drafting maybe 2'. One foot with motor up and using trolling motor.


        • #5
          Un less you buy an Aluminum boat, like a Jon boat you really wont draft noticeably less on a plane than on a toon motor trimmed way up. And if it's that shallow I wouldn't be trying to be on a plaNE and run over a bar at speed anyway. Those things change and so does the water level.


          • #6
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            Agree. Pontoon may raise a hair at speed, but not enough to make much of a difference.