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First pontoon

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  • First pontoon

    Good day all,

    With winter fast approaching here in WI, good deals on pontoons are popping up everywhere. I'm looking for a sub $1000 project. Don't mind re-doing deck, seats, etc, and will be putting a new or lightly used motor on it. Basically just looking for good bones, 20-24ft.

    this one came up


    Couple of questions. The pontoons look massive, but are the older u shaped ones. Any disadvantages here? This will be used primarily on the St. Croix River. Also, when thinking of replacing decking, these toons seem to run allthe way up the side with no access to the decking. Would deck replacement on this be more trouble than its worth?

    Thoughts would be sell motor to upgrade (for safety and reliability), and new railings for length of deck (kids) and new deck if needed.

    Thoughts and input welcome!

  • #2
    My concern with this stye pontoon is their capacity. You can see where the waterline is at loaded just the way it is. If your intention is to put a 40-50hp 4 stroke on the back for instance, that change alone is likely to make a noticeable difference in how much 'toon you have above the waterline for passengers, coolers and the misc. "stuff" that ends up aboard a 'toon.

    There are a lot of newer projects available as a rule. I would be looking for something with conventional 'toons that are no smaller than maybe 24" in diameter (minimum).

    Too, what engine is on the toon can make a huge difference in the value of your deal, even if you plan on removing and selling it. An outboard with power trim for instance, can be worth twice what one without is worth, and be much easier to sell.

    Last, there's no rush on getting that "dream engine". You can get by with something more accurately described as reliable the first season or 2, giving you time to find a good deal on an engine.
    Last edited by ahicks; October 9th, 2019, 10:22 AM.


    • #3
      Very solid advice. Yea that style of toon and the waterline was giving me pause. There was one a few weeks ago I should have jumped on, just waited too long. I am going by that 24" rule as a guideline for all round toons, just want not too familiar with the U shape.

      Basically my plan to replace the engine is that pretty much any project toon around that range comes with an older 2 banger. I have some solid carpentry skills, so buying a pontoon in need of restoration is no problem, but not as much engine skill so I am comfortable admitting to that one and wanting to have a new (or nearly new) motor. Plus the demands of the river due to current, etc, are more than the local lake just to ensure safety, and most of these older toons come with around 25hp


      • #4
        Here for example is something with a little more $ up front, but probably several more seasons in the deck and furniture before needing redoing, etc. Motor would need attention right away.



        • #5
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          "Won't idle" is a 90%+ chance that the carbs need cleaning. If you are able to clean the carb on your lawn mower, you could likely do these. Not difficult, but there's likely 3 of them. That, and they're a pain to get on and off as compared to a mower.

          Point being, carbs are not a bad DIY project for an otherwise handy kind of guy - IF - approached with patience.