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 50 hp good enough for a 21 foot pontoon?
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rray32539

RO# 9450

Posted - Apr 29 2010 :  22:00:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's a question for the engine folks.
As ordered, I have a 50 hp Mercury Bigfoot driving my soon to be delivered pontoon boat. I have received numerous opinions from others, some saying it is underpowered, others saying it's about right, still others advising me to go with the 60 hp Bigfoot. Same engine displacement, but the torque is better on the 60. Should I upgrade or stick with the 50?

Thanks.
"Never ask a man what kind of computer he drives. If it's a Mac, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?" Tom Clancy

Richard and Laura Ray, Crestview, FL
Boatless, but looking!

Homeport: Crestview, Florida

marathon man

RO# 23428

Posted - Apr 29 2010 :  22:08:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The old standard is " have you ever talked to a boater that said I wish I had bought the smaller motor"?
And on some pontoons, the bigger motor might require less gas per mile.
My thoughts are as big a motor as it will stand.



Homeport: Ketchum, Grand Lake O' The Cherokees Go to Top of Page

rray32539

RO# 9450

Posted - Apr 29 2010 :  22:12:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maximum engine size for that barge is 90 hp. Another $4300, IF they can get one says the dealer. I'm leaning towards the 60 hp as a compromise, it's the biggest Bigfoot they make.
Since Triton is owned by Brunswick, the boat comes rigged from the factory for Mercury power. According to the published tests, I can get 20 knots at full power with the 60 versus 17 knots at full power with the 50. My concern is getting to shore as quickly as possible if a thunderstorm starts to threaten.


"Never ask a man what kind of computer he drives. If it's a Mac, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?" Tom Clancy

Richard and Laura Ray, Crestview, FL
Boatless, but looking!

Edited by - rray32539 on Apr 29 2010 22:14:11

Homeport: Crestview, Florida Go to Top of Page

rwilhite

RO# 3478

Posted - Apr 30 2010 :  07:09:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would say 50 HP is nowhere near what a 21 foot pontoon should have. I have a close friend with a 19 foot pontoon and a 50HP Merc outboard and he gets pissed everytime he uses it beause it is so underpowered.

Pontoons are notorious for guzzling gas in general and too small engines makes it a lot worse. Besides increased fuel consumption you will see that the smaller motor makes the boat hyper-sensitive to added weight. Bringing on board even one additional adult and a loaded cooler will make the boat significantly slower, increase the already poor fuel consumption rate and also have a major impact on the longevity of the engine - which usually manifests itself in worn out cylinder walls due to how hard the motor has had to work.

In other words, the only good thing about the 50 HP engine is the initial cost - everything else is bad.

I know it's not my money here, but even if it were, I would spring for the extra cash for the 90 HP outboard - it will make the boat a whole lot more enjoyable.


rwilhite

Homeport: Merritt Island, FL Go to Top of Page

Rustydog

RO# 21393



Posted - Apr 30 2010 :  07:35:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Have a Honda 90 on one and wishing for more.




Homeport: Bethel Park, Pa/ Avon Park, Fl Go to Top of Page

pdecat

RO# 842



Posted - Apr 30 2010 :  07:47:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
the answer depend on what you expect. If you plan leisurely cruises at hull speed, as they are intended to be used, it will be fine. If you want to travel farther and faster then you probably wont be happy and are probably buying the wrong boat but pushing a pontoon onto plane will use a lot of fuel, if it is even possible to plane a pontoon.


Bruce



Homeport: Gulf Coast FL Go to Top of Page

mixman

RO# 25362



Posted - Apr 30 2010 :  10:46:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What Bruce says.

And not to influence you, but I have twin 50hps on my 30' power cat.


--Kurt

20mph cruise at 5gph. Two hulls are better than one!

Homeport: Chesapeake Bay Go to Top of Page

rnbenton

RO# 31163



Posted - Apr 30 2010 :  13:30:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had a 20' pontoon with a 70 HP Evenrude on it. Loved it! I could slow cruise all day on very little gas. Or, if I wanted to, I could pull my kids on a tube with it.

IMHO, go with the 60. Just because you have the HP doesn't mean you have to use it all the time. But if wanted, it's sure nice to have.

Bob



Key West 196 Bay Reef, 150 Yamaha
USCG 50 Ton MMC, Tow Assist Endorsement


Homeport: Palm Coast, FL Go to Top of Page

rray32539

RO# 9450

Posted - Apr 30 2010 :  23:19:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks to all. The boat dealer is more interested in selling what he has than in selling what I want. It was a nice boat, but making payments on something I will probably hate because it goes like a slug would irk me. So I canceled the order, and may look into a deck boat. I just don't have the knees to get into anything other than a deck boat or a pontoon. If that means no boat, that means no boat.

Of course with the waters I was planning on boating in about to turn the consistency of chocolate pudding, this may be a blessing in disguse. They're already getting booms to block the harbor entrances and the passes ready.

It may be a long, miserable summer.


"Never ask a man what kind of computer he drives. If it's a Mac, he'll tell you. If not, why embarrass him?" Tom Clancy

Richard and Laura Ray, Crestview, FL
Boatless, but looking!

Homeport: Crestview, Florida Go to Top of Page

tugboat kevin

RO# 24998

Posted - May 01 2010 :  15:09:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
many river cruisers use a four stroke 25 very nice set up the guys love them except we did have one doc that wanted more speed so it has a 250 merc and does indeed scoot about 60mph pontoons and 4 strokes are a perfect match


Homeport: oswego ny Go to Top of Page

pdecat

RO# 842



Posted - May 01 2010 :  15:51:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Might have guessed sombody did it. Check the last few seconds of this 600HP 'toon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCEF6zOFj2o

This one is doing 70MpH
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW69k7Y-QFM&NR=1



Bruce



Homeport: Gulf Coast FL Go to Top of Page

gcolton

RO# 9708

Posted - May 02 2010 :  06:44:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rray32539

Thanks to all. The boat dealer is more interested in selling what he has than in selling what I want. It was a nice boat, but making payments on something I will probably hate because it goes like a slug would irk me. So I canceled the order, and may look into a deck boat. I just don't have the knees to get into anything other than a deck boat or a pontoon. If that means no boat, that means no boat.

Of course with the waters I was planning on boating in about to turn the consistency of chocolate pudding, this may be a blessing in disguse. They're already getting booms to block the harbor entrances and the passes ready.

It may be a long, miserable summer.




If you tow it up to that beautiful lake at Florala you will not have to worry about "choclate" or power.

Thunderstorms around here really are very predictable and you should not have to run from them.

If you have a choice I would think the deck boat would be best. A couple of years ago a friend of mine found a good buy in a used boat from Legendary. Another friend has a pontoon. When you are crossing Choctaw bay the deck boat is much better.

George


If you are not boating or golfing you are wasting your day.

Homeport: EAFB Yacht Club Go to Top of Page
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