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Old 04-09-2011, 11:18 PM
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Pontoon Shapes?!

I have seriously been considering a pontoon boat to get down the ICW to the land cut and across the Baffin Bay and started noticing various shapes of Pontoons on the different Pontoon boats. Some were completely round while others were more U shaped so to speak. Does anyone know the difference between thr shapes besides the obvious. Does one take a bay chop better than the other and if so which one should I get for my use in the bay and channel of the ICW.

Thanks for your input and tight lines.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:20 PM
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The u shaped ones will ride higher as u increase the weight displace less water the round ones will displace more water so it will sit lower in the water as u put more weight onboard
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:21 PM
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and im picking up a tritoon in the morning with a Merc will let u know how it is when i get it to the shop
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:25 AM
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Used to see hexagon-shaped pontoons - seems like everyone has gone back to round pontoons or U-shaped now. I'd prefer flat-bottom pontoons similar to the hexagon ones - they would get you on plane with a lot less power. I suppose mfrs. went back to round ones because they are cheaper, and if $$ is not an issue they can sell you a bigger motor to make up for lack of performance.

The custom aluminum guys will build pontoon boats with flat-bottom tubes. I think Clark Boats up in Bellevue, IA will build pontoons with rectangular tubes up to 42 inches wide. If I were in the market for a pontoon boat that I planned to keep for a while, I'd check into something like that.

The U-shaped pontoons do have more reserve buoyancy than the round ones. However, buy your boat based on quality, not shape of pontoons, as I've heard some of the boats with the U-shapes did have some flexing/noise issues.

I also think pontoon tubes should be tapered in the back, like a canoe. Since most of your time is spent putt-putting around, tapered tubes would be a lot more efficient. Put planing strakes on them to regain any planing forces lost.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:09 PM
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South Bay Pontoons

check out South Bay Pontoons, they make Salt water Center console, pretty awesome actually. goto the website and look at the video, it shows most of the boats, but about 2/3 the way through you will see the Center Console, dont know why they dont have a picture of it anywhere but on the video.. They also go fast unlike the old ones
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:16 PM
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U-Shaped pontoons are not as strong a round tubular ones are and tend to "oil can" over the years.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:24 PM
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I've sold a fleet of 'toons, here's a humble opinion on what does and doesn't work.

Air filled pontoons are far superior to foam filled.
Tri toons are well worth the difference in every aspect of performance.
The aluminum floors are much preferred.
Any performance enhancement is a good thing, the wings, planing boards, etc all work to help move the barge around.
They all suck getting on a trailer.
They all turn into empty chip sacks in the wind.
Pontoon designed props are the deal.
Don't ever take one in 3' seas. They become deep diving crankbaits.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:48 PM
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Foam

In my limited experience some of the U shape logs were filled with foam instead of having 3 or 4 sealed sections like the round ones which did make the U shapes actually sit deeper in the water then the round. A quality pontoon will have 25" round logs rather than the 23"-24" logs on a lesser quality boat. The 25"'rs negate any flotation advantage the U shapes had if they were air filled. Because of the attachment from the U shape to the structure of the deck the U shapes do tend to "oil can" after some use.
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