Engine Size & Blackout Package & Other Newbie Questions

azray007

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I'm new to the forum and am getting ready to order my family a pontoon.  We currently have a Sea Ray Bow Rider but those days are coming to an end.  I've done some test rides on a 24S with a 115 on a normal pontoon, and a 24S with a 150 tritoon.  Both engines were Yamaha's.  I'm leaning towards a 24SSRXP.  I've convinced myself a 150 is the least HP that I will go with.  I know that once I get the boat, upgrading to a more powerful engine will be too pricy for us to do.  The toon setup is a Sport Performance System - SPS w/Transom Fuel 24S.  We will be cruising  around mostly but at times I would like to show off the tritoon and blast off up the river/lake.  The engine will be a Yamaha F150XBDF.  My budget is pretty tight with all the options, but should I find more cash to get into a 175 or 200 HP motor.  I would love your thoughts.  Also, is it worth waiting a few more weeks to order so the boat will be a 2017?   Anyone have regrets with getting the ice blue side and underwater illumination?  Lastly, anyone have regrets getting the In-Floor Storage? I'm going to do the blackout package with Mediterranean Blue, with a Pearl White Stripe.


Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my questions!
 
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Sanity3

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In my opinion more power the better. No regrets later. If 2017's are coming out soon. 2016's should be a better deal. Good luck, I came out of Baja 27' with 454 engine. I have a 2375rcw 250 Yamaha and we love it. 
 

bcpnick

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You'll see tons of very good advice here saying go as big as you can afford, but personally, I think I'd be totally happy with a 150. I got a 200 because that's what was on the boat the dealer couldn't move. 
 

jsur

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Go as big as you can afford.  Personally, I would trade the underwater illumination for the bigger motor.  However, I do not boat at night.  That being said, most on this forum say it's illegal to drive with the underwater lights on.  In floor storage is very very useful.  That I would keep.  I have a 225 and would like it bigger.  However, if you are not going to do any water sports, then perhaps it's overkill.  The 150 is a must at a minimum in my opinion.
 

Rockie69

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Motor-the bigger the better.


Lights- if I had to do it again. I'd wait and add them myself as time allowed. When I used them they were awesome,but I only use them if I did not care to get pulled over. Lights are used as a reason to stop you. (At least on my lake) I never got a ticket, but I was careful when I used them. I did use them once in a situation as locators for another boat. 
 

Rockie69

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Go as big as you can afford.  Personally, I would trade the underwater illumination for the bigger motor.  However, I do not boat at night.  That being said, most on this forum say it's illegal to drive with the underwater lights on.  In floor storage is very very useful.  That I would keep.  I have a 225 and would like it bigger.  However, if you are not going to do any water sports, then perhaps it's overkill.  The 150 is a must at a minimum in my opinion.

+1 what he said.
 

Scott1

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I think only a few States have laws that make it illegal to use your side or underwater lights.  Most States you are fine.


Go as big as you can


In floor storage - Once you have it, it is hard to live without it.
 

azray007

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Thank you all for the great advice!  Anyone have experience with the black out package?  I was wondering if the anodized railing would scratch easily. 


The 150 we test drove was fast, but under a full load, I wonder how "fast" it would be.  I would definitely like to stay in the 30's if at all possible.  


As for the underwater lighting, My thought was if holes are drilled, that would be covered by Bennington.  The side illumination should be easy to do myself, but how close could I get the lighting to match the other ice blue lights? 


The reason for my desire for lighting is we have a few restaurants on the water and I would like to do some night cruises.   With my old boat 20+ years ago, I really enjoyed night cruises.  I'm also looking at the stainless LED dock lights.  How much lighting do they give you while driving?


...and thanks again to everyone who took the time to respond to all my questions!
 

Link

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We are out at night a lot and love all the lighting.  I very much prefer the side lights on the toons over the underwater.  Spoiled Rotten just did his side lights and his are very bright.  Look at his pictures and talk with him.  Also there are many articles on the forum concerning DIY of led, use the search engine 
 

lakeliving

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To me going fast looks cooler than some lights on the boat. I have the 200 with SPS and love it. Just last night my wife and I were tooling around on the lake and we still talk about how much more fun this boat is vs. our last one with a 115. You can always add lights fairly cheap, adding hp..... that's another story.
 

Michiman

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I don't have the center storage unit because we bought off the showroom floor, but if it is a matter of a tight budget, I'd go with more horsepower over the storage, which is a pretty expensive option. I do miss not being able to store our skis and boards, but in reality, we rarely use them so now the plan is to just deal with it when we do. 


Good luck and have fun. As Tom Petty sings, "the waiting is the hardest part...".
 

sunnyside360

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Here's my experience with the same questions you have.  My previous 2012 tritoon had a 150 Yamaha and would go 40 mph top end with 2 people, full tank of gas (50+ gal) and usual gear.  It slowed a fair amount (low to mid 30's) with heavier load, say 6-8 people.  


My current 2014 tritoon with 225 HO Evinrude tops out around 47 mph.  Top speed does drop a little with heavier loads but not nearly as pronounced as the 150 hp.  I might still have the previous boat if it had the bigger engine and mid-toon storage.  
 

azray007

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Very true "lakeliving".  With the 200, about how fast can you go with a fairly full load?  With the still misconception regarding Pontoon boats, I would love to be able to pass a fiberglass ski boat and have them looking at us in awe...   The boat I'm considering maxes out with a 200 so that would be my limit.


"Michiman" the center storage is a must after seeing it; however, the underwater lights and side lighting can be deleted to make room for the bigger engine.  It seems the lighting can be added later for cheaper and possibly with better lights.
 

azray007

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Thank you "sunnyside360", it seems everything is optional except the motor.  I have multiple choices for the Yamaha 200 engine, but I honestly don't know what the extra money gets me.  We are stuck with the S series due to budget.  (We just bought my wife a new car and installed a fence and deck...)
 

azray007

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I love the honesty and responses everyone has made.  Thank you for taking the time to respond!  I welcome any additional feedback.  There is a boat coming in next week that we're considering.  If it does not fit our needs, we will be ordering so I have about two weeks to narrow down my options. 
 

Michiman

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Yup, I'm sure once you see the center storage it is a "must have" for many of us. Our dealer doesn't order them that way so I would have lost a discount on top of the cost of the option if I were to have ordered a boat. In the end, it would have turned out to be a very expensive storage place for us. In exchange, I went from a 200 to a 250 but probably should have gone to a 300. P.A.D.S.
 

lakeliving

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I typically don't have a fully loaded boat but when I did I still recall seeing 38. Everyone on board was impressed. Our S was limited to 200 max so that is what we did. I didn't want to go the 150 route and wish I had the 200. Depending on where you are at I could take you for a ride. I think you would be sold on the 200. I just took a neighbor out who is looking at getting a toon and he thought a two toon with a 115 would be fast....I shared our experience and took him for a ride. He is a speed demon and was very impressed with the hole shot and speed.
 

azray007

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I would love to take a ride on a 200+ but I live around Charlotte, NC.  :)  
 

CapKaz

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azray007


The in floor storage is a must have if you have ski's, knee boards, and other water toys. The motor size is always an interesting topic. I moved from a 90hp Merc to a 150hp Yam so I can only speak to our experience. The 150 is awesome and is plenty for our 22' SCWX. If you get the in floor storage it needs to be left open after a long day on the lake using water toys and putting them away wet. It has a tendency to get moldy if not left open to dry out. Otherwise this is my favorite option.
 

lakeliving

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There are some members down on Lake Norman that I'm sure will take you out. I would think the dealer has some boats you could test as well. Good luck on your decision.
 
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