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How much HP do I need?

Discussion in 'Pontoon Forum' started by Captain Hook, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. Captain Hook

    Captain Hook New Member

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    I'm new to your forum,

    I have read many posts on your forum and have found them to be excellent!

    I plan to purchase a 25' Bennington triple pontoon boat with the ESP package powered by a Mercury Verado 200HP outboard.

    We plan to use it on Lake Powell for cruising, towing skiers & wake boarders, etc.

    My question:  Will the 200 HP be sufficient to pull a skier while carrying 8-10 passengers (est. 1,500 lbs) on board?

    Bottom Line:

    **  What is the maximum people weight I can carry while pulling a skier with 200 HP?  **

    I'll appreciate your comments or recommendations;

    Thanks much!
     
  2. goldnrod24

    goldnrod24 Moderator

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    Best rule of thumb is the amount of horsepower you need is more than the horsepower you have! Got 90? Need 150. Got 200? Need 300. Got 300? Need 600.
     
  3. LTCMontana

    LTCMontana Well-Known Member

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    Too much..is just enough - Mark Donahue
     
  4. lakeliving

    lakeliving Well-Known Member

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    Take what you think you'll need, cut it in half and double it. That is from and old skit. But seriously get as much as you can afford.
     
  5. TomS

    TomS Well-Known Member

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    Once you're at 200 with the Verado, power steering, dts, and everything required, 250hp or even 300 (for a 25') isn't a huge jump in price, at least percentage wise. I have the 250 Pro on my 22' and 8-10 crew plus a deepwater slalom would be a load, even for mine, though wakeboarders are easy to pull. 

    One thing you'll notice is that if you prop the 200 correctly for that type of load as typical, then when you only have a couple people aboard, it'll quickly approach the rev limits.

    I'd say go as big as you can afford now ... it's a LOT more expensive later.
     
  6. goldnrod24

    goldnrod24 Moderator

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    Sorry we are so flip about your question. I just always think about the old saying, "No one is happy they bought too little horsepower."

    Honestly, I doubt you'll be happy trying to haul 8 people while pulling a skier. Depends on the size/weight of said skier (and passengers) and the manner of starting (deep water?) the skier. Another 50/75 ponies might make all the difference in the world.

    None of my opinions are worth any more than you paid for them. I have no practical experience in the situation you describe.
     
    Link likes this.
  7. BigBlock

    BigBlock Well-Known Member

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    That's an awfully heavy boat for a 200hp.... unless slow cruising is all you looking for.

    Start with a 300hp and work up from there.
     
  8. Remediation

    Remediation Well-Known Member

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    We have a 25' esp with the 300hp I/O.  It is just enough hp for a full load (8 people) and pull a skier out from deep water.  The drag from the toons when loaded eats lots of horsepower.  You will not be happy with 200hp.  Buy your second boat first.  
     
  9. Noah Genda

    Noah Genda Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on getting the new boat.  You'll love having chose Bennington.  I have a 2575 RCW. ESP, blah, blah, blah - with a 250 Suzuki outboard.  With a half tank of fuel, I hover around 42-44 top speed (using the boat's speedometer).  We tube a lot.  And even with a crowd, we're able to tube quite nicely with our setup.  Do I wish I had a 300 or 350?  Of course.  

    Will 200 HP be sufficient?  Don't know.  Will 250?  Yes.  Plenty of power to pull the arms off anyone.
     
  10. Bamaman

    Bamaman Well-Known Member

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    You should do okay with the Verado 200 engine.  If it won't pull the load with so many people, drop'em out in the lake on life preservers/floaties and come back for them when you're thru tubing/skiing.

    If by chance you still need more horsepower, it's cheaper to get Simon to do an ECU reflash @ $650 rather than buying a 250 hp motor---to get you to 270ish horsepower.
     
  11. TomS

    TomS Well-Known Member

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    If it was an out of warranty motor that might make sense, but I certainly wouldn't do it to a warrantied one ...
     
    Rockie69 likes this.
  12. jasonbraswell

    jasonbraswell Well-Known Member

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    The ESP will help with planing, sealed strakes will help even more.

    I heard a rule of thumb. 10 horses for every 1ft length.

    I would go with the verado 250 and it will have the power steering built in.
     
  13. RReaume

    RReaume Well-Known Member

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    When I looked into it the 300 had better fuel economy than the 200 or 350 at around 30 mph. I test drove a 25' esp with the Yamaha 225 top was about 42 with 4 adults and 2 kids. Rule of thumb go with as much as you can afford. It will also be easier on the motor with that type of load and fuel economy will also be better. You wont regret going bigger especially if you are already questioning it. Just my thoughts.
     
  14. Toon'r

    Toon'r Well-Known Member

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    Determining the size of motor is easy.... The boat specs shows a maximum HP Rating... Get that !!!!
     
  15. Ecoman

    Ecoman Well-Known Member

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  16. jsur

    jsur Well-Known Member

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    Was it just a 225 or a 225 vmax sho?
     
  17. RReaume

    RReaume Well-Known Member

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    Just 225
     
  18. Captain Hook

    Captain Hook New Member

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    Thanks to ALL for your Comments and Recommendations! 

    This forum is really GREAT!  It offers so much information from many knowledgeable posters with many years of experience - good stuff!

    I've been boating for twenty + years using a 20' Larson, V-hull, I/O, 8 cylinder.  I'm not very familiar with outboards, hence my original question.  

    I always loved the room on the pontoon boats but, until recent years, I didn't realize pontoons would work for pulling skiers/wake boarders etc.  I'm now a believer because I've tested an ESP pontoon - NICE!   I just ordered a Bennington 2574GL with an extended deck and decided to reach REAL DEEP and go for the 300HP Verado (your posts convinced me - thanks!).  So soon - I too - will be able to enjoy the great space of a pontoon and still ski/wakeboard, etc. - WIN! WIN!. 

    P.S. I need the Mercury Verado because it is the only outboard that offers the "Smart Tow" package - a GREAT feature that can automatically pull a skier up and control their cruise speed - perfect for skiing, wakeboarding, etc.  I'm going to be a very happy camper! 

    HERE IS A SAFETY RECOMENDATION FOR SKIERS/WAKEBOARDERS:

    Purchase a "Quick Release" device that goes between the person being towed and the towing boat - it could save SERIOUS INJURY!

    I'm a living example - I lost my left hand when it became tangled with the tow rope while being pulled on an Air Chair (hydrofoil) almost 6 years ago on Lake Powell.  Hence, my handle "Captain Hook!"   There are a few types on the market one requires an observer to release the tow rope - if skier down and the rope remains taught;  the other uses Velcro, with adjustable tension based on weight, to automatically release the tow rope under  excessive tension situations. 

    Good luck to all and thanks again for your help.  I'll be reading posts and learning as time goes on!

    Captain Hook
     
  19. dasalmon

    dasalmon Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear about your accident but it would appear that you have the right attitude to deal with it. Thanks for the tow rope tip. Also congratulations on your new Benny it sounds like a great build. We look forward to seeing pictures when she comes in.
     
  20. cwag911

    cwag911 Moderator

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    Location:
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    Yup, pics or it didn't happen.        :D
     

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