Need Advice

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Just purchased a vacation home on Lake Huron and would like to get a tri toon. I have never owned a boat before so I was hoping to get some feedback if a tri toon would be big enough for lake Huron and size of outboard motor? Any advice would be great.
 

ugleeual

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what type of water/boat activities would you be doing? How far from shore would you explore?
 

goldnrod24

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You've not provided much info. Will you be trailering your boat or do you have a nearby marina with docking facilities? I assume you or your neighbors don't have private docks on the lake. How do you plan to use a boat? Fishing? Pleasure cruises? Towing water toys?

With the advent of tri-toon boats, more and more people are using pontoon boats on the Great Lakes, but honestly, they are more of an inland lake or river boat. Because of the wind and waves, there are fewer decent boating days than on inland lakes, too.

Boating on such a lake requires adequate boat length, motor horsepower and a well-trained, experienced operator. So without much to go on, I'd say a minimum would be a 24' tri-toon with at least a 200 hp outboard.

If I was in your shoes, I'd start poking around the neighborhood and local marinas and start asking lots of questions. Find a pontoon owner, buy 'em a beer and ask specific questions about their boating experiences. Once you know what's actually possible, from a fellow boater, start asking about nearby dealers. I think most would agree that having a local, honest and seasoned dealer/marina may be even more important that the brand of boat you choose. Of course, if you want the best, choose Bennington.

PS: I'm not talking out my stern here. I've been boating on Lake Michigan for 30 years with a 24' stern-drive cuddy-cabin boat. I've owned Benningtons for 10 years. During that 10 year period, I took the pontoon boat on on the Big Lake exactly 1 time. It looked smooth, but once I got on the lake, it was lumpier than it looked. After about 15 minutes, I turned around and headed back. I usually boat with a crowd, but was alone that day. I know without a doubt that had I had passengers aboard, they would NOT have enjoyed themselves.

You'll hear different opinions, I'm sure, but this is my informed opinion. Good luck.
 

New Boater

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Thanks for the info. I will defiantly start looking at the local marina and talk to some people. We are just North of Fort Gratiot Michigan. The reason for the pontoon is that I would like to get a lift and that way I can pretty much bring it to shore at the house with a short dock. Neighbors have jet skis and lifts and a few have very small boats probably for fishing. I plan to use the boat to pull tubers and water skiers 1/2 and the other 1/2 would be for cruising close to shore. I would like to take the boat to Lexington for day shopping and maybe go towards the river towards port Huron.
 

ugleeual

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a tritoon would fit the bill based on your plan... maybe a 22’/150hp or bigger... sounds like you will only use it when the weather is good and the lake isn't too choppy.
 

goldnrod24

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You may also want to follow this thread. Good info there.

 

Vikingstaff

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You may also want to follow this thread. Good info there.

On this note, being in Michigan myself, I would go with an ESP hull Bennington if you plan to boat on Lake Huron. I would not even consider any other hull option if going out on any of the Great Lakes. Going to give the best buoyancy in a tritoon. Going to handle better. And it is thicker and built more robustly. It is designed to be the best hull for rougher water. IF you go with a tritoon on Lake Huron, I would make this a priority.

That said, I would not personally go out on any of the Great Lakes myself on any sort of pontoon/tritoon. I know people do take on big bodies of water. I am just too safety conscience, risk adverse to do it.
 
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