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Wave damage to front panel

Discussion in 'Pontoon Forum' started by Mat240, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. cwag911

    cwag911 Moderator

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    He last visited a year ago.
     
  2. sottemail@yahoo.com

    sottemail@yahoo.com Active Member

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    I just got our 2017 Bennington G25 GPD this year and 2 weeks after I had it my front port side panel is pushed in. 


    Are pontoon deck to deck is 27' long and with the ESP Tri Tune Hull it can handle a heavy chop. But we boat on a very large water system Lake Winnebago, Butte des Morts, 
    Winniconee and Lake Poygan which is about 165,000 acres of water not including the Fox and Wolf Rivers that tie into this system. So that allows very large boats 30,40,50' cruisers and always 130 mph speed boats. 


    I had 6 people in the front and my wife and i in the middle, we where boating down the Fox River to Winnebago coming out of a no wake and i had 3 40' speed boats behind me. I decided to get out ahead of them and move way to the right, of course they blew by us extremely fast, as we got closer to the 44 Bridge and a no wake there was a lot of waves there from the speed boats. 


    We where all waiting for a very large cruiser that raised the bridge to come thru, when he did he didnt wait till he cleared all the boats, he floored it and created a 4-5' wake, the front of the pontoon got pummeled by the wake. My upper panels are fine but the lower larger panel Pushed in 4". There was nothing I could have done. I believe my Lund fishing boat would have taken a 2' wake over its sides to. 


    This weekend we traveled 3 hours up the wolf river and back and i got stuck behind another big cruiser, this time i was behind the boat and i backed off him at least 40-50', when they took off again the guy floored it, i thought i was far enough back but the wake came over the deck, not as high or forceful. It cleaned the crumbs of the flooring


    I'm wondering if there is a way to reinforce the lower panel in a way that bennington will approve when i go in at the end of the year to have the panel replaced? 


    My suggestion would be to install a 16-18ga pcs of sheet metal/stainless or aluminum ( thinner diamon plate) in back of the aluminum siding. 


    Or install some type of verticle pcs of alumumn rod or bar. Obviously the plastic molded bench seat isn't doing anything and I believe it is allowing a to much hollow gap behind the curved panel. 


    To close i will say that i have to be a better defensive pontoon driver, im going to try to avoid these boats as much as possible, we get very high winds as well and the water system is shallow, 2,3,4 foot white caps are common. It's hard enough to get the 27' long pontoon into a Shore Station Lift  


    Sorryt it wouldn't let me down load the picture of dent  
     
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  3. tcpip95

    tcpip95 Well-Known Member

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    "You are responsible for your wake".  Did you happen to get the registration number of the large cruiser that created the wave?  They are legally responsible for the damage.  It may be too late now, but since you frequent waters with some heavy traffic, remember this in the future.


    Oh, and welcome aboard.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2017
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  4. 1Blderbob

    1Blderbob Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about the front of the boat. Like tc said,everyone is responsible for their wake. So if you can't get a registration number,try to look for the boats name.Call DNR and let them know about the way the boat is being operated.
     
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  5. DD2075GL

    DD2075GL Active Member

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    All of this pontoon stuff is more complicated than I thought...compared to our previous fiberglass boats! We thought this boat would be a little easier to care for LOL! I wrote about a "bad acid wash" on another post and now we have this bent panel situation.  The dealer is going to look at ours after he gets it back (from having our pontoons polished) to see if it can be pulled out. There wasn't any cracks in the metal but it definitely was pushed in off the track and I'm sure there will be some creasing even if it is pulled into position. He said usually they have to replace the panel when this happens. Our lake does not usually have heavy traffic, only around the 4th of July. The only other time we took on water was last year during the same holiday weekend. We'll stay on the dock next year!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2017
  6. SEMPERFI8387

    SEMPERFI8387 Moderator

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    Just be ready for the $$$ news. Typically the panel AND FENCING are replaced as a unit. The panel itself is not replaceable. That's not to say it probably couldn't be done, but it comes as a unit from Bennington. As for "beefing it up", if you were to do that, and the "panel" no longer gives, and there ends up being structural damage in the future due to same scenario, it would probably be void of any warranty. Just my 2cents .....
     
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  7. Michiman

    Michiman Well-Known Member

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    Yikes! I've got a GCW 2574 with ESP and have never come close to having a wave crash over the bow. I boat on a large lake but because it is rather shallow, there are no really large boats to contend with. We do get 2' to 3' waves on a windy day, but it doesn't phase my girl. 


    Guess I'm glad I don't have to contend with the type of conditions several of you that boat "big water" have to. I can't even imagine. Best of luck with those dents!
     
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  8. DD2075GL

    DD2075GL Active Member

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    We've had "speed boats" for many many years but since there are no marina services on the lake and you have to haul gas, it keeps the bigger ones away. But these wake boats are an issue...for other boats and the shore line! The main issue on the holiday weekend is the amount of boats. Everyone wants to be at the lake! So many wakes!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2017
  9. WinnebagoOshkosh

    WinnebagoOshkosh Member

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    I had the identical thing happen to me on my old 2-toon that sottemail did, and at pretty much the same spot on the same river - as soon as they clear the bridge they floor it.  Have also taken waves over the front from boats coming in - they come in full speed, get near the bridge, then go to a full stop - HUGE WAVES! I now hang way back, and usually go through the side of the bridge instead of the main/center part.  Having the tri-toon also seems to help.  I avoid the river on holidays, especially 4th of July - too many crazy, inexperienced drunks.
     
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  10. tcpip95

    tcpip95 Well-Known Member

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    I'm just curious.... when you see a large wake coming, do you approach it at a 45° angle, or are you taking the wave head on?
     
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  11. sottemail@yahoo.com

    sottemail@yahoo.com Active Member

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    My insurance company mentioned that as well, but I did not get his boat number. I didn't see the damage until the next morning. 


    Has anyone heard of a fix or reinforcement. 
     
  12. sottemail@yahoo.com

    sottemail@yahoo.com Active Member

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     Guess that depends on how we are moving. Because I have the EPS Tri Tune and my front end is higher I've mostly had the front end/ front left side into the wakes. 


    On the river people tend to ride just like cars always to the right of on coming boats. 
     
  13. sottemail@yahoo.com

    sottemail@yahoo.com Active Member

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    Good point, I was thinking about that as well. 


    If there going to make the Pontoons to perform at those speeds you'd think they could design it to take a little more water. The wall of water hit all the way to the top and because the railing has smaller spacings up from the bottom panel they are fine. 


    Boat House ordered the panel separate its  was $350 plus Tax and then labor to drop the shield panels below and unbolt the bench seat. 
     
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  14. sottemail@yahoo.com

    sottemail@yahoo.com Active Member

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    I have a question to everyone who's running 22-27' Pontoons and are dealing with large lakes in windy conditions with docking. 


    I have a shore station lift, nice lift. I went with the bunks and center guide ons and realized that wasn't working and have now added side guide ons that are adjustable up down and forward. It also has 4 verticals tubes that stand high to protect the side of the pontoon. 


    I pushed the side guide ons out as far as I could because when they weren't out that far the front of the pontoon would hit the lift. My lift guy didn't have them high enough; they where in the water when the pontoon came off the lift. So I have them about 6-7" to the top from the water line to help catch the toons 


    Its way easier to put my V shaped Lund in the lift than a square into a square with a 8-15 mph cross wind. 


    Any advise? How do you approach the lift when you have a heavy cross wind? Against it? 
     
  15. sottemail@yahoo.com

    sottemail@yahoo.com Active Member

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    Do you live in Oshkosh? We are there most every weekend. 
     
  16. WinnebagoOshkosh

    WinnebagoOshkosh Member

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    I do live in Oshkosh, about 4 miles south, near Stretch's (actually Streich's).  I'm out every weekend the weather allows.  This is my favorite week - EAA fly-in!  Been out all weekend watching all the planes, especially the seaplanes.  Saw a bunch coming in this weekend ... awesome!  Where are you at?
     
  17. Rockie69

    Rockie69 Well-Known Member

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    A half million people decending on that area is "plane" crazy! (Pun intended!) I have a co-worker that goes up there every year, and has been doing so for decades.
     
  18. Spoiledrotten

    Spoiledrotten Well-Known Member

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    I've seen several people purchase one or two of those deck planks that aren't wood. They are some kind of composite material. Anyway, they attached them to the uprights on the inside of the bunks on trailers. They are extended out about 3 feet from the two back uprights. You can use some kind of cord to bind the back of those "boards" to create a curve, or semi point, if you will, for the front of the toons to hit and line up with the bunks. This concept should work equally as well on a boat lift. 


    Something like this, but this may not have been diy.

    Bunk guides.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2017
  19. FarNorth

    FarNorth Well-Known Member

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    I usually pull up on the upwind side of the lift and come to a near stop on really windy days.  I then allow the wind to blow us into alignment with the lift and give the boat a little bump on the throttle to push us the last couple of feet forward to catch the nose of the boat on the guide ins.  I have found that the worst thing I can be doing is going too fast.  Even if there is a big gust and I miss I'm going slowly enough that there isn't any real damage.


    Our boat lift with the guide ins the best thing I have ever bought for the boat as I can actually take it out by myself and not worry about docking when I get home.


    We have a 28Q and often keep our camping enclosure up during inclement weather so the boat acts like a big sail.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2017
  20. Mattsonjt

    Mattsonjt New Member

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    The wife and I are going through this same issue. Have a 24ft SLX and took on water from a wave over Memorial Day. Insurance is covering it, but an 8 week lead time for the new panel. We are talking about keeping the Lilly pad strapped to the front during high wind days to add some additional protection.
     

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