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What size motor?

Discussion in 'Pontoon Forum' started by Patrick Szuch, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Patrick Szuch

    Patrick Szuch Member

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    Hello, I have just purchased a beautiful new 22 SSBXP at the local boat show. The dealership puts a 50hp Yamaha on as standard, but I have the option to upgrade up to a 115 (2 toon model). I know the general opinion here is buy the biggest motor the hull (and to a lesser extent - your budget) can handle, and I tend to agree with that thinking. The catch here is that I live on a lake system that is 80% no wake restricted, with a couple of designated ski areas. Thus, my primary use of the boat is to load it with friends and leisurely cruise. Will the 50hp be adequate for leisurely cruising at maximum load, or would a 70, 90, 115 make for a substantially better experience. I don't care about max speed (I have a bass boat for that). But I don't want the boat to feel woefully sluggish, underpowered or hard to handle with a load of 6-10 adults. I appreciate any advice and/or personal experiences.
     
  2. Michiman

    Michiman Well-Known Member

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    Wow, 80% no wake? And how much time do you spend in the "no wake" area? When I think leisurely cruising, I'm thinking maybe 12 to 18 mph which is well over "no wake". It's just my opinion, but a 50 hp on a fully loaded pontoon is adequate for "no wake" but for the other 20% I think you'll find it disappointing. You may also want to consider the potential hit you might take at resale time.

    BTW, congratulations and welcome to the club. Pictures when available...
     
    Vikingstaff likes this.
  3. mattb

    mattb Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to go 115, might want to tube. You getting a trailer? Any other lakes close by? As mentioned, resale.
     
  4. Michiman

    Michiman Well-Known Member

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    Just saw the picture of your new boat on the other thread! Nice! I also think I'd go with the 115 as well.
     
  5. Patrick Szuch

    Patrick Szuch Member

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    Thank you for your responses so far! Always easy to spend someone else's money but I do understand the consensus that bigger (motor) equals better. Resale value aside though, I'm just not convinced that I will use the power enough to justify the extra cost. I have no intentions of trailering the pontoon to other waters, as I have a home on the (Portage Lakes) water where the pontoon will be docked and in the water through the boating season. This is a small lake system - maybe 1500 acres - where slow no wake cruising is the norm. There are a couple of areas designated for skiing and faster activities (400hp limit). I love speed as much as the next guy, but without that 3rd toon underneath and lifting strakes I'm not sure I could satisfy that speed fix with even the max 115 on this boat. Do you guys think the added cost of a larger outboard is generally recouped at resale time?
     
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  6. lakeliving

    lakeliving Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine on our last lake had a 22 with a 115 and two toons. He pulled his young daughter on a tube but it wasn't a wild ride. I'm going to go against the mold and based on your use, go with the 50. If you are going to visit other lakes, I'd say 115 but even so, the two toon displacement hull will be the limiting factor.
     
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  7. Patrick Szuch

    Patrick Szuch Member

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    Thanks for your input! I am tending to agree and may stick with the 50hp for budgetary reasons. I could be swayed, though, if the general opinion is the cost increase of moving to a bigger motor would be offset by the resale value of the boat down the road.
     
  8. Vikingstaff

    Vikingstaff Well-Known Member

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    Based on what you have said above, I think I am with Lakeliving on this too. It just really doesn’t sound like you will utilize anything above “no wake” speeds, and a 50hp will be more than fine for that level of leisurely cruising.

    IF...IF...IF...you were going to trailer to other lakes, or sell it in the foreseeable future, then I’d recommend lifting strakes and the 115hp. As is: two toons, no strakes, no trailering, planning to keep it for some time...then I say save the $ and take it with the 50hp hanging off the back.
     
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  9. swiftm

    swiftm Well-Known Member

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    I think you will be very happy with the 50 hp setup. We have a 50 hp on our 22 footer and keep it docked on our 400 acre lake. Parts are “no wake” and others zoned “all sports”. We don’t trailer. Other boats do tube and ski on the lake but it has never been an issue with us slow cruising around - which is all we normally do. Not in a hurry to get anywhere on the small lake.
     
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  10. Patrick Szuch

    Patrick Szuch Member

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    Thanks again to all who have responded. It's easy to start feeling a bit inadequate after reading about and seeing pics of so many amazing pontoon setups with 150 -> 400hp. Lol
     
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  11. Shawn

    Shawn Well-Known Member

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    We have the 115HP on our 24SLi. If you are going to do any water sports with the new pontoon then I would get the 115. If not, then I don't think it matters much.
     
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  12. adkboater

    adkboater Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I’m normally on the horsepower band wagon but....... in your situation my only concern would be a loaded boat and resale so I’m thinking the 90hp would be worth the extra cost plus having that little extra oomph in case a storm or in an emergency would be comforting. Yes I’ll say it, the 115hp would probably not be worth it! :)
     
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  13. SEMPERFI8387

    SEMPERFI8387 Moderator

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    We are on a 20HP lake going on our 8th or 9th year. We max out around 11mph at best of conditions. We enjoy every minute on our “slow” cruiser. We are probably anchored 75% of the time anyhow. You’ll be fine with the 50 if your just a cruiser type.
     
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  14. Patrick Szuch

    Patrick Szuch Member

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    With the Swing back design, I'm definitely thinking we will be spending most of our time anchored and chilling on the back lounge area of the boat. She has already claimed the side with the drink holders
     
  15. Link

    Link Moderator

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    Very few buyers are interested in purchasing a 50hp boat. To increase the motor to 70/90/115 costs approximately $2000/$3000/$4000 more. Unless you think this is your forever boat then I would consider upgrading to the max for resale value, and you will also enjoy the benefits of the larger motor.
     
    BigKahuna likes this.
  16. BigKahuna

    BigKahuna Well-Known Member

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    Buy what you want within your budget.

    If you buy a larger motor the power is there if you need it........
     
  17. H2GO

    H2GO Well-Known Member

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    If you go with the 115 I strongly recommend hydraulic steering too. I've had issues with my 115 all last season which is attached to cable steering. The dealer did not recommend it when I purchased the boat but after working with Bennington several times trying to solve the sloppy steering issue, they told me the dealer should have put hydraulic steering on it and I need to upgrade as the only option. It's a heavy motor and the cable steering is just too sloppy and cheap feeling. I'm very unhappy with the current setup.
     
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  18. Link

    Link Moderator

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    I think this depends on how you use your boat. I have a 115 (should have been a 150) and I do not have hydraulic steering and it has never been an issue as I have never towed anything or anyone and I am generally a slow cruiser. Even the few times I fllor it when I am in a hurry I don't feel I need hydraulic as I am generally going straight with no sharp turns
     
  19. prd2hnt

    prd2hnt Well-Known Member

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    Our first pontoon was a 20 footer and we had a 50hp on it. We moved to a 90hp after a couple of years. We did some tubing, but the deciding factor for me was getting caught on the lake with storm that came out of nowhere and not being able to get off the lake as quickly as I would have liked.
     
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  20. scubadad

    scubadad Well-Known Member

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    I have a 150 on my boat because that's what was on it when I purchased it off the dealer lot. We live on a decent sized lake (5000 acre) and we slow cruise probably 90% of the time. Just way more enjoyable for us. I can't say if the 50 will be enough for what you want but as for the 115, I had that on my previous boat and it was no problem steering it without any power assist, even when pulling a tube.
     

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