Boat order decisions...This or That!!

dshannon11

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Hello all,

Short story
General question is if you had to choose between upgrading between....Express to SPS or 115 to 150HP.....which would you do...
The plan is for this boat to be with us for 10+ years.

Long Story
We have a lake house in Upstate NY that is on a smaller lake ( 1mile wide x 4 miles long) and is mostly calm.
Our old boat was a 2005 Lowe 20' pontoon with 50HP 2stroke merc. Sold that in the fall of 2020.

We have 2 little kids who are entering the tubing age (3 and 5) and the old boat didn't have the power or ability (no pylon) to tube. In the past, we mainly cruised around to the island/sandbar to fish/play/drink/relax. Partially because that's what our boat was good at!

We just ordered a 22' SSXAPG with Express Performance Package with a 115 Yamaha outboard last week to be built/ready in May.
Other options we chose are double bimini, center storage, dock lights, ski pylon, upgraded bass seats and captains chair.


We started building an SV and quickly realized we had to jump to a SX to get what we wanted. With that said, we quickly went from comfortable price to at the max for our budget. After "pulling the trigger", I am reading a ton of "bad" things on the express tubes and that going to 150 hp "is the way to go"

I come from a family moto of "no replacement for displacement" but my in-laws/wife dont see a need.

I asked the dealer to give my prices on upgrading the motor and the SPS pontoons (The following are "out the door" prices)

Upgrade 115 to 115 Vmax - $500
Upgrade 150 - $2800
150 Vmax - $4300

SPS - $3,300


In general, we can swing one of these, not both... My gut says motor

What say you??
Thanks
Dylan
 

Michiman

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Decisions, decisions. I have no experience with either the 115 or express tube options but I can say that most folks around here prefer the 150 with SPS. My recommendation would be to go for the $2800 150 and the $3300 SPS, but you also indicated that it was a one or the other situation. Based upon your long story, I'd say that the 115/express will get the job done but by the time your oldest reaches their teen years you might be out shopping again. Either way, she'll be a family favorite sure to help create all sorts of summertime memories. Welcome Dylan!
 

dshannon11

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Decisions, decisions. I have no experience with either the 115 or express tube options but I can say that most folks around here prefer the 150 with SPS. My recommendation would be to go for the $2800 150 and the $3300 SPS, but you also indicated that it was a one or the other situation. Based upon your long story, I'd say that the 115/express will get the job done but by the time your oldest reaches their teen years you might be out shopping again. Either way, she'll be a family favorite sure to help create all sorts of summertime memories. Welcome Dylan!
haha, Thanks for the reply! Yea, we started at a 32k boat....then my wife realized that this will be a long term investment so we picked the floorplan we wanted and it is now a 44k boat (trailer,tax, etc). I am hearing people rave about the SPS/150 combo but dont think we can swing the extra $6,100...

I know the kids are super excited to be able to tube!
 

Alicedream

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I would go with the 150. It will guarantee good tubing and more.
 

lakelifeMN

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Hello all,

Short story
General question is if you had to choose between upgrading between....Express to SPS or 115 to 150HP.....which would you do...
The plan is for this boat to be with us for 10+ years.

Long Story
We have a lake house in Upstate NY that is on a smaller lake ( 1mile wide x 4 miles long) and is mostly calm.
Our old boat was a 2005 Lowe 20' pontoon with 50HP 2stroke merc. Sold that in the fall of 2020.

We have 2 little kids who are entering the tubing age (3 and 5) and the old boat didn't have the power or ability (no pylon) to tube. In the past, we mainly cruised around to the island/sandbar to fish/play/drink/relax. Partially because that's what our boat was good at!

We just ordered a 22' SSXAPG with Express Performance Package with a 115 Yamaha outboard last week to be built/ready in May.
Other options we chose are double bimini, center storage, dock lights, ski pylon, upgraded bass seats and captains chair.


We started building an SV and quickly realized we had to jump to a SX to get what we wanted. With that said, we quickly went from comfortable price to at the max for our budget. After "pulling the trigger", I am reading a ton of "bad" things on the express tubes and that going to 150 hp "is the way to go"

I come from a family moto of "no replacement for displacement" but my in-laws/wife dont see a need.

I asked the dealer to give my prices on upgrading the motor and the SPS pontoons (The following are "out the door" prices)

Upgrade 115 to 115 Vmax - $500
Upgrade 150 - $2800
150 Vmax - $4300

SPS - $3,300


In general, we can swing one of these, not both... My gut says motor

What say you??
Thanks
Dylan
I also have no experience with either but have done lots of research. One thing I would look at is how many people will you be having on the boat regularly? SPS will give you more buoyancy so if you will be taking a lot of people out regularly that is something to consider. Once the kids get older it will corner sharper for tubing also. If it were me (I ordered my first boat in October so I know how you feel) I would get the SPS and the 150. As you said you want to keep it for a long time and with interest rates so low financing an extra couple thousand won’t change your payments too much. I had to draw the line somewhere and I still regret loosing a couple things I wanted but aren’t necessary (and I haven’t even taken delivery yet). If you really don’t want to go up in price I would do SPS and the 115 Vmax. That’s an upgrade on both. Good luck with your decision and post pictures when you get it. Happy boating.
 

BigKahuna

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Just pick 1?!? Definitely the 150!
 

Mozekian

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Let me further muddy the waters....

Going with the SPS...the price of the 150SHO and the 175SHO is a few hundred bucks.

If it were my money, knowing im not paying retail for the build prices listed, im getting the SPS with the 175SHO. Its the same price as the 150SHO and we aren't really talking about a lot of extra money for a much better handling boat with a 175hp engine vs a 115hp. It will be a totally different boat with these two things. Im finding the money for these even it it means In have to lose something else on the build.
 

DejaWiz

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If all the other options are non-negotiable must-haves, then go with the bigger motor since watersports will be involved.

Quick anecdote:
My parents first pontoon was a 2013 22SSL with a Yamaha F90 - they were able to work a deal at a local boat show and had the dealer add on the EPP and wave shield.
Top speed was in the 26-29 MPH range, depending on water conditions. This was up a little from the 23-26 MPH with the standard twin 25" pontoons while they were waiting for the EPP parts to come in.
Hindsight being what it always is, they would have gotten the dealer to rig the F115, since they would regularly have 6-8 people on board and their non-factory EPP capacity tag showed a max HP of 115.

Some food for thought:
Almost any of the above-deck options can usually be added later, such as the double bimini, the dock lights, and even the upgraded bass seats, as a few examples. But some of those will be very pricey to do later on, though.
...point here is that you may be able to go with both the SPS and the 150, if you are willing to trade a few of the more pricey add-ons in order to get them.
But at the same time, don't take for granted that upgrading things later on WILL be a costly venture, such as a double bimini (which I've read from past posts) can likely be in the neighborhood of $3000, since both the front and rear frames and fabrics will need to be ordered because they zipper together to form a single long bimini top.
Still way cheaper than a future repower from a 115 to a 150+ motor, though.

If, by some twist of fate that you decide on the SPS and you also decide the VMax VF150 is your motor, then spend the miniscule extra amount to get the VF175 - it's usually only a couple/few hundred dollars difference, which helps justify the price jump a bit better when coming from the standard F150.

To summarize a long-winded post: since it sounds like the needle of your budget is pegged, then I say go for the EPP and F150 motor (non-VMax, since the price difference to get the VMax doesn't make a lot of sense, unless you want to pay all that extra just for the cowling color) while getting all of the other options that you want so you can enjoy everything from day one.
 
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ILLINOIS AVE

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Well if "The plan is for this boat to be with us for 10+ years" Spend the money and get what is the best. At the interest rate you will get and the length of your loan what will it add on a month $30 ? My gut says go for it!
 

Joeb14

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My previous boat was 24’, express, and 150 hp. It was fine. Not as good as a full center toon, but I could do 41 mph with just me and two beers on board. Worked fine for water sports. I don’t see the point in getting a full center toon with a 115, so if it’s a choice, go for the 150.
 

The Hillbilly Barge

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My previous boat was 24’, express, and 150 hp. It was fine. Not as good as a full center toon, but I could do 41 mph with just me and two beers on board. Worked fine for water sports. I don’t see the point in getting a full center toon with a 115, so if it’s a choice, go for the 150.
Why would you ever leave out boating with just 2 beers. I need 2 beers for the walk from the camper to the boat
 

2picky

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Hello all,

Short story
General question is if you had to choose between upgrading between....Express to SPS or 115 to 150HP.....which would you do...
The plan is for this boat to be with us for 10+ years.

Long Story
We have a lake house in Upstate NY that is on a smaller lake ( 1mile wide x 4 miles long) and is mostly calm.
Our old boat was a 2005 Lowe 20' pontoon with 50HP 2stroke merc. Sold that in the fall of 2020.

We have 2 little kids who are entering the tubing age (3 and 5) and the old boat didn't have the power or ability (no pylon) to tube. In the past, we mainly cruised around to the island/sandbar to fish/play/drink/relax. Partially because that's what our boat was good at!

We just ordered a 22' SSXAPG with Express Performance Package with a 115 Yamaha outboard last week to be built/ready in May.
Other options we chose are double bimini, center storage, dock lights, ski pylon, upgraded bass seats and captains chair.


We started building an SV and quickly realized we had to jump to a SX to get what we wanted. With that said, we quickly went from comfortable price to at the max for our budget. After "pulling the trigger", I am reading a ton of "bad" things on the express tubes and that going to 150 hp "is the way to go"

I come from a family moto of "no replacement for displacement" but my in-laws/wife dont see a need.

I asked the dealer to give my prices on upgrading the motor and the SPS pontoons (The following are "out the door" prices)

Upgrade 115 to 115 Vmax - $500
Upgrade 150 - $2800
150 Vmax - $4300

SPS - $3,300


In general, we can swing one of these, not both... My gut says motor

What say you??
Thanks
Dylan
No brainer motor
 

Carlson80

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Stretch your budget now, will be cheaper then trading in two years. Minimum 150 with SPS. You will not regret it if you can possibly swing it.
 

dshannon11

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dshannon11

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If all the other options are non-negotiable must-haves, then go with the bigger motor since watersports will be involved.

My parents first pontoon was a 2013 22SSL with a Yamaha F90 - they were able to work a deal at a local boat show and had the dealer add on the EPP and wave shield.
Top speed was in the 26-29 MPH range, depending on water conditions. This was up a little from the 23-26 MPH with the standard twin 25" pontoons while they were waiting for the EPP parts to come in.
Hindsight being what it always is, they would have gotten the dealer to rig the F115, since they would regularly have 6-8 people on board and their non-factory EPP capacity tag showed a max HP of 115.

Some food for thought: almost any of the above-deck options can usually be added later, such as the double bimini, the dock lights, and even the bass seats, for example, but some of those will be very pricey to do so, though.
...point here is that you may be able to go with both the SPS and the 150, if you are willing to trade a few of the more pricey add-ons in order to get them.
But at the same time, don't take for granted that upgrading things later on WILL be a costly venture, such as a double bimini which I've read from past posts can likely be in the neighborhood of $3000 since both the front and rear frames and fabrics will need to be ordered since they zipper together to form a single long bimini top. Still way cheaper than a future repower from a 115 to a 150+ motor, though.

If you decide the VMax VF150 is your motor, then spend the miniscule amount to get the VF175 - it's usually only a couple/few hundred dollars difference, which helps justify the price jump a bit better when coming from the standard F150.


To summarize a long-winded post: since it sounds like the needle of your budget is pegged, then I say go for the EPP and F150 HP motor while getting all of the other options that you want so you can enjoy everything that you want from day one.
Oh hell....My inlaws currently THINK the boat will have a 90HP..... LOL I already upgraded to the 115HP...They are going to lose it if a 175 is on there... HAHA Maybe ill just say it was an accident... :)


I would love SPS with 200...i used to race dirtbikes so im all about more HP... ughh.. why does adulting have to be so expensive...

thanks all!!
 

dshannon11

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I also have no experience with either but have done lots of research. One thing I would look at is how many people will you be having on the boat regularly? SPS will give you more buoyancy so if you will be taking a lot of people out regularly that is something to consider. Once the kids get older it will corner sharper for tubing also. If it were me (I ordered my first boat in October so I know how you feel) I would get the SPS and the 150. As you said you want to keep it for a long time and with interest rates so low financing an extra couple thousand won’t change your payments too much. I had to draw the line somewhere and I still regret loosing a couple things I wanted but aren’t necessary (and I haven’t even taken delivery yet). If you really don’t want to go up in price I would do SPS and the 115 Vmax. That’s an upgrade on both. Good luck with your decision and post pictures when you get it. Happy boating.
The normal day is 4 adults and 2 kids. Could have it maxed out if friends come around..

Remember though...We were "flying" around on our old boat at a whopping 15MPH... haha ANYTHING will be an upgrade...

I am going to ask dealer about some options. With all the changes i could be making....they are going to love me...
Also hoping changes dont change the build date!
 
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lakeliving

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So, I bought a 22’ with two toons and lifting strakes initially and after three months we sold it due to disappointing performance. We ordered a 24’ with sps and a 200 and it was a night and day difference. Go big!
 

Zeeman

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The normal day is 4 adults and 2 kids. Could have it maxed out if friends come around..

Removed though...We were "flying" around on our old boat at a whopping 15MPH... haha ANYTHING will be an upgrade...

I am going to ask dealer about some options. With all the changes i could be making....they are going to love me...
Also hoping changes dont change the build date!
Take into consideration that you’re on a very small lake also. Any chances you will haul to bigger lakes often? IMHO a 22 footer with a 115 should be fine for that small of a lake, but then conventional wisdom is buy your last boat first and there’s a lot to like about that sentiment
 
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