Thinking About a Boat

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ted DuPuis, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Agree 100% with your opening sentence.

    The cuddy cabin was a great boat for what we bought it for initially. When we started out, the cabin was a great place to throw the kids (they were smaller) for loading/unloading. Plus a good place to store stuff. Many naps happened in that cabin, and it worked well. So we still think this was the right boat to purchase when we did.

    I'm not a pontoon fan myself and had dismissed them for that reason. However, the reasons make sense and I could get converted going back to buying a boat for the mission and for what we're doing. I also like your suggestion of a deck boat and we'll look into those as well. For what we're looking for now, no real reason why a pontoon won't work. I figure in a few years they'll be ready to ski and we'll be looking for something else again anyway.
     
  2. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Sure, no reason you can't swap to whatever boat design makes sense. I like the deck boats because they give you similar open deck space like the pontoon, but are well-suited for recreational skiing/tubing/wakeboarding as well. Also, when you get caught out in some pop-up storms/choppy water, the deck boat can get you back to shore quickly and keep you dry. The pontoons like to plow the waves instead of ride on top/cut through, so you generally get wet and they don't usually run too much past 25-30mph unless you find one with an upgraded engine. There are tritoons that will run 65mph with 300HP+ hanging off the back, but most pontoons seem to come stock with 90HP or less, which isn't going to get you anywhere fast. If we want to run down to the south end of our local lake for lunch, it's about a 30 minute run at 35-40mph in the runabout, and I usually don't think much about it. If I were in a boat that only cruises at 20mph without being WOT, it becomes more of a "decision" because it's going to cost another hour round-trip versus the runabout. Those considerations are items that many don't think about, but are the result of how a particular boat will dictate how you use your time on the water.

    It's a large reason that many with the big 40' cruisers don't leave the dock more than a few times in the summer, because people end up doing the same thing with them on the open water that they'd do tied up at the dock.
     
  3. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Good points for sure. We don't really venture too far on the lake, and we weren't going all that fast with our boat. Nowhere near full power. So I think the speed limitaitons of the pontoon still work for us.

    We will always leave the dock, if nothing else because we like the view of sitting on the lake with few other boats around. This is pretty doable at the lake we go to since it tends to receive limited use and we go during off-peak hours. And then we don't have others walking by at the dock, which you'll have.
     
  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    @jesse is already looking. Haha. He lamented that there's not a decent Duramax for sale for hundreds of miles around Lincoln and asked if I was selling the Dodge. Hehehehe.

    I had to tell him that since the fifth wheel sale is a consignment and could take a while, I have to hang on to the Dodge in case we have to tow the thing again. I don't have any friends with fifth wheel hitches anymore, perhaps with the exception of @gkainz and I'd rather make sure I have the truck rigged to tow the trailer until I know it has really sold and the title is signed away...

    Dodge might be a PITA anyway. It's two downfalls are that it's a stick and that it's got the low rear end. It really hates doing 75. Loud as hell at that speed too. Definitely geared for 55 cruising and loud but okay at 65. 75 is just insanely loud and annoying and probably not all that great for the Cummins at the RPM it holds at. I forget what it ends up at up there but you can tell you need another gear. And you're not really supposed to tow in sixth with the NV5600 transmission if you want it to last and not have to spend a lot of money rebuilding it. We just putz down the highway like old people at 65 in it.

    In the price range and age I'm guessing he's looking in for a part time driver/towing rig, I'd be hunting a Duramax/Allison combo myself. I only needed up with the older Dodge because we got a nice deal on it from a friend. And I'm dumb enough to have doubled that price with the head gasket rebuild, steering rebuild, brake rebuild, etc.

    Now the A/C has failed again on it and I'm just avoiding fixing that until we know the final disposition of it. Either it becomes an airport fuel hauler and stays to haul the cargo trailer, or it goes away. But it would have to be replaced by another pickup truck. Still have truck stuff to do, just maybe not a 3500 1-ton dually worth of truck stuff to do. Ha.

    Toying with selling both it and the Yukon and pooling that money to get one decent 3/4 ton. Might not even need diesel for that, but ... love diesel trucks... whatever it is needs to be a better doggy hauler than than Dodge tiny extended "four door" old style cab too.

    Ahh decisions decisions...

    I think I'll go steal Ted's Excursion. That'd work perfectly. Dogs would like it, too. LOL.

    That or find one of the discontinued Dodge MegaCabs... that'd work... doggies would like the back of that...

    Right now the Yukon is the dog hauler. That's it's main job. They love it back there. They give me the stink eye when they have to jump up in the Dodge or wedge themselves into the Subaru. hahaha. The 85 pounder really dislikes the Subaru.

    Mostly because the 45 pounder snaps at him if he intrudes on the little Queen's personal space as he's trying to maneuver to lie down. Haha. He's sure not the alpha dog. Hen-pecked, more like.
     
  5. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Yeah, I know Jesse is looking for a Duramax. ;)

    It sounds like your Dodge is really not set up well for anything but towing a bit 5th wheel trailer. Which is fine if that's what you do with it, but annoying for everything else. I wouldn't call the manual a downfall, though, especially not in your year. The 47RE transmissions were junk, and while the 48REs were better, I still wouldn't want one. Mine had the NV5600, which I think is what you have, and I found it to be a great box. Of course, I sold the truck with 108k on it so it was basically new.

    I'll make you a deal on the Excursion if you want to buy it, but Laurie won't let you steal it. Trust me, that won't work out well for you. ;)

    Once I fix the issues on the F-350 I may actually find myself liking the 6.0, although I'm thinking that at least some of my complaints have to do with the transmission's calibration. Really don't like automatics. If this one gets on my nerves enough, I may buy one of the Banks transmission controllers that gives you more control over how it works.
     
  6. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    edit - what the heck happened to the auto-font :) never mind - fixed it (sort of).

    I have a gooseneck ball and Andersen Ultimate hitch setup, but it only takes a few minutes to put the adapter plate on a 5er kingpin... so I got you covered if you need to move it and Bubba's not around ... :)
     
  7. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I don't want to mess with you, but I KNOW I don't want to ever mess with Laurie! Or her truck! LOL.

    Appreciate it but doubt it'll be necessary. I am jealous of your hitch setup though. Ha. Puts my ancient rusty Reese to shame.
     
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  8. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    seems like everything I do lately ... dammit - auto-font size just kicked in again! ... anyway, everything I do lately is weighed against "how many trips to the chiropractor is THIS going to cost me?"
    Andersen Ultimate is 34 lbs ... :)
     
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  9. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Smart move. As a former off-shore helicopter pilot flying to oil rigs (and flying oil rig people) she's got places to hide bodies nobody even knows exist. ;)
     
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  10. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I was going to install a hoist in the garage to remove the Reese annually, but never got around to it. Haha. I feel your pain. Literally. Damn Continental Airlines and all those bags in MD-80 bins... but that was still a heck of a fun job for the money way back then.
     
  11. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    I was out at the lake today with my daughters and one of their friends. We dropped anchor for a swim break, the three of them were hanging out on the stern of our boat listening to the Kings of Leon. so I got on the inflatable that we had been towing and pushed off to the end of the tow rope to give them some space. From my perch out on the water, I had a few minutes to watch the other boats out on the lake. Most of the ones that were moving were towing some sort of inflatable. The pontoon boats make sort of a long radius swooping turn which would be fine for towing kids under about age 9, ones older than that are going to going to want a more aggressive ride. All the deck boats, bowriders, and ski boats looked like they could dish out more than most kids would want to handle. My wife's cousin has a Chaparral Sunesta 232, and he gives awesome tube rides. The only thing negative I have to say about deck boats is that some of them have a fairly flat hull and pound in choppy water.
     
  12. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Yup, as I mentioned, pontoons don't handle turns or any other maneuver worth a damn. Deck boats often have what many refer to as a "modified V" which is sort of a hybrid of a true V-hull and a tri-hull. Either way, it'll still handle the waves better than a pontoon simply due to the ability to trim the bow up.

    20-25mph is fast enough for any inflatable, for any rider if the captain knows what they're doing. It's about timing the turns and accelerating, and being able to adjust the technique based on rider skill level. It's fun to put the rider on edge and make it challenging, dunking them every time isn't fun for them.

    The problem pontoons have is that they generally don't have a tight turning radius, which means you have to rely more on acceleration to make the ride fun, which they generally don't have much of, either. Skiing with an adult in tow can be a challenge for some to get up behind pontoons with low HP, too.


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  13. Tampico Trauma

    Tampico Trauma Line Up and Wait

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    with little ones, avoid anything with an open bow. Depending on your budget, the Pontoon would best fit the mission, but frankly, they handle like a piece of plywood on two pieces of pipe. If you're looking for late-model, I'd suggest any of the bayliner or sea ray runabouts.

    We have a much different mission- one Five year old who has spent her entire life on boats and one on the way in November. Our lake boat/gofast is a 1980 Mastercraft Stars and Stripes. Single 351W Direct-drive inboard. Reliable, fast, fun and cheapest boat to maintain... after spending several AMU's on outdrive and lower unit repairs, I swore I'd always go inboard/direct.

    Of course, I sold my 34' Bayliner 3288 last august and recently replaced it with a 2858 Command Bridge with you guessed it... a 350 running a Mercruiser Bravo III outdrive.

    Avoid the cuddy cabin and invest in a nice Bimini top. Also look at a boat that has higher sides with all of those little ones running around.... my friend has a 99 Four Winns that might just be the most comfortable little runabout I've ran.

    The obnoxious direct drive ski boats handle shiatty at low speeds...i.e. Docking, but will be the best bang for the buck long term for maintenance and operation... impeller changes take me mere minutes on an inboard... except my former 36' Chris craft which required a complete disassembly of the living room and the removal of
    a 5KW generator every year to do the port side impellers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  14. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Why would you need to avoid an open bow with little children? Children love to ride up front, but they should be supervised by an adult no matter the boat. If you're worried about a child falling over, get a snap-on bow cover. Easy-peasey. Direct drives are good for ski tractors, not good for much else, imo. Larger cruisers and non-planning hulls that sit in the water 24/7 are a different story. No ability to trim and flat bottom means choppy water is miserable. I/Os are pretty low-maintenance unless you bang them on something underwater, but they're still better in that regard than direct/V-drives. If changing a $20 water impeller and $50 u-joint bellows once every 3-5 years is a big deal, boating may not be the best hobby. The Bravo I and Volvo Penta units use an engine-mounted impeller just like the direct drives do.

    I'd skip Bayliner as a brand for runabouts (their cruisers were a good value). Four Winns/Chapparal/Crownline make decent runabouts, Cobalt/Formula/Chris Craft are top tier.


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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  15. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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    Except this guy ... I think he has adequate acceleration ... :)

     
  16. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Good thoughts. It's going to be sometime next month before we'd even have a chance to get on the lake. The kids seem to miss the boat a bit, but mostly it's out of sight, out of mind. Given that, I'm not sure whether we really want to mess around with a pontoon or the like this year. We might just watch towards the end of the season when prices go down and consider it for next year.
     
  17. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    Lol, yeah I 've seen his videos. Shows you can make anything fast with enough HP! I'd be scared to death to ride on that thing, get a little bit of air under the deck or have a pontoon "catch" a small wake and kiss your butt goodbye! They have some factory tri-toons that will run 65mph+ with relative safety, but I wouldn't shell out the money they want for those.
     
  18. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    We've been taking our daughters out in a deck boat since they were toddlers. @SoonerAviator is right, they love to sit in the bow, but someone has to sit with them. They have no tendency to want to jump overboard, they have to be older to get that nutty. We now have a Yamaha jet boat, and the more we use it, the more I'm impressed with it. When we first got it, I found the low speed handling to be difficult, but once I got the hang of it I've realized that it will do anything I ask of it, I just have to know how, and it's very maneuverable at both low and high speed, much more so than a sterndrive or outboard. I have two engines and two throttles, and can walk the bow around by splitting the throttles. There's no gearbox, just a reversing bucket, so it's a very simple drivetrain. The advantages of the jet drives is the shallow draft, superior hole shot, and the compactness, our boat is 21' 3" but has the room of a 22' 6" sterndrive, plus you get easy access to the water with the stepped stern.

    [​IMG]

    There's an integrated swim ladder at the stern, but I don't use it to get out of the water, I just put my hands on the lowest step and push myself up onto the step. The disadvantages are that the top speed is not as high as it would be for a sterndrive or outboard with equivalent power, and that it uses a little more fuel than would an equivalent sterndrive, maybe an extra half or one gallon per hour. This boat has a 20 degree deadrise and rides better than I thought it would. IMO outboards are the quietest and most fuel efficient, but you have to deal with the engine sticking up at the stern. I/Os give you a better water access at the stern and work really well for a boat that's not stored in the water, but are more mechanically complex and take up a lot of space inside the boat. The only inboard boats I see in this size range are ski and wakeboard boats, and they're really expensive, I never considered one.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017