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Who makes the best pontoon boats?

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Old 08-20-2010, 12:28 PM
  #31
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I've been looking into pontoons as well. Looks like bennington is the nicest, but also most expensive. Premiere, manitou look good too. 24' and enough outboard (150-200?) to pull large skiers would do it for me.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:06 PM
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http://www.evoboats.com/

A buddy of mine has had one of these on the river now for two seasons. This is the party whenever he pulls up. He has a tri-toon, with I believe but not for sure, a 225 salt water Mercury Outboard. The whole setup is sweet and custom. Everyone that sees his boat loves it. He has bazooka tube waterproof speakers mounted underneath the boat between the toons and it sounds great, espescially when he pulls it up on a beach, the sound just projects. If you want a wild, one of a kind, great tri-toon with lots of options that will turn heads then an Evolution Powerboats pontoon or tri-toon is it. I have friend with a two year old Bennington and another with a two year old Bentley and they just love the look of the Evolution. They are great boats and well built.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:17 PM
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I just bought a Playcraft Powertoon Extreme, it has the lifting strakes on it, w/ the Verado 300, I love it, the only thing is the 300 has a 17p Vengance prop, I would think it needed a bigger prop, but i havent started testing yet.....
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:12 PM
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A few more...there is nothing like the reclining chairs in the back of the boat, throw your feet up, grab a drink and relax! Thanks again to Tom and the rest of the crew over at Mahopac Marine, they really did a stand up job getting this custom build together with plenty of summer to spare!
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:36 PM
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my brother is a supervisor for Triton ind. they build Manitou here in Michigan. check them out.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:29 PM
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There is really only one brand that has led in Performance Pontoons and it's PlayCraft and their Xtreme line of tritoons. The hull is 3 ushaped Pontoons that are foam filled with huge lifting strakes. They have heavy duty cross members on 16" centers and the floor is one SOLID sheet of 5/8" plywood -thats right one big 8 1/2' X 27' long sheet of plywood. They are a custom builder- if you want three 350hp outboards they will build it. They really have no limits on their hp rating. They will powder coat every piece of exposed metal on the boat including the pontoons any color combination you want. The interiors can be arranged any way you want including Flexsteel lounge seats. They also make IO's singles up to 525HP or dual IO's at 525hp each- that's right a 1050hp dual IO pontoon boat!
On top of that they have the best swim steps in the business-built into the pontoon.
Their website does not do the boat justice- You need to go to the following link to see the real good photos-
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...07839119235179
check out the photos of the LOTO shootout last year-one of their boats did over 91mph.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...119235179&op=6

Picking up my second one in September- also with a 300hp Verado,a beautiful powdercoated 27' red and white one with dual bucket seats.

Jim
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:44 AM
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I've been on several toons besides Playcraft at the shows here and I have to say Playcraft was the best. First-rate vinyl and stitching, great helm layout. I've haven't ridden in one yet but would love to.

Is Playcraft married to Merc inboard power? I would love to see what the Ilmor 725/Indy package could do with this hull.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:35 AM
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In my dealings with Playcraft on my second boat I found that while Mercury is a major supplier they also sell every major power brand there is. They really don't care. Suggest you call them-phone is on their website-

http://www.playcraftboats.com/contact.htm

To me there are only a few great pontoon boat builders- Premier,
Bennington, Southbay ,JC and PlayCraft.
My biggest beef with anyone that compares pontoon boats is that few people look at how the hull is constructed. The reason why Playcraft is the best performance pontoon is hull structure. Everyone looks first at the topside of the boat instead of doing the research on the structure. Well when your sticking two 300hp outboards or big block IO's in a pontoon boat it better be built right as you run across the lake at 60mph with family.
I've seen a few of the other mfg. with big motors on them. After a couple of years they were having major structure problems.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is you need to be an informed buyer. It's like walking into a nice home for sale and not checking the foundation. Do yourself a favor-If your spending big $$$ check out the product from the bottom up.

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Old 08-21-2010, 04:16 PM
  #39
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Having had a place at LOTO since 1985, I've had a number of different pontoons. All of the older ones were two log and slow, Even had one with a small V6 in it for quietness, but slow. When I finally decided I wanted to be able to go a bit faster I began looking at some of the tri-toons. Was looking at a Playcraft at a boat show, back in 1997, and they told me that the boat would run 50MPH. I almost called him a liar, thinking there was no way. Anyway, the next year I began considering a few boats that I thought were "performance" oriented. Of course Playcraft was on the top of the list. I checked out the other two, and Playcraft last. The dealer told me when I called to make sure I came down for a test drive on a weekend, or I wouldn't appreciate how good it really is. So I did, and was blown away. They are the first ones to patent and add the lifting strakes to the bottom of the tubes. It does two things. Brings the boat up out of the water for performance and also adds stability, as they resist movement either up or down. Anyway, was blown away by the ride and the performance. None of the others I looked at could begin to compare or compete. Bought my first one, then next year traded for another one when they came out with all plastic furniture. I have a 200EFI Merc, and love it. It runs 50MPH on my GPS with two people in it. I've lost count at the number of friends that bought a Playcraft after riding in mine. Got rid of my offshore boat last year, and was considering buying a new Playcraft with an I/O and thru the hull exhausts. After I talked to the dealer I got talked out of it, because of all the issues with costs for repairs. The new hot dog setup is with the new 300 Verado. Playcraft has extended the back log a foot so almost acts like a jack plate and adds some performance. The new ones are gorgeous with the powder coating options. Another feature that almost makes it the only boat to buy is their patented design for their rear ladder. There are steps cut into the right rear log, with long steps down from there. Absolutely the best on the market today. Good luck. John.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:59 PM
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lakeluvr what about twin 250s? Or could you do triple 200s?
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