How Fast Does A Pontoon Boat Go?

What Is The Speed Of A Pontoon Boat? The assumption that pontoon boats are slow can’t be further away from the truth, they are fast enough though, and are even used for water sports like water skiing. An average pontoon boat can conveniently attain 18 to 30 miles per hour and in boating terms, that is quite fast. The maximum speed of a pontoon boat will be influenced by some factors.

What Is The Speed Of A Pontoon Boat?

The number of people and cargo on the boat means reduced speed. The fewer passengers and cargo on the boat, the faster it would be. Some sources claim that a pontoon boat’s speed will drop by 15% for every 1000 pounds that are added.

The engine size is also a determinant, the rated horsepower of the engine and the below-deck tubes will also have an impact on the boat’s maximum speed. We will be checking the speed comparison list of popular pontoon brands alongside the speed attainable with boat sizes and engine horsepower.

  1. 24 feet 2006 Sweetwater powered by a 90hp engine moves at 18mph. With a 115hp engine, the speed is 20.5mph.
  2. 26 feet Crest III powered by a 90hp engine with medium load is good for about 28mph or 45kph.
  3. G3 Suncatcher 22-feet V22RF powered by 115hp engine with medium loaded weight can move at about 25mph or 39kph. It will attain a speed of 22mph or 38kiph when powered by a 90-horsepower engine with a medium load. When loaded with 11 people which is a maximum capacity and powered by a 115hp engine, the speed is about 22mph or 35kph. With one person on board and near-perfect conditions, speed is up to 31mph or 48kph.
  4. 21 feet equipped with added lifting-strakes and powered by a 90hp engine under near perfect conditions gives 36mph or 58kph.
  5. A 24 feet Pontoon boat powered by a 115hp and medium load will attain a speed of 25mph or 3kph.
  6. A 26 feet Tritoon powered by a 175hp engine with a medium-heavy load can do up to 35mph 56kph.
  7. Suntracker 22 feet′ powered by a 70hp engine is capable of attaining a speed of 21mph or 34kph when loaded lightly.
  8. The 20 feet Starcraft powered by a 75hp engine with zero loads gives 23mph or 36kph.
  9. A 20-foot Bass Buggy with a 60hp motor can only attain about 13-17mph or 18 to 27kph.
  10. An 18 feet Party Barge powered by a 75-hp engine has a speed of about 24mph or 38kph.
  11. The 18 feet Bass Buggy powered by a 60-hp engine runs at 18mph or 29kph.
  12. Huge 30 feet Pontoon powered by a 115hp engine gets to around 15mph or 24kph.
  13. A 21 feet Tritoon with a 90hp-engine loaded with just two people can give 27mph or 43 kph.

How Fast Does A Pontoon Boat Go? What makes a pontoon boat go fast?

How Fast Does A Pontoon Boat Go?

The above list confirms that boat size and engine horsepower can influence the speed of a pontoon boat, other factors can influence pontoon boat speed as well.

  • Weight of the load.

The speed and performance of a boat will reduce when you load it up. The weight of a boat is of two types; there is a dry weight which is what the boat weighs when empty and without accessories. You need to confirm with the manufacturers if the quoted weight is just dry weight or loaded weight, you should also enquire about the load capacity.

Fishing equipment, coolers, changing room, and protective Bimini top will add weight to the boat in addition to the weight of passengers on board. When combined, they will result in reducing the speed of the boat.

  • Factory fitted propellers

The fitted stock propellers of your boat may not be optimized for speed; you can upgrade your propellers to speed-optimized properly after consulting the manufacturer or experts that know about upgrading propellers.

  • The buildup of dirt and algae

Dirt and algae will foul up the undersides of your pontoon if it is left in water for longer times. You will need to give your pontoon regular wash-downs and keep your pontoon away from water whenever it is practical.

  • Water corrosion

Time and exposure to water will always afflict your boat with unwanted corrosion. Saltwater is even more aggressive by eroding exposed parts that include props, hull, electrical components and will rob the boat of speed and power.

Tips for increasing the speed of your pontoon boat

  • Add Lifting Stakes

Lifting the stakes of a boat has proven to increase the speed thereby reducing water/boat friction. An additional bonus is that you will also get more miles per gallon of fuel.

  • Trim your boat’s engine

You may need to trim your boat’s engine if you discover that lots of water splashes below the boat and between tubes. Tilting is done by using a hydraulic motor to tilt your engine in a way that raises the bow slightly higher, the benefits are higher speed and efficiency.

  • Regular cleaning of your pontoon boat’s tubes

Create a schedule to regularly clean your boat’s tubes; Clean tubes without dirt and fouling algae create less drag and result in improved speed.

  • Reduce the load on your boat

Remove unnecessary items and accessories from your boat; If you’re using the boat for pulling wakeboarders or water skiers, you need less onboard weight and more speed. The ideal number of people in a boat used for water sports is 2; the captain and one spotter. Adding more passengers will slow you down.

  • Convert The Pontoon To A Tritoon

By adding a third center tube to a pontoon, it becomes a Tritoon. Three is better than two and the additional center tube will increase the speed of your boat.

  • A full fuel tank slows you down

Don’t fill up your fuel tank when you don’t plan on boating for longer periods, the large weight of the fuel you are hauling around will slow you down. Just fill your fuel tank with 50% or maybe more just to lighten the weight of your boat and improve your speed.

Important questions when shopping for a suitable pontoon boat.

suitable pontoon boat

What’s the Speed of the boat?

Ask about the average and maximum speed of the boat when loaded and bear in mind that more weight will result in lower speed.

What’s the weight of your boat?

There is a limit to the total weight which the boat can safely carry, an overloaded boat is unstable and will be terribly slow. In the worst cases, it might capsize. Be sure to inquire about the boat’s maximum load capacity.

What’s the Inboard or outboard engine for your boat?

The major difference between an inboard boat engine and an outboard engine is that while an onboard engine is located inside the boat, an outbound engine is affixed to the transom of the boat. Consider the two and decide.

What’s the Engine horsepower?

The engine provides the power your boat needs for propulsion; The maximum power that the engine can provide is measured in horsepower (hp). You should become familiar with the horsepower options that are available for your boat; the bigger the horsepower, the faster it can propel the boat.

Are there any options for upgrades?

There are usually upgrade options available for pontoon boats to increase their speed and enhance performance. You should demand a list of options for the permitted upgrades for your boat, this will enable you to make informed decisions if the need arises.

Read Also: How to drive a Pontoon Boat.

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