Pontoon boats are a great source of entertainment for people who enjoy spending time on the water. Whether you are fishing, waterskiing, or simply enjoying some quality time with friends and family, pontoon boating can be a very rewarding experience. However, setting up your pontoon boat with the right engine can be difficult if you are new to all the factors of how this works.
This page will describe all of the main factors you need to be aware of for increasing your pontoon boat speed, choosing the right engine, and will share ways to increase your speed for free if you already have an engine. If you need some ideas on how to get the right level of speed for your pontoon boat, look no further.
How Much Speed is Possible?
With enough research, you can find a pontoon boat engine that can travel at a wide variety of speeds. These typically range from 10 – 35 MPH. The ability to reach the higher end of this scale requires you to maximize the placement of your engine, weight distribution, and other factors described below.
Of course, with the right engine and some engineering skills, you could feasibly turn a small pontoon boat into a speedboat, but this isn’t what they are designed for. In fact, most watersports such as waterskiing will be perfect if you keep your speeds right between 20 – 25 MPH.
How Much Speed Do You Need?
Many people want a pontoon boat to go fast, others want a relatively slow one which is quiet on the water. In either case, it’s important to choose which speed accommodates your needs perfectly. Things such as the size of the boat, the mounting construction, and your personal desires are important here.
Why Did You Purchase a Pontoon Boat?
The reason you purchased your pontoon boat will likely be an indicator of how much speed you need. For example, if you want to go fishing you likely want the boat to be quiet on the water so you don’t scare the nearby fish away. However, if you want to go water tubing or waterskiing then speed will be much more important for your personal needs.
Select an Engine Perfect for your Needs
There are many different pontoon engines for you choose from. As briefly stated, the type of engine you will want depends on how you will use the pontoon boat. Much of how efficiently the pontoon boat engine works will depend on a few factors, including:
- Horsepower selection.
- Low-speed thrusting capabilities.
- Mounting height placement.
- Prevalence of vibration.
- Eliminating propeller ventilation.
- Good directional control.
Pontoon Boat Engine for Watersports
If you want a pontoon boat engine that you can use for watersports, then you should value horsepower, direction control, and eliminate as many speed-killing factors as possible. For example, simply having algae on the side of the boat can drag your boat’s speed down. This can also include grime on your propellers, the weight on the boat, the quality of the installation, and many other factors. Try to get an engine which has at least 70 HP.
Pontoon Boat Engine for Fishing
Fisherman will value quiet movement over speed. After all, the fish may not notice your boat or even comprehend the purpose of it being there, but tend to swim away with loud noises. This also includes the heavy waves that can be caused by high-speed engines. One type of engine you might consider is a trolling motor, which is designed to be quiet on the water.
Speed Need Estimates
- Waterskiing: 20 – 25 MPH.
- Water tubing: 15 – 25 MPH.
- Wakeboarding 10 – 20 MPH.
- Kneeboarding: 12 – 20 MPH
- For toddlers: 5 – 10 MPH.
- For young adults: 10 – 20 MPH.
Tips to Increase your Speed for Free
People with an engine already installed on their pontoon boat reading this page probably don’t want to start from scratch and purchase a new engine. This is completely understandable. As a result, here are a few ideas on how you can increase your speed without spending any extra cash on your precious investment.
Weight distribution is important when dealing with vehicle trailers, and is also important when you consider how to increase your speed with your pontoon boat. For starters, the more weight you add to your boat, the slower you will naturally propel.
Start by trimming as much weight on your boat as possible. Next, distribute the weight evenly so that either side doesn’t sink into the water easily. The idea is to have weight evenly distributed at all points on the boat. With a basic knowledge of math, this should be a relatively straightforward thing to do.
If you normally take things on your boat like a pontoon gas grill, extra chairs, or even fill up your gas tank all the way, cut back on space as much as possible. Bring as few personal possessions as possible and the pounds lost will add up to higher speeds on the water. Trust us.
Tilt Your Engine
The propeller placement might be something which is holding you back from getting the speed that you want. If the bow of your boat never raises above the water, you might have an engine that is tilting to high upward. Using the hydraulic motor, tilt your engine higher. Do this sparingly since tilting too high can have an equally-displeasing effect.
Going against the wind will naturally force you to go at lower speeds. Just as you when you drive a car into the wind or fly an airplane against the rotation of the Earth, the wind will make quick movement on the water a difficult thing to do. Simply monitor the direction of the wind and make an effort to go with the wind, not against it. If you do not know the direction of the wind, you can dip your finger in the water. Whichever side gets cold the fastest will show which direction the wind is blowing.
Clean your Pontoons and Propellers
This is something that should be routinely done. Each time you go out on the water you will naturally take some of the life in the water with you. Whether it’s on your propellers, pontoons, or anywhere on the exterior of your boat, make sure to keep it clean. Doing this will not only help you keep your speed at an optimal level but also the color and look of the boat’s exterior.