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Excerpts from recent PDB forum exchanges at

Published in the August 2012 Issue Published online: Aug 16, 2012 Ask The Expert
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Top Speed

Knowing what speed your boat is capable of and actually getting there can be two different things. Especially for new owners. Getting feedback from others can save a lot of headache. That's why our forums are such a great tool for pontoon and deck boat owners, old timers and newbies alike.


[ubugray] hopped on to post his question: Sorry if this sounds like it's been asked a thousand times before, but what should I expect for top end speeds? Been a bow rider owner all my life and just bought a new 18-foot Sweetwater `toon with a 50hp Yamaha. At best, I'm getting 22 mph. My neighbor has the same thing in a 22-foot version with a 40hp and he gets the same mph. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me-bigger boat and less horsepower. I'm feeling like something isn't right but being a first time `toon owner I'm not sure.


[cwag911] is a great resource and was quick to help out: Welcome. A few questions. What is your WOT (wide open throttle) rpm's? What size prop is on the motor and are you measuring speed with a GPS or the boats speedo? Speedometers on boats are known to be incorrect.


[Nightfisher] brought up some other great points to remember: Are you taking into account the weight of furniture, passengers, and other gear? Redistributing weight or passengers towards the rear, but not so much as to bog down the stern, can help by getting the front of the logs up a little to reduce any plowing. As mentioned your prop can also affect your WOT speed. So will the way your motor is mounted and trimmed. A whole lot of stuff can impact your speed.


[Slam Dunk] can relate: I have a 20-foot Sweetwater two `toon setup with a 60hp Evinrude. I do not have a speedometer, but with a GPS we have registered it at about 18 to 20 mph with four adults and two children. Maybe up to 22 mph with the wind and as low as 16 mph into the wind. This is at WOT. However, we usually cruise in the 10 to 12 mph range.


Do you have some experience with top speeds? Jump into the conversation on the forum at You can find this discussion by clicking on Pontoon General and searching "Top speed?" Becoming a forum member will allow you to join any multitude of conversations or start your own. Hopefully we'll see you there!

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