|I am looking at purchasing a small houseboat/pontoon. I am looking for experience from people who have owned these style houseboats that are built on pontoons instead of a hull. The one I am looking at is 32 feet long and about 9 feet wide. Sits on 2 26"x 34 foot multichambered tubes. I am mostly curious about stability and how they handle in chop. Also motor configurations. I can buy either in outboard or I/O. Will mostly be ran in the intercoastal waterway(st. johns) around Jacksonville Florida. Anyone with experience with a larger pontoon would also be helpful. Thanks. |
|those kinda boats are what lake powell,mead,shasta, and about any inland body of water are about. they are meant more for just kinda cruising around the lake, Nauti-liners are built to cruise with a higher top speed. |
not that any of this helps you but figured i would put my 2 cents in.
|they are fine. Those setups can take some chop. You will be fine. |
I have a 38' HB on pontoons here on the Calif. Delta. It doesn't handle the rough water nearly as well as I had hoped it would. I really have to take any significant wakes head-on, or it rolls back and forth good enough to open cabinets and drawers ect. I pretty much stay off the main waterways on the weekends where the yachts get the rollers going in all directions. In the smaller sloughs without the big boats it does just fine.Hope that helps.
|My mother-in-law just got a 32' Sun Tracker in last Friday that she ordered at the boat show in Feb. Pretty tight for sure! We'll have a lot of weekends spent entirely on the water with the Tige and the houseboat! |
How does it handle normal wave action? I mean on say a 20-25 mile an hour wind with 1-2 foot white caps? Is the thing all over the place? Or it is just bad over the 3-4 footers some of the really big boats put out? I have no experience with pontoons at all. I have been on 1 and that was in fairly big whitecaps. It didn't ride bad, just splashed some over the front. It was only about a 20 footer.
I haven't been in those conditions with whitecaps. I would say that 2 foot whitecaps coming straight-on would be OK, but side to side would get the HB rocking pretty good. As far as handling 25 MPH winds, mine has a 115 HP outboard and it is like a big sail. The motor would push it through, but would be a chore. Bottom line, if it's windy or heavy boat traffic, I'll leave it in its slip. My situation may be different from yours. I'm cruising through narrow sloughs with not alot of room to maneuver around obstacles. Also, there are great ski areas within 5-10 minutes from where the HB is moored, so leaving it in its slip isn't a problem.
|I have a 60' Desert Shore Houseboat it is similar to pontoon boat, Desert Shore calls it a catarmaran style. My opinion is it handles a little better then the shallow v-stlye houseboats. We had ours outfitted with two 350hp mercs. In the chop with the houseboats on Lake Powell you try to avoid driving in storms as much as possible more due to the wind then the chop, wind makes it a bitch to maneuver a boat with that type of profile. |
(Message edited by Jam76 on March 16, 2006)
|The biggest problem with pontoon style boats is their ability to handle big rollers. I've never encountered any problems on smaller lakes, but things get sketchy at the delta where you can get big yaht rollers. We had a 65' boat take a roller over the nose last year. Needless to say it drained through the deck without any problems, but it scared the piss out of me when it happened. Good luck. |
As for the engine. Kinda depends on what you want from it. Either way you should be fine. Outboards are easier to just replace when they get old/have problems, but I/0's usually have a bit more grunt. I've been on boats with both and they both worked fine.
Did you really mean 32 x 9? Nine feet wide? that's pretty narrow for a houseboat.
I have a 55'x 16 pontton boat (picture on my profile). It is a real nice boat while it sits at anchor. Other times.....
In general, pontoon boats do not handle rough water, swells, or large wakes very well. One basic problem is that they gain very little floatation as the wave pushes up on the bow. A typical hull style boat has a lot of flair at the bow so that a wave hitting it has a LOT of surface area to push on and lift. A pontoon houseboat has no significant increase in surface area until you get to the deck, and then its too late.
The other issue is how a pontoon boat responds to broadside waves. On a hull style boat, a wave hitting on the side of the boat will have to pass under the keel, pretty much lifting the boat. The boat's mass resists rocking and thus the boat gets lifted vertically more than it gets rocked. As the wave passes under it doesn't apply much of its force at the edges, it is centered under the middle.
On a pontoon boat, a 1 foot wake comes along, lifts the first pontoon a foot, then a moment later lifts the other pontoon a foot. This puts all the leverage at the extreme edges, hence the boat rocks like crazy.
Given a choice, I will take a large wake broadside. It shakes the boat up a bit, and can toss things out of cabinates, but the boat survives okay. If I take too large a wake head on it washes over the deck, which at a minimum can soak the front deck carpet and if the wake is large enough it can take out the front panels, sliding glass door, etc.
Larger pontoons will make up for a lot. My deck is only 16 inches above the water, so a two foot wake is going to wash over it. Some houseboats (rentals for sure) use much larger pontoon, getting the deck another foot higher.
The great thing about pontoon boats is that they will take a lot of abuse, give the cabin a lot of space and are much safer with respect to using propane. A hull style boat is water tight on the bottom, hence is air tight. The hull space is where any leaking propane will settle and could easily create an explosive situation. A pontoon boat is more like a motor home and can safely make use of propane stoves, water heaters, and refrigerators.
Another feature of a pontoon houseboat is that they are very economical on gas. They don't go very fast, but as long as you don't try to push them faster then their easy cruising speed they move along without much effort.
I am still puzzled about a 9' wide houseboat.....
|Rod - Thats a sweet lookin houseboat!|
It is nothing like your houseboat. It's made By Sun Tracker and is half pontoon half small house boat. The dimensions are right. The weight is about 5000 so not super heavy. I'm worried about how it will handle because we would be using it in the intercoastal water way out of Jacksonville Florida. Not for trips, but just cruising the area. It can get rough out there at time, plus there is plenty of large boats running around there. I just wanted to make sure it would be safe for my family before purchase. Thanks for your great post, lots of good information.
|Something like this...? |
|That's it Eric.|