Well, you asked about pontoons vs. monohulls.
There is another choice: that being a catamaran.
I own a Catamaran Cruisers Aqua Cruiser 41. It
is a standard pontoon boat type set up the difference being the
fiberglass hulls. They are not round pontoons. They have a sharp
“V” forward and then they taper to a flat running
surface further back. It is a poor man’s catamaran.
These hulls make all the difference in the
world. It rides like a Cadillac over chop. That sharp V and decent
bridge deck clearance forward just kills the chop.
Look, I have driven my boat from Atlantic City
NJ to Tampa on the ICW. I operate it in the Gulf of Mexico all the
time – I live on the Gulf and the boat is on my dock out
back. I just sailed it across the open Gulf to the Suwannee River
and back. It doesn’t look like it but it is a seaworthy nice
I once had mine out in steep 7 foot waves.
They were from behind, it was real scary, I would never do that
again, but the boat did fine. I was riding up these monsters at 5
mph, the boat would slide over the top, the outboard would come out
of the water and you could hear the prop come out and the rpm
scream, then I’d slide down the backside at 10 mph.
Mine is a 40 by 12. They sell a 50 by 14 now,
brand new, for 89K.
Another plus about this particular boat is
that it is a box. I totally redid the interior on mine from home
depot/ikea stuff, it looks awesome and was easy. No weird nautical
angles to wood work in. Just like a house or mobile home.
It ultimately is not an openwater boat. Hence,
I will probably replace mine with a used Bluewater Yachts 52 in a
few years so I can go to the Bahamas and stuff. Actually though,
they rent Catamaran Cruisers in the Bahamas, they get them there on
their own hulls. That is a weather window deal for sure though. BUT
– for a lake? It would do well.
They also have shallow draft of less than 20
inches, are fully beachable, and if the tide rolls out they sit
nice and level on the bottom.
Another point: Outboard power rocks. New
fourstroke outboards always start, run clean and reliable, get good
gas mileage, run shallow, pop up if you hit something, and the
props are cheap and easy to replace. Outboard power gives you more
room inside too. I change my oil and just plain run my boat with no
You buy an inboard, I don’t care if it
is a diesel, and you will have maintenance issues forever. Nobody I
know who has inboards goes more than a season without some sort
major mechanical work. They are always broken. I will argue that
You can see my boat on my blog:
Chicks Dig Houseboats