Choosing the Right Pontoon Boat Engine

Choosing the Right Pontoon Boat Engine

Six Key Pontoon Powering Challenges
Keep these concerns in mind when buying a new pontoon boat, or repowering your current boat. 1. Preventing prop ventilation with crew seated forward 2. Minimizing vibration 3. Delivering low-speed thrust 4. Determining optimum mounting height 5. Providing directional control 6. Selecting the right propeller

Choosing the Right Pontoon Boat Engine

On a pontoon, the engine is doing more of the work than when matched with a monohull. Selecting and properly installing an outboard for a pontoon are even more critical than for traditional boats.

Choosing the Right Pontoon Boat Engine

As with any boat, engine mounting height on pontoons is critical.

Choosing the Right Pontoon Boat Engine

Choosing the Right Pontoon Boat Engine

Specialty Motors
Do you need a "pontoon motor"? Not exactly. As long as the engine provides the characteristics required for the particular boat and intended owner applications, all will be well. That said, engine builders have packaged motors with many pontoon-compatible traits to help you make a better selection. Evinrude recently introduced a Pontoon Series of E-TEC outboards in 65, 90, 115 and 150 hp, offering a gear ratio that improves low-end thrust, a software file to enhance engine performance at idle and low speeds, and specially designed motor mounts to reduce vibration. Mercury Bigfoot outboards come in 40 hp and 60 hp ratings. They feature a deep 2.33:1 gear ratio and a larger gear case — the same size as that on a 115 outboard. The taller gear case can help ensure the prop is kept in the water and also allows installation of larger-diameter propellers for better thrust.
Boating Magazine