Originally Posted by claydog
Right now I'm thinkin 25-30 foot aluminum Cat with twin 150 hp 2 strokes attached to surface drives.
I started out with the thought of modifying an existing pontoon boat to suit my usage as there are 100s of used ones for sale within a couple hour drive of my home on any given day. A 25-30 foot pontoon with 150-200 hp it would be good about 70% of the time for fishing/family/friends on inland lakes and rivers. The other 30% is fishing 3-5 miles off shore on the Great lakes in calm weather. To do that with a pontoon I would want the deck raised 6 in to a foot above the stock deck height, then I would want to sheet the underside of the deck and deck risers with aluminum to reduce drag and help handle the bigger chop on the Great lakes. Once I raised the deck, the motor mounting system would have to be lowered to match the raised deck. At this point starting with a clean sheet of paper seemed like a good idea.
The 2 main problems I have with pontoons is that the power head of an out board or the doghouse of an I/O is an inconvenience at best for fishing off the back and in the way of loading kids and their tubes/skis/wake boards on the back. I also feel that the best looking pontoons have about as much aesthetic appeal of a farm tractor with custom paint. To clean up the rear deck space, and since I’d be moving the motor anyway, I thought that going to twin jet drives (maybe from a PWC) mounted in the rear of each pontoon would be a slick solution for rear deck space. That led me to a Cat hulled boat and having little personal experience with jet drives I found my way here and am now learning about surface drives .
I can feel your pain... the same problem here as I have started as you did with the thought of building or modifying a tritoon but than I just starting seeing the same problems as you did. As I want to transport 15 people on board the raised deck and handrail is a must... the outboard is out of question due to economics and what I am left with is a dream...
A nice evolution you got there in your design. I like the catamaran with covered surface drives. My problem with catamaran boats is that I would like to use one engine only ant that's impossible for inboard diesels.
After a lot of research and reading I have envisioned the ideal boat:
- m-hull just like the workboat I have posted above (luckily I found someone here in the forum that know the owner of that boat so I asked for some details... hope to get them soon. First impression is that the owner really loves the boat and the way it is handling rough water an payload)
- power-vent propulsion - I have contacted power-vent but I am not sure if they will reply. It's a pity all this patents keep this innovation out of reach for most people. I would also need to fit the power-vent system with a sandshoe to protect the prop as I was describing in my first post
- the engine should be a keel cooled 300-350 hp with dry stack as the boat will be driven sometimes in shallow muddy water. A V6 from Toyota or a V8 fro VW would be nice
For the moment I am waiting for some answers from m-ship and power-vent to see what their conditions are for licensing etc. but I fear the worst...
The deck will be just a flat deck with benches, a bimini top, a toilet and drivers sit etc. Simple and efficient but has to be reasonably priced.
So the surface drive seems a good way to go for you. You might try to ask M-ship for the blueprints of that workboat too... maybe being an American they will listen to you
All the best,