Can You Really Ski Behind a Pontoon Boat?

Is it possible to waterski behind a pontoon boat? Absolutely! It’s something I do several times a week!

Is it possible to skate behind every pontoon boat? Without a doubt, no.

Can You Really Ski Behind a Pontoon Boat?

Horsepower of your boat’s engine

The horsepower of the engine is the most important consideration when buying a pontoon boat to ski or pull a tube behind. The following are three extremely broad generalizations regarding how much horsepower you’ll need for skiing on a pontoon boat. Each boat behaves differently, so don’t take these as gospel, but they should give newcomers a fair indication of what to expect.

Things like a tritoon that generally moves a little quicker, a boat longer than 22 feet, an extremely hefty boat with a top deck, and so on would drastically alter this equation.

  • If your boat has a 70 horsepower motor, you should be able to conduct some basic skiing and tube towing. You’ll probably be able to water ski just fine if you put in some effort and install something like a Water Glide, as long as the weight is small or medium.
  • You’ll be able to water ski just fine if your pontoon boat has a 90hp motor. If the boat is overloaded with more than 5 or 6 persons, you’ll notice the sluggishness and be forced to ski at slower rates.
  • Even with a full boat, if your pontoon boat has a 115hp engine, you should be able to pull tubes or ski. It won’t be as much fun as if there were only four or five of you, but you’ll be OK.

So, we’ve proven that you can certainly ski behind most pontoon boats as long as you have a boat with a fair level of horsepower.

How Fast Do You Need to Go?

The issue remains: how fast do you have to go to ski behind a pontoon boat successfully?

  • Waterskiing with two skis at a speed of 21 to 26 mph is rather common (34 to 42 kilometers). It might be even slower for young waterskiers.
  • 16 to 25 miles per hour tubing (26 to 42 kilometers per hour). I can easily make most people fly off the tube in 60 seconds with my 22′ pontoon boat’s 115hp motor. It’s not as fast as a standard v-hull ski boat, but trust me when I say you’ll get a wild enough ride to keep just about everyone entertained on a tube.
  • 16 to 26 mph wakeboarding, slalom, and kneeboarding (26 to 41 kph). The majority of wakeboarders like to ride at a somewhat slower pace.

So, if you look at the statistics above and my list of pontoon boat speed examples, you’ll notice that most pontoon boats can easily reach the speeds required for skiing or pulling a tube.

Water Skiing from a Pontoon Boat Has Its Limits

When it comes to water activities like skiing and wakeboarding, there are two primary drawbacks to utilizing a pontoon boat: (1) The wake is shaped differently, and (2) the boat is less maneuverable.

The form of the wake behind a pontoon boat is unappealing to serious wakeboarders and water sports enthusiasts. A pontoon boat creates a wake from the prop and two tiny wakes for the pontoons, whereas a standard v-hull boat has a more humped form. As a result, the wake is exceptionally broad, with less of a hump in the middle. It’s difficult to get any air behind a pontoon boat, regardless of speed. You’ll get a small boost, but not as much as before.

The boat’s maneuverability comes next. The turning radius of pontoon boats is rather large. It’s usually just suitable for water activities, but some individuals enjoy whipping the boat about madly, so a pontoon boat isn’t a smart choice for them.

When it comes down to it, if all you want to do is water activities like tubing and skiing, a classic ski boat is the way to go. However, if you want to perform water sports, fishing, cruising, and have a large group of people on nice sofas, a pontoon boat is unbeatable.

Comments are closed.