How Fast Is A Pontoon Boat?

Dinosaurs, Bowling Balls and Lance Armstrong

Ten things slower than a pontoon boat

To honor Manitou Pontoon Boats’ fastest model, the X-plode, we’ve come up with a list of things this 55 mph-reaching pontoon would be faster than. Take a look at what (or who) such a no-holds-barred boat would leave in its wake.

1. Lance Armstrong

By Josh Hallet at http://www.flickr.com/photos/hyku/3774274877/
This seven-time Tour De France champion set the record for fastest tour time in 1999 with an average of 24.9 mph. However, in some race stages, he has achieved top speeds of just over 30 mph.

Photo by Josh Hallet
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hyku/3774274877

2. Flipper

By David Blaikie at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikonvscanon/2427517405/
Usually, smaller species of dolphins swim at speeds of 20-25 mph, but some, larger species are able to reach speeds of up to 35 mph.

Photo by David Blaikie
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikonvscanon/2427517405

3. Fastest bowling ball

The typical bowling ball reaches speeds of between 10 an 15 mph, professional bowlers can throw a ball 20-25 mph, and the fastest rolling bowling ball was thrown by Australian Alan Patterson at 24.85 mph.

4. Speed skater

Record-setting Olympic speed skater American Shani Davis couldn’t top our pontoon’s speed even after a victorious 33.68 mph 1,000 meter race in Salt Lake City’s 2009 winter games.

5. First ever bungee jump

The first bungee jump was made on April 1, 1979 from North Somerset, England’s 250-foot Clifton Suspension Bridge. The jump was made by three daring men, averaging speeds of 43.12 mph on their freefall.

6. Slowest MLB pitches

Today’s MLB pitchers are capable of throwing a fastball at an average speed of 90 mph, but there exist those few pitches, err, lobs that just can’t fly 55. Knuckleballs and “eephus” pitches are known to be some of the slowest. In 1998, Bob Tewskbury threw a few infamous “entertainment” pitches at 44 mph, Casey Fossums threw a 49 mph eephus in 2006 and Randy Johnson threw a ball clocked at 25 mph after it collided with a bird.

7. Bald Eagle

By Steve Ryan at http://www.flickr.com/photos/juniorvelo/391619837/
Average migratory and soaring speeds of our nation’s bird fall between 35 and 44 mph during the day and between 15 and 20 mph at night. The fastest recorded Bald Eagle reached speeds of up to 53 mph, a velocity just shy of the X-plode’s top speed.

Photo by Steve Ryan
http://www.flickr.com/photos/juniorvelo/391619837

8. World’s fastest elevator

Located in the G1 Tower of Hitachinaka, Japan, the world’s fastest elevator, a high-speed cargo elevator, is capable of bearing five tons at an astonishing 22.73 mph. This tower is used to test elevator speeds, speeds that may one day reach 40 mph or greater.

9. Multi-amphibious vehicle

CT&T has designed an electric powertrain vehicle able to roam both land and sea. This six-wheeled amphibious machine can seat four and reach speeds of close to 40 mph. On terrain or wave, such a multi-purpose vehicle would have a hard time keeping up with Manitou’s speediest pontoon.

10. T-Rex


Most assume that the Jurassic Period was representative of reptilian beasts both massive and fast. As massive as they may have been, some dinosaurs only maintained speeds acceptable in today’s school zones. Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley have discredited previous assumptions that the Tyrannosaurus was a swift-moving animal. They concluded that this dinosaur only reached speeds between 11 and 25 mph. Such a conclusion shames the oh-so-realistic special effects of Spielberg’s 1993 thriller. Turns out, no T-Rex could keep up with a jeep full of screaming, frantic souls stranded in Jurassic Park.

Photo by Carl MiKoy
http://www.flickr.com/photos/78117698@N00/4199468773

While these record-setting, dare-devilish and unusual velocities are astounding, they would stand no chance of victory against the speed of the fastest pontoon if there ever were such a race. Eat our wake, Lance.

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