My newest tinboat. 1996 Godfrey Sweetwater Pontoon

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Well-known member
Feb 2, 2015
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Wife and I decided to sell our camper. We had a 24' Travel Trailer. We just realized we weren't using it nearly enough, only once this year. We burnt ourselves out on doing local trips with it, the campgrounds are full of nothing but people partying non-stop.

For longer trips, we realized after gas and wear and tear its much cheaper to rent a house on airbnb. We went to St. Augustine last month, and a house rental was $80 for a nice 2 bedroom house 2 blocks from the beach and right on a canal off the ICW. Had a huge screened in porch, nice kitchen, laundry, etc. vs. $50 for a campsite in a similar area, but then you factor in I get 6mpg towing the camper, plus the stress of towing it 1000 miles.

So, we put it up for sale. I had a lady contact me and ask if I'd be interested in trading for a pontoon. Well, we were actually talking about taking the camper money and buying a pontoon, so I was absolutely interested.

They had a 1996 Sweetwater they had for sale for $4000.

I traded the camper for the boat and $1000 (from them).

Later, I ran the blue book values. Camper came in at $5300. The boat, trailer and motor is worth $11,0000. :shock:

I feel like I got a heck of a deal here.



We took it out on Friday while the kids were in school.

Boat rode great, but the engine gave me some issues, it didn't want to idle.



This weekend I did some work to it.

New plugs, new fuel filter, I took the carb off and cleaned it really well, and I added a tell-tale since it didn't have one.


Now it purrs like a kitten. It'll fire right up and idle for as long as I want.

I've already booked a cabin down at Lake Cumberland for October to do a striper fishing trip with my dad for 3 nights. Can't wait.
Great find! Glad you got engine running w/o spending much $.

Pontoons work great for grandparents. Lots of room to move around.
Sometimes things just work out. Congrats. I see a lot of pontoons out on the local lakes. They move along a lot better than I would have thought. Might not be the fastest rigs out there but a small price to pay for all the comfort and space.
Hi Lugoismad,
Your boat looks like it is in good shape and you did well on the price. Well done.
I'm brand new to this group and look forward to learning some good stuff from the members. I'm hoping you could provide some assistance to me.
Last October I bought a 1996 18' Sweetwater Challenger 180EX with 22" tubes which looks like it might be the same as your boat. Yours doesn't have to be the exact same model, but if it is 18' with 22" tubes, could you please post a photo of the coast guard rating sticker? My sticker is illegible and I need the info to have a replacement made for my boat. Thank you.

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