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What is a Pontoon Boat?
Pontoon boats are wide, flat motor boats with unique tube designs used for recreational activities on the water. These boats rely on special tube designs called “pontoons” to float and are suitable for fishing and recreational activities such sunbathing, and small parties (or even larger ones on party barges).
Pontoon boat models come in a wide variety of types, sizes and floor plans. Some pontoon models can offer fishability, which tend to be smaller fishing pontoons made for up to three people. These pontoon models are excellent boats for spending a day on the water, but the boat cost does vary so always speak to your yacht broker or local boat dealer when buying a pontoon to explain your requirements.
“Mini pontoon boats” are also smaller, and usually accommodate up to three people. These mini pontoons are great for lake fishing or pond enjoyment. There are also industry leading performance pontoon boats that can travel at faster speeds than slow pontoon boats. “Lifting stakes” are innovative technology on board pontoon boats that enable the vessel to travel faster. These boats are also great for enjoyment on calm rivers, lakes and intercoastal waterways with family and friends. There are also premier pontoons and wakeboarding pontoon boats that can support beginner wakeboarders.
How Much is a Pontoon Boat?
When buying a pontoon boat, the price will vary based on the size of the boat, the year it was built and whether it is brand new, or a previously used boat. On average, you should expect to pay at least $20,000 for a used 25ft pontoon boat. There are exceptions to this average, but at a minimum, this is usually the price you can expect to pay for a pontoon boat.
How Much Does a Pontoon Boat Weigh?
As above with the pricing of pontoon boats, the weight of one will change as well the larger in size you go. However, on average, most pontoon boats weigh around 2,000 pounds, including the motor, but this may depend on your floor plan. They can usually hold another 2,000 pounds of people and equipment/gear on board.
How to Drive a Pontoon Boat?
Before driving any boat, you’ll want to confirm what licenses you need for the city, state, or country you will be operating the boat in. Upon confirming these requirements, here is a simple step-by-step guide for how to drive a pontoon boat:
- Ensure everyone on board has their life vest securely fastened.
- Turn the ignition on and put the boat to Idle.
- Look all around to make sure the area is clear. Trim the motor down into the water.
- Remove the lines from the dock.
- Shift into reverse and begin to pull slowly from the dock.
- Throttle to cruising speed and begin to head in the direction you wish to go.
- Keep a safe distance from other boats and obey the signs in the water.
- Slow down when turning and return slowly to the dock as you left.
- Tie the lines back when you are safely back to the dock and turn the engine off.
Obviously, larger party barges will require advanced licenses and skills so please ensure you have these or know a captain who can help you navigate a party barge if you need a larger pontoon boat.
Can a Pontoon Boat Sink?
Most people assume given their industry leading tube designs that pontoon boats can’t sink. While pontoon boats are very safe and reliable boats, they are still capable of sinking so please remain attentive and safe on board to avoid any such incidents.
Can Pontoon Boats Go in the Ocean?
While technically speaking, pontoon boats can go in the ocean, you really need to consider the safety aspects of doing so. Pontoon boats are not capable of weathering larger waves, or rough water if you were on the high seas. Pontoon boats are much better suited to rivers, lakes, intercoastal areas and sandbars or for fishing and recreational activities to get the most enjoyment out of your time on the water.
Do Pontoon Boats Have Bathrooms?
Your average sized pontoon boat will not have a toilet built in. However, many will offer a dedicated space under the Bimini where you can place a curtain for changing, or a portable toilet. Larger pontoon boats, such as party barges, will have built-in heads so you’ll want to consider how long you will be on board for, and where your ports of call will be, when deciding if a toilet is a necessity when buying a pontoon boat. Talk to your broker or boat dealer about your options for a toilet on board if you require one.
How Fast Can a Pontoon Boat Go?
On average, most pontoon boats will max out around 40 – 45 mph but this will depend on their length, size of the engine and overall weight on board.
How Many People Can Fit on a Pontoon Boat?
Different pontoon boats will have different restrictions on how many guests can be on board at one time. A rough guide is six to 20 people can fit on a pontoon boat depending on the size, but this will depend on the floor plan of the pontoon boat.
What Are Custom-Built Pontoons?
There are a wide variety of pontoon vessels for sale, and many of them are custom-built. Some custom-built pontoon boats come with a Bimini top to protect guests from the elements. A Bimini top can be removable, so that if guests choose, they can also sunbathe. Some custom-built pontoons will come with other conveniences such as a Bluetooth stereo capability so that guests can enjoy music while out on the water, which enhances the party atmosphere that pontoons often share.
Other industry leading luxury pontoon boat models will come with stainless steel elements that keep the boat strong. Depending on the floor plan, some of these pontoon vessels can be fishing and recreational pontoons that offer rod holders and lifting strakes for speed. These fishing pontoons with rod holders are excellent vessels for fishing in lakes and calmer waters as they offer lots of space to walk around the boat for easy fishability. The wall design of a performance pontoon and premier pontoons will vary, as well as the boat cost of various pontoon models.
How much is a new pontoon boat?
When buying a pontoon boat, the cost of a new model will depend on the size, however, a safe starting point is around $30,000. Smaller models will start less, but larger pontoon boats, like party barges, will increase in price quite quickly. Your local boat dealer or trusted broker will be able to show you the best pontoon boats for your budget.
What Are Popular Pontoon Brands?
Some industry leading pontoon boat brands include Harris, Aloha Pontoons, South Bay Pontoons, 2022 Avalon Pontoons, Sun Tracker, and many more. There are several pontoon boats models to choose from for you to enjoy a day on the water.
Here is the low-down:
Harris pontoons are stunning pontoon boats that come in a variety of models. The Crowne 25ft model won an award by the National Marine Manufacturer Association and is simply beautiful. It is handcrafted to the utmost in luxury for a pontoon boat and is one of the best in its class. With elegant details, intense power, and exceptional handling, it is no wonder it is such a popular model with family and friends. The wall design also allows for exceptional space on board, as you can see in their floor plans.
Other models from Harris include the Grand Mariner, Solstice, Sunliner, the Cruiser, and the Cruiser LX.
Aloha Pontoon boats are some of the best in class and are built one at a time, making them an industry leading boat builder. They build many models, from faster pontoons to larger pontoon boats and include the Twin X-32, which is one of the fastest and largest pontoon boats built in the USA. The company’s Triple Tunnel Technology turns down spray for additional lift, which makes the boat travel at fast speeds. The innovative wall design is both attractive and built to perform.
South Bay Pontoons
South Bay Pontoons is an excellent choice. With great amenities and top-grade components, South Bay Pontoons simply and successfully brings in customers to their dealer’s showrooms. With superior construction and meticulous attention to every detail, they work hard to get their customers the most enjoyment possible out of every South Bay pontoon they build. They also offer the best in customer service, which makes repeat buyers from their strong word-of-mouth marketing capability.
Avalon pontoon boats are certified by the National Marine Manufacturer Association (NMMA). Avalon Pontoons are luxurious and strong boats. Avalon Pontoons are a vertically integrated manufacturer, which means that they build each part of each boat in their own facility. From the pontoons themselves, to the framing and furniture, all is done in-house, which means they have top-notch quality control and can pass savings onto the buyer. For a brand-new option, 2022 Avalon pontoon boat models include power pontoons and sport pontoons.
Sun Tracker Pontoons
Sun Tracker Pontoon boats are highly popular for a day on the water. Founded by Johnny Morris who started Bass Pro Shops, Sun Tracker pontoons are certified boats by the National Marine Manufacturer Association. The parent company to Sun Tracker is the well-known White River Marine Group, the world’s largest boat builder by volume. Because of this connection, Sun Tracker can source quality components and materials at a lower cost and can then pass those savings onto the consumer. The company creates and designs almost all components in-house as well, which allows them the luxury of complete quality control.
To find pontoon models, you can search for boats for sale by owner, or you can smartly start your search here on YATCO. By searching on YATCO first, you can find a yacht broker who can help you find your next boat.