What is a pontoon boat? This is a question that many people may have, as the popularity of these boats has been on the rise in recent years. A pontoon boat is essentially a large platform that sits in the water, with small “pontoons” or floats attached to it for stability. This makes them perfect for lakes and other bodies of water where there is little current.
They can be used for fishing, skiing, tubing, and other activities, and are often favored by those who want a more relaxed experience on the water. If you’re interested in buying or renting one of these boats, here’s what you need to know about the question “What is a pontoon boat?”.
What is A Pontoon Boat and Why is It Called A Pontoon Boat?
The key difference between a pontoon and deck boat is that the former has two catamaran-style hulls while the latter features a single V-hull. Though both types of vessel are easy to operate, deck boats historically have had better handling. Of course, this advantage comes at a higher price tag.
Pontoon boats are easily distinguished from other types of boats by their large platform, which is supported by two to three aluminum tubes. These tubes are called pontoons, hence the name pontoon boat.
Which Size of Pontoon is The Best size?
We’ve done answered “What is a pontoon boat?“, let’s learn about the size.
The size of pontoon boats differs based on seats and personal preference. Determine the size you need by considering capacity and your planned activities.
- If you plan to entertain a small group, then a 15-foot pontoon will be enough.
- If you have 6-10 people in mind, look for pontoons that are 16 to 20 feet long.
- For larger groups of 10 or more people, get a pontoon over 20 feet long.
- But if your goal is watersports fun, go with the biggest option: A large pontoon at least 22 feet long that can handle bigger motors and stay stable even when boating at high speeds.
Before you purchase, be sure to check your state and local regulations for any size restrictions. Some bodies of water can have their own specific limitations. The last thing you want is a boat that you’re unable to use.
Which Size of Motor does a Pontoon Boat Need?
There are a few things you should consider when picking the right motor for your pontoon boat so you can enjoy it to the fullest.
The size of the boat’s motor should be relative to the size of the vessel. It is also crucial to take into account how much weight your boat will most likely have. Just a few extra passengers and a full tank can add quite a bit more heft, which then alters performance.
The size of motor you’ll need for your boat depends on how you plan to use it. If you only cruise lakes with a few friends, you won’t need much power. However, if want to do watersports or entertain groups, then consider a more powerful option.
While it is usually better to slightly underestimate your motor size needs, avoid spending too much on a motor that does way more than you need it to. Horsepower motors can be just as expensive as the boat itself.
Think about your lifestyle and how you plan to use the boat when choosing a motor so that you don’t spend more money than necessary. It’s helpful in this situation to ask for guidance from a dealer who knows what they’re doing.
What are The Pros and Cons of Pontoon Boats?
When it comes to pontoon boats, there are both advantages and disadvantages. As such, it is critical to understand what factors to consider before making a purchase.
Pros of pontoon boats:
Some of the top features of what is a pontoon boat’s cons:
- Comfort: Pontoons have much larger decks than other types of boats, making them perfect for social gatherings or simply lounging around. They can accommodate several people and pieces of furniture comfortably. Many pontoon owners enjoy adding daybeds or comfortable chairs to their deck area.
- Storage: Pontoons offer a generous amount of storage space.
- Easy to maintain: The boat’s hull remaining higher above the water makes it much simpler to clean and less likely to become dented, in comparison to other boats. The outboard engine is also positioned within easy reach for maintenance purposes.
- High safety ratings: Pontoons are considerably safer than other small boats because of their large size and high railings- making them perfect for families with kids or pets.
- Easy to control: If you’re new to boating, pontoons are a great choice because they handle well. Just be aware that in some states, you need a license to operate one.
Cons of pontoon boats:
Things to know about what is a pontoon boat’s pros:
- No built-in cabins or bathrooms: Because the deck is constructed atop the pontoon tubes, there’s no room below deck for cabins or bathrooms. Although, it is possible to set up a portable toilet or changing station on the main deck.
- Wider than the average boat: Because they are wider, pontoons are harder to tow behind your car. Also, the wake left by a pontoon is larger than that of an average boat- something to keep in mind if you’ll be boating in an area with no-wake zones.
- Certain activities can be dangerous: It is dangerous to get too close to an outboard motor, so activities like wake surfing, where someone has to be directly behind the boat, are not allowed. You should only swim around the boat when the engine is turned off.
- Lower speed: Generally, pontoons don’t attain the same speeds as other types of motorized boats. Nevertheless, if you’re set on speed, you can explore high-performance models.
Alright, we’re done with what is a pontoon boat, the sizes and also the pros and cons, how about WHY we need it?
Uses of A Pontoon Boat in Modern Days
Contemporary pontoon boats aren’t just for touring the lake – they can be used for a variety of activities.
- Fishing: Pontoon boats were designed primarily for fishing, and they still maintain this purpose today. Their stability while on the water and shallow draft allows them to go into shallower waters than most other boats in pursuit of fish. They also have more deck space for fishing gear and multiple anglers. Some modern fishing pontoons may even include live wells and other accessories to make a fishing trip simpler.
- Leisure cruising: Pontoon boats are perfect for both family and solo trips because of how smooth they ride on calm days. Many pontoon boats come with lower horsepower motors so that the boat can’t go too fast, allowing you to relax and enjoy the scenery.
- Water sports and snorkeling: Other than what I just said, some pontoons and tritoons can be equipped with more powerful engines. A pair of 350-hp engines on a tritoon boat would let you go fast enough for tubing and water skiing. Larger pontoons in the 25 foot range and above may also include slides, ladders, and other amenities that make water sports more appealing.
- Party boats: The term “Party Barge” is actually used as the model name for a pontoon boat, which hints at how many people these boats can accommodate. For example, a 27 foot party boat could hold up to 15 people safely without exceeding the weight limit. Consequently, renting out pontoon boats has become popular for gatherings on water. Some even run businesses where large pontoons are available for parties that come complete with bars and music. Although pontoon boats can take more people than other similarly sized vessels, there are weight capacity limits that should not be exceeded. Overloading the boat will put too much strain on the pontoons and could cause them to sink.
- Tours: Pontoon boats are frequently used as tour vessels because they provide a smooth and stable ride. So long as the water is calm, many boaters find pontoon boats offer the gentle voyage. Even people who get sea sickness agree that it’s not nearly as bad on a pontoon boat.
- Ferries: The larger ferries you see are often tritoon boats because they can hold large weight loads while still providing a smooth ride. These commercial pontoons tend to be much bigger than recreational pontoons, but they function using the same basic principles.
What is The Difference between A Deck Boat and A Pontoon Boat?
What is a Pontoon boat vs a Deck boat? Although deck boats and pontoon boats have a lot in common, there are some key differences between the two. Deck boats typically have less walking room but more storage area, while Pontoon boats will usually have more walking space and be able to hold more guests.
Pontoons have a catamaran-style hull consisting of two parallel floats, whereas deck boats contain a single V-hull. Even though both are easy to use, deck boats handle slightly better. Although costlier, investing in a deck boat is worth the money.
As technology improves, the lines between a pontoon and deck boat become more indistinguishable. They’re both great choices of watercrafts. If you can’t decide which one to choose, it may simply come down to style preference. But if you want to try either one out before making a purchase, check out our guide on renting boats in Florida!
Here come a video for differences as well as an ending for the question “What is a pontoon boat?”
Can I use a pontoon to go in the ocean?
Technology has significantly improved over the years, meaning that pontoon boats can now safely travel in open waters.
Is it OK to get on a pontoon boat during a thunderstorm?
If your vessel has a cabin, take refuge inside and abstain from contact with metal or electrical devices. If not, stay as low to the ground as possible. All boaters should remain cautious when thunderstorm conditions are present and have an escape plan in mind.
Can a pontoon boat flip over?
Flip-overs are very uncommon with pontoon boats because of their designed hulls.
Now that’s all for “What is a pontoon boat?”. A pontoon boat is a relatively big and heavy flat-bottomed vessel that relies on pontoons for buoyancy. They are typically powered by outboard motors and have enough space to accommodate a large number of passengers, making them perfect for social gatherings on the water. If you’re interested in learning more about sailboats, be sure to check out our website at mostsailboats.org for facts and tips about these vessels. Thanks for reading and we hope to see you again soon!