Pontoon boats are raft-style boats that use pontoons, or specialized tubes, to stay buoyant. They are some of the more popular boats on the market, thanks to their flexibility and ease of use.
But are they worth the hype? Are pontoon boats worth buying?
Well we love toons, but it really depends what you’re looking for!
Here are some considerations that will help you with your decision:
- Pontoon boats are like floating living rooms. It’s an instant party!
- They are highly safe, versatile, and fantastic for families as long as you stick to calm waters.
- While you can use a toon for some water sports, they’re not ideal for this task.
- Pontoon boats are relatively inexpensive
If you’re in the market for a new boat, you’re certainly aware that there are many different types available. In this article, we’ll look at what pontoon boats are really good for, and what they’re not so good for. Read on for the full scoop.
Are Pontoon Boats Worth Buying?
As mentioned above, the best way to think of a pontoon boat is that it’s a floating living room. That has both positive and negative aspects.
Toons are super comfortable and reconfigurable — you can do pretty much anything with a pontoon boat!
But they drive like living rooms! And while they’re quite stable in calm waters, they’re not made for oceans or heavy waves.
They drive like living rooms!
Toons are great for cruising in shallow, calm areas like lakes, rivers, bays, etc. They’re also great for shallow-water fishing And thanks to their boxy shape, it’s easy to fit a sizable crew on them.
This large capacity makes them good for lake parties or relaxing cruises on rivers during those sunny summer days.
Pontoons are highly versatile vessels and are generally easy to maneuver, making them good options for new boaters.
What are Toons Good For?
Pontoons have a distinct advantage over a lot of other consumer boats, and it’s their stability. Many pontoons feature three hulls (they’re known as “tritoons”), making it nearly impossible to capsize in normal circumstances.
They also have fairly shallow heights, making them quite easy to maneuver near rocky coastlines and shallow water. Their shallow boat heights also make them quite versatile, as it enables you to do different activities on these boats.
If you’re just learning how to boat, then a pontoon is great. They are wonderfully easy to operate and have the benefit of holding their value well over time thanks to their steadily-increasing demand.
Finally, pontoon boats are highly economical on the water since they are cheaper to maintain and operate and use less fuel on average than other boats.
The Downsides of Pontoon Boats
Of course, nothing is perfect, and the same can be said for pontoon boats, which have their own set of distinct disadvantages.
For starters, they are fairly slow vessels. So if you’re looking for a boat to go water skiing, you can… but it’s not going to be anywhere near as fun as with a jet boat or other type of ski boat. They may leave wake shapes that can be similar to traditional ski boats, but the pontoons on either side of the boats leave wakes as well, which are wide and make it difficult to ski.
Additionally, while pontoons are quite stable crafts, they may end up being more dangerous than their more conventional V-hull counterparts in severe storms. They nosedive into large waves rather than riding over them, and we don’t need to explain why this is a problem!
When you’re looking at the conditions for boating, you will reach the “stay at the dock” point with a pontoon boat sooner than you would with a traditional V-hull boat.
While pontoons are quite stable crafts, they may end up being more dangerous than their more conventional V-hull counterparts in severe storms.
Even worse is that these boats have high profiles, which can make them difficult to tie down or pull on a trailer during storms.
What about Costs?
Pontoon boats are fairly inexpensive, compared to cigarette boats, jet boats, etc. You can often find these craft used, and they’re easy to reconfigure in terms of seating, layout, etc. for your family needs.
There are a few aspects to avoid when shopping for a pontoon boat, and you need to consider your intended uses (fishing, cruising, skiing, etc.) for how you outfit the boat.
The Best Places to Pilot a Pontoon Boat
Shallow lakes, rivers, and other places near the ocean shorelines are perfect for tooling around on pontoon boats. They work especially well for lake parties, thanks to their capacity to hold quite a few people.
Though pontoons are some of the safer boats you can drive, there is always a risk when you’re operating any kind of boat. When you’re soaking up the sun on your boat and having a few beers (not while operating the boat!), you’ll still need to be aware of your surroundings and other boats.
Always remember that water can be a dangerous environment, especially if you aren’t good at swimming! Be sure to keep some life jackets on deck (preferably on your body) in case of an emergency. See our article for tips on what to bring on a pontoon boat.
Conclusion: Should You Buy a Pontoon Boat?
Pontoon boats can be great investments for families, boaters who want versatility, and people who enjoy fishing. Thanks to their larger capacities and greater safety, you can safely bring small children onto pontoon boats without worrying too much.
When it comes to fishing, pontoons have the advantage of built-in seats, which are usually quite comfortable and great to spend the day in. Additionally, there is plenty of room for you to walk around on the deck without rocking the boat.
Despite their drawbacks, these are some highly versatile boats, but that doesn’t mean they’re a worthy investment for everyone. If you are looking for a boat to use when fishing in tight spaces or during competitive water skiing, consider another model.