Every year Boston hosts many different shows in its Convention Center. Among others, there is a boat show.
We usually only see the car show and sometimes the RV show, but we decided to check out the boat show that year. We have decided to buy a boat after all.
If I knew the boat show was this great, I would have spent my money on this rather than cars. It was amazing. The selection is insane, and you can find just about anything that you are interested in.
Walking around, we stumbled upon a pontoon boat. It was beautiful, shiny, almost glowing in a well-lit convention hangar. I wanted to say something to my wife, but she was already getting up there and talking to one of the marketing people.
To make the story short, my wife loved it, I had no say in it, and we now own a pontoon boat. But here is the thing. I loved it too. I just pretended I was interested in something else while adding extra accessories to this boat.
So without further ado, here are some pros and cons of pontoon boats that I looked at when making the final decision.
What are the Advantages of a Pontoon Boat?
There are so many pros of getting a pontoon boat that I don’t know where to start. I loved my boat from the first day I got it.
The most important advantage of the pontoon boat is that it is perfect for family and kids. It is safe, spacious, and you can do many things on the pontoon you can’t do on a regular V-shaped boat. You could install a portable boat toilet or a nice boat umbrella to protect you from the sun.
Heck, install a pontoon boat grill and have the best time of your life.
Pontoons are Great for Fishing and Skiing
I’m not a big fisherman, but I like to cast a line from time to time, and fishing from a pontoon boat is as good as it gets.
Having so much space and a chair in the back of the boat makes that even more enjoyable. I don’t think you can get more comfortable than that.
If you get a strong enough engine, it is excellent for watersports like skiing. Yes, you can do that with a pontoon boat.
Easy to Use and Maintain
If you are boating at a lake or river, you can expect that you will have dents and holes sooner or later. Pontoon boats reduce the chances of those situations because they sit high in the water.
It’s not as deep as V-shaped boats, so damaging your boat is not very common. This also allows you to go into much shallower waters.
The big plus is that fixing a pontoon boat is cheaper if it gets damaged.
One more thing that I consider as the significant advantage of a pontoon boat is that they are straightforward to clean. Now I don’t know how hard it is to clean V-shaped boats, but I’ve heard some horror stories.
Pontoon Boats Last Longer
Longevity is one of the main reasons why I bought a pontoon boat. When we are talking about longevity, there is no better boat.
If you own a boat for many years or recently bought a used pontoon, you might have holes in furniture, and carpets may fade. It is effortless to replace those things in a pontoon boat. Imagine that you have to replace cushions on your ski boat. Good luck with that.
You don’t have to be very handy to renovate your boat. I usually do everything I know, and after that, I take my boat to a mechanic, where professionals finish the rest of the work.
Many other boats have problems with getting on and off the boat on a beach. That problem is a “v” shaped edge with pontoon that is not a problem at all.
Pontoon Boats Have Unmatched Comfort
Comfort is one more important reason why I choose the pontoon boat. It is spacious and very comfortable. One person can lie down and take the whole couch, while there is enough room for seven more people. The comfort of the pontoon boat is unbeatable.
It is so comfortable that sometimes we have a problem leaving the boat for the whole day. If it had a roof, you could practically live on this boat.
Opportunities are endless on a pontoon boat. You can swim the whole day with your friends, changeup in a little handmade cabin. After that, you can have a barbecue right on the boat. A pontoon boat can make you feel like a millionaire without spending a lot of money on a boat.
They are also very comfortable during the ride. If there are no strong winds, the ride will be very smooth.
Pontoon are Very Safe
Especially for people who have kids, this is a crucial segment. Pontoon boats are much safer than others because fewer “don’t go there” parts on the boat. A fence with high rails on a boat reduces the chances of falling over into the water.
The weight of pontoon boats makes them extra safe. They are easy to drive, and the chances of pontoon boat flipping are not very high.
Since the turning radius is not very tight and the pontoon boat’s speed is around 30mph, you can make full speed turns with ease. You can look this up in US Coast Guard statistics. It shows how pontoon boats are much safer than traditional boats.
Pontoons Have Planty of Storage Space
In case you are new to the boating world, you won’t make a big deal out of this. But if you are more experienced with boats, you will know how important this is.
If you have many guests on your boat and everyone brings something like blankets, food, ice cooler, clothes, on the ordinary boat, you wouldn’t have enough space.
A good thing about the pontoon boat is that you will have plenty of free space for everyone. That is a great thing, especially if you are staying outside for more than just a day.
What are the Disadvantages of a Pontoon Boat?
There are not many disadvantages to pontoon boats, in my opinion. Below I have described my most significant issues. If you are a first-time buyer, you have to be unbiased, and you got to know what you are looking for.
So here we go.
Pontoon is not Known for its Speed
I’ve seen some fast pontoon boats, but those are very rare and hard to find. They are also very expensive.
Pontoon boats are great for water sports, but if you want to impress someone with speed, you will not. My boat has a top speed of about 30mph, I believe. The typical speed of pontoon boats is around 28-35 mph. As you may notice, they are not speeding devils.
Some of the newest models of pontoon boats have larger engines with three tubes, which improves speed.
Pontoon Boat on a Rough Water
The pontoon boat is very safe when the waves are small, but watch out when the waves get bigger. During the storm or heavy rain, pontoon boats are more dangerous than ordinary “V” boats.
Large waves cause problems because pontoon boats are diving into the wave and not go over them. That can cause capsizing but on very extreme occasions.
If you see the storm coming, the best thing to do is make sure to get out of the rough water as soon as possible.
For me, the wake on my boat wasn’t something I was thinking about when I bought it. But, I understand that for some people, this is important.
The wake behind pontoons outboard is very similar to ordinary ski boats, but the difference is that pontoons have wake on both sides. This means that pontoon boats wake much wider than typical ships.
Pontoon Boat has Wide Turn Radius
Handling may be more challenging than traditional boats. Pontoon is broader and heavier than your typical “V” boat, so getting into tight spaces can be challenging.
My boat turn radius is approximately 25′, which is very wide compared to other boats.
Outboard Engine Noise
If you are buying a pontoon boat for the first time, try to avoid outboard engines. They can be very loud, much louder than inboard engines.
The newer models of outboard engines are improved in that aspect so if you are buying an outboard motor, make sure that you are purchasing a new model.
Pros and Cons Conclusion
So there you are. Those are my thought on the pros and cons of pontoon boats. If you agree or disagree with my views, please let me know; I promise I will take your critique with a smile 🙂
If you want to know how Pontoon stacks against Deck Boat, make sure you read Pontoon vs. Deck Boat Comparison.