What is a Pontoon Boat?


Becoming more popular with each passing boating season, the pontoon boat is making waves among the boating community as one of the best vessels on the water. One deep dive into the specifics and it’s not hard to see why pontoon boats are drawing crowds wherever they go.

So, what exactly is a pontoon boat? A pontoon boat is a watercraft that uses a pair of sealed metal or aluminum tubes, called pontoons, that are airtight and hollow to achieve buoyancy. As a result of the large tubular shape of the pontoons, the boat can have a sizeable flat deck mounted above them and various deck plans to accommodate different lifestyles and uses.

As they increase in popularity, pontoon boats are featuring more creative designs that appeal to everyone who enjoys time on the water. Think lounge areas, stand-up bars, shade canopies, tanning decks, and much more. The customization possibilities are endless, and so is the fun once you climb aboard.

How Much Does a Pontoon Boat Weigh?

The weight of a pontoon boat, like any other boat, varies depending upon its size. Pontoon boats typically range from 14 feet to 30 feet in length. As a result, the average dry weight of a pontoon boat can fluctuate from 1,600 pounds to 3,000 pounds (not including the weight of the motor).

Weight can fluctuate depending upon the size and number of engines, as well as with the addition of gear like coolers, aftermarket accessories, passengers, and so on. When comparing pontoon boats, focus on the dry weight of each model. Dry weight is the weight without all of those additional factors, including an empty gas tank. Most, if not all, advertised weights of pontoon boats display their dry weight.

Photo by Mark Herreid via Shutterstock

How Wide is a Pontoon Boat?

Compared to other boats, a pontoon boat can seem fairly large. The average width of a pontoon boat usually lands somewhere between 8 feet and 11 feet. There are pontoon boats that stretch even wider, but they require the addition of a third pontoon to ensure maximum buoyancy.

Given their size, navigating a pontoon boat on the water is an acquired skill. Like any boat, the size affects the handling of the vessel and requires patience and persistence to get comfortable. But it only takes one look around the water these days and you’ll see that the task is far from impossible. There are pontoons everywhere!

How Fast Are Pontoon Boats?

A pontoon boat typically travels in the 18 to 30 mile per hour range. Because of their design, pontoon boats tend to climb above the water when accelerating, allowing them to plane almost instantaneously. As always, when speed and traveling are involved, practice safety first to protect yourself, your passengers, and everyone else on the water.

At those speeds, you’re able to use the pontoon boat exactly as it’s designed to be used – for fun. Whether you’re enjoying a nice, comfortable day with friends and family or cruising to your favorite fishing spot, a pontoon boat is perfect for nearly every scenario.

Let’s Talk Pontoon Furniture

Regardless of how you decide to use your pontoon boat, for fishing, partying, or a combination of the two, you might as well take advantage of the space. The easiest way to have the deck of your pontoon go from spacious to stylish is with pontoon furniture. The layouts and options are completely customizable to suit all your needs.

Choose from pontoon boat seat packages or assemble your own with the options below.

Once you’ve chosen your furniture, take the customizations a step further.

Are Pontoon Boats for Inland Waterways or the Ocean?

Because of their flat bottom design, pontoon boats are best for favorable weather conditions and relatively smooth waters. Most people avoid using pontoon boats on the open ocean, but inland waterways are a possibility. Sailing through inland waterways ensures your pontoon ride remains safe, smooth, and fun. As with any boating excursion, it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings and keep an eye on the forecast throughout the day.

How Much Does a Pontoon Boat Cost?

The average cost of a pontoon boat is somewhere around $35,000. However, that price can run as low as $18,000 for a used pontoon boat or up to $60,000 on the higher end for a pontoon with all the bells and whistles. As with any large purchase, it’s best to list out your must-haves, nice-to-haves, and deal-breakers ahead of time and establish a budget before the shopping phase begins. A pontoon boat is notorious for relieving stress once you’re on the water, and shopping for one shouldn’t be a stressful experience either.

Where Can I Purchase a Pontoon Boat?

The number of pontoon boat manufacturers that specialize in every kind of pontoon boat from simple to luxury and everything in between are well into the dozens. However, the easiest place to find the party boat of your dreams is at Overton’s. Making life on the water fun since 1976, Overton’s can help you find the perfect pontoon boat for all your water adventures. Now introducing the Nepallo, Overton’s offers a pontoon boat universally designed for boaters of every skill level.

Passionate About Pontoons?

If you’ve ever thought about exploring the pontoon lifestyle, now is the best time to go for it. With more pontoon boats on the market and on the water than ever before, it’s a choice you won’t regret. In the words of Little Big Town, you’ll be “making waves and catching rays” while partying in slow motion. When you’re on a pontoon boat, it’s always a good time to have a good time.

Have you ever been on a pontoon boat? Tell us your favorite thing about a pontoon in the comments below.


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