Tips for Choosing a Pontoon Boat

Pontoon boats have been a growing part of the boating market in recent years. One big reason is that manufacturers have worked to improve the performance of these vessels so that they appeal to a broader cross-section of consumers. 

How to choose a pontoon boat

These days pontoons are quicker, handle better, can tow skiers, and some are even stable enough to venture out into rougher coastal waters. As a result of the innovations in design, buyers have a lot more choices to make. So what should you look for in a pontoon boat? Here are some things to think about when you’re shopping for pontoons.

Buy a pontoon ladder

Buy pontoon boat light

What’s the Difference Between a Pontoon and a Tritoon?

The difference between a pontoon and a tritoon boat is simple: two tubes vs. three. Why would you want three tubes? Because it offers better buoyancy and stability. 

Tips for choosing a pontoon boat

With the added buoyancy, you can add more passengers and amenities, including a more powerful motor to navigate larger bodies of water. Tritoons also tend to handle better, almost like a V-hull. On the other hand, pontoons are easier to pull on a trailer since they tend to be lighter: in weight and on the wallet. And despite having less horsepower, they often have enough juice to pull a skier or tow tuber.

Freshwater vs. Saltwater Pontoon Use

Modern pontoons are more robust than their predecessors, meaning they can endure tougher conditions. Tritoons, bigger pontoon tubes and larger motors make way for larger bodies of water. 

Choosing a pontoon boat tips

Look for a tube wall thickness of at least .09 inches with a diameter of at least 25 inches. These tubes handle tougher conditions and larger motors, so you can get home even when the water gets roughIf you’re boating on salt water, you don’t have to worry much about rust since the tubes are made of aluminum. However, you need to be mindful of galvanic corrosion. Saltwater pontoons and tritoons have sacrificial anodes to stave off corrosion.

And no matter where you’re boating, watertight electrical connections, aluminum shielding protecting the underside of the deck, sealed strakes, and more corrosion proofing will extend the longevity of your pontoon or tritoon.

How Will You Use Your Pontoon?

How you plan to use the boat can be a deciding factor on what type of pontoon you should invest in. Are you just going cruising with friends? Fishing? Pulling skiers?

Pontoon boat buying tips how to choose

If you’re just cruising around, seek out amenities for your passengers like a good sound system, comfortable tables, and perhaps extra room for large coolers and a boat grill. If you’re fishing, you may want nice pedestal seats, rod holders, and maybe a livewell. 

Pontoon boat selection tips

For the skiers, you’ll need a raised tow bar, extended decks out back, and maybe some spots to store skis, ski ropes, and inflatables. You can always accessorize your pontoon to handle multiple roles down the line, but keep how you plan on using it in mind before you choose your boat.

 

 

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