What to Look for When Buying a Pontoon Boat

what to look for when buying a pontoon boat

Are you in the market for a new pontoon boat? With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to select the right one for your needs. That’s why we have put together this comprehensive pontoon boat buying guide to help you make an informed decision.

First and foremost, it’s important to consider the essential features and specifications of a pontoon boat. This includes the size and capacity, seating arrangements, and overall design. Additionally, you may want to look into storage options, entertainment systems, and other features that can enhance your on-water experience.

When it comes to specifications, pay attention to the weight capacity, horsepower, and fuel efficiency. These factors will impact the performance and cost of the boat. You should also consider the type of water you will be navigating and any specific regulations or restrictions in that area.

Overall, a pontoon boat can be a great investment for families or individuals who enjoy spending time on the water. With this guide, you can feel confident in selecting the right boat for your needs and making memories on the water for years to come.

Pontoon Boat Types and Styles

When it comes to pontoon boats, there are a variety of types and styles available to suit different needs and preferences. The price range for pontoon boats can vary greatly, depending on the size, features, and materials used.

Pontoon Boat Price Range

On average, a standard pontoon boat can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $75,000. However, more luxurious models can exceed $100,000. The price depends on the boat’s size, amenities, and customization options. It’s important to determine your budget before selecting a pontoon boat.

Pontoon Boat Seating

Pontoon boats can accommodate a large number of passengers and are ideal for entertaining friends and family on the water. The seating layout can vary, with some boats featuring traditional bench seating while others have more luxurious options such as plush captain’s chairs and sofas. Additionally, some pontoon boats have a designated dining area with a table.

Pontoon Boat Construction

Pontoon boats are typically constructed with aluminum or fiberglass. Aluminum boats are more common and often less expensive, while fiberglass boats provide a sleeker look and smoother ride. Additionally, some pontoon boats have a tri-toon design, with three pontoons instead of the traditional two. This design provides increased stability and a smoother ride in rough waters.

Overall, selecting the right type and style of pontoon boat depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. Consider the price range, seating options, and construction materials to make an informed decision.

Pontoon boat on the water

Pontoon Boat Engine Options

One of the most critical decisions you’ll make when buying a pontoon boat is choosing the right engine. The engine is responsible for powering the boat, and there are several factors to consider when selecting the appropriate one for your needs.

Types of Engines:

There are two main types of engines for pontoon boats: outboard and inboard. Outboard engines are the most popular choice for pontoon boats, as they’re easy to maintain, quieter, and offer better fuel efficiency. Inboard engines, on the other hand, are more powerful and are typically used in larger boats.

Engine Size:

The size of the engine you choose will depend on the size of your pontoon boat and how you plan to use it. A larger boat will require a more powerful engine, while a smaller boat can be adequately powered with a smaller engine. When selecting an engine size, consider the weight of the boat, the number of passengers, and the activities you plan to do on the water.

Fuel Type:

Most pontoon boat engines run on either gasoline or diesel fuel. Gasoline engines are more commonly used, as they’re less expensive, quieter, and require less maintenance than diesel engines. However, diesel engines are more fuel-efficient and offer more power, making them an excellent choice for larger pontoon boats.

Additional Features:

Some pontoon boat engines come with additional features, such as tilt and trim, power steering, and electronic fuel injection. These features can enhance your boating experience and make operating the boat easier and more comfortable.


To keep your engine running smoothly, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance tasks, such as oil changes, filter replacements, and spark plug replacements. It’s also crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and store your boat in a dry place when not in use.

pontoon boat engine options

“Choosing the right engine for your pontoon boat is a critical decision that will impact your boating experience. Consider factors such as engine type, size, fuel type, and additional features before making your purchase.”

Pontoon Boat Accessories: Must-Haves for Your Ultimate Boating Experience

When it comes to pontoon boats, having the right accessories can make all the difference in your overall boating experience. Whether you’re looking to enhance safety, comfort, or entertainment, there are various accessories available to meet your needs. Here are some of the must-have pontoon boat accessories to consider adding to your vessel.

1. Life Jackets and Safety Equipment

Safety should always be a top priority when boating. Make sure you have enough properly fitting life jackets for everyone on board, as well as other essential safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and emergency signaling devices. These accessories can help ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe in case of an emergency.

2. Bimini Tops and Boat Covers

To protect yourself and your passengers from the sun’s harmful UV rays, consider installing a bimini top on your pontoon boat. A bimini top provides shade and shelter, helping to keep everyone cool and comfortable on hot summer days. Additionally, investing in a properly fitting boat cover can help protect your vessel from damage when not in use.

3. Docking and Anchoring Accessories

Docking and anchoring your pontoon boat can be challenging without the right accessories. Consider adding fenders to protect your boat from scratches and damage caused by contact with other boats or the dock. Additionally, investing in quality anchors and anchor lines can help ensure that your boat stays secure while anchored.

4. Entertainment Systems

No boating experience is complete without some entertainment. Adding a quality sound system or installing a TV can help elevate your experience and keep you and your guests entertained for hours. Consider investing in waterproof speakers or mounting a TV in a waterproof enclosure to ensure that your entertainment systems stay safe and dry.

5. Fishing and Watersports Accessories

If you’re an avid angler or enjoy watersports, there are various accessories available to enhance your experience. Consider adding fishing rod holders, fish finders, or trolling motors to your pontoon boat to make fishing more efficient and enjoyable. For water enthusiasts, adding water skis, wakeboards, or tubes can make for a thrilling and fun experience on the water.

Overall, investing in the right pontoon boat accessories can help elevate your boating experience and ensure that you and your guests stay safe, comfortable, and entertained on the water. Consider adding some of these must-have accessories to your vessel to take your boating experience to the next level.

Maintenance and Care for Your Pontoon Boat

After a fun-filled day on the water, it’s essential to perform routine maintenance tasks to ensure your pontoon boat remains in top condition. Proper maintenance and care can increase the lifespan of your boat and save you money on costly repairs.

Regular Cleaning

One of the easiest ways to maintain your pontoon boat is to keep it clean. Rinse the boat with fresh water after each use to remove any dirt, debris, and saltwater. Use a mild soap and a soft-bristled brush to clean the exterior and interior of the boat. Be sure to dry the boat thoroughly to prevent water spots and mold growth.

Inspect and Repair

Regularly inspect your pontoon boat for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Check the hull for cracks, dents, or scratches. Inspect the hardware, electrical systems, and fuel system for any issues. If you notice any damage, address it promptly to prevent further damage or safety hazards.


If you live in an area with harsh winters, it’s important to winterize your pontoon boat. This involves draining all fluids, including the engine, fuel, and water systems, to prevent freezing and damage. Make sure to also cover your boat with a high-quality boat cover to keep it protected from the elements.

Professional Maintenance

Regular maintenance by a professional is also crucial for keeping your pontoon boat in good condition. Schedule routine maintenance appointments with a certified technician to perform tasks such as changing the oil, inspecting the propeller, and checking the electrical system for any issues.

By following these maintenance and care tips, your pontoon boat will provide you with years of enjoyment. Remember, proper care and maintenance are essential to keeping your investment in top condition.


What are the essential features and specifications to consider when buying a pontoon boat?

When purchasing a pontoon boat, it’s important to consider features such as seating capacity, storage options, flooring material, and pontoon length. Specifications to look for include engine power, fuel capacity, weight capacity, and overall size.

What are the different types and styles of pontoon boats available?

Pontoon boats come in various types and styles, including fishing pontoon boats, luxury pontoon boats, and party pontoon boats. The price range, seating options, and construction materials can vary depending on the type and style you choose.

What are the engine options available for pontoon boats?

Pontoon boats can be equipped with different engine types, such as outboard motors, inboard motors, or electric motors. The choice of engine depends on factors like desired speed, fuel efficiency, and budget.

What are some essential accessories to consider for a pontoon boat?

Some essential accessories for pontoon boats include bimini tops for shade, boat covers for protection, navigation lights for safety, and stereo systems for entertainment. Other accessories like fish finders, onboard grills, and docking fenders can also enhance your boating experience.

How should I maintain and care for my pontoon boat?

To maintain and care for your pontoon boat, it is important to perform regular maintenance tasks such as cleaning the boat, checking the engine, and inspecting the pontoon tubes for any signs of damage. Additionally, following manufacturer guidelines for winterization and storage can help keep your boat in good condition.