Pontoon Boats Guide

Table of Contents

Pontoon Boats, Your Best Choice for Parties and Fishing

When it comes to a perfect day on the water, do you picture a secluded day by yourself? Or one with all your friends and family? Whichever you picture, a pontoon boat is perfect for you! These vessels are designed for comfort when boating, and feature an innovative architecture that positions the deck of the boat on two or three sleds, or pontoons, which elevates it from the water. This means a comfortable, dry ride that maximizes deck space while boating.

Since the deck of the boat spans these pontoons, it’s easy to make them large enough to accommodate even the largest crowds. The innovative pontoon design means they’re perfect for sliding into shallow water, or even running up on a beach for a private party. There’s plenty to learn about these unique vessels, so keep reading to learn why pontoon boats are the best for parties and fishing!

Why do pontoon boats make great party boats?

When it comes to buying an excellent party barge, you want a few things: plenty of deck space for everyone to mill around, comfortable and ample seating, a smooth and relaxing ride, and enough storage for everyone’s stuff. All of that describes a pontoon boat almost perfectly. Pontoon boats are known for their expansive, flat deck space, which makes it perfect for hosting friends, or throwing an impromptu, watery dance party.

Pontoon boat designers make these boats incredibly customizable. While there are plenty of luxury pontoon boat builders providing a comfortable ride on the water, there are just as many building vessels meant for fun and adventure. There are family friendly pontoon boats with slides, and adult-focused pontoon boats with bars built into the hull. For those who just want to bring as many people as possible with them on their adventures, there are even double decker pontoon boats, which can carry twice as many people with ease.

With all these amenities, safety is essential. Thanks to the simple design of the pontoon boat, it’s a relatively safe and stable platform. These boats don’t go too fast, and they’re designed for use in inland bays, lakes and rivers, so that they don’t encounter too much inclement weather. With those needs in mind, your passengers can feel comfortable knowing they’re always safe aboard your pontoon boat.

Does size matter? (Are small pontoon boats fun?)

When it comes to a pontoon boat, size is not an obstacle. Mini pontoon boats have customizable seating arrangements and ample deck space, so you can set up seating to accommodate a variety of people. The most compact vessels are normally around 6 or 7 feet long, and can still accommodate between 4-8 passengers!

The smallest pontoon boats are inflatable pontoon boats. These are very low-tech boating options, which are almost more like a pair of kayaks with a seat attached, instead of a true boat. That’s not to say these vessels aren’t fun. One-seater inflatable pontoon boats are perfect for serious anglers who want to land the next big catch. They’re light, and can either be man-powered or propelled by a motor, meaning they’re perfect for fishing in shallow water.

Are pontoon boats good for fishing?

If your idea of fun is quieter than a sandbar raft-up, a pontoon boat can still be perfect for you. Since pontoon boats have ample deck space, they can easily accommodate rods, reels, coolers, and, of course, friends.

If you want to go fishing offshore, you should make sure to look out for saltwater pontoon boats. These boats are specifically outfitted with amenities that make them safer when going out to sea, where waves and wind can be stronger. Most pontoon boats are considered “sweetwater pontoon boats” which means they’re designed for calmer, inland waters like those on rivers, lakes, and inland bays. Saltwater pontoon boats are usually made of fiberglass, to avoid corrosion, and have safety features that help them stay stable in small swells. For example, BeachCat saltwater pontoon boats are built with wave-resistant walls, which protects them from taking on water, making them safer in saltwater environments.

So, now that you know why these vessels are great for sailors and anglers of all types, now lets go over the different brands, so you can find the best pontoon boat for you.

Best Pontoon Boat Brands


Tahoe pontoon boats bring the perfect blend of fun and luxury. They have high-quality finishes, like excellent seating, with classic styling you’d expect to see from a 1950’s diner or classic car. Combined with that style, they bring plenty of horsepower, so you can enjoy an exhilarating ride in calm water. Tahoe has a pontoon boat for every budget, including ultra-long and compact sizes.


Bennington Pontoon boats are known for their comfort and new-wave finishes. For example, the RX line of 25-30 foot vessels features amenities like a powered bimini top, which makes it perfect for someone wanting the most comfort a boat can offer. Benningtons offer premium luxury, and timeless styling, meaning they’re an investment you can enjoy for years to come.

Bennington Pontoon Boats More


If you’re looking for a luxury pontoon boat that can still handle fishing or hosting friends, a Ranger is the perfect boat for you. Ranger offers a full fleet of boats, including sport, recreational, and luxury models. Even better, they offer a variety of different finishes, from aluminum to fiberglass, which means they’re one of the few major retailers that sell saltwater pontoon boats.

Sun Tracker

If you want a do-it-all, super fun pontoon boat to take you and your friends out on adventures, you need to look at Sun Tracker’s lineup of boats. This manufacturer has two clear segments, Fishing Pontoons and Recreational Pontoons. These boats start at 16 feet and extend all the way to 24, making them perfect for bringing the whole family on board.


Lowe has been making family-friendly, popular boats for over 50 years. That means they know what their customers are expecting when they buy a boat. This company has a wide range of pontoon boats, including fishing and recreational focused vessels. Lowe even offers a deck-boat in its pontoon lineup, which combines the comfort of a pontoon with the driveability of a V-bottom vessel giving you the best of both worlds.

Lowe Pontoon Boats More

Now that you know some of the best pontoon boat manufacturers out there, check out our pontoon boats for sale on our website. With hundreds of options from the best boat builders around, there’s something for everyone!

FAQ About Pontoon Boats:

Do pontoon boats have bathrooms?

While you might not see a bathroom from the dock, many pontoon boats have some facilities for using the bathroom away from shore. For example, many luxury manufacturers like Harris offer step down bathrooms that have full privacy. Even if the vessel doesn’t offer a bathroom and wastewater holding tanks, many boats have space for a port-a-potty so guests can feel relief while away from shore.

How fast do pontoon boats go?

Pontoon boats normally go between 15-25 miles an hour. This is a safe cruising speed that’s comfortable for everyone on board. However, there are some performance models that do go faster. Bennington and Tahoe both have faster boats. However, before you consider these boats for speed, it’s important to remember that this platform is not ideal for racing. The pontoons the deck rests on don’t carve into the water, which means it does lose some stability at high speed.

How do pontoon boats handle rough water?

Pontoon boats are best suited for calm water in inland bays, rivers and lakes. They don’t draft deep into the water, which means they rest on top of the waves. This design is excellent for fuel efficiency and comfort. However, it means that in rough conditions, these boats provide a very bumpy ride. Pontoon boats also stand very tall on the surface of the water, which means high winds can disturb them.