How To Buy A Pontoon Boat – Step By Step Guide

With a variety of pontoon boats in the market, it is totally justifiable to be spoilt for choice. You may not even know where to begin looking. If you are one of these people, don’t let that worry you, this review is for you.

There are many factors to think about when choosing a pontoon boat. These may vary from person to person, as different people have different needs and have different intended purposes for the pontoon boat they want to purchase.

Since a pontoon boat is a large investment, you do not want the unfortunate situation of ending up with the wrong boat after spending so much on it.

In this page, I will provide you with a step by step guide to guide you in finding the perfect pontoon boat for you and your needs.

Identify The Activities You Want To Use Your Boat For

Use Your Boat

There are different designs of pontoon boats, designed for many different activities. Whether you are interested in entertaining, fishing, skiing or all of the above, there are available options in the market for you.

If you are an angler mostly interested in fishing, and you are looking for your ideal pontoon boat, you ought to look out for features like presence of fish finders, live wells, fishing chairs, fishing decks and et cetera. There are models specifically for fishing.

If the intended purpose of the boat is for cruising the waters and partying with friends, you might want to look for a boat with plenty of seating space, tables, maybe even a bar. You need to have plenty of room and amenities for your guests on the boat.

For watersports and pleasure cruising, there are boats designed for that too. By now I’m sure you catch my drift. You need to identify your needs and look for features and extras that align with them in a pontoon boat.


InflatablesChoosing a pontoon boat with two or three tubes depends on your budget, and how fast you want your boat to move in the water. If you need more speed for say watersports like skiing, then you need to go with 3 tubes. More tubes mean more floatation, meaning you can get up on the plane and you can reach speeds of up to 50 meters per hour.

If you are more of a cruiser, two tubes are adequate for leisurely cruising, and this boat will cost you less.

Identify The Pontoon Boat’s Power

For your comfort and that of your guests while on the boat, you want a boat with an engine that doesn’t put out too much smoke and is not too noisy. The speed of your boat also majorly depends on the engine so you might want to find out more about the technical specifications of the engine from research or the retailer.

Pontoon Boat's PowerSince the engine is a major part of the boat and the overall cost, you have to be very keen. I recommend even seeking a professional technician’s opinion to avoid future problems and to avoid spending on an engine that will not meet your performance expectations.

Smaller pontoon boats do just fine with a 25-hp engine, and mid-sized models do well with a range of 75- to 115-hp engine models. For boats longer than 24 feet, a V6 outboard or a powerful I/O (inboard/outboards) powerplant is your best bet, especially if your boat has 3 tubes and you want more speed.

Good Design, Value, And Quality

You need a boat that is thoughtfully designed and pleasing to the eye. The detail put into the design can tell a lot about the boat as well as the manufacturer of the boat. If they have taken time and care on the design of the boat, it is likely that it is the same for the overall construction. Good design will tell you something about the value and the quality.

However, it is still important to inspect the construction and the finish of the boat. Ensure the materials are quality and durable for the boat to serve you well for years to come. Good quality construction increases the value of the boat.

How Good The Warranty Is

Good DesignAs I mentioned earlier, a pontoon boat is a big investment, and you need to find out what is covered under the warranties of the boat. Most things on the pontoon boat like the seats, tubes, and railings are expensive and difficult to replace.

A good manufacturer will back the product for a long period. The ideal warranty should cover at least 10 years of both parts and labor guaranteed. This covers parts of the boat from structural failure and rot. However different parts are backed by different warranties so do your research well on the model of the boat you have narrowed down to up to this point.

A good manufacturer and how helpful their service department is also increasing the value of the pontoon boat.

Final Words

Following this guide will narrow down your choices significantly, and ultimately help you take home the ideal pontoon boat for you, that will suit your needs perfectly. You need to do more research, however, so you can understand terms better if you are an amateur, and even seek the advice of a professional technician concerning the specifics.

This review is open-ended, as it was written knowing that various people have different needs and have different purposes for their pontoon boat. So if you start by identifying what your needs are, then narrowing down to the most important specifics like the engine power, inflatables, and the warranty, you should end up with the perfect boat.

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David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

  • Alex Dean says:

    My dad has always wanted to have a pontoon boat to have to take out on a lake. So for Father’s day this year, we are all chipping in to get one. It’s good to know that one thing we need to consider when we go to pick one out is to remember the activities we will be using it for. Since it will be used for most water sports, we will want to find a model that will work well for that.

  • I like what you say about the boat’s power. Finding something that has the right speed, but also doesn’t put out too much smoke is very important. I’ll probably be looking for some pontoon boats for sale soon, so I’ll keep in mind to look at the motor first.

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