Pontoon Boat Pros and Cons

by John Mack
Pontoon boats are ideal for family outings on the lake.

Pontoon boats are ideal for family outings on the lake.

Like other watercraft, a pontoon boat is not infallible. A pontoon's strengths double as weaknesses depending on how you decide to use your pontoon. On the other hand, its weaknesses accentuate what is beneficial and even desirable about a pontoon boat. Ultimately, the value of a pontoon boat rests in how you intend to use it whether it be a weekend getaway with family or an adventurous fishing trip.

Space (Pro)

Pontoon boats are popular mainly because they make boating with family and friends so easy. Their spacious decks and ample seating make them highly functional, because guests have plenty of room to lounge and even walk around. The versatility of the open arrangement on pontoons gives their owners the ability to bring charcoal grills, lawn chairs, ice chests and other bulky items onto their craft to an extent that other boats do not allow.

Entertainment (Pro)

The extra space that pontoon boats afford make them an ideal type of boat on which to entertain family and friends. The extra space for free movement is ideal for fun activities such as grilling, sun bathing and swimming. Unlike many fishing and speed boats that can be difficult to get into from the water if you are swimming, it is easy to board a pontoon boat because its deck sits low on the water. Most pontoon boats are also equipped with biminis so guests can relax in the shade.

Mobility (Con)

Pontoon boats are often bulky, making them difficult to control in windy weather. Especially if you use your pontoon boat for bass fishing, you may find it difficult to maneuver into narrow spots where fishermen must go. Also, they do not handle strong currents or heavy wake very well because they sit so low that water can easily flood into the boat in tempestuous weather. Consequently, pontoons are virtually unheard of on large bodies of water.

One-Dimensional (Con)

Pontoons are simply not sturdy enough to take far from land. If a sea, ocean or other large body of water is the only reasonably close water to you, a pontoon boat is not a good choice. Because of this, they are only viable for rivers and lakes that are calm. Their size also makes them undesirable for rivers with many shallow areas or those that are prone to erratic fluctuations in water level.

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