Pros and Cons of Pontoon Boats

Man wakeboarding with a red pontoon boat propelling him.

If you’re in the market for a boat, you’ve probably been learning that you have many options to choose from. Each kind will offer you something a little different, so exploring all your options is a must! One of the most popular types on the market is the pontoon boat.

Before buying, understanding the pros and cons of pontoon boats can help you be confident in your choice. After you read through the pros and cons of pontoon boats, you’ll know if this craft fits your lifestyle and what you want to get out of your next water adventure!

The Pros of Pontoon Boats

If you want to know the pros of pontoon boats, you have many people to ask. That’s because pontoon boats are the most popular watercraft in the United States. There are many reasons these are so popular, so let’s take a look at just some of the things that people love so much about pontoon boats.

Safe and Fun for Families

Father and son fish on the Avalon Venture Rear Fish.With other watercraft, you may end up spending all your time on the water telling your kids, “Stop jumping!” and “Don’t touch that!” and “Stay here, don’t go there!” This constant reprimanding makes the experience a bore for your child and a stressful one for you.

But pontoon boats are often called “floating patios.” They got this nickname because they’re very buoyant and don’t tip easily. They’re also quite large, leaving lots of room for kids to play! Nonetheless, you should always follow proper boating safety practices. But you can enjoy your time on the water with peace of mind, as one of the pros of pontoon boats is that they’re one of the safest options available.

Great for Both Skiing and Fishing

If you are looking to do just one thing on the water, then finding a watercraft that is custom designed for that one activity may be best. But many people wish to make the most of their time on the water! And that’s where the pontoon boat’s multifunctional uses come into play.

Feel free to use your vessel for skiing, tubing, and even fishing. Your pontoon boat will cover all these activities, and it’s great for small gatherings. You’ll be able to get everything from this watercraft rather than limiting yourself to specific activities. If you have multiple interests while spending time on the water, you need a pontoon boat for optimal versatility.

Easy to Use and Maintain

Pontoon boats are created using tubes to create a high level of buoyancy. Their thoughtful construction makes them not only safe but also easy to use. With these tubes, the craft sits very high on the water. As a result, it can run in very shallow waters and is forgiving to inexperienced boaters.

This ease of use bleeds into the craft’s maintenance. It’s a solid and durable vessel, meaning that even if it can withstand general wear and tear. It also requires minimal cleanup after each use, so you can haul it away instead of spending precious time cleaning after each outing.

Simple Customizations and Renovations

Whether you purchase a new or an older, used pontoon boat or you want to fix up your own, you can look forward to making all the customization and renovations you want.

One of the pros of pontoon boats is that there are many one-size-fits-all products available to bring you the boat of your dreams. You can easily replace the vessel’s couches, carpets, and more.

Comfortable

As we’ve mentioned, pontoon boats are larger vessels than many other options available for watercraft. But that’s not just about giving the kids room to play. It also means you can fit more cozy couches while still having room for the group in their own world fishing away!

Whether it’s taking a nap on calm waters after a long day of skiing or fitting all your friends for an adventurous outing, everyone can enjoy a comfortable ride with plenty of elbow room and comfortable seating.

When you invest in watercraft, you don’t want it to just get from point A to point B. You want to enjoy the ride. You want your guests to enjoy it as well. The pros of pontoon boats include such amenities as extra comfort that make selecting any other vessel difficult.

The Cons of Pontoon Boats

Family riding on 2022 Avalina Catalina Entertainer on a lake.No watercraft is perfect in every way. To have certain advantages, you will find that a vessel is lacking in another way. And when you look at the cons of pontoon boats, these are no different!

When you look at the pros and cons of pontoon boats, consider what’s most important to you. If one con is a dealbreaker and the pros can’t make up for it, these vessels may not be right for you. But understand that every boat will come with its own set of cons, so choose wisely!

Not Intended for Rough Waters

For calmer waters, pontoon boats offer the most comfortable and easiest to navigate ride. But they are not ideal for choppy, rough water. To avoid this, stay weather aware and avoid going out during a storm. It is also recommended not to go out far into the ocean. Here, you’ll get higher waves and a rougher ride.

While they aren’t designed for riding out difficult storms, pontoon boats are the most comfortable ride on a beautiful day. You can’t go wrong with these vessels for a fun day of whatever activities you like best while navigating deep lakes or shallow shores.

Large Turning Radius

Some serious fishing enthusiasts in certain terrain may be looking for a watercraft they can navigate into and out of tight spots. However, pontoon boats may not be the best choice. With their high buoyancy and large size, they have a large turning radius.

You won’t be able to use this vessel to achieve speed and precise handling. It’s also bad for serious towing in water sports, so you’ll have to look into another kind of watercraft if your interest lies here.

Double Anchors

Some of the pros and cons of pontoon boats overlap. That’s what you see with the effects of the vessel’s buoyancy. Because it sits up high on the water, it’s simple to navigate and makes for a safer ride. However, this benefit also makes it more susceptible to wind drifts. That’s because there’s less of the vessel in the water, creating less of a drag.

So if you’re looking to stay in one place, you may need to double anchor. While perhaps inconvenient, this simple fix of increasing the number of anchors will keep your vessel in place.

Louder Engines

Family of 5 riding on a pontoon boat in the middle of the oceanMost of the time, pontoon boats will include outboard motors. An outboard motor sits outside the vessel rather than inside the hull. With nothing between yourself on deck and the motor, you’ll hear every sound it makes. You may not have a huge problem with a newer, sleek engine. But if you have an older motor, you might be in for a very loud ride.

The good news is that newer models include modern outboard motors that are quieter than older ones. For those buying used, you may choose to invest in quieter motors. But you may notice more noise compared with vessels that have inboard motors.

Slower than Cruisers

Do you want to go out racing as fast as you can go on any body of water you set your sights on? Then pontoon boats aren’t right for you. While these vessels are by no means slow, they aren’t the fastest on the water compared to speed boats.

However, the fastest pontoon boats can reach 50 miles per hour. While they aren’t the fastest, they are certainly quick enough to give you lots of fun while obeying the appropriate speed laws.

Final Thoughts — Is a Pontoon Boat Right for You?

After reading through the pros and cons of pontoon boats, we hope that you can decide on the best boat for you and your family with ease. Consider if the cons like high speed and tight navigation are important factors before buying. But with the safety, comfort, and simple navigation of pontoon boats, it’s easy to see why they are the most popular option amongst boaters!

To find the perfect pontoon boat for your lifestyle, find an Avalon dealer near you or build your dream pontoon with our Build-a-Boat tool.