When is the Best Time of Year to Buy a Pontoon Boat?

One of the most common questions people ask before purchasing a pontoon for the first time is, “When is the best time to buy a pontoon boat?” Timing is everything when it comes to making this large purchase, especially when you’re in the market for a good deal. 

Some may say that the best time to buy a pontoon boat is whenever you’re ready, but there are some considerations that make shopping during the off-season more enticing to most boaters. The on and off-seasons each have their benefits. You need to find the time that works best for your needs. 

Below you will learn more about what to expect when buying in the off-season and whether you should wait until you’re ready, even if that doesn’t line up with the best time to take the plunge on a new boat for the summer.

What to Expect When Buying a Pontoon in the Off Season

A view of the busy Fort Myers Boat Show. There are dozens of boats displayed on the street as pedestrians meander.The off-season, or the months in fall and winter, are the best time to buy a pontoon boat. The off-season creates a bigger buyer’s market because dealers need to get rid of more stock. This time of year is quiet when it comes to sales, making it easier for buyers to snag a good deal. You will have more time to take stock of what’s available without rushing to get the model you want before someone else does. 

The best times to buy a pontoon boat during the off-season are:

  • In the fall months of October, November, and December from a dealer.
  • In the winter months of January, February, and March at a boat show.

Sellers need to make room for the incoming boats that will be sold in the upcoming year. Getting rid of some of the unsold stock for a good deal will make it easier for them to free up room for the new releases of the summer. The main priority of sellers at the end of winter is to have the most stock room available for the incoming models. 

When buying a pontoon off-season, you can also take a look to see what’s for sale at boat shows. The off-season is full of boats and exhibitions all over the country. Dealers and manufacturers are offering their best deals. These events showcase the brand-new boats and marine products that old and new boaters can add to their collection. 

You can talk to people who represent your favorite brands, like Avalon, and learn more about the latest industry advancements while you get prepared for the upcoming summer. You may not find the boat you’re looking for, but you can find a deal that you can’t wait to take advantage of at the beginning of the season. Once you’ve found the right model, you can call to purchase the one you’ve been looking for. 

Buying outside the sales window in fall and winter will make it more difficult and expensive to find the boat you want. This might pressure you to buy a model that wasn’t number one on your list or has gone up in price since the first time you looked at it. You might also end up waiting another year to commit, leaving you waiting on the dock all summer until the next off-season starts. 

Considerations for Purchasing a Pontoon in Fall and Winter

Although fall and winter are the best time to buy a pontoon boat, some additional considerations need to be made before making a purchase. You should never rush into making a large purchase like a new pontoon boat, but you don’t want to wait so long that you’re overwhelmed by all the possibilities. Your favorite model may be out of season in the upcoming year. 

If you’ve decided you want to purchase your new pontoon in the fall or winter, review these considerations more than once before finalizing a sale. This shouldn’t dissuade you from purchasing during the off-season. Each season has its pros and cons. These considerations serve as guidelines for making the best decision.

The next step after purchasing your pontoon in fall or winter is figuring out where to store it. This may not be a difficult problem to solve, but you find yourself spending a few hundred dollars on storage costs until you can bring the boat out at the start of spring. When considering the storage issue, you might find it easier to wait until you’re able to use it. This depends on your docking options.  

The good news is that most reputable dealerships will happily let you store your boat until the start of spring. If you let them know ahead of time, they may even hold off on starting the warranty until you take it out of storage. There’s no reason to lose a few months of warranty when it’s safely waiting for you in storage.

A consideration that supports the argument that the end of the year is the best time to buy a pontoon boat is winterization. Buying your pontoon in the fall or early winter months ensures that your pontoon is properly winterized. Not being able to take it out on the water might be disappointing, but it’s worth waiting until the season starts. You don’t want it damaged due to the cold and poor planning. 

Should You Buy Whenever You're Ready?

Family in a yellow-lit pontoon boat at night.The best time to buy a pontoon boat is typically during the off-season, but you should also make sure you’re ready. You don’t want to spend years searching online for the perfect boat when a reputable company has sales each year in the off-season, or you have the option to build your dream boat.

The off-season is a great time to do your research, then make an informed purchase. If you’re not sure which type or model is best for you, you can request a consultation or browse the online store to see which ones stand out the most. You can always find interior floor plans, descriptions, and highlights of each boat available to help you figure out what you’re looking for. 

Attending a boat show can also help you decide if you’re ready to purchase your next pontoon during the off-season. You can see the boats in real-time to help you consider your options. This can make it easier to conceptualize owning a boat that you’ve seen online. Boat shows are great for helping you get an idea of what’s popular on the market for the season. 

Choose Avalon

If you’ve reviewed the information above and you’re ready to purchase a pontoon boat right now, consider buying one from Avalon. Avalon has been a staple in the industry for 50 years, producing the best pontoon boats in the U.S. If you’re looking for the best possible deal, get in touch with one of our dealers to purchase one of our top-of-the-line boats. 

Our boats have all the features to accommodate your favorite summer cruising activities, ranging from luxury to entertainment, and everything in between. Use our build-a-boat tool to help you find the right pontoon boat for your desired boating experience.