Pontoon Boat Buying Guide

Pontoon boat buying guide thumbnail imagePontoon boats have come a long way. These are not your grandfather’s pontoon anymore! With so much to choose from, many aspiring boat owners look for a pontoon boat buyer’s guide to help them decide which boat will meet their needs.

What to Ask Before Buying a Pontoon Boat

It’s important to understand the experience you want out of your pontoon. Here are the questions you, as a pontoon boat buyer, need to ask yourself before purchasing a new or used pontoon boat.

View Avalon’s 2018 pontoon boat model lineup »

 

How Many People Will Be on Board During a Typical Outing?

Typical Number of
People On Board
Boat Length Required Model Options
1 to 5 15′ or less
6 to 10 16′ to 21′
10 to 16 21′ to 28′

Carrying more passengers means you’re going to need a bigger boat. This breakdown can help you decide which size will work best for you.

For more details, reference the specific make and model of your desired boat in our latest brochure.

 

Aerial photo of friends enjoying a day on a 2018 Excalibur luxury pontoon

 

How Fast Do I Want to Go?

Your Goal Recommended
Engine HP
Model Options
Speed is my goal!
I want tubing, cruising, skiing and more.
300 HP
Speed is important, but not the priority.
I want to go fast, but I’m not running any races.
150 HP
Give me your starting options.
I love cruising around my lake or river, but speed is not my goal.
40 HP

The acceleration and top speed of your new pontoon will largely depend on the size of your engine. First, decide how important speed is for you, then discover the recommended horsepower for your engine.

Download Engine Performance Tests, visit the Mercury Power page, or explore the Build-a-Boat tool to learn more about your options.

 

What Activities Am I Interested in?

From parties and watersports to fishing and family fun, pontooning offers something for everyone. Depending on your prefered activity, some boats will suit you better than others. Take a look:

Activities Look for… Model Options
Fishing Floorplans built for fishing
  • All Fish models (See Next Question)
Watersports Higher engine power, and boats with the right accessories for watersports
Parties on the water Enough room for all your guests
  • Funship
Family fun Pontoon boats with slides
  • Funship

 

2018 Avalon Venture Rear Fish compact fishing boat man and son in water

 

How Important is Fishing?

 Your Priority Recommended Seating Arrangement Model Options
Fishing is my #1 priority
  • Quad Fish
  • Fish-N-Cruise
  • Center Console Fish
Fishing is important, but cruising is my goal
  • Rear Fish
  • Bow Fish

If fishing lies anywhere on your list of activities, you may want to consider a pontoon model built for the task. Depending on your personal preferences, there are multiple seating layouts to choose from.

 

How Does My Location Affect My Pontooning Experience?

Your Situation Recommended Resources
I will frequently tow the boat
The boat will be used in rough water
  • Choose a larger model to remain comfortable with cross wakes
I will use my boat in Saltwater
I live in a climate that gets cold in the winter

 

Family friends chatting on a 2018 Catalina Platinum Quad Lounge pontoon

 

What is My Financial Situation?

 Your Situation Recommended Resources
I need to learn more about financing
I need to learn more about insurance

 

What Additional Features Are Important to Me?

Visit the Build-a-Pontoon Boat tool or download our current brochure to explore all these options and more.

Features/Upgrades Options
Increased performance
Wave handling
Watersports
Captain’s area
Premium fishing options
  • Fishfinder
  • Livewell
  • Rod holders
  • A Fish model with additional fishing seats
Swimming options
  • Changing station
  • Diving board
  • Waterslide
Music and parties
Sunshade

 


Explore our current lineup of pontoon boat models » 

View our Feature Comparison Chart »