Buying & Selling

How to choose the right pontoon boat

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Shopping for a boat involves lots of decision making. After considering the different types of watercraft, you’ve decided on a pontoon. Great decision! There are many terrific benefits to buying this kind of boat. However, it’s a big investment, so you want to make sure you purchase the right pontoon boat that will give you and your family years of enjoyment.

Although you’ve narrowed down the type of boat you want, the decision making is not over. Now it’s time to look at styles and options. This can be a little bewildering for first-time pontoon buyers. The best place to start is to consider exactly how you plan to use your new boat. For instance, do you want to use it leisure cruising, water sports or fishing? (Or maybe all three!) Also, ask yourself a few other questions:

  • How much entertaining do you plan to do and how many people would you typically host?
  • Will you be going on overnight outings?
  • Do you have the logistics to support the kind of boat you want? (i.e. trailer, storage, dock space)
  • Is the water you’ll primarily be on calm or rough?
  • Will the boat be stored in one place or be hauled to different waterways?

Once you’ve answered these questions you can start narrowing down your choices to find the craft that matches your needs. Fortunately, the best pontoon boats offer plenty of options and ways to customize to ensure you buy the right fit. You’ll find many of today’s models and styles are quite versatile, allowing them to be multi-purpose if you need.

  • Size – Do you need space for small family outings or for big group entertaining? Also, consider the size of your dock, trailer or storage area.
  • Layout – Look at the different floor plans and consider what features you want. What kind and how much seating do you want? Do you need a changing area for passengers? A porta-potty? Swivel fishing chairs? Onboard storage space?
  • Engine and power size – What speed do you need to achieve? How much weight are you carrying? Your use will dictate what you’ll need.
  • Number of pontoons – If you think you’ll be using more power, three might be your best bet. If it’s relaxed cruising you’re looking for, two should suffice.

Choosing to buy a pontoon, or any boat, is an important decision. You want to put the same kind of thought you put into any other major purchase, much like when you shop for a car. If you have an idea of what you want before you buy, visit your seller with these questions to ensure you’ll get expert answers. He or she can suggest the best pontoon boats to choose from and make sure you choose the right one to match your criteria to enjoy your new outdoor adventure.

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