We recently went to a family boat show and sat in a few boats checking out the newest colors and designs. Walking around and checking out several other boats, we then Boarded the Pontoon Boat, feeling its spacious design and layout, this could not be beaten, all that was needed was to be out on the water.
What was all the fan fair about? Mostly, pontoons are known to be family-friendly boats, which even allow one to bring your dog safely, but I’ll explain the following nine advantages.
With a large area and comfortable couches to sit on, it’s tough to beat the comfort of spending a day out on the water on a pontoon boat. One can lay and sun lounge, falling asleep, letting their mind wander as they enjoy, all while still having multiple family members on board.
Want to ramp up the excitement, go tubing, skiing and when one is tired of the water, one can pull up the changing room, get out of their wet cloth, and into a dry comfy bathing suit, ready to enjoy the music, drink, and grill. The spacious deck allows one to add a grill to cook fresh all while aboard your pontoon boat. Never getting bored and ready to enjoy the sunset.
Spending a day on the water enjoying the breeze, sun, and water with a pontoon boat brings you alive allowing you to enjoy one of the biggest advantages that makes a pontoon boat particularly comfortable is the stability of the ride.
Every single person who gets onto a pontoon boat for the first time eventually says something like “Oh, wow that is comfortable, and, spacious and I did not expect it to be so stable.”
A tritoon pontoon even out on the ocean are safe and provide a very stable ride. As a general rule, One must remember to boat safely at all times, and avoid serve weather, high winds, and choppy conditions. Tritoon pontoon boats can be successfully used in salt water without the threat of damage to the metal. It is always recommended to desalt and wash down the pontoon after using it in salt water.
2. PERFECT FOR FAMILIES WITH KIDS
Pontoon boats provide great stability, out on the water, perfect for kids, and with the pontoon doors closed, has a very spacious, and roomy area for the kids to move around in.
On a pontoon, there’s room for them to move around, climb up and down the cushioned seats, play games at the table, and fish (catching their first big catch), this allows, while following general safety rules, a great family outing trip with the kids. Creating memories for the whole family.
Unlike most traditional boats, which usually have limited seating capacities, pontoon boats commonly can hold more passengers typically up to 11 or more passengers.
A pontoon boat will allow you to enjoy the family trip with kids, out on the lake, river, coastal waterways, bringing friends and family, all while everyone enjoying the water.
3. THE ULTIMATE FISH/SKI BOAT
When you want it all, the pontoon boat, allows you to enjoy one of the greatest activities, fishing.
Pontoon boats are not the fastest boats, nor as maneuverable as a ski boat or PWC, they are generally good in shallower waters, however, a pontoon boat’s platform and stability make it a great fishing boat with the option to go skiing or tubing.
How shallow of water can a pontoon boat go?
In general Two feet of depth is considered safe for an experienced boater to handle a pontoon boat, though three feet is advisable.
A Pontoon boat has plenty of storage to put all the gear away while on your way on the water, allowing plenty of your passengers to fish, from different sides of the boat, front, and rear. It’s stable for 2 or more people to go to one side of the boat without the fear of tipping. Pontoons provide the stability, not to spook the fish as one moves around on the boat. And plenty of deck space to bring a few coolers.
If you have been around boating you know you can never have enough storage. Pontoons provide plenty of storage options, ample seating, and Bimini shade protection.
Inevitably, you will invite family and friends that will bring plenty of bags, with cloth and towels, coolers, not just a little one, and some extra water toys, pool noodles etc. Having ample storage to stow all those extra items is very important and allows one to leave plenty of deck space to move around.
On most boats, bringing all these items loads up every spot of empty floor, and seat space on your boat, making for a cramped boating day, but on a pontoon boat, there is storage for just about whatever people bring on board and all the necessary boating safety accessories, equipment and gear like boat fenders and anchors. It’s really nice to have plenty of storage room to store all those items, and still have room for phones, wallets, extra life vests, changes of clothes, snacks, a small barbecue, and all kinds of other floating gear under the seats to enjoy a full day out on the water.
5. SAFETY – WHAT AGE MUST A CHILD WEAR A LIFE JACKET
Boating with little kids, pontoon boats provide greater safety as they are fenced in with high side rails so they’re less likely to fall out of the boat. Children under six years of age must wear a USCG–approved life jacket at all times while on any vessel less than 26 feet in length that is underway upon waters. (“Underway” means any time except when the vessel is anchored, moored, docked, or aground.)
Pontoon boats are also quite safe because of their stability. This makes them easier to drive if passengers move around and because they’re very unlikely to flip. With the max speed of many pontoon boats being around 28mph, and the turning radius not being very tight, you could probably make a hard turn at nearly full speed and not come close to flipping the boat, which is however, never recommended.
There are some observable dangers to pontoon boats. In very rough water, they don’t do well because the bow has a tendency to plow into waves, compared to a deep v-hull boat, however, it is never recommended to go out on the water on windy, rough water days. Be sure to always check the marine forecast before heading out onto the water.
In general, US Coast Guard statistics show that pontoons are significantly safer as a class. Be sure to keep onboard all Coast Guard required safety equipment; Check out: How to Clean Your Boat Life Jackets in 5 easy steps
Coast Guard Safety Equipment for Vessels 16 to 26 feet
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
One approved Type I, II or III for each person on board or being towed on water skis etc., in addition, one throwable Type IV device
Must be USCG-approved. Must be in serviceable condition. Must be properly stored.
One USCG-approved B-1 type fire extinguisher is required for all recreational motorboats except outboard-powered motorboats less than 26 feet long if constructed in a manner that will not allow gas fumes to accumulate. If your boat has a built-in fuel tank, an inboard engine, compartments where portable fuel tanks may be stored, or open areas between the hull and deck where flammable or explosive gases could accumulate, you must carry a fire extinguisher. Non-motorized boats are exempt from the fire extinguisher requirements.
The fire extinguisher must be USCG-approved and must be in serviceable condition.
Visual Distress Signal
Required on the high sea and coastal waters only.
Must carry visual distress signal for both day and nighttime use.
NOTE: Coastal waters means the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and all bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc. where any entrance is over 2 miles wide to the first point where the distance between shorelines narrows to 2 miles.
Sound-producing Device (bell, horn, whistle, etc.)
Every vessel less than 12 meters (39.4 ft) in length must carry an efficient sound-producing device. The sound-producing device need not meet any particular specifications, as long as the vessel can produce signals required by the navigational rules.
Recreational vessels are required to display navigation lights between sunset and sunrise and during periods of reduced visibility (fog, rain, haze, etc). The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules specify lighting requirements for every description of watercraft. The information provided is for vessels less than 65.5 feet/20 meters in length.
We further suggest that you equip your vessel with an anchor and a sufficient amount of anchor line; a de-watering device, such as a bilge pump in the event of flooding; and an oar, paddle or other alternative means of propulsion in case your engine fails.
6. EASE OF USE/MAINTENANCE
Another advantage that makes pontoon boats easy to use and maintain is cleanup after an outing on the water. if you are using your Pontoon boat in saltwater, it is generally recommended that you wash down the boat with a product like Salt-Away;
Protect Your Pontoon and Marine Equipment with Salt Remover
Prevents new salt buildup and breaks down existing salt corrosion.
Salt-Away is a Motor Flush for inboard, outboard, I/O and personal watercraft motors and an exterior salt removing treatment. Salt-Away is water based, non-hazardous, biodegradable, and contains properties that attack and remove salt from any surface. Repeated use with Salt-Away will break down and remove old salt and rust deposits. Safe for use on any metal, aluminum, fiberglass, paint, rubber, plastic, chrome, glass, or any surface exposed to salt. Salt-Away will not strip away waxes, but will wash away salt and leave a protective film on the surface to protect against rusting.
Do you need to rinse off Salt-Away?
After applying Salt-away There is no need to rinse the gear off afterwards as Salt-Away protects all surfaces, metal and rubber so just drain, shake and allow to dry. It is non-toxic.
7. PONTOON BIMINO AND PLENTY OF SHADE
Bring on the shade, if you are looking to spend all day out on the water, you will want to find some shade. A Bimini top is an open-front canvas top for the cockpit of a boat, usually supported by a metal frame. Most Biminis can be collapsed when not in use, and raised again if shade or shelter from rain is desired.
The Bimini is used mostly as protection from the sun; it offers no protection from wind, rain, or spray when moving forward at any speed. The top provides rain protection only if the boat is stationary and there is no wind. It can also be personalized to fit your pontoon and can come in many colors.
Can I ride with a Bimini top up?
As a general rule, it is not recommended to travel with the Bimini up at cruising speeds because it stresses the aluminum fittings. Over time they may develop cracks and break. Lay the tops down as you are cruising and you greatly reduce the risk of wear and damage.
How Fast Can I drive with a Bimini Top?
Depending on the style of the Bimini Top, with a 2, 3 or 4 bow Bimini top the rated top speed is 40 knots (44 mph) fully opened, with a T-Top Bimini the rated top speed is 17 knots (20 mph) fully opened. On many Bimini tops, you will find a sticker on the frame that states not to exceed 30 mph with the top up/open.
8. LONGEVITY – DIVERSE BOAT FOR THE LONG HAUL
Pontoon boats last a long time and need minimal maintenance. They are easy to spray down to clean and you do not have to worry about filling the boat, as water does not collect in the bottom of the boat as in a traditional boat. Pontoon boats are fantastic project boats, with many parts, and options widely available. If you decide to change the layout this can be done easily, this option is not available in a fiberglass boat. With a Pontoon boat, you can order the whole new seat bench, lounger, or captain chair, unbolt the broken, worn one and remove, then set and re-bolt the brand new one.
Pontoon boats give you many customizable options, to add electronics, towers, lights, and grills, as you’re boating and family needs change you can adapt with a pontoon boat. if you have a fishing boat, it’s a fishing boat, but with a pontoon you can use it for fishing, cruising give you many seasons to enjoy your pontoon boat.
In many areas, you’ll want to beach your boat. Driving up to that perfect sandy beach, allowing you to explore, search for shells, and play some games. With a pontoon, this is easily done. This is risky in a fiberglass V-hull boat, because there is a lot of weight at the front of the boat as well as you could scratch the gel coat. Getting people on and off, over the height of the bow is a challenge, with a pontoon boat it’s a lot closer to the sand.