Pontoon boats are no longer regarded as the boating family’s hideous duckling.
The pontoon category has seen a huge growth in revenue and popularity over the last few years, thanks to its versatility, simplicity of driving, and spaciousness.
We’ve curated the best pontoon boat brands to meet your needs, whether you choose to use it for fishing, water sports, social activities, or just relaxing on the water.
If you can’t find the one you want, you can always tailor it for your own needs, or if you’re feeling really crafty, make your own pontoon boat. Otherwise, take a look at some of the best ones available. Various types of pontoons are as below:
1. M3 CRS Sylvan:
It includes bow luxurious interior upholstery, luxury amenities, lounge seating, stereo speakers, and USB chargers to keep your electronics charged as you spend quality time on the lake with friends and family. The M3 CRS Sylvan is our top choice for best pontoon boat. It has a sleek look to it, and is a far cry from the pontoon boats of the past.
2. Crestliner 240 Rally DX:
This 24-foot cruising machine has reclining helm chairs and a wood-grain tabletop with fixed cup holders, so you won’t spill your drink while enjoying the trip. When you add on the Bluetooth feature, GMR-3 stereo, and pillow-top decor, you’ve got yourself a luxurious boat on your hands. If you’re looking for a high-quality pontoon boat with flexibility, endurance, and dependability, the Crestliner 240 Rally DX is the boat for you. Its design allows it to be used for swimming, waterskiing, or floating, among other activities. It’s one of the most adaptable pieces of equipment available.
3. Harris Crowne SL 270:
Beauty is said to be more than meets the eye. But, damn, isn’t that what attracts you? The Harris Crowne SL 270 is a stunning piece of work. You’ll be addicted in just one glance. It exudes sophistication and refinement, with a plethora of interior features that prove its appeal isn’t just skin deep.
The SL 270’s built-in entertainment galley, power-adjustable chairs, and retractable ladders are just a couple of the features that SL 270 owners adore. It also has a side-console arrangement, making it one of the most well-thought-out pontoon boat projects we’ve seen. We think it’s a clear winner.
4. Princecraft Brio:
Interesting fact: In certain lakes and waterways, gas-powered watercraft is forbidden. The Princecraft Brio E17 is a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional pontoon vessels. Since it is operated by a Torqeedo electric motor, there are no emissions to pollute the aquatic atmosphere under it.
It’s much safer than gas-powered pontoons, meaning you can relax and spend your day on the water without all the disruption.
5. Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 DLX:
Remember how we said that pontoon boats are the ideal blend of fishing and water sports? This is best shown by the Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 DLX. It is mounted with two fishing chairs that can be folded if you use the room for anything else.
The Sun Tracker pontoon boat’s L-shaped cabin has under-seat storage and consoles with fixed rod and beverage holders to free up your hands while reeling in your catch of the day. What a time saver.
6. Regency 250 LE3:
Pontoons aren’t typically designed for speed. The exception to the law is the Regency 250 LE3. The 350-horsepower Verado engine that drives this sporty model allows it to reach speeds of up to 50 mph.
This vessel is not just enjoyable to drive, but it’s also ideal for relaxing, putting your feet up, and taking a relaxing river cruise. The comfort lounges in the craft’s aft section are especially appealing.
7. Lowe SF 212:
Pontoon boats aren’t exactly lightweight, which is good because they’re built to accommodate family and friends for a relaxing afternoon on the lake. However, as opposed to smaller pontoons, big pontoons have a higher price tag.
The Lowe SF 212 pontoon boat is one of the only mid-sized pontoon boats available today. It has all of the comfort and usability features that you’d expect from a luxury boat. We especially like the two pedestal seats that come with it, which makes fishing a breeze.
If you’d rather unwind, the Jensen built-in stereo with Bluetooth will play your favorite songs to help you unwind.
8. Avalon Excalibur Quad Lounge Windshield:
The Avalon Excalibur Quad Lounge Windshield is without a doubt one of the most appealing pontoon vessels we’ve seen. Its streamlined architecture exudes beauty, class, and style, in stark contrast to the drab pontoons of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
It is mostly made up of fiberglass materials, which contribute to its sleek look. It has a Bimini top that stays in place even while operating at high speeds.
When serving lunch or snacks, the pedestal table in the lounge area can be pushed out of the way to make space for other tasks. It’s ideal for families who want to spend quality time together without being distracted by land-based activities.
9. Bennington S21 L Bench:
The Bennington S21 L Bench is ideal for a day on the water or a candlelit dinner under the stars. It includes an L-bench with a sun pad and a ton of room underneath.
The beauty of this model is that it comes in 13 different configurations, which the maker can tailor to your tastes and desires. The price is also fair.
10. Bennington SV Narrow Beam Cruiser:
You’ll love the Bennington SV Narrow Beam Cruiser if you’re looking for a pontoon boat that’s built to have optimal comfort and fun on the water. It is, without a doubt, one of the most popular luxury riders on the market right now.
You can have that with bass seats that swivel so you can get a complete panoramic view of the surroundings. It comes with a variety of variations that you can personalize depending on your requirements.
Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Best Pontoon Boats:
If you’re a first-time pontoon customer, you’re probably unsure which one to choose from the various choices available. While it will be daunting, the good news is that anything you want would more definitely be able to fulfill your particular requirements. Nonetheless, there are a few items to consider before purchasing your pontoon.
Once you’ve weighed the advantages and disadvantages of various boat types and determined that a pontoon craft is the right vessel for you, the first consideration is size. In general, you’ll need a pontoon that is:
1. 2-6 passengers can be accommodated onboard an 18-20-foot vessel.
2. 6-10 passengers can be accommodated aboard a 22-24 ft. vessel.
3. More than 24 ft. in length to accommodate ten or more passengers aboard
The scale of the craft will also be determined by when it will be used. Pontoons with a length of 17 to 19 feet are suitable for narrow, calm bodies of water.
A 20 to 22-foot long boat would do if you plan on boating on a river or lake with moderate waves. If you want to use it in rough seas, though, you’ll need a larger boat, preferably one that’s between 23 and 28 feet long.
Pontoon vessels aren’t exactly the same. There are a variety of vessels available, each built for a particular task. The pontoon boats seen below are only a couple of the many available.
1. Fishing pontoons – Choose a model that is custom-built for fishing if you want to use your boat for fishing 60-70 percent of the time. These pontoons typically have plenty of room, livewell reservoirs, and consoles with a fixed rod and beverage holders to free up your hands so you can concentrate on your fishing.
2. Recreational/cruising pontoons – These pontoons provide a variety of comfort and ease features to make your time on the water more enjoyable. Look for models with toilets, kitchen grills, stereo systems, chairs that can be converted to beds, and a variety of other useful features.
3. Pontoons with swim decks, sun loungers, railings, and slides – If you want to use your yacht mostly for sunbathing and swimming, you’ll find models with swim decks, sun loungers, ladders, and slides for a relaxing time on the water.
4. Pontoons for watersports – If you want to use sports devices such as skiers, tubes, or wakeboards, look for a boat with an engine that produces at least 90 horsepower. This will give you the speed you need to easily drag these items across the water.
5. Inflatable Pontoons – For avid anglers, waterway hunters, and outdoor adventurers, these are ideal. In comparison to the other ones, they are more durable, lightweight, and affordable, but they are best for informal rides for 1 to 2 persons.
The importance of choosing the correct pontoon brand cannot be overstated. Choose a company that places a premium on efficiency and quality. Here’s a rundown of some of the best labels to think about:
1. Prince craft
5. Crest liner
6. Harris Boats
In general, you can only buy pontoons from companies that have been in operation since the year 2000. That way, you can be assured that all vessels built since then have been subjected to stringent testing and comply with all US Coast Guard-mandated safety regulations.
Aside from looking for a specific brand, the overall workmanship of the pontoon should also be considered. Look for evidence of patching or damage on the welding and braces. You can also inspect the engine to guarantee that it is in good working order.
Finally, look and see if the decks and rails were bolted or secured in place. Bolting is a safer choice, since it needs less upkeep.
Pontoon boats are designed for quiet inland bodies of water, not for the open seas or turbulent waters. And if the smooth inland water becomes too choppy, your relaxing boat trip could quickly devolve into an unpleasant experience.
But here’s the kicker: it all comes down to how you brace for and tackle the waves in order to avoid any threat. So, when taking a boat ride, please use caution. Examine the weather forecast to ensure that the riders are aware of their duties while on board. Be sure you have functioning PFDs (also known as life jackets) on board in case things get sticky.
A pontoon boat, on the other hand, might be a perfect investment. So, keep your wits about you and have a good time pontooning.