Discover Boating | Buying A Pontoon Boat | Pontoon-Depot!!
By: Discover Boating
The pontoon boat has undergone quite an evolution in the past few decades, and what was once a simple boxy floating platform is now a luxury-laden pleasure-boat that can offer everything from a relaxing day on the lake to invigorating thrill rides. If you haven’t been on a modern pontoon you’ve got to step aboard one to believe just how amazingly advanced—and comfortable—the best pontoon boats have become.
Activities You'll Most Enjoy
Pontoon boats are loved in all corners of the nation because they can be used for so many different activities: watersports, swimming, day cruising, and of course just lounging about. There are fishing pontoon boats, performance pontoons with big outboard engines that will have you blasting across the lake or bay with the wind whipping in your hair, and luxury-oriented pontoons equipped with everything from a blender to a bathroom. There are big pontoon boats and small pontoon boats, you can get a pontoon trailer and explore far-flung waterways, and in all of these cases the options for what to do on your pontoon are essentially unlimited.
Perfect fishing platform
In some areas, you’ll discover that there are more fishing pontoon boats than other types of fishing boats. The reason why is simple: they are amazingly stable and comfortable, they hold large numbers of people, and they make an ideal fishing platform. Added bonus: modern fishing pontoon boats have all the angling accessories you need built right in, ranging from rod holders to aerated livewells to tackle boxes.
Used for skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding
If watersports are your thing, today’s pontoons won’t let you down. The best pontoon boats for skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding have tow-bits, storage lockers large enough to hold water skis or knee-boards, and swim platforms with large, stable ladders for climbing on and off the boat. They also have plenty of power and can give the kids a safe but spectacular thrill-ride. Even small pontoon boats usually have all the basics you need to enjoy watersports on some level.
”Party barge” to entertain family and friends
There’s a reason pontoon boats are often called party barges, and it’s quite simple: with oodles of deck space, excellent stability, and variable furniture arrangements, you can have a pontoon that’s just as ideal for relaxing as a lake-side patio. The one difference—and what makes a pontoon boat even better—is that you’re afloat instead of on land, and you can take the party wherever you’d like.
Pontoon Boat Brands
Explore brands to find more information on models and pricing.
Pontoon Boat Ownership Costs
Buying a modern pontoon boat can be just as expensive or as economical as you’d like, and there are pontoon boat prices that fit every budget. There are even some mini pontoon boats that cost far less than the most affordable new cars. When you research out the ownership cost of a specific pontoon boat, an important factor to figure in is storage or mooring costs, if you can’t keep it on a pontoon trailer at your house. Visit our Boat Loan Calculator to learn more about what fits with your budget.
You’re not likely to encounter maintenance costs on a new pontoon boat for several years, beyond basic care items like cleaning supplies. Its engine, however, will have a regular required maintenance plan. These vary from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer so to figure out just how much you’ll spend on items like oil and filter changes, you should refer to the manufacturer recommendations. Note that most pontoon boats on the market today and the engines that power them carry substantial warranties that should protect you from unexpected maintenance costs for years to come.
The main operational cost for a pontoon is fuel. Just how much you burn will depend on the size of the boat and engine, how often you use it, and how far you run it. You may also want to plan in insurance costs (see Insuring Your Boat for more information.
Of all the different boat types out there, pontoons have seen some of the biggest technological advancements in recent years. Today many boast touch-screens at the helm, and seats with space-age fabrics that are resistant to UV light, mold and mildew, and staining.
As pontoons have become more advanced they’ve also become better-equipped. You can find models with rather extreme stereo systems, fully-equipped wet bars, and even things like automatic sunshades that rise at the press of a button. In fact, if you look at the list of optional features on a high-end pontoon you’ll see that often goes on for pages and pages.
See What’s New In The Harbor - KSK Marine | 2019 MISTY TOUR
There is nothing better than an epic road trip, and we are starting the ULTIMATE trek this year across the USA! We’ll be checking out local waters and seeing what our Misty’s can do! Join our host Mekayla Eppers (Mrs. America, 2018) as she shows what it means to truly live the #MistyLife!
Our second stop on the Misty Tour is to Clearwater, Florida to our dealer KSK Marine. We’ll be doing some SCUBA diving off a Misty along with some fishing!.
Boating in the Winter Months | Pontoon-Depot
By: My Boat Life
If you are lucky enough to live in a warmer climate, boating in the winter is a common practice. But in more northern areas where boating is typically 6-8 months out of the year, there are few boaters that boat in the winter months. The ultimate boating die-hard is the boater that keeps their boat in the water year round – and may even be a live aboard!
Depending on your geographic area, boating in the winter months may not actually be “boating”. Keeping your boat in the water during the winter means docking at a marina that will provide protection from water freezing around your boat and will continue basic services for slip holders in the off season.
In northern areas, there are a lot of challenges associated with keeping your boat in the water during the winter. First, you’ll need to locate a marina that offers winter docking. Then you’ll want to make sure the marina offers bubblers and de-icers at the dock as well as snow removal on docks. Also make sure that they provide mobile pump-out and water tank refilling service throughout the winter (since you will likely not be able to cruise over to the pump-out facility and running water will likely be shut-off on the dock). Heating and cooling systems may need to be winterized so you’ll need to heat your boat with portable space heaters.
In other warmer climates, keeping your boat in the water year round has many advantages. Basically there is no off season for boating. You never feel obligated to go to the boat every weekend because you have many more weekends available to boat. When the weather is not so great, you can skip a weekend. And then when the weather is particularly nice you can head to the boat and enjoy a winter cruise.
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Average Pontoon Boat Speeds (With 15 Examples)
When buying a pontoon boat, one of the major considerations is your top speed. Since pontoon boats are generally not built for speed, skiing and tubing behind one can be difficult unless you take care to select an engine, weight, and pontoon style that will be conducive to speeds required for skiing and tubing.
How Fast Do Pontoon Boats Go?I scoured the internet for guys who have reported their speeds on forums around the web. All speeds recorded with GPS, and except where listed, with a light to medium load.
- G3 Suncatcher 22′ V22RF with a 115hp engine and medium load can go about 25 mph (39 kilometers)
- 22mph (38 kilometers) with a 90hp engine and medium load
- With 11 people in the boat (max capacity) and a 115hp engine, it gets about 22 mph (35 kilometers)
- Under perfect, ideal conditions and only one person in the boat, it can hit 31 mph (48 kmph)
- 21′ with lifting strakes and a 90hp engine and perfect conditions gets 36 mph (58 kilometers)
- 18′ Bass Buggy with 60hp engine can go up to 18mph (29 kilometers)
- Suntracker 22′ with a 70hp engine can get 21 mph with a light load (34 kilometers)
- Gigantic 30′ Pontoon with a 115hp will only get around 15mph (24 kilometers)
- 24′ Pontoon boat with a 115hp and a medium load got around 25mph (38 kilometers)
- 18′ Party Barge with a 75hp engine can get around 24mph (38 kilometers)
- 20′ Bass Buggy with a 60hp motor only gets around 13-17 mph (18 to 27 kilometers)
- 20′ Starcraft with a 75hp engine and with no load can get 23 mph (36 kilometers)
- 26′ Crest III with a 90hp engine and medium load can get around 28mph (45 kilometers)
- 24′ 2006 Sweetwater with a 90hp engine can go around 18mph, or 20.5mph with a 115hp engine
- 26′ Tritoon with a 175hp engine and a medium/heavy load can get up to 35mph (56 kilometers)
- 21′ Tritoon with a 90hp engine and only two people on board can get up to 27mph (43 kilometers)
How Fast Do You Really Need to Go?
Your initial response is probably “the faster, the better” but in reality you likely don’t need to go as fast as you think. While speeds certainly vary according to the tastes and abilities of your riders, consider the following as good average speeds for various water sport activities.
- Waterskiing with two skis – 15 to 26mph is pretty normal (28 to 42 kilometers)
- Tubing with very young kids – My kids really don’t want to go faster than 5 to 10 mph (16kph). They are 4 and 6 years old. Most of the time, they feel like idling is a wild ride, but will sometimes get brave enough to hit 11mph.
- Tubing with kids 8 – 10 years old – Depends dramatically on the kid, but most wouldn’t want to go faster than 15 or 20 mph (24 to 32 kilometers).
- Tubing with older teens and adults – Above 25 mph (40 kilometers) is dangerous unless you’re just going in a straight line. At 20 (34 kilometers), you can get really nice air and have the ride of your life but even this speed can be dangerous with more than one rider. 21 mph is a pretty adventurous ride and will easily knock off riders if you make tight turns.
- Wakeboarding – 13mph to 18mph (30 kilometers) is a pretty average ride. Wakeboarding requires less speed than many other water sports, and going too fast increases the danger dramatically. The large, solid board strapped to both legs makes this water sport more dangerous at high speeds than some others.
- Slalom skiing – 14mph (22.5 kilometers) is a little slow and 36mph is HAULING (and extremely dangerous)! A good average speed is somewhere around 22mph (35 kilometers).
- Kneeboarding – Somewhere around 13 to 20 mph (22 to 32 kilometers)
- Barefoot – This blog gives a formula that is helpful for those in the U.S. Take your weight in pounds and divide by 10. Then add 20. So if you’re 200 pounds, you go to 20mph, then add 20, which means 40mph.
If you are new to boating, that is probably a little eye-opening. Before, you thought you needed as much speed as possible, but as you can see from this breakdown, the optimal speed for most watersports is only 22 mph (36 kilometers). Just about ANY pontoon boat with a 90hp motor can do that as long as it isn’t loaded down with people. With a 115, you should be hitting the optimal speed even if your boat is pretty well loaded down with people. For most pontoon boat captains, the real goal is to hit the golden 22 mph (36 kph) mark. At that point, your fishing/cruising rig becomes a nice watersports rig as well.
How Weight (Load) Affects Speed
Prepare yourself for a horrible generalization. This depends dramatically on the specific boat and the setup, but just as a guestimation aid, for every thousand pounds you add to your boat, you’ll lose about 15% of your speed. So a 22′ boat with no load may get up to 29mph, but will likely slow down to 24.5mph with 1,000 pounds of people in the boat (5 or 6 adults).
How the bimini Affects Speed
- One pontoon boat captain reported that folding down the bimini took his speed from 32mph all the way up to 36mph (51kilometers to 58 kilometers). In my experience, it’s usually much less of a difference than that unless it is an incredibly windy day. I usually only see a 1 mph difference with top up vs down.
How the Prop Affects Speed
- When you first get your boat, it will likely come with a “safe” prop that is meant to make the motor operate under nice and easy conditions. Almost everyone will switch out that prop and go with something a little smaller (usually) to get the speed up and push up the RPMs to around 5000 or 6000 depending on your recommended range for your particular motor.
How Dirty Pontoons Affect Speed
- It is not surprising to see a pontoon boat slow down 2 to 6mph if you have algae, barnacles, or other crud on your pontoons. For those pontoon boat captains who don’t trailer but leave their boat in the water most of the season, this is an important consideration.