Buying a Pontoon Boat or a Deck Boat?
By: Discover Boating
So, you want a versatile boat that handles easily, features plenty of seating and storage, and is designed to be able to bring along a big crew? Sounds like you may have already narrowed down your choices to two choices that are among the fastest-growing segments in the entire boating industry: pontoons and deck boats. Since the very first aluminum pontoon was introduced in 1958 at the Chicago World’s Fair (it was a Sanpan), boaters have been drawn to their unapologetically simple design, ease of use and the no-frills ability to get lots of folks aboard to get the party started. Back in those days, you broke out the folding lawn chairs, fired up the charcoal grill, and slowly putt-putted your tiny outboard to the nearest cove of like-minded revelers.
Similarly, the deck boat concept really started in 1974 when a company called Hurricane started building a fiberglass V-style hull to add better performance and handling, but still retain the a pontoon-style topside and wide-open floor plan that people loved so much about pontoons. It was so popular, in fact, that the first deck boat (called FunDeck) has been in constant production ever since. But my, how times have changed. These two boat types have come a long way and have been refined to the point that they really stack up against any other powerboat style. And today, they really go head-to-head when families are in the market for a new boat. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each.
This is perhaps the most subjective part of comparing pontoons and deck boats, and it all comes down to your personal tastes and what turns your head. Today’s pontoons are tricked out with coordinated graphics, a choice of rail skin colors, high-quality vinyl seats, and tough and attractive marine-grade carpet. But since every inch of a pontoon is built for maximum seating and storage, some folks find them a little utilitarian. Today’s deck boats are designed similarly to other fiberglass runabouts, but with the bow section carried as far forward as possible to accommodate more folks in the forward seating area. You’ll see coordinated upholstery accents, bimini tops and carpet, and the exterior graphics tend to be a little bolder. Many deck boats also have integrated wake tower options, which adds a distinct watersports profile.
With a fiberglass, V-style hull, you typically would compare the handling of a deck boat to a similarly sized open-bow boat. Look for a stable ride at all speeds, little or no bowrise, and superior turning at higher speeds. The option of outboard or I/O propulsion is a big plus for deck boats as well, depending on your needs. Even with a full load, pontoon boats (by design) are going to plane easily with less horsepower than a deck boat. Sharp turns are helped by the addition of hydraulic steering systems, but you will still cut a wider swath in a pontoon, unless you choose a performance model with triple (center) tube system, which provides extra buoyancy and stability.
Both styles of boats truly shine when it comes to the ability to do a lot of different things on the water. Fishing, watersports, cruising, camping, entertaining, etc. are all right in the wheelhouse of pontoons and deck boats. In fact, depending on your family’s needs, there are all sorts of different packages to dial in your preferred activities, such as rod holders, tackle storage and livewells for more hardcore anglers. If you’re like most folks considering one of these boats, though, you will find that the basic features will serve you well, and allow you to fish in the morning, pull the kids on tubes in the afternoon, and finish the day with a beautiful sunset cruise.
Ease Of Operation
In the world of trailer boating, you really can’t get much easier than pontoons and deck boats. With their stable platforms both are fairly easy to master when it comes to everything from launching and retrieving to cruising out on the water. Look for a raised helm or a captain’s seat that features a fold-up bolster to increase visibility. Pull-up cleats conveniently installed around the deck will make it a cinch to pull up and dock from any angle. Make sure you’ve got docking lights for bringing the boat in safely in the evening, and an all-off master switch to make sure you don’t run down your battery when you leave the boat.
For more info on the two, visit our Boat Selector Tool page.
4 Must Haves When Entertaining on a Pontoon Boat!
There are plenty of things to do out on the water, like fishing, sitting quietly, waiting for a good nibble, but what if you’re an Entertainer? What if your family and friends aren’t into fishing? What if you’re bringing people out on your boat or pontoon boatwho just want to have a blast?
Here are a few things to bring when entertaining on a pontoon boat that are guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser:
Everyone loves to eat. Always be sure to have tons of finger food handy to keep your guests happy. Some easy to prepare and transport boat foods are:
- A bowl of chips
- A canister of popcorn (try the Chicago Mix! Guaranteed crowd pleaser)
- Fruit and/or veggie tray
- Hummus and pita bread
- Guacamole and veggies
- Crackers and cheese
Most boats are equipped with a radio or USB port for your phone or music playing device. Nothing livens up a mood like good music. Music tastes vary, but here is a list of top 10 “Boating Songs”:
- “Redneck Yacht Club” - Craig Morgan
- “Come Sail Away” - Styx
- “Don’t Stop Believin” - Journey
- “Pontoon” - Little Big Town
- “Rock the Boat” - Hues Corporation
- “Toes” - Zac Brown Band
- “Copacabana” - Barry Manilow
- “Boats” - Kenny Chesney
- “It’s Five o’Clock Somewhere” - Alan Jackson feat. Jimmy Buffet
- “Kokomo” - Beach Boys
There are plenty of games to play on your boat, some involving game pieces and some not. Some obvious suggestions are things like 20 questions, eye spy and charades. For an interesting challenge, though, here are a few board and card games that are easily played on a boat:
- Cards - go fish, crazy 8s, rummy, Euchre, Hearts
- Card Games - Love Letter, Hypertheticals, Snake Oil, Mad Gab, Taboo, Super Fight, Apples to Apples, Dixit, Exploding Kittens, Fluxx, Munchkin, Uno, Codenames
- Board Games - Trivial Pursuit, Headbanz, The Game of Things, Scattegories, Pictionary, Telestrations, Bang!, Boggle, Concept, Cribbage, Roll for it, Sherrif of Nottingham, Yahtzee
4. Good conversation
You’re with friends afterall! Pick a topic and see where it takes you. Here are some suggestions:
- Your first concert
- The best part of your home town
- Famous people you’ve met
- Your favourite book
- The best restaurant in the city
- The farthest place you’ve driven
- Your next out of country adventure
These are just a few tips and suggestions, but hey, it’s your boat! You do whatever you think will make the best day on the water for you and your party! Happy boating!
PONTOON BOAT ACCESSORIES MAKE BOATING MORE FUN
So now you have a pontoon boat. What next? Pontoon Boat Accessories! No matter what you are using your boat for, accessories are necessities. Let’s break it down.
First things first. Pontoon boat covers. You just paid a good price for your boat, you don’t want it to get ruined by the natural elements do you? Let’s say you don’t have a boat cover, when it rains, your boat gets wet and soggy. The sun beats down on your seats, tables, grilles, etc. causing fading and making your pontoon seat material brittle over time. Wind blows leaves, twigs, branches, berries, plant seeds and anything else you can think of, then when it gets wet from the rain, those things will stain the interior of your pontoon boat. Lastly rodents will get into all your stuff and start chewing on the fabric, plastic and wires causing even more serious damage. If you don’t protect your boat it will be in very poor and ugly condition within 2 years.
You probably spent upwards of $13,000 or more for that pontoon boat. If you pay that much, it just makes sense to take care of it. Buy a pontoon boat cover and be done with it.
Now on to fun fun stuff!
Pontoon Boat Seats are by far the most important accessory. I like nothing more than lounging around in comfort at any place on the boat. Plus they have swivel seats for the front of the boat so you can sit and fish in comfort and style. Add a trolling motor with a foot pedal and you’ve got it made! My dad bought an add-on to the swivel post for my mom that actually holds an umbrella over her head so she can be in the shade! Talk about spoiled.
If you are going to hold boat parties, which you will, you’ll need plenty of seating. That’s why pontoons are nicknamed “party boats”. Seating is prime, but think if you had some tables with built in cup holders right next to them. Now your on your way to being the pontoon boat that everyone wants to party on!
It doesn’t stop there, oh no. Add a barbecue grill on your pontoon and see your friends come out of the woodwork to stuff there faces full of great and beverages of their choice!
The list of pontoon boat accessories goes on and on. All of which will make you boating much more fun. if you want to check out more of my take on accessories, feel free to visit my blog. I go into more detail and much more funny stories there! Happy boating!
Source by Jason Nightingale
PONTOON BOAT MAINTENANCE TIPS | PONTOON DEPOT
By: Cypress Cay Pontoons
Your pontoon, much like your car or house, is an investment that you can have for years to come with the proper maintenance. To that end there are some very simple steps you can take to keep it in the best shape possible.
WASH YOUR PONTOON
A basic and frequently overlooked step for keeping your pontoon in shape is to wash the exterior on a regular basis. You don’t really need any specialty soaps either; the soap you would wash your car with will work.
To keep your pontoon furniture looking new, there are some basic maintenance steps you can take. You’ll want to do a bi-yearly deep cleaning and fairly frequent cleaning of the surface material which we will discuss below.
1) Keep your furniture and flooring as dry as possible by wiping down seats and opening hatches when the boat isn’t in use. Allowing things to dry out prior to covering your pontoon will help to reduce the opportunity for mold and mildew to thrive.
2) To keep your aluminum panels from streaking be sure to rinse them off with water and a mild detergent on occasion, erasers sponges work as well (always test them in a small corner to make sure they aren’t going to cause any damage to the panel). Always make sure to completely dry the aluminum off when finished cleaning.
3) A mild soap and water solution is all you’ll need for your normal cleaning of the high quality marine-grade vinyl used on Cypress Cay pontoons. Any stubborn stains might require use of a nylon brush or marine vinyl cleaner. You’ll want to test the cleaner in a small inconspicuous location before attempting to clean the entire piece.
4) When it comes to cleaning and maintaining your vinyl furniture, always refer to the Owner’s Manual.
MAINTAIN YOUR ENGINE
Let’s face it, without the engine, you have a rowboat! You definitely want to have the engine running like the day you bought it, especially when you’re out on the lake. There are a few simple steps that can be taken to make sure your engine remains in tip-top shape. They are detailed in your Engine’s Owner’s Manual in the Maintenance and Care section.
Keep in mind that your pontoon, much like your car, has a lot of moving parts and those parts need to be maintained.
These are just the basic steps for keeping your pontoon looking like it’s straight off the show floor. Keep in mind there are extra steps you’ll want to take to winterize your boat and also when getting it ready for its spring re-launch every year. You can find information about this and so much more in your Owner’s Manual or by visiting cypresscaypontoons.com.