pontoon boats

Remember Grandpa’s pontoon boat: two tubes topped with plywood, pushed around by a balky, smoke-belching outboard? Well, pontoon boats today pull skiers, wakeboarders and tubers. They count passengers into the double digits. They can blow your hat off your head — and pivot on the proverbial dime to retrieve it before it sinks.

Many pontoon boats are still two-tube watercraft, but now those tubes are sleek and bear lifting strakes and keels. A small outboard engine will move one pleasantly. Many manufacturers add a third pontoon, producing speedsters that handle like V-hull boats. As pontoon boat size and sophistication has increased, so have power options, which now include large and/or multiple outboard engines or sterndrive power plants. Up top, the state-of-the-art amenities include posh seating, moveable tables, wet bars, serious stereos, and even underwater and mood lighting — a living room that can hit more than 50 mph!

Yeah, Grandpa would be stunned.

Quick Stats

  • freshwater fishing
  • watersports
  • day cruising
  • 25 Max
  • 16 - 30 ft
  • outboard engine
  • sterndrive engine
  • trailerable