Whether looking for a great way to float the river, or a fun activity for some summer lake life, a pontoon boat is a popular option and a classic recreational pastime. In fact, in September of 2020, pontoon boats attributed to approximately 71% of new powerboat sales, according to the NMMA. However, there are both pros and cons when it comes to using a pontoon boat.

First, here are some of the top advantages to pontoons.


1. Excellent choice for families with children.

The most obvious reason attributing to this plus of pontoons boats is the space. Whether it’s sliding down the slide (assuming the pontoon boat has one), fishing, playing cards or games at the table, or sharing a pizza together, there is more than enough room for families to enjoy fun activities together.

2. Durability.

Because of the way they are built, pontoon boats are some of the most durable types of water crafts out there. Many types of boats will tear or shred when bottoming out in shallow water, but because pontoons are built with high grade aluminum, they are most likely to dent instead. This makes for cheaper and easier repairs if damaged.

3. Comfort.

Pontoon boats are known for being incredibly comfortable. There is plenty of space and seating, so there’s no claustrophobia with large groups. Not only that, but pontoons make for a much smoother ride than most boats.


1. Speed.

If someone is looking for speed and adrenaline, a pontoon boat is not the choice. The only “fast” pontoon boats are very expensive and very rare. Typically, 18-30 mph tends to be the most common top speeds of pontoons. Pontoons are generally designed for recreation and relaxation, not for speed or water sport.

2. Not designed for overnight stay.

Pontoon boats do not include a cabin or indoor area. There are accessories available to provide overhead shelter from rain, but there is yet to be one made that proves overnight-worthy. Besides this, there are no bathrooms or kitchens on pontoon boats, so they are typically best used for a day on the water.

3. Not safe during heavy storms.

As already stated, there is no shelter on a pontoon boat, leaving passengers exposed to the elements such as lighting, hail, and strong winds. Not only this, but because of the way they are built, pontoons can capsize very easily if winds cause waves to pick up too much.