Our family bought a pontoon boat last summer. Being the traveling family we are and being unable to travel as much last year, I was itching for something we could use to get out on the water and enjoy the summer before it was too late, so I convinced hubby that I needed a pontoon boat. Before I share which pontoon boat brand we purchased, let’s talk about the 8 Best Pontoon Boats on the market in 2021.
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What Is A Pontoon Boat?
Pontoon boats are easy to recognize with their large, flat appearance and pontoons(tubes) that keep them buoyant on water. The pontoon or aluminum tubes on these boats allow designers to create different deck plans with all sorts of features and accommodations like lounge areas, stand-up bars, and sun pads.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Pontoon boat?
Take a look at the following advantages and disadvantages of pontoon boats to know if it is the perfect watercraft for you.
Advantages of Pontoon Boats
- Pontoon boats are versatile and can be used for all sorts of activities like fishing, tubing, skiing, and wakeboarding. They can also accommodate on-deck parties and perfect places for simple bonding with the family.
- Pontoon boats have spaces enough to comfortably fit quite a number of people. There is a large seating capacity and has enough room for people to walk around.
- Features and amenities that come with pontoon boats make them super comfortable
- Pontoon Boats are safe and family-friendly.
- The design of pontoon boats allows them to glide over the water smoothly.
- They are easy to clean and maintain
Disadvantages of Pontoon Boats
- It is not fit for intense water sports
- Pontoon boats are not very fast due to their overall structure and design
- They do not perform well on rough water
- Pontoon boats have a wide turn radius and are a bit harder to maneuver, especially in tight spots.
- Due to their structure, they are easily affected by the wind making it hard to maneuver on windy days.
Tritoon Vs. Pontoon
There is a wide range of pontoon boats that cater to all sorts of needs and boating styles.
Let’s discuss the difference between a Tritoon and a Pontoon, and see what fits you best.
- Pontoons come with 2 fixed aluminum tubes, while tritoon, as the name suggests, comes with 3 aluminum cylinders.
- Both are perfect for relaxed and laid-back trips across the water.
- Tritoons offer greater horsepower and distribute weight more evenly on the water as compared to pontoons.
- Due to the 3rd tube, tritoons are more difficult to navigate/ steer on small spaces and tighter corners or docking.
- Tritoons can be a better option for the ocean and other challenging waters which a pontoon can’t possibly handle.
- Tritoons can cost a greater amount of money compared to pontoons.
- Tritoons require larger trailers to transport and require larger storage space.
Can A Pontoon Boat Capsize?
Because of their structure and design, the chance of pontoon boats capsizing is pretty slim, and reported cases are uncommon. The two hulls underneath a pontoon boat allow it to sit on the water more stable. And one thing to remember is that pontoon boats are designed to be maneuvered on calm waters like lakes and rivers. You should not use pontoons on the ocean where the waves and wakes tend to be stronger.
What Is The Best Pontoon Boat On The Market?
In recent years, pontoon boats have been a popular option among boating enthusiasts, and with increased demand came increase features. Here are our top picks for the best pontoon boats on the market in 2021.
Princecraft Brio E17
The Princecraft Brio E17 is a 17’-1’’ electric pontoon that runs on a Torqeedo electric engine. The Brio is comparatively smaller and lightweight than the regular pontoon boat and can accommodate up to 5 people. This fun watercraft is just perfect for places where gas-powered engines are not allowed making it one of the best eco-friendly pontoons on the market.
- Overall length: 5.2 m (17’-1”)
- Deck length : 4.9 m (16′-1″)
- Beam : 2.3 m (7′-6″)
- Pontoon length: 5.0 m (16’-3”)
- Pontoon diameter: 0.58 m (23”)
- Made from marine-grade aluminum alloy
- Electric engine pod
- 1 1/4″ anodized aluminum rails
- Sealed pontoon bulkheads with top-mounted air plug (23″)
See full features and specs at Princecraft
- Eco friendly
- Lightweight and compact
- Quiet engine
- Plenty storage space
- Not as fast as the gas-powered pontoon boats
Crestliner 240 Rally DX
For those who are looking for pontoon boats that can accommodate a large crew, the Crestliner 240 Rally DX might just be the one you’re searching for. This spacious boat can comfortably accommodate up to 14 people and enjoy the luxurious features that come along with it. The 240 Rally DX is a 7.85 meters self-propelled pontoon and has a CE certification class © which allows it to journey along coastlines, rivers, and canals.
- Length : 25’9″
- Beam: 8’6″
- Draft : 1’0″
- Deadweight: 1.5t
- Fuel capacity: 140L
- Aluminum Hull
- Standard with pillow top furniture
- Reclining helm chair
- Removable table with cup holders
Complete Specs and Features at Crestliner
- Can accommodate up to 14 people
- Top grade furniture and fixtures
- Durable materials
- Sturdy construction
- CE certification class ©
- Quite expensive
Suncatcher Amara by G3
Consisting of high-quality features and delivering top performance, you’ll find that the Suncatcher Amara by G3 is definitely worth the money. G3 Pontoons are certified by NMMA( National Marine Manufacturers Association) which ensures that they meet the industry safety and construction standards and federal regulation. Unlike other pontoon boats its fuel tank is centrally located making it more stable on the water. Perhaps on of its best feature is its Yamaha engine motor which is set to deliver the ultimate performance for a smooth and fun ride through the water.
- Dry Weight: 3610
- Package Weight: 6030
- The width on Trailer : 102″
- Boat Length : 27′ 5″
- Fuel Capacity: 59
- Person Capacity: 12
- Wrap-Around Lounge Seating with Under Seat Storage
- Tilt Steering
- 3 Jumbo 23″x25″ Performance Logs w/ Closed Cell Flotation Foam
- Simrad® electronics
- Kicker® 8-speaker marine entertainment system with subwoofer
- Elevated Helm Platform
Full Specs and Features at Suncatcher
- Durable construction designed to last for several years
- High-quality features
- Large enough to accommodate up to 12 person
- Impressive Yamaha Engine
- Certified by NMMA which make them one of the safest pontoon boats on the market
- Some models lack under skinning which makes the boat prone to developing mold especially on humid environment
Bennington S21 L Bench
The Bennington S21 L Bench is the perfect companion for a simple day out on the water with family and friends. Built with excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail you’ll be of its quality performance and safety throughout your ride. Featuring an L- shaped bench floor plan, it provides flexible seating with large amounts or under storage and easy boat access. Furniture is built with world-class yacht grade Simtex soft-touch premium vinyl for a lifetime of comfort.
The Bennington S series, L-Bench come in 13 different floor plans to fit your specific needs and preferences.
- Overall length: 21′ 11.5″
- Pontoon Length: 20′ 4″
- Deck Length: 20′ 6″
- Beam: 8′ 6″
- Pontoon Diameter: 25
- Fuel Capacity: 21.4
- 25″ Pontoons
- 6″ Stainless Steel Cleats
- 24 Gallon Fuel Tank, 21.4 Gallon Usable Capacity
- 3 Chaise Lounges
- Sun Pad Lounge with Storage Compartment
- Transom Fuel Tank
- (NEW) Two-Tone Vinyl Furniture
- Simtex Vinyl Upholstery
Full Specs and Features at Bennington
- Can Fit up to 12 person
- Large storage capacity
- Easy boat access
- Value for money
- Top-quality furniture
- Pretty loud engine
Avalon Excalibur Elite
The Avalon Excalibur comes in a very modern and fully functional design which is a literal pontoon art by itself. Elevate your boating experience with its ultra-premium and sophisticated features like its sleekly designed tapered walls and brilliant two-tone colors. You can even choose among its 3 different layouts which are equally incredible both on their exterior and interior features.
- Boat Length Overall: 26′ 6″
- Deck Length: 25′ 3″
- Pontoon Diameter: 27″ x 3
- Width: 8.5′
- Dry Weight: 4,600
- Person Capacity: 14
- Waveglider Triple 27″ Pontoons
- Dual Commander Fiberglass Helmstands with Full Windshield
- GX solid welded aluminum painted walls with Fore & Aft built-in Sport Dock Lights
- Top Bimini with Heavy Duty Black aluminum D Frame
- Touchscreen Dash with detailed information Center, light controls, & High Power Stereo
Full Specifications and features at Avalon Pontoons
- Can fit comfortably up to 14 person
- Sleek and modern design
- Quite fast for a pontoon boat
- Ultra-premium features
- High quality materials and construction
- A bit pricey compared to other pontoon boats on the list
M3 CRS Sylvan
Complete with awesome features and amenities, the M3 CRS Sylvan is one of the best pontoon boats on the market this 2021. This pontoon boat is clearly built to entertain its passengers from its super comfortable twin bow lounge seats to the twin stereo speakers in the seat bases which produces excellent sound quality for everyone to enjoy. And you need not worry about storage space because this boat is far from lacking.
- Max Persons: 12 / 1690 lbs
- Beam: 102 in
- Dry Weight: 3570 lbs
- Interior Depth: 27 in
- Fuel Capacity: 60 gal
- Length: 25’8″
- Tube Diameter: 25 in
- 25″ Diameter Aluminum Pontoon Tubes
- All Aluminum Transom with Lifetime Warranty
- Rotocast Furniture Bases
- Reclining High Back Helm Chair that Slides & Swivels
- Kicker KMC 20 AM/FM Stereo
Full specifications and features at Sylvan Marine
- Smart design
- Full packed features
- Perfect for fishing and different watersports
- Comfortable and luxury features
- Comes with entertainment features
- Do not do well on rough waters
Manitou 23 Legacy SHP
The Manitou 23 Legacy SHP is popular for its high-end features and performance. Complete with luxury amenities to keep you comfortable and entertained throughout your ride. You’ll instantly feel at home with its classic layout and color scheme, plus it offers plenty of storage space for your things and boating accessories. One thing to praise about this pontoon is its powerful engine that allows the boat to go faster and faster as you sail through the water. And with its power assist steering, you’ll feel secured and in control throughout.
- LOA: 24′ 4″
- Beam: 8’ 6”
- Hull Design: V-Toon
- Dry Weight: 3,125 lbs.
- Fuel Capacity: 54 Gallons
- Person Capacity: 11
- Two bow chaise lounges
- Double wide sundeck
- Automotive-style console
- Built-in GPS
- Power steering
- two 23-inch diameter pontoons
- Raised Helm
Full Specifications and Features at Manitou
- Great performance Hull
- Powerful engine
- Comfortable and high-end features
- Lots of storage space
- Power assist steering
- Speed is not bad
- Less person capacity than other pontoon boats on the list
Premier Marine Sunsation RL
Last but definitely not least is the best-selling Premier Marine Sunsation RL. The Sunsation is a highly adaptable and flexible pontoon that can fit whatever type of boating style you prefer. This model is available in 5 extremely popular layouts with overall lengths ranging from 21′ 4″ up to 26′ 4″.
It is equipped with a PTX hull technology that provides impressive maneuverability, responsiveness, turning radius, fuel efficiency, and comfort throughout your ride. You can even bring the entire family with you because the large units offer a whopping 18 maximum seating capacity, that’s the largest on this list!
- LOA: 21′ 4″ – to 26′ 4″ (depends on the unit)
- Width: 8′ 6″
- Max HP: 350
- Dry Weight (LBS): 2,050- 3,300 (depends on the unit)
- 25″ .090″ tubes
- .100″ nose cones
- Polished aluminum corner casting with dock and navigation lights
- Standard gunnel
- Signature soft-touch furniture
- Telescoping ladder
- Cup holders on couch
Full specifications and features at Premier Marine
- 18 seating capacity
- Available in different layouts
- Easy to maneuver
- Fuel efficient
- More stable weather planing or not.
- Powerful engine
- Ultrafabric interiors
- Some owners say that it takes too much time to deal with Premier regarding their boat’s warranty.
We chose the Premier Sunsation for the horsepower and the flexibility in seating. The kids loved the rear seating which can be lowered to make a bed. No matter which pontoon boat you choose, I’m sure you’re family will love the adventure on the water as much as we have.
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