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How Much Do Pontoon Boats Cost

How much do pontoon boats cost?  Well, the price is really up to you.  Just like anything you purchase, as you add options, the price increases.  The thing with pontoon boats is that you can add a ton of options on a poor quality boat that doesn’t last.  Before you purchase, you want to know the quality of the pontoon boat you are looking for.

There are a ton of pontoon manufactures and each sales person has their own “pitch” as to why their product is better. Here are the areas you need to evaluate during your search…

Pontoon Boat Durability and Construction:

Below the Deck

Pontoon Boat Tubes

When it comes to the durability of a pontoon, what you don’t see on the boat dealers showroom floor might be the most important.  Boat pricing, comfort and safety are all affected by the under deck construction.  As a shopper, you want to look at the construction of the nose cones.  Make sure they stick out past your deck and are thick enough to withstand an impact.  Second, you will want to make sure that the pontoon boat is protected with thick rear end caps.  A huge component that increases the quality of your ride is splash guards.  Single splash guards are great and can offer a better ride quality and almost zero spray.  Of course if you want to almost guarantee a dry comfortable ride then adding a double spray guard is a great option.

On the Deck

Pontoon Boat Deck

Don’t fall into the “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” trap with pontoon boats.  Many times since we do not see the cross members or “M” brackets they don’t enter into our buying decision.  You certainly want to inquire about the quality and thickness of the below deck construction on the boat you are looking at.  The quality that is placed in these components are going to enhance a boat’s ride, handling, longevity and safety.

Above the Deck

Pontoon Boat Fence Panels

Fence panels and rails are another huge component of a quality built pontoon boat and definitely impacts how much pontoon boats cost.  You want to look for rail corners that are 90 degrees for maximum strength and choose rails that are powder coated.  A heavily used item on all pontoon boats are the doors.  While shopping for your perfect pontoon boat you are going to want to pay particular attention to the type, length and quality of door hinges as well as the lift and lock safety stops.

Craftsmanship of a Pontoon Boat: 

Upholstery

Next to the floor, your upholstery is the most used or touched item in a pontoon boat.  You want to find a manufacturer that uses marine grade vinyl at a weight that is sufficient for pontoon boats.  When using the correct materials, manufactures enhance the strength and stretch of your furniture which reduces tear potential.  Next, you are going to want furniture that has a stain protectant already applied.  Finally, rub your hand across the vinyl…you are looking for a soft comfortable feel.

Seatbases

Have you ever wondered why most pontoon boats seats look the same?  It is because they are!  Many pontoon boat manufactures purchase the same seat bases from the exact same suppliers.  The quality of seat bases directly effects the cost of pontoon boats.  If you have the choice, find a manufacturer that builds their own seats.  You’ll get higher quality and a fresh, unique look.

Floor

The flooring on a pontoon boat takes a beating.  You are going to want to invest in your floor material when purchasing a new pontoon boat.  It is very worthwhile increasing the cost of a pontoon boat to ensure quality flooring.  Look for a boat with maintenance free synthetic materials.  A poly vinyl or a woven vinyl covering can be very attractive while being mold and mildew free.

Pontoon Performance Options:

Pontoon Boat Performance

The higher performance and the more options you add the more a pontoon boat cost.  It is very visible to see the price difference in a two tube pontoon vs tri-toon, but many times the performance items are not that obvious and can affect the price of a pontoon boat.

Underskin

If you a looking to tweak the performance of your pontoon boat you can choose an aluminum underskin.  Many times people believe that the underskin is to protect the plywood deck.  However, the underskin is designed to reduce friction from splashing water while under way.  This underskin should be solidly attached to the cross members.

Spray Shields

Reduced or eliminated spray is worth every penny invested on pontoon splash guards.  Many high performance options allow for two splash guards, an upper shield and lower shield.  Typically you will find a large upper shield as the primary and the lower shields will be found on the higher end performance packages.

Nose Cone Protector

These items are basically extensions of a keel.  However, if you are to impact something with a pontoon the probability is that it will be hit with the nose cone.  This item does not necessarily enhance performance, but it certainly does protect your pontoons in the event there is something floating in the water or you clip a stationary object.

Solid Keel

A keel is going to help your pontoon boat while turning as well as offer protection to your tubes.  You want to look for a phrase when purchasing a pontoon boat, “solid extruded keel.”  This may sound like a small item and an easy place to trim cost of a pontoon boat, however you want to find a boat that does offer this option.

Lifting Strakes

This is the bread and butter of performance pontoon boats.  Having lifting strakes is going to get your boat up, out of the water and now offer a planing boat.  When shopping for a boat, specifically with a performance package, you want to find lifting strakes that run the full length between nose cone and end cap.  If you want to jump into even higher performance you could opt for a combination of lifting strakes and beefy center lifting pads.  This gets you on plane quicker and allows for you to ride higher on the water.

Power Options

With so many power options available these days you will need to decide what brand, how much horse power and in some cases how many.  Since this is not an article about outboard motors, we’ll keep this section short and if you want to learn more you can read about Yamaha Outboards by clicking here.

Electronics:

Audio

Pontoon boat stereo systems start very basic and can rival the systems at a small concert.  The more speakers and high performance amplifiers the better, right?  When choosing an audio system this is going to be personal preference.  Just make sure your components, wiring and connections can handle the marine environment.  A great feature on a pontoon boat audio system is the ability to control your radio via bluetooth directly from a smartphone.  One of the top providers of premium marine audio is Fusion.

GPS – Fishfinder – Depthfinder

If fishing from a pontoon boat is your thing you can dial up a killer electronics package.  Should you just want to make sure you are safely navigating from point A to point B a more simple approach might be more appropriate.  Either way, choosing the correct electronics is very simple.  All you need to do is evaluate your needs and then select a reputable brand that offers what you are looking for.  Many of the pontoon boat manufactures have deals in place with electronics providers so your needs can be addressed.

As you can see when you are investing in a pontoon boat there are many factors that affect the cost.  At the end of the day, how you plan on using the boat and how often you plan on using the boat are major points when deciding how much your new pontoon boat should cost.  I hope this helps answer the question – How Much Do Pontoon Boats Cost.

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