Pontoon boats are excellent options when you want a boat that offers a flatter surface and more room to gather friends and family. Before you make a decision on your boat, here are some things to consider.
Where will you be using the boat?
The reason this is an important question to ask yourself is because the size of the pontoon boat's deck doesn't just determine how much room there is for friends when you are going out in the boat. This can actually tell you how well it will handle different types of water. For example, the smaller pontoon boats are good for calm bodies of water, like lakes and lagoons, while the largest pontoon boats are necessary for rough waters, such as the ocean. The medium sizes are good for bodies of water that don't have big waves.
What amenities are you hoping to have?
When looking at the cost of the pontoon boat, there will be a lot of variables to consider. Don't just choose one that happens to be the cheapest you have found, but really look at the extra features it provides you. Some of the more expensive boats might not be worth the amenities, while you may be willing to spend a little more for certain features. For example, if the boat is going to be used for fishing, you want one with at least a few chairs near to the front deck, and preferably a fish locator. If you want to use it for casual boating with friends, then look for things like extra seating, easy access to the water if you like water sports, and a toilet if you don't mind spending a little more.
Do you know how to inspect the boat?
If you are new to buying a pontoon boat, you should bring along someone who knows what to look for during the inspection process. Both new and used boats should be inspected properly, but especially when you are buying a used boat. They need to be able to look at the engine, furniture, deck, bilges, and various instruments on the boat. If you don't know how to check for body damage or an oil leak, definitely consider bringing a boat mechanic with you.
Does it handle well?
Another thing to check before purchasing a boat is how it drives. The test drive is another thing to do with both new and used pontoon boats. Spend at least a few minutes on the water getting a feel for the boat, including speeding up, slowing down, and taking turns. This can tell you a lot about the condition of the boat, as well as how you personally feel driving it.
Make sure you also have a proper water deck where the boat can be placed when not in use. There is a special type of pontoon deck that will work perfect for this type of boat.