What better way to spend a beautiful summer day than taking a pontoon boat with a second upper deck, and sliding down into the cool water below with your friends? There are various rental companies around the United States offering them for hire, as well as a small selection available on sale from certain manufacturers.

Double deckers are also known as funship pontoon boats, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a term adopted by the Avalon and Tahoe manufacturers, and I am going to go into a little detail below on their best models.

What is a funship pontoon boat?

A funship pontoon boat is a standard pontoon but with one key difference. They have a secondary upper deck which has a slide attached, letting passengers slide into the water, or sunbathe on the top deck.

Designed with fun in mind, they are very popular in the pontoon boat party scene as summer rentals for hire, with them also being able to buy is you are a private owner.

As well as an upper deck and slide, they also tend to come with additional accessories to help get the party started such as high-grade marine speaker systems, remote stereo controls, additional sun loungers, and coolers for keeping the drinks on ice.

The ones highlighted a little further down the page are the best-sellers in the market right now, all of which are ideal for cruising and sliding.

Double decker pontoon boat manufacturers

Ever wondered who makes double decker pontoon boats?

I’ve put a list of manufacturers below. If you scroll down, you can see photos of their best examples, with a short review of each boat.

  • Avalon Pontoons
  • Harris Boats
  • Tahoe Pontoon Boats
  • Solid Craft Boats

What does a double decker pontoon boat with slide look like?

Below you can see what I believe are the current best funship pontoon boats on the market. Each has a series of photos, so you can see what they look like – I’ve also embedded a couple of videos too, so you can see them in action!

#1: Tahoe Cascade Funship

This is the Tahoe Pontoon Boats entry level model, with prices ranging around the $35,000-dollar mark when buying from new. If you buy direct from Tahoe you can ask for your own custom modifications and requests to be added, but of course, that will increase the price.

tahoe pontoons

The Cascade Funship from Tahoe is a great entry level double decker.

It’s awesome for cruising and sliding, comes with twin 27-foot pontoons, and has high-performance fins if you want to make a quick approach to the best water sports area on the lake.

Check out the video below:

Specification

It comes in either the longer 27-foot size, or a 25-footer. Here’s the specification for both boats.

  • Length:25 Foot / 27 Foot
  • Pontoon Diameter: 27 inches / 27 inches
  • Width: 5 feet / 8.5 feet
  • Dry Weight: 3,300 pounds / 3,500 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 2,590 pounds / 2,730 pounds
  • Engine HP: 150 horse power/ 150 horse power
  • Passengers: 11 / 12 people
  • People in Pounds: 1,665 pounds / 1,805 pounds

#2: Tahoe Cascade Platinum Funship

Tahoe advertise this as the most affordable water park model in the range. It is more expensive than the standard Cascade though, so not sure how they came up with that statement; it’s around $55,000 dollars to buy brand new.

tahoe 2

Spend a little more money, and you get way more power and features.

And for those extra dollars, you do get more for your money. The second level sun deck is larger, and the whole boat sits on triple pontoons meaning this is actually a tritoon boat. That gives you increased power, and it has the capacity for more passengers if you want to increase your party size.

You can slide, swim, lounge, entertain and even water ski off the back of this powerful double decker pontoon due to the 250 horsepower engines and twin pontoons.

Check out the video below:

Specification

As with the standard Cascade Funship, you can get it in 25-foot and 27-foot versions. Both of which have far more horsepower and capacity though. Here’s the full spec.

  • Length: 25 Foot / 27 Foot
  • Pontoon Diameter: 27 inches x 3 / 27 inches x 3
  • Width: 5 feet / 8.5 feet
  • Dry Weight: 4,200 pounds / 4,485 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 3,070 pounds / 3,320 pounds
  • Engine HP: 250 horse power / 250 horse power
  • Passengers: 14 / 17 people
  • People in Pounds: 2,000 pounds / 2,370 pounds

#3: Tahoe Vision Funship

The last of the Tahoe double decker funship pontoon boats is the exceptional Vision model. I hope you’ve got a healthy bank account, as this one will set you back at least $92,000 dollars straight off the production line.

tahoe vision

For true luxury and a slide on your pontoon boat, check out the Tahoe Vision.

You can’t get this one in a 25-foot spec, just the 27-footer, and they pack a huge amount of functionality and luxury into this deck space.

For entertaining, it’s not just about the slide. This Tahoe Funship comes with fish finder, awesome stereo system, grill (see which I recommend), huge speakers, LED lighting, stainless steel everywhere, boarding ladders, and much more.

Check out the video below:

Specification

Tahoe promote this double decker pontoon boat with slide as being a retro design, but with all new and improved 21stcentury manufacturing construction. And who am I to argue, just look at the specs on this bad boy:

  • Length: 27 Foot
  • Pontoon Diameter: 27 inches x 3
  • Width: 5 feet
  • Dry Weight: 4,830 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 3,290 pounds
  • Engine HP: 250 horse power
  • Passengers: 15 people
  • People in Pounds: 2,200

#4: Avalon Catalina Platinum Funship

Similar in size and features to the Tahoe Vision, the Avalon Catalina is another high price double decker with slide on the top deck. You will have to pay between $93,000 and $112,000 dollars for this awesome piece of kit.

avalon

The Avalon Catalina is the most expensive and luxurious on the market.

Again, it’s a high horse power tritoon boat, that lets you have your own waterpark, but on the water. It has loads of high-end features such as the slide and water pump, a larger lounge than average, upper level sun deck, speakers, remote controls, and much more.

Avalon make exceptional luxury pontoon boats, and this one is probably best suited for private ownership, rather than being used as a rental. After all, you won’t want your rental guests to scratch or damage this super pontoon!

Check out the video below:

Specification

It comes in two different sizes, in slightly bigger versions than the rival Tahoe Vision. You can either opt for just under 27 feet, or just under 29 feet depending on your preference for the various additional features.

  • Length: 6 Foot / 28.6 Foot
  • Pontoon Diameter: 27 inches x 3 / 27 inches x 3
  • Width: 5 feet / 8.5 feet
  • Dry Weight: 4,200 pounds / 4,485 pounds
  • Weight Capacity: 3,070 pounds / 3,320 pounds
  • Engine HP: 250 horse power/ 250 horse power
  • Passengers: 14 / 17 people
  • People in Pounds: 2,000 pounds / 2,370 pounds

#5: Solid Craft Funship

And last but not least, the Solid Craft manufacturer. I don’t know as much about this brand, but from what I can see, they will build you double decker pontoon to your own spec. Because of that, the only information I could find online was from an existing Solid Craft than a rental company in Florida is hiring out.

solid craft

Solid Craft will custom make you something to your individual spec.

I don’t know how much these funships cost, but I would estimate not as much as an Avalon.

Interestingly, you might (or might not) be familiar with the Little Big Town “Pontoon” song from 2012. It was a country music track, with the accompanying video being nominated for country music video of the year.

Why is that important though?

Well, in the video, it’s a Solid Craft pontoon that’s featured, and you can see band members and friends jumping from the top deck and going down the slide.

Check out the music video from Little Big Town below:

Specification

Because there aren’t any specs on the Solid Craft website (as they are built to order), I have had to pull the details below from a pontoon rental company who offer a 30-footer to those on vacation.

  • Length: 30 Foot
  • Width: 5 feet
  • Engine HP: 115 horse power
  • Passengers: 15 people
  • People in Pounds: 1,400 pounds 

Best double decker pontoon boat with slide

If it were me, I would opt for an Avalon. Unfortunately, I don’t have that type of money to spend on a new boat, but if I did win the lottery, you can be sure this is what I would buy.

The Avalon Catalina Platinum Funship offer comfort, luxury, and a slide in one awesomely packaged boat.

However, what is the best is really depends on your budget. Tahoe are an exceptional manufacturer, and I would not hesitate to recommend them if you want a slide on your pontoon boat from the luxury of a second top-deck.

FAQs on double deckers

Below you can see some questions commonly posed about funships, with my responses below.

Who should buy a double decker?

Double deckers aren’t huge sellers, with most of the sales attributed to vacation companies. For example, there are lakes around the US where companies will charter double deckers out for pontoon boat parties.

You see this a lot at the Lake of Ozarks which is renowned as the pontoon boat party capital.

On a hot summer day, it won’t be unusual to see a double decker pontoon near the shore, with all the cool kids jumping and sliding off. You can see some videos of this in my guide to the best locations for summer pontoon boat vacations.

If you own a boat rental company, one of these awesome funships could be a great revenue generator for additional vacation time income. 

However, if you have the money, have the energy, and think you can get the use out of a double decker, it can be a great investment to private owners too. Funships are great fun for all the family.

How much weight can a double decker pontoon hold?

The amount of weight a double decker pontoon can hold will depend on the individual boat specification. All boats will have a capacity chart on them, which is a sticker typically found near the helm.

The weight capacity of the boats featured in this guide are as follows:

  • Avalon Catalina Platinum Funship: 25-foot model: 2,000 pounds (14 people) / 27-foot model 2,370 pounds (17 people)
  • Solid Craft: 30-foot model: 1,400 pounds (15 people)
  • Tahoe Cascade Funship: 25-foot model: 1,665 pounds (11 people) / 27-foot model 1,805 pounds (12 people)
  • Tahoe Cascade Platinum Funship: 25-foot model: 2,000 pounds (14 people) / 27-foot model 2,370 pounds (17 people)
  • Tahoe Vision Funship: 27-foot model: 2,200 pounds (15 people) 

What is the height of a double decker pontoon?

If you are thinking about hiring one of these bad boys for some summer fun, or perhaps even considering buying one for sale, then height is going to be a big consideration.

You need enough height to let your guests get some good air for a jump into the water, and enough for a slide to worth sliding down.

The double decker pontoon boats I featured in this guide don’t publish heights on their manufacturer website specifications.

As a rule of thumb though, and having inspected available photos online, I would estimate that the average height of a double decker pontoon boat (from the lower deck) is around 7 foot up to the secondary deck where the slide sits.

How much do they cost to rent?

I did some research into how much a double decker pontoon boat with slide would cost to rent in the high season summer months. In the table below you can see some example prices accurate as at February 2018.

  • Florida: Key West – $495 daily / $2,195 weekly
  • Florida: Destin – $750 daily / $3,000 weekly
  • Florida: Panama City – $375 daily / $1,650 weekly
  • Indiana: Lake Monroe – $675 daily / $2,950 weekly
  • Indiana: Liberty – $420 daily / $1,780 weekly
  • West Virginia: Sutton Lake – $425 daily / $1,900 weekly

When renting you can typically expect to get:

  • Local area marine charts
  • Safety equipment including life jackets, anchors, and lines
  • Additional charges for fuel
  • Full boat training and safety briefings
  • Slide set up and instructions

I already own a pontoon boat with one deck but still want a slide

If the prices are prohibitive and you don’t think you will get the use out of the secondary deck and slide set-up, you can buy slides separately.

I’ve put together some extensive information on what the best water slide kits are, most of which are now inflatable. You can read my water slide reviews here to find out what might best suit your particular pontoon boat.

How can I keep my passengers and guests safe?

Passenger safety is paramount, and pontoon slides can be very dangerous if not used carefully. Here’s are some brief pointers on how you can keep your party safe.

  • Keep the slide wet at all times as it can get very hot (most will come with a pump)
  • Don’t exceed the stated weight restrictions for people sliding down
  • Make sure that you are over a depth deep enough for those sliding into the water
  • Don’t mix water sports with alcohol

The last word…

Funship are just as they are described. Fun. However, they might not be for you. You might want something more suited to fishing trips, or more leisurely entertaining (or even something with an enclosed cabin). To help you decide what might be best for you, I’ve developed a buying guide. Read that for all the questions and points you will need to answer before buying.