Are you planning on going on vacation where you might have to drive a pontoon boat? Or perhaps you are in the process of considering buying your first one?

Whatever the scenario, you might be wondering if it is hard to drive a pontoon boat?

The simple answer to the question, is yes, it is easy to drive a pontoon boat.

If you can drive a car, then you can drive a pontoon boat easily. It’s nowhere near as hard as car driving, and you will pick it up in minutes, I promise you.

But, as with any type of vehicle you need to exercise a lot of common sense as well as stick to the law and safety guidelines.

If you are in the buying mode right now, then be rest assured, pontoons are not hard to drive at all.

You don’t need any boating experience to drive one.

Common sense is the main characteristic and skill that you will need.

If you are new, then drive very slowly at the docks, and start to reduce the power way before you get near to anything else in the water, or at the waterside.

You can even put the pontoon boat into reverse if you need to slow your speed further using the easy to master controls.

Keep out of the way of power boats who will leave large wakes, be sure to check for swimmers at all times, and stay away from the shore as there could be hidden rocks and hazards.

Once docked, tie off well, and of course, make sure that the anchor is tied to the boat!

Handy Hint: For a simple guide to driving a pontoon boat for the first time, click here to learn how to drive in 3 simple steps with pictures.

Buying a Pontoon Boat for the First Time?

Once you’ve purchased your pontoon boat, read guides such as the ones that you find on Pontoonopedia, read online forums, and look to take a safety course if you can find one in your area.

Also, be aware that from state to state, the laws regarding boating will differ, so familiarize yourself with the regulations in your state. I’ve put a list of those together which you can read here.

Driving a Pontoon on Vacation?

If you are going to be using a pontoon boat rental company whilst on vacation, then they will invariably show you the ropes and give you a tutorial on how to handle the boat.

If this doesn’t happen then walk away. After all, it’s their expensive equipment so it’s in their best interests to make sure that you are going to be comfortable driving it and know what to do.

This brief driving tutorial should take no longer than 20 minutes, and before you know it you will be out on the water having an amazing time in your rented pontoon.

If you are completely new to driving pontoons, and want to make things as easy as possible, then follow these quick tips: 

  1. Make sure all your passengers are seated
  2. Don’t take off your life vests at until you are back on land
  3. Avoid excessive speed and making sharp turns
  4. Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  5. If the water become choppy or rough, then head back
  6. Take your cell phone with you in case you need to call for assistance
  7. Check for damage before you set off
  8. Rent the boat when there is low traffic on the lake

Driving a Pontoon Boat for the First Time is Easy

Pontoons are one of the easiest crafts to get started with. They aren’t fast, and they aren’t hard to drive.

Don’t let your fears hold you back and make you miss out on what could be a life-changing experience.

Every person I have ever known who has driven one for the first time has caught the pontooning bug and has never looked back!