A common problem pontoon boat will face is how to re-fuel when there are no gas stations on the lake or at times when the marina has closed for the winter months. It’s can also be a hassle for those boat owners who also don’t have removable tanks.
There are a few solutions, I know of pontoon owners who use race fuel bottles to store their gas, or even large jerry cans.
Personally though, I prefer to use a gas caddy for my pontoon boat.
It means I can fill up with fuel from a standard gas station, rather than pay the prices that always seem to be hiked up at the marina. You’ve probably seen that massive disparity in prices yourself.
Let’s be honest, marinas have a captive customer base and they will charge the fuel prices that they know poor suckers like us will pay. It’s not like driving a car where you can pick and choose from different fuel stations if price is important to you.
Not only that, I also know that I will never run out of fuel for my pontoon boat.
Primarily though, I love how easy they are to use and wheel around. A gas caddy is a lot easier to manage than lugging heavy jerry cans around with me or carry cans on my pontoon.
Benefits to Using a Gas Caddy on a Pontoon Boat
Should you use a gas caddy for your pontoon boat? I believe so, and have listed out the pros and cons below which I hope will help you to make your own mind up.
- Convenient, portable, and easy to wheel
- Can save money if filled with fuel not from the marina
- Never run out or be without fuel
- Fuel flows out very fast by squeezing the handle
- You won’t spill fuel due to the siphon and handle mechanism
There are some potential negatives though:
- They tend to be heavy and you might need help from a gas attendant to fill
- Wheels don’t work that well on gravel or sand
How Much Money on Fuel Can You Save?
In terms of a real-world example, I have a 28-gallon gas caddy for my pontoon boat and there’s no doubt in my mind that I save a lot of money by not fuelling up at the marina.
On a recent off-shore boat trip I burned through about 175 gallons of gas.
My local marina fuel station charges 80 cents more per gallon, meaning by using my gas caddy, I saved up to $140 on that particular trip. Click here to find out how you can calculate fuel usage.
I simply lower my pontoon off the lift, and then pump fuel in directly from the gas caddy set and wheeled onto the dock. Providing that your gas caddy is higher than your pontoon boat, it works absolutely fine.
The Best Gas Caddy for a Pontoon Boat
It’s the Todd Fuel Caddy (view on Amazon).
It takes me just 8 minutes to drain 28 gallons of gas and comes with a 10-foot hose. The pneumatic tires are very stable and balanced, and it’s made from a very durable material that’s impossible to puncture.
I appreciate though that this might be too much capacity for what you currently need. It is quite expensive but carries a lot of gas.
Do you want something a little bit cheaper?
If you do, then take a look at the 14-gallon pontoon boat gas caddies. I don’t own one of these but do have two pontooner friends who swear by the DuraMax Flo n Go.
The 14 gallon Duramax is cheaper (see on Amazon) and works just as well. Again, it comes with a 10-foot hose which should be ample enough for most pontoons.
The main selling point is the siphon-based pump system. The hand pump lets you pump fuel with no dangerous spills or overfills. It’s really good, so go check it out.
Want Something Cheaper Still?
If still aren’t’ convinced by using a gas caddy for your pontoon, then I have also used some very good jerry cans in the past. They are very, very heavy though, especially the metal ones. Here’s an example on Amazon which has reasonable reviews.
My friend also uses race fuel bottles. He bought a pack of 4 recently (I believe you can buy them singularly too) which hold 5 gallons each.
The VP Racing bottles are good, and don’t cost too much – you can see the prices on Amazon.
I don’t personally like to use them for re-fuelling as it’s easy to spill gas from them. You’ve also got the situation where you can’t carry as much on or to your pontoon. For example, if you wanted to take 20 gallons of fuel you would need to carry 4 of these race fuel bottles at once which won’t be particularly easy.