This guide was originally produced by BoatReeds.com in a PDF print out format. As far as I can see it’s not available online anywhere nowadays, but still offers some fantastic advice to those thinking about buying a pontoon for the first time. At the end of the guide, I will also list out some additional resources that first-time buyers will find useful.

How to Choose the Right Pontoon Boat

Pontoon boats have changed! Pontoon boats are now great looking and can offer you and your family more fun and activities than virtually any other boat. They are big, wide open platforms 
where 
everyone 
can 
relax 
and 
have 
fun.

Pontoon 
boats
 are
 versatile, 
fun 
boats 
that 
glide 
smoothly 
along
 a
 river 
or
 across
 a 
lake.
 No 
“rock
 and
 roll”
 here
 ‐
 their
 effortless
 performance
 pleases
 even
 the
 most
 demanding
 captain
 and 
crew.

Comfortable,
 plush
 party
 boats
 by
 day
 or
 night,
 with
 big
 inviting
 lounges
 and
 the
 luxury
 of
 large
 deck
 space
 for
 sunbathing,
 fishing,
 swimming,
 tubing,
 skiing,
 wakeboarding,
 picnicking
 or 
just
 cruising
 around.
 A
 pontoon
 boat 
can
 do
 it
 all
 for 
you
 and
 your 
family!

This
 report
 can
 help
 you
 find
 just
 the
 right
 pontoon
 boat.

This
 guide
 has
 been
 written
 by
 avid
 pontoon
 boat
 users
 as
 an
 informational
 source
 for
 the
 family
 which
 is
 considering
 the
 purchase
 of
 a
 pontoon
 boat.
 The
 more
 you
 know
 about
 pontoon
 boats,
 the
 greater
 the
 chance
 you 
will 
make
 a 
good 
decision
 about
 which 
pontoon
boat 
to 
purchase
 and
 where
 to
 purchase
 that 
boat.

In 
many
 ways 
the
 uses 
of the
 boat
 are
 the
 same, but
 the 
ways 
the
 boats
 are
 designed
 and
 built
 are
 very
 different.
 Before
 discussing
 the
 actual
 structures
 of
 a
 pontoon
boat 
let’s 
first 
consider
 what 
size
 might
 be
 best
 for
 you.

There
 will
 be
 many
 factors
 that
 will
 influence
 your
 decision
 but,
 initially,
 the
 main
 considerations
 should
 be
 where
 the
 boat
 will
 be
 used,
 by
 how
 many
 people
 and
 just
 what
 activities
 they
 will 
be 
involved 
in.

When
 you 
answer
 those 
questions 
you’ll
 have
 a
 good
 idea
 of
 what
 you
 should 
be
 looking 
for.

Let’s Consider the Size

  • 16’
 – 
19’
 Deck: Usually 
used 
on 
small 
lakes. 
Calm
water. 
Can 
hold 
4
–
6
 people.
  • 20’
 – 22’
 Deck: 

This
 size
 will
 work
 well
 on
 most
 rivers
 or
 lakes.
 If
 there
 will
 be
 waves
 or
 other
 boat
 traffic
 be
 sure
 to
 get
 tubes
 with
 a
 diameter
 of
 25”.
 This
 size
will accommodate 
6
–
10
 people
 very
 comfortably.
  • 23’
 – 25’
 Deck: Offering
 even
 more
 room
 and
 an
 improved
 ride
 in
 rough
 water
 situations.
 Tube
 diameter
 should
 be
 at
 least
 25”.
 Handles
 6
 –
 15

 people.
  • 26’ – 
30’ 
Deck:
­

 Very
 big 
boat.
 Usually
 purchased 
for
 only 
specialized
 situations.

Note:
 Many
 manufactures
 measure
 the
 length
 of
 the
 pontoon
 boat
 differently.
 The
 deck
 length
 and
 tube
 length
 should
 be
 considered
 separately.
 Always
 compare
 the
 deck
 lengths.
 The
 deck
 will
 provide
 the
 useable
 space
 on
 the
 boat
 whereas
 the
 tubes
 will
 provide
 the
 capacity 
and 
the
 performance 
of 
the
 boat. 
Avoid
 a 
deck
 that
sticks 
out 
from
 the
 front
 of
 the
 tubes.
 It
 will
 cause 
the
 boat
 to 
perform
 to
 a 
substandard
 level 
and 
it 
may 
nose
 dive.

Now 
that
 you 
have
 considered 
what
 size 
boat
 will
 be 
best,
how
 will 
you 
be 
using 
the 
boat?
 The
 use
 will
 determine
 the
 engine
 size
 needed
 and
 also
 some
 of
 the
 option
 choices.
 The
 next
 chart
 should
 give
 you
 an 
indication 
of 
the
 engine 
you 
will 
need.

 General CruisingTubingWater Skiing
16 to 19 foot deck25 to 40 hp40 to 50 hp50 hp +
20 to 20 foot deck40 to 60 hp50 to 70 hp70 hp +
23 to 25 foot deck40 to 70 hp60 to 90 hp100 hp +
26 to 30 foot deck70 hp +90 hp +130 hp +

Note:
 A
 third
 pontoon
 can
 be
 added
 down
 the
 middle
 of
 the
 boat.
 A
 “triple
 ‐
 toon”
 or tritoon is
 a
 newer
 option
 that
 gives
 a
 pontoon
 boat
 more
 buoyancy
 so
 it
 can
 handle
 more
 people,
 rougher
 water
 and 
higher 
horsepower
 engines. 
A
 “triple
‐
toon” 
can 
also 
increase
 speed 
so
 your
 wakeboarding,
 and
 water
skiing
 capability
 will
 be
 enhanced.



Fishing
 off
 of
 a
 pontoon
 boat
 can
 be
 a
 lot
 of
 fun
 for
 young
 and
 old.

A
 pontoon
 boat
 can
 be
 rigged
 with
 fishing
 seats,
 live
 wells,
 fish
 locator,
 rod
 holders,
 trolling
 motors,
 and much more.

Before 
buying 
your 
new
 boat, 
think 
about
 how
 much 
time
 you
 will
 actually 
spend
 fishing.

Don’t
 buy
 too
 much
 fishing
 equipment.
 It
 will
 only
 get
 in
 the
 way
 of
 the
 other
 activities
 when
 you
 are
 not 
fishing.

Perhaps
 this
 chart
 below will 
help 
your
 decision.

Fishing
 Will
 Constitute
 What
 Percentage
 of
 Your 
Time

 On
 the 
Boat 
if 
Any?

  • 60% or more – Choose a fishing
 or cruising 
model 
with 
at 
least 
2
 





























fishing
 chairs, 
live
well, 
and
 fish
 locator.
  • 40% to 60% – Cruising 
model 
with 
2 
fishing 
chairs 
on 
front 
deck, 























live
well,
 and
 fish
 locator.
  • 20% to 40% – Cruising
 model 
and
 possibly 
2
 removable
 fishing chairs.
  • Less than 20% – Any pontoon boat will make a good fishing platform.

A
 pontoon
 boat
 gets
 very
 good
 performance
 for
 its
 length
 and
 the
 size
 of
 the
 normal
 engines.

We
 are
 often
 asked
 how
 fast

 a pontoon
 boat will
 go.

The
 actual
 miles
 per
 hour
 will vary
 greatly
 based
 on
 the
 weight
 of
 the
 boat,
 equipment,
 people
 and
 the
 condition
 of
 the
 water.
 The
 chart
 below
 will
 give
 you
 a
 “rough”
 approximation
 of
 your
 speed
 depending
 upon
 engine 
choice 
and 
length 
of 
boat.

speed chart

This is a rough guide to what speeds you can reach depending on pontoon length and engine size.

What
 Does
 a
 Pontoon
 Boat
 Cost?

That
 is
 an
 important
 question
 and
 I
 am
 sure
 that
 you
 are
 interested
 in 
the
 answer.
 Unfortunately,
 it 
is
 like 
asking, 
“What 
does 
a 
car
 cost?”
.

There
 are
 almost
 an
 endless
 amount
 of
 variables
 depending
 on
 brand,
 options,
 quality,
 horsepower,
 etc. 
It
 would 
be 
very 
hard 
for 
us
 to 
state
 flatly 
”This is the price!”.

In
 order 
to 
put
 you
 in
 the
 “ballpark”
 let’s
 imagine
 a 
new
 20’
pontoon 
boat 
with
 a 
40
 hp 
4‐stroke
 engine
 and
 the
 normal
 equipment.
 A
 boat
 like
 this
 would
 probably
 sell
 around
 $16,000
 to
 $18,000
 in
 the
 lower
 quality
 brands.
 The
 average
 quality
 pontoon
 of
 this
 size
 sells
 for
 $20,000 – $22,000.

You can explore some average prices from the different brands by clicking this price guide for both new and used boats.

The
 highest
 quality
 boats
 with
 higher
 horsepower
 and
 all
 the
 “bells 
and
 whistles”
 would 
be 
$25,000 
or 
more.

Your
 family
 might
 be
 able
 to
 enjoy
 almost
 any
 pontoon
 boat
 in
 the
 beginning.

But
 if
 you
 plan
 to
 own
 it
 more
 than
 four
 or
 five
 years
 be
 sure
 to
 stay
 away
 from
 the
 “low
 end”
 boats
 that
 won’t
 stand
 up
 very
 well.
 Also,
 buy
 enough
 horsepower
 at
 the
 start.
 It
 is
 very
 expensive 
to
 add 
speed 
later
 on.

A
 new
 boat,
 or
 a
 used
 one,
 is
 very
 easy
 to
 finance.
 It
 is
 common
 to
 put
 10%
 – 20%
 down
 and 
finance 
the
 balance 
for 
5 to 10 
years.
 That 
would
 put payments 
on 
a
 very 
nice 
new 
boat
 at 
approximately
 $200
‐
$250
 a
 month.

You should also consider how much your pontoon boat is going to depreciate in value once you buy it.

What Makes a Good Quality Pontoon Boat?

Now
 that
 you
 have
 (hopefully)
 decided
 on
 what
 size
 pontoon
 boat
 you
 will
 be
 searching
 for,
 how 
are
 you
 going 
to
 tell
 which 
ones
 are 
good
 quality 
and which
 ones
 are
 not 
so 
good?
 It 
could
 be 
difficult 
but 
we 
will
 now
 cover
 the
 design
 and
 construction 
details 
so 
that 
you’ll
 be 
prepared 
when 
you
 start 
to
 compare
 boats.

The 
design
 of 
the
 pontoon 
boat 
you 
will 
purchase
 is
 very
 important 
for 
many
 reasons. 
The
 amount
 of
 detail
 the
 manufacturer
 has
 put
 into
 the
 design
 of
 the
 boat
 can
 tell
 much
 about
 both 
the 
boat
 as 
well 
as 
the 
manufacturer 
that
 produced
 that 
boat.

Note: Here is a list of the top pontoon boat manufacturers that I would personally recommend to a first time buyer.

If
 a
 manufacturer 
takes
 the
 time
 and
 care
 to
 design
 a
 boat
 that
 looks
 superior
 to
 the
 competition,
 it
 is
 likely
 they
 have
 taken
 some
 care
 with
 the
 overall
 construction
 of
 the
 boat.
 The
 designs
 of
 the
 tubes,
 tube
 brackets,
 cross
 members,
 railings,
 consoles
 and
 furniture
 is
 all
 very
 important.

Good
 design
 is
 the
 first
 sign
 of
 value
 and
 quality!

The
 design
 and
 styling
 of
 the
 boat
 are
 not
 areas
 you 
should 
ever overlook. 
If 
the 
boat
 was
 designed
 properly, 
the
 fit
 and
 finish
 of 
th e
boat
 will
 show.
 It
 is
 extremely
 important
 to
 inspect
 both
 construction
 and
 “fit
 and
 finish”
 of
 a
 pontoon
boat.

Most
 pontoons
 look
 great
 from
 above
 but
 let’s
 start
 at
 the
 bottom
 and
 work
 our
 way
 up.

The Design of the Pontoons

Beneath
 each
 pontoon
 there
 should
 be
 a
 keel
 strip
 to
 add
 strength
 and
 to
 protect
 the
 pontoon.

The
 tube
 itself
 comes
 either
 circular
 or
 U
‐ shaped.

We
 think
 the
 circular
 is
 stronger
 the
 same
 way
 a
 pipe
 is
 stronger
 than
 a
 U
‐
shaped
 gutter.
 Besides,
 the
 U‐shaped
 pontoons
 are
 not 
waterproof 
so
 they 
have
 to
 put
 foam
 on 
the 
inside. 
The
 foam
 eventually
 absorbs 
water
 causing
 the
 boat
 to
 get
 heavier
 and
 lose
 performance.
 They
 say
 the
 U
‐
shaped
 pontoon
 carries
 more
 weight
 with
 less
 drag,
 but
 we
 think
 that
 is
 a
 debatable
 benefit
 compared
 to
 the 
potential 
future
 problems.

Get
 the
 circular
 tubes,
 but
 be
 sure
 they
 are
 “chambered”
 or
 divided
 into
 at
 least
 three
 sections.

This
 is
 a
 safety
 item.

Also 
be
 sure
 they 
are
 vented
 and 
have 
a
 drain at 
the 
back
 to
 allow
 condensation
 to 
escape.
 The
 better 
ones 
are 
at 
least 80” 
thick.

The Nose of the Pontoon

Now
 look
 at
 the
 “nose”
 of
 the
 pontoon.
 Does
 it
 look
 strong
 and
 re‐enforced
 (is
 it
 at
 least
 .90”?)
. It
 will
 have
 to
 absorb
 most
 of
 the
 wave
 action.
 Be
 sure
 the
 spray
 fins
 are
 not
 just
 welded
 on
 because
 they
 will
 eventually
 crack
 off.
 The
 fins
 should
 be
 an
 integrated
 part
 of
 the
 “cap”
 over
 the
 nose
 piece.
 Check
 to
 see
 if
 all
 the
 welding
 is
 clean
 and
 even
 over
 the
 entire 
boat.

The Deck and Flooring

The 
part 
of 
the 
boat 
that 
has 
to 
absorb 
the 
most
 stress 
is 
the 
area 
between 
the 
deck 
(floor)
 and 
the 
pontoons.

The 
boat
 is 
constantly 
subjected 
to
movements 
and
 “twisting”
 as
 it 
rides
 up 
and 
down
 and 
flexes 
in 
the 
waves.

The 
brackets 
holding
 the
 circular 
pontoons 
to 
the 
flat
 deck
 are
 crucial.
 Be
 sure
 they
 are
 extruded
 aluminum
 (not
 bent)
 in
 an
 “M”
 shape
 and
 properly
 welded.

Also
 make
 sure
 that
 the
 bracket
 has
 a
 wide
 base
 where
 it
 meets
 the
 pontoon.
 This
 provides
 more
 area
 for
 proper
 welding.
 This
 will
 be
 the
 strongest
 type
 of
 bracket 
and
 probably 
never 
cause 
you 
any
 problems.

The
 deck
 is
 made
 up
 of
 four
 areas;
 the
 cross
 member,
 decking
 material,
 gunnel
 moldings
 and
 deck fasteners.
The 
cross 
member
 should
 be 
every
 24
 inches and 
also
 be
 mounted
 the
 full
 width
 of
 the
 decking
 material,
 insuring
 support
 over
 the
 entire
 width.

This
 design
 is
 the
 strongest
 available!

The
 deck
 should
 be
 no
 less
 than
 seven
 ply
 3⁄4”
 pressure
 treated
 marine
 grade
 plywood 
and
 carry
 a
 lifetime
 warranty.

The 
gunnel
 materials
 should
 be 
made
 of
 the
 highest 
quality 
anodized
 aluminum. 
Anodizing
 the 
aluminum 
insures 
that 
your 
boat
 will 
look
 good
 for 
years
 and
 not
 turn
 black.
The 
gunnel
 moldings should
 be 
bolted 
through
 the
 cross
 members,
 not
 pop
 riveted.
 This
 will
 insure
 a
 solid
 construction.

The
 corners
 should
 be
 re‐enforced
 and
 rounded.
 Square
 corners
 or
 corner
 covers
 will
 catch
 docks
 and
 piers
 while
 mooring.

The
 decks 
should
 be
 fastened 
with
 stainless steel 
tech fasteners, 
not 
“nuts 
and 
bolts.”

The
 pre
‐
drilled
 oversized
 bolt
 holes
 allow
 water
 to
 penetrate
 up
 around
 the
 bolts
 and
 cause
 the
 wood
 to
 separate,
 rot
 and
 get
 weak.
 Usually,
 to
 save
 money
 there
 aren’t
 enough
 bolts
 used
 so
 the
 deck
 eventually
 will
 warp.
 Another
 problem
 with
 nuts
 and
 bolts
 is
 you
 will
 periodically
 have
 to 
re
‐
tighten
 them.

Note: 
An
 available
 deck 
option
 is 
to
 get
 an
 aluminum
 floor. 
The
 aluminum
 wil
l last 
forever
 but 
it
 is
 noisier,
 less
 flexible 
and 
not
 as
 comfortable
 to 
walk
 on 
as 
wood 
‐ 
that’s 
the 
reason
 your
 house
 floors
 aren’t
 aluminum.
 We
 advise
 getting
 a
 wood
 deck
 as
 long
 as
 it
 is
 thick
 enough 
and
 has 
a
Lifetime
 Guarantee.

A
 very
 good
 use
 for
 aluminum
 is
 back
 at
 the
 transom.
 The
 motor
 causes
 an
 extreme
 amount
 of
 flexing
 and
 water
 turbulence.
 A
 wood
 transom
 will
 eventually
 rot
 away
 and
 need
 replacing. 
Look 
to
 get 
a 
complete
 aluminum
 transom
 for 
trouble
-free 
operation.

Special 
Note:
 Be
 sure
 the 
carpet
 is
 of 
very 
high
 quality
 and 
at
 least
 22
oz.
grade.
 Rub
 your
 hand 
over 
it
 and
 through
 it.
 Be 
sure
 the
 fibers 
are
 strong
 and 
dense. 
The 
carpet
 will 
have 
to
 take
 the 
most
 “traffic”
 and
 it
 is 
very
 expensive 
to 
replace.
 Also
 make
 sure
 it 
has 
at 
least 
a
5
 year
 fade
and 
mat 
resistant 
warranty.

The Pontoon Boat Railings

The
 railings
 on
 a
 pontoon
 boat
 should
 be
 at
 least
 1
 1⁄4”
 x
 1
 1⁄4”
 5‐wall
 tubing
 and
 have
 at
 least
 a
 .090
 wall
 thickness.
 The
 5
 wall
 tubing
 will
 provide
 you
 with
 a
 quieter
 and
 more
 solid
 railing
 system.
 The
 paneling
 type
 material
 should
 be
 installed
 with
 an
 anti‐vibration
 product,
 like
 foam
 tape,
 and
 sandwiched
 into
 the
 tubing.
 This
 will
 provide
 the
 strongest and
 quietes t
railing
 system.

Avoid
 some
 of
 the 
common 
and 
less 
expensive 
ways which 
are 
stapling
 or
 pop
 rivets.
 The
 railing
 should
 also
 be
 anodized
 entirely,
 including
 the
 welds.
 Much
 like
 the
 gunnel
 molding
 the
 rails
 will
 also
 quickly
 turn
 black.
 If
 it
 is
 not
 anodized
 it
 will
 rub
 off
 on
 your
 hands
 and
 clothes
 and
 reduce
 the
 value
 of
 the
 boat.

Another
 very
 important 
feature 
to 
look for 
are 
railings
 that 
are 
raised
 up
 slightly 
above
 the
 deck.
 This
 is
 very
 important,
 because
 it
 provides
 drainage
 as
 well
 as
 ventilation
 for
 the
 boat.
 Raised
 up
railings 
have
 proven 
to
 prevent 
mildew
 and 
save
 boaters 
many hours 
of
 cleaning
 time 
each 
season.

Many
 manufacturers
 have
 wooden
 furniture
 framework
 as
 standard
 on
 some
 models.

Furniture and Seating

Common
 problems
 associated
 with
 wooden
 furniture
 frames
 are
 rotting,
 mold,
 mildew,
 and
 the
 frame
 work
 falling
 apart,
 due
 to
 the
 amount
 of
 water
 the
 furniture
 frame
 and
 the
 foam
 absorbs.
 Most
 manufactures
 put
 up
 to
 a
 lifetime
 warranty
 on
 these
 frames,
 but
 what 
they 
do
 not 
tell 
you
 is
 that 
the 
warranty
 only 
covers
 rotting 
and
 termite 
attack, not
 mold,
mildew
 or
 the framework
 from
 falling 
apart.

The
 frame
 style
 that
 has
 become
 known
 as
 the
 best
 is
 a
 Rotational
 Molded
 Plastic
 seat
 frame.
 
Some
 manufacturers
 even
 offer
 double
 wall
 roto‐mold
 furniture,
 which
 is
 strong
 enough
 to
 stand
 on
 and
 because
 of
 the
 dual
 walls,
 speakers
 and
 wiring
 are
 protected
 and
 concealed. 
This
 structure 
has 
been
 proven
 over 
many
 years
 to
 be
 the
 best 
in 
every
way.

In
 addition
 to
 the
 plastic
 frame
 work,
 the
 seat
 cushions,
 sundeck
 cushions
 and
 console
 frames
 all
 should
 be
 constructed
 out
 of
 a
 non‐rot
 and
 non‐absorbing
 material,
 like
 plastic
 or
 fiberglass.
 These
 construction
 materials
 are
 more
 expensive
 to
 use
 and
 install,
 but
 will
 last
 forever.
 The plastic 
and 
fiberglass 
materials
 are 
stronger 
and 
much
 easier 
to 
maintain.
 The
 furniture 
and
 console 
frames
 are 
not 
the 
only 
parts 
you 
should 
concern 
yourself 
with.

The 
vinyl 
and 
foam 
are
ad are also very 
important. 
The
 vinyls 
should
 be
 at 
least 
33
oz. 
This
 will
 insure
 that
 your
 upholstery
 will
 withstand
 your
 normal
 wear
 and
 tear
 for
 many
 years
 of
 enjoyable
 boating.
 The
 vinyl need
 to
 be
 UV
 protected
 so
 the
 sun
 does
 not
 break
 them
 down.
 The
 foam
 underneath
 the
 vinyl
 should
 be
 high
 density,
 to
 prevent
 breakdown.
 Don’t
 compromise
 on
 the
 furniture.

Good
 furniture
 will
 be
 comfortable
 to
 sit
 on,
 look
 nice
 year 
after 
year 
and 
enhance 
your 
re‐sale
 value – particularly if you have a great looking captain’s chair.

Look at the Warranties Available

A
 pontoon
 boat
 is
 a
 major
 purchase,
 so
 the
 amount
 of
 time
 you
 will
 use
 the
 boat
 is
 important.
 If
 the
 boat
 is
 not
 reliable,
 the
 purchase
 is
 less
 rewarding
 to
 you
 as
 a
 boater.
 So,
 the
 importance
 of
 a
 good
 dealer
 and
 how
 helpful
 their
 service
 department
 is
 to
 you
 increases
 the
 value.

We
 all 
hope
 there
 will 
not 
be 
a 
problem,
 but 
what 
if
 there 
is
 one?
 How
 good 
is
 the 
warranty?

Most
 warranties
 do
 not
 cover
 what
 most
 people
 are
 lead
 to
 believe.
 So
 it
 is
 up
 to
 you
 as
 a
 customer
 and
 then 
as
 an 
owner
 to
 know
 what
 is 
covered under
 the 
warranties 
of
 that 
boat.
 As
 a 
helpful
 aid,
 here
 are 
a 
few 
of 
the 
obvious 
loop
holes 
to 
watch 
out 
for.

First,
 most 
wood
 warranties
 do 
not cover 
much. 
Depending
 on
 the 
manufacturer,
 most 
do
 not 
cover 
labor 
of replacement
 after 
the 
first 
couple years. 
The 
wood 
warranties
 for 
furniture
 type
 items
 are
 almost
 always
 voided 
due
 to
 improper 
care 
of 
the 
boat. 
(“The 
customer
 left
 the
 boat
 damp
 or
 full
 of
 water!”)
.

The
 ideal
 warranty
 would
 cover
 at
 least
 10
 years
 of
 100%
 of
 both
 parts
 and
 labor
 guaranteed.

This
 should
 cover
 both
 the
 deck
 and
 the
 furniture
 items
 from
 not
 only
 rot,
 but
 against
 structural
 failure.
 That
 is
 a
 common
 problem
 for
 most
 companies
 using
 wood
 in
 their
 furniture
 frames.

The
 second
 major
 area
 of
 concern
 covers
 the
 welds
 on
 the
 tubes
 and
 railings.
 The
 welds
 should
 be
 guaranteed
 for
 20
 years,
 covering
 both
 parts
 and
 labor
 100%.

Only
 strong
 and
 knowledgeable
 manufacturers
 will
 back
 a
 product
 for
 a
 long
 period
 of
 time.

Thirdly,
 is
 the
 warranty
 for
 the
 carpets
 and
 vinyl.
 These
 areas
 should
 be
 backed
 with
 a
 5‐
 year
 warranty.
 The
 furniture
 and
 carpets
 are
 most
 of
 what
 people 
see
 when
 you
 look
 at
 a
 pontoon 
and 
are expensive 
and 
difficult 
to 
replace.

13 Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Pontoon Boat

  1. Does 
the 
boat 
fit 
your
 needs 
for 
size 
and
 seating?
  2. How
 is
 the 
overall design 
and 
construction 
of 
the 
boat?
  3. Are
 the 
furniture
 frames
 made
 out
 of 
wood 
or
 the
 better
 roto‐molded?
  4. Are 
the
 railings 
1
1⁄4”
 x
 1
1⁄4” 
x
.90 
anodized 
rails?
  5. Are
 the 
deck 
fasteners 
installed
 to
 prevent
 warping?
  6. Are
 the
 tubes
 both
 air‐filled
 and
 chambered?
  7. Is
 there
 any
 wood
 in
 the 
transom?
  8. Does
 the
 boat 
look
 good? 
Both 
generally 
and
 “fit 
and
 finish?”
  9. How
 good
 is
 the
 warranty?
  10. How
 long
 are
 the 
tubes 
warranted 
for 
100%
 parts 
and
 labor
?
  11. How
 long
 are
 the
 railings
 warranted
 for
 100%
 parts
 and
 labor??
  12. How
 long
 is
 the 
furniture
 frames
 warranted 
for 
100%
 parts 
and 
labor?
  13. How
 long 
is 
the 
deck 
warranted
 for 
100%
 parts 
and
 labor?

We
 hope 
this
 report
 has
 been
 helpful
 for
 both 
you
 and
 your 
family. 
We’ve
 tried
 to 
combine
 everything
 you
 should
 know
 about
 buying
 a
 pontoon
 boat
 into
 one,
 convenient
 report.
 Hopefully
 if
 helps
 you
 avoid
 mistakes
 and
 enables
 you
 to
 find
 a
 boat
 you’ll
 be
 very
 happy
 with
 for 
many,
 many 
years.

For even more information on what to look for in the perfect pontoon boat for you and your family, I would also recommend that you read the Pontoonopedia Buyer’s Guide.

Also, once you have purchased your first pontoon, I would highly recommend that you take a look at the recommended gear suggestions available on Pontoonopedia. I have spent years testing, trialling, and using virtually every conceivable product that you can imagine in the pontoon boat world.

In my recommended gear section I only highlight the products and accessories that provide the best value and come with the highest reviews, not just from me, but also other boaters in the pontoon boat community.

See you on the lakes and happy pontooning!

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