You’re the captain of the pontoon boat. You deserve comfort, style, and functionality as you’re going to be sat down in it for very long periods of time. But is it possible to get all 3 of those in one seat or chair? Yes, it is.

I’ve got one in my Sweetwater having recently swapped out my older bucket set. As part of the selection process I went to a few dealers around my area and actually sat in a few different pontoon boat captain chairs to see which one I liked the most.

I finally settled on the 5 to review, with the first one listed being the one I bought. I am going to tell you why I recommend these below with my independent pontoon captain chair reviews. But that’s not to say my preferred seat is the right choice for you, as every captain is going to want something different.

Because of that, I’ve rated them for comfort, style, and many other factors that I believe contribute to these being the best pontoon captain’s chairs on sale right now.

1. Leader Accessories Premium Sports Bucket Seat (Flip Up)
TOP BEST RECOMMENDATION

  • Price bracket: Mid-range (view prices)
  • Comfort score: 9/10
  • Design score: 9/10
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Compatible pedestal: Wise pedestal, Attwood Swivel
  • Dimensions: 26 inches D, 20.5 inches W, 23.5 inches H
  • UV and mildew resistant: Yes

I walked into a dealer and tried around 10 seats, whittling it down to 5 possibles. The Leader Accessories chair here was the first one I tried, and I kept coming back to it again and again. You can’t help but admire how awesome it looks.

This bucket seat could come straight out of an Italian sports car. But it’s not just about the sporty look, it’s the comfort levels too.

It has high-density foam, a high back for amazing support, stainless steel fasteners, and great width in the base. It’s advertised as being ergonomic, and it sure feels like that once you’re sat in it.

pontoon boat captains chairreviews

The Leader Accessories chair is a stunning piece of design and workmanship and has my highest review rating.

It’s also got that flip-up front part so you can bolster the seat height if you want to put yourself up into a higher position.

With a range of different colors available, you will be able to find a few shades that will match your pontoon boat interior design.

In terms of what other people say, you will notice that is has some of the best reviews on Amazon of any pontoon captain’s chair. Common themes that emerge include references to the great price point, the comfort, ease of installation, quality, and lumbar support.

I bought it, I love it, and I think you will too.

Conclusion

Of all the pontoon captain’s chairs I tested, this was the winner on both comfort and design… and it’s not even the most expensive.

I’ve had this in my pontoon now for 6 months, and I’ve been inundated with other jealous pontooners wanting to sit in it. They all say how impressed they are, and three of them have even gone on to buy this as a replacement skipper seat themselves.

2. Leader Accessories Pontoon Captains Bucket Boat Seat
BEST BUDGET RECOMMENDATION

  • Price bracket: Low-range (view prices)
  • Comfort score: 8/10
  • Design score: 6/10
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Compatible pedestal and base: Attwood pedestal and swivel
  • Dimensions: 21.5 inches D,  22 inches W, 19.5 inches H
  • UV and mildew resistant: Yes

You won’t find a more traditional looking captain’s chair for your pontoon boat than this one. It’s Leader Accessories again, a brand that I love and trust to deliver high quality products. And with 6 different color combinations, you’re sure to find something to match your existing upholstery.

Just like the sports model above, it’s made with a high-impact molded frame, but all the hard plastic elements are covered in cushioning and padding, making it a very comfortable ride.

The bucket design will hold most skipper’s in nice and tight, but still giving you the freedom to feel like you can move around and aren’t restricted.

Conclusion

If I hadn’t had wanted a sports look, this is the seat I would have purchased. It will match virtually any brand of pontoon boat, has a traditional bucket design, and is extremely ergonomic for comfort.

3. Wise Premier Series Pontoon Captain’s Bucket Seat
MOST EXPENSIVE RECOMMENDATION 

  • Price bracket: Expensive (view prices)
  • Comfort score: 6/10
  • Design score: 7/10
  • Weight capacity: 270 pounds
  • Compatible pedestal and base: Attwood pedestal and swivel
  • Dimensions: 23.5 D L, 22 inches W, 22.5 inches H
  • UV and mildew resistant: Yes

You pay for comfort in this world it seems, and that’s what seems to account for the higher price point on this Wise seat. It is the most expensive chair I tested out. However, it’s not as stylish in my opinion as others I reviewed.

But, it is a traditional looking skipper’s chair, so would be ideal if you want quality without the sports look.

Comfort is the main selling point with this seat, coming with a high back, high compression foam, a high impact molded frame, and good width. In fact it’s one of the wider seats featured in these reviews, suiting a larger captain’s frame.

Conclusion

Time for a reality check.

Despite how the specification states all these wonderful comfortable features, I found the reality was quite different. When I sat in it in the dealer’s showroom, it felt really hard underneath my butt. I assume after some time of wearing it in, that hardness would start to feel ok, but for me, I wanted a padded feel underneath me straight off the bat.

Based on that, I don’t know if this is really worth the money. Yes, it’s great quality, but I don’t feel it stacks up with what’s promised.

However, it does come with a long warranty. You get 5 years on the frame and 3 years on the upholstery. That could be a deciding factor if you are undecided on what chair to purchase.

4. Wise Standard Pilot Chair with Pedestal
LIGHTWEIGHT RECOMMENDATION

  • Price bracket: Mid-range (view prices)
  • Comfort score: 8/10
  • Design score: 6/10
  • Weight capacity: 200 pounds
  • Compatible pedestal: Included
  • Dimensions: 22.5 inches D, 17.75 inches W, 18.25 inches H
  • UV and mildew resistant: Yes

I included this chair for those that might have a smaller space to work in, plus don’t want the hassle of buying the pedestal unit, as it’s included. It’s smaller than the other captain’s chairs in these reviews, and a by-product of that is that it won’t suit you if you are of a heavy frame and build.

But if you are of a skinner build, its an ideal choice.

It’s height adjustable, and can be moved up and down using a pin mechanism.

Comfort-wise, it’s not as well padded as other chairs, and a lot of the molded plastic is exposed and not covered with padding and cushioning.

Conclusion

If you’re a lightweight guy and don’t have a lot of room to play with in your captain’s console, this is a great choice.

It’s not hugely expensive, it’s simple to install, but doesn’t really have the design aesthetics when compared side by side to the Leader Accessories sports model I recommended at the top of these chair reviews.

5. Moeller Heavy Duty Standard Boat Helm Seat
CHEAP RECOMMENDATION

  • Price bracket: Very cheap (view prices)
  • Comfort score: 5/10
  • Design score: 5/10
  • Weight capacity: 250 pounds
  • Compatible pedestal: Attwood pedestal and swivel
  • Dimensions: 18.5 inches D, 17.5 inches W, 13.5 inches H
  • UV and mildew resistant: Yes

If you want to save yourself a few bucks, then take a look at this Moeller. It’s not that much cheaper than the other captain’s chairs in this list, so you’re not going to make a huge savings, and for me, I’d spend the extra dollars on something else.

But, why?

Well, and this is a very personal opinion, I just think it looks a lot cheaper than the other seats on this list.

For example, the sides of the chair are a white molded plastic. They aren’t designed to be arm rests and are just for keeping you in the seat.

When I sat in it, it just didn’t feel comfortable. I like to be able to rest my arms up, and you’re going to aches or pains in your shoulders if you try to do that with this chair for any prolonged period of time.

The cushion padding is also about 1.5 inches thick. My suspicion would be that after a few hours on the lake, you’re going to get a numb butt.

On the plus side, it will last you a long time. Moeller products are very high quality and designed for the type of punishment you might mete out to them.

Conclusion

This is decent enough captain’s chair if you have a set budget in mind.

However, I don’t believe it will that comfortable for larger riders. It has a very low back on it which doesn’t offer great back support. That’s essential for me as a back-pain sufferer. The back only comes up to about the lower part of your shoulder blades.

From a design point of view, I don’t think it comes anywhere close to the other seats in this guide.

Don’t forget the pedestal and swivel plate!

For most of the seats I’ve reviewed, you will need a pedestal to clamp it into, plus a swivel base. It’s not good to make assumptions, but I guess most of you will already have a pedestal in place if you are buying a replacement pontoon boat captain’s chair.

However, if you don’t already own a pedestal, you’re going to need one. You will need to install it into the deck by the console. Most of the chairs in this guide will work with the Attwood pedestal system (view Amazon prices). You will also need to buy a swivel plate so you can rotate in your seat.

If you do decide to buy on Amazon, you will see a section titled “frequently bought together”. If you are in doubt what pedestal and swivel base you need, that will tell you based on what other boat owners purchased together when buying a chair.

One last thing; make sure that any pedestal you already have, or if you’re buying a replacement, is compatible with your new seat. You will be able to find that out in the specifications on Amazon with the chairs I’ve reviewed or in the questions people have already asked.

To help you out with this, I’ve listed the compatible pedestal and swivel product in the reviews listed above. 

Don’t forget the seat cover!

There’s no point spending all this money on a great seat if you aren’t going to take care of it. You might be like me and a little lazy when leaving your boat for a couple of days… I sometimes don’t get around to putting the mooring cover on.

But, one thing I will always do is protect my pontoon boat captain’s chair with its own cover. It’s quick, easy, and stops the seagulls from doing their business all over it.

There isn’t a lot of choice out there for seat covers, but I did manage to find one that fits great with my new chair; this seat cover on Amazon.

It’s specifically designed to protect your new captain’s seat from UV rays, dirt, and anything else that’s going to get thrown at it when docked.

It comes with a long 7-year warranty and is made in the USA.

Should you replace and repair your pontoon seats?

You have two different types of seating in your pontoon boat. You have your captain’s chair, and then the seating out on the deck.

The captain’s seat is the one area that is going to have the most traffic and get the most worn over time. The vinyl could have tears and mildew damage in it (see how to clean them), the padding might have worn down.

However, replacing the cushioning and padding in a skipper’s chair is really tricky due to the intricacies in the design.

I’d always replace, over repairing.

Your leisure seating out on the deck is a different matter though; you can replace the upholstery and repair these yourself. I’ve written an upholstery repair guide showing you how you can do that.

The last word…

I wish you all the luck with your search for comfort and functionality. All of the chairs I’ve reviewed in this guide are at the top of their game.

They should be easy enough to install, even for the novice pontoon boater.

But why stop there?

Whilst you now have the throne of importance, let’s make it even more clear who is in charge.

And what better way to do that than with a pontoon captain’s t-shirt. You can see which ones I love with these featured skipper t-shirts.

You can also explore all of the accessories that I have reviewed over the last few years, plus check out the most essential gear you should modify your pontoon boat with.