For many years they puttered around like a golf cart of the water: slow, simple and humble, with many limitations.
Pontoon boats were considered viable options for budget-friendly, no-frills cruising, custom made for grandma and grandpa.
My, how times have changed. The constantly evolving and improving pontoon boat has become one of the fast-growing, most-popular segments of the boating industry.
In 2016, pontoons were the second best-selling model of new boats, according to data from Statistical Surveys, Inc. Between customizability and ever-increasing horsepower options, pontoon boat owners can either cruise in luxurious comfort or scream down the water at 60 mph, powered by 900 HP.
Some people refer to the new versatile pontoons as “living rooms on the water.”
As designed, pontoon boats feature a large, flat deck that is supported by two or three long flotation hulls. The ample, open floor provides a plenty of space to accompany a large group. Some pontoons even offer a second deck, providing room for a waterslide.
Although these boats were designed for comfort and lounging, rather than cruising choppy water, their width and size provide a substantial amount of stability.
Newer model pontoon boats offer plenty of room, comfort and power for a variety of activities: fishing, sunbathing, lounging, skiing or tubing. Pontoons have become a popular choice for experienced boaters as well as newcomers to the sport. There are price points, and specialized versions for everyone, such as: performance pontoons, watersports pontoons, luxury pontoons, fishing pontoons, family-fun pontoons and value pontoons.
It looks like grandpa might have been on to something all along.