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Best Pontoon Boat Brands for Parties, Performance, Fishing, and Chilling Out

Pontoon boats have been a major feature on the lakes across the United States for decades. Often referred to as float boats or ‘toons, they are family favorites, offering a stable, wide platform that can accommodate more passengers than other boats of a similar length. Where they were once considered slow party boats, today pontoon boats are a whole different breed, and there are pontoons for sale that offer high speeds for watersports, luxury models, fishing models, family floats, and models that can be used on sheltered saltwater. There are models with electric engines, ones with waterslides coming off the side, stand-up bars, sun pads, BBQs, and expansive lounge areas. And at the other end of the price spectrum, you’ll find simple mini models designed for a spot of solo fishing. 

Whatever type of pontoon boat you’re looking for, you’ll find an impressive number of brands building ever-more innovative designs. Here we take a look at some of our team’s favorite brands, but it’s important to note that there are many more excellent pontoon brands to consider too. 

 

 

Small and Mini Pontoon Boats

Small pontoon boats allow people to get out on the water for a day of cruising and fun without breaking the bank. They’re easy to pop on a trailer and launch, they are safe and stable, and can be used for many different activities such as fishing or swimming. 

 

Pond King

Manufacturing possibly the smallest pontoons on the market is Pond King, whose simple two-man mini models are 8 feet in length and weigh 220lbs (in fact there’s even a 4-foot model made for solo fishing). They also have a range of small pontoon boats up to 13 feet in length that can accommodate 5 passengers. Pond King official website

 

Sun Tracker

Sun Tracker’s big range of pontoons includes fishing models, bass models, sportfishing models, and their Party Barge range, all of which offer highly compact and low-cost models around 16 to 18 feet in length. These allow for easy trailering and come complete with a range of activity-specific accessories. Sun Tracker boats for sale

 

Pond King Pontoon

Pond King manufactures some of the smallest pontoons on the market, some just 8 feet long. Pond King photo.

 

Large Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats have always been known for being able to accommodate a lot of passengers for their size, but the largest models can host up to 16 or 18 people for a fun-packed day on the lake. With waterslides, two floors, and plenty of seating, some pontoon boats really push the size boundaries. Some brands building extra-large models include: 

 

Manitou

While Manitou’s line-up includes many mid-sized models, their XT range is one of the larger ranges on the market at 28 feet in length. It allows up to 16 passengers on board making this a true party boat. Manitou is a luxury brand, with a focus on elegance, comfort, and power (they come equipped with 400hp engines). Manitou boats for sale

 

Godfrey Pontoon Boats

Godfrey’s large line-up includes several models in the 28-foot category including their super high-powered luxury XP model, which has up to 800hp. Sporty and stylish, their largest models accommodate up to 14 passengers in the ultimate of comfort. Godfrey boats for sale

 

Large Pontoon Manitou

Brands such as Manitou and Godfrey build large, luxurious pontoon boats pushing 30 feet in length and accommodating 18 people. Manitou photo.

 

Luxury Pontoon Boats

Once upon a time the words luxury and pontoon weren’t often found in the same sentence. But today the trusty float boat has had a huge makeover and can be as sleek and luxurious as a sports boat. With the latest technology, high-powered engines, plush seating, a wealth of features, and an elegant profile, they are true head turners. Some of our favorite luxury brands include:

 

Bennington

The luxurious models being produced by Bennington epitomize the new era of the pontoon and tritoon boats (see our guide to the differences between tritoon and pontoons), with the latest in electronics, handmade leather seats, and swanky extras. They offer performance packages, a virtually unlimited number of layouts to choose from, and a truly glamorous appearance. Bennington boats for sale

 

Berkshire

The brand has been synonymous with luxury since their founding, and today they have a range of high-quality pontoons that push the boundaries of what we usually expect from traditional float boats. Its models are sleek and elegant, and buyers have a wide choice of packages, luxury extras, and finishes to choose from to really customize. Berkshire boats for sale

 

Bennington pontoon

Luxury pontoon brands such as Bennington and Berkshire offer high-quality boats with elegant finishes, the latest electronics, and long lists of accessories. Bennington photo.

 

Affordable Pontoon Boats

At Rightboat we prefer to focus on value for money over the concept of affordability. We believe that what one person finds affordable may be beyond the budget of another, and so here we look at some of our favorite brands that offer bang for your buck.

 

Avalon

Avalon has a huge line-up of pontoons, ranging from ultra luxurious down to fun and functional, but what it always promotes is value for money. Avalon always aims to offer all the equipment and luxury finishes you’d expect on higher-priced brands for a fraction of the cost. That includes fishing gear, a choice of layouts, plush upholstery, and powerful engines. Avalon boats for sale

 

Sylvan

Sylvan is not one of the cheapest pontoon builders on the market, but they certainly offer good value for money with their high-end accessories that you’d usually find on luxury models with much higher price tags. These include seating areas that convert into bars, as well as an ultra-sleek design, docking lights, Bluetooth stereo systems, and under-deck and underwater lighting. Sylvan boats for sale

 

Avalon

There are some excellent brands offering good-value-for-money pontoons with all the extras of a luxury model at a lower price tag. Avalon Pontoons photo.

 

Fishing Pontoon Boats

Fishing pontoons allow anglers to get out on the lake and enjoy a day of fishing with friends and family. The large deck spaces are ideal for casting and reeling, while there is ample room for livewells, equipment storage, and swiveling fishing seats in the bow or stern. There are many brands building fishing-focused pontoons including: 

 

Ranger Boats 

Ranger has been one of the biggest names in the fishing-boat sector for decades, known for their ruggedness and sheer fishability. Its pontoon boats are no exception and offer everything you need for a day of serious angling, from aerated livewells to swivel fishing chairs. Ranger boats for sale

 

Lowe

Lowe is another top builder of small- to mid-sized fishing boats and their pontoon range is just as successful. Ranging from 20 to 24 feet in length, they manage to combine all the fishing features you could need with the accessories, feature-rich console, and capable outboard to make it a comfortable family cruiser, too. Lowe boats for sale

 

Fishing Lowe

Some of the top fishing boat brands offer pontoon boats that are designed with anglers in mind, including features such as swivel chairs and livewells. Lowe photo.

 

Sport Pontoon Boats

Pontoons might not be the first style people consider when choosing a watersports boat, but the new breed of pontoon offers high-speed engines with good waves, large swim platforms, ski tow pylons, and more for a day of watersports fun on the lake. There are lots of good sports pontoon brands to choose from including:

 

SunChaser

SunChaser specializes in family pontoon boats that put an emphasis on watersports. Its range of models—which offer a range of layouts—have big swim platforms, powerful outboards, tow pylons and more making them highly capable sports boats with the space that only a pontoon can offer. SunChaser boats for sale

 

Sea-Doo

Known for their fast and fun Jetskis, Sea-Doo has turned its engineering to putting the same speed and agility into its range of pontoon boats. All of their compact models are equipped for watersports with ski mode, inflatable holder, rearview mirror, and up to 230hp engines. Sea-Doo boats for sale

 

Sea-Doo

There is a new breed of high-speed pontoons designed for watersports enthusiasts that have big swim platforms and tow pylons. Sea-Doo photo.

 

Electric Pontoon Boats

Electric boats are rapidly growing in popularity and there is perhaps no style better suited to electric propulsion than the pontoon. They are designed for gentle cruising on calm inland waters, and electric engines eliminate the noise and smell created by a petrol engine, allowing for a quieter, more eco-friendly and pleasant day on the water. Some of the best brands offering electric pontoons for sale include:

 

Princecraft

When it comes to beautifully constructed electric boats, Princecraft are one of the forerunners in this burgeoning sector. While the brand has a big choice of non-electric pontoons, too, its Brio Range of three electric models—from 17 feet to 21 feet—offer 25hp and capacity for up to 9 passengers. Princecraft boats for sale

 

Crest

Crest Current have been in the pontoon industry for decades and recently added an electric model—the Current—to the impressive line-up. It offers efficient and clean power combined with high-quality finish and a plethora of luxury features that Crest are known for such as captain’s chair, a roll-out Bimini top, and USB ports. Crest boats for sale

 

Electric Princecraft

Quiet, eco-friendly electric pontoons are gaining popularity, with brands such as Princecraft and Crest offering ranges of luxurious electric pontoons. Princecraft photo.

 

 

Written By: Samantha Wilson

Samantha Wilson has spent her entire life on and around boats, from tiny sailing dinghies all the way up to superyachts. She writes for many boating and yachting publications, top charter agencies, and some of the largest travel businesses in the industry, combining her knowledge and passion of boating, travel and writing to create topical, useful and engaging content.

Get in touch:Linkedin

More from: Samantha Wilson


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