Cypress Cay C 171 Cruise
Youd rather have a smaller boat thats loaded to the gills with every conceivable option and accessory, as opposed to a larger one with less glitz and glam? Then its time to check out the Cypress Cay C 171, which sits under the $18,000 mark with a 50 horse Mercury FourStroke on the transom. That leaves plenty of room in the budget to check off the box for each and every option.
The C 171 Cruise also offers a seating arrangement thats a bit different from the norm, with an aft forward-facing couch, helm and passengers pedestal seats, and a pair of forward loungers. So despite this boats relatively small size, all eight passengers still have a comfy spot to plop down.
Visit Cypress Cay to learn more.
Pontoon Boat Weight & Specifications
Pontoon boats can range in size and are generally between 15 to 30 feet in length, although the biggest pontoon boats in the world can exceed 35 feet, with some pontoon-style houseboats reaching up to 80 feet in length. The smallest pontoon boat can be as short as 8 feet, including human-powered pedal boats like the Pelican DLX Angler mini pontoon boats. Smaller mini pontoon boats are good for narrow rivers and shallow bodies of water plus they are a great entry level starter boat for those on a budget. On the other end of the spectrum, the largest pontoon boats are great for entertaining as many guests as you can squeeze onboard with some featuring double-deckers i.e. two levels of decks , waterslides, BBQ grills, heads and more.
In comparison with fiberglass and wooden boats, pontoon boats are generally lighter weight since their hulls are made of hollow aluminum tubes . However, the more creature comforst and luxury amenities you add to the boat, the heavier it gets. These days, typical pontoon boats weigh between 1,800 and 2,500 pounds, so they can be easily trailered by light duty pickup trucks and passenger cars. Of course, the largest pontoon boats with all the bells and whistles, can exceed 3,500 pounds or more, and require special permits and larger vehicles to tow on public roads.
Best Pontoon Boats: Latest Models Show Why This Style Is So Popular
Our US correspondent Elliott Maurice explains the burgeoning popularity of pontoon boats and takes a look at some of the newest models on the market…
A dominating factor over the past few years in the US boating market has been the rise of the pontoon boat.
The first pontoon boat is believed to have been created back in 1952, when a farmer from Minnesota tied a wooden deck to a pair of surplus WW2 bridge pontoons, leading to the first production pontoon boat named The Empress.
The result may not have been very stylish but it was a stable, spacious, low draft platform that could be adapted for any number of different uses.
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Todays pontoon boats still possess those same qualities but have evolved into far more sophisticated party platforms that now dominate the market for inland and bay-based boating across the US.
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Best Pontoon Boats In 2021
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Our family bought a pontoon boat last summer. Being the traveling family we are and being unable to travel as much last year, I was itching for something we could use to get out on the water and enjoy the summer before it was too late, so I convinced hubby that I needed a pontoon boat. Before I share which pontoon boat brand we purchased, lets talk about the 8 Best Pontoon Boats on the market in 2021.
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Bennington S21 L Bench
The Bennington S21 L Bench is the perfect companion for a simple day out on the water with family and friends. Built with excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail youll be of its quality performance and safety throughout your ride. Featuring an L- shaped bench floor plan, it provides flexible seating with large amounts or under storage and easy boat access. Furniture is built with world-class yacht grade Simtex soft-touch premium vinyl for a lifetime of comfort.
The Bennington S series, L-Bench come in 13 different floor plans to fit your specific needs and preferences.
- Do not do well on rough waters
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Best Pontoon Boat Motor: The 5 Top Brands To Consider
Pontoons are hands down one the best boats you can own for what they were meant to do. If your’e a pontoon owner you might be interested in what the best pontoon boat motor is.
Right off the bat, there is no best motor per se, as no motor is a one size fits all deal. However, there will be an appropriate pontoon boat motor for your intended use case scenario.
But before we discuss all that in detail, lets start off with a few definitions starting with the pontoon boat. A pontoon is a type of boat where the deck is attached on top a set of hollow cylindrical tubes called pontoons hence the name. This gives them a high surface area contact with the water increasing their buoyancy and stability.
Nevertheless, this type of boat has its downsides which can be offset by choosing the right boat motor and propeller for the boats intended purpose.
Why Barletta C Class:
As the most expensive pontoon or tritoon on the list, Barletta was selected because of the overall build quality. In my opinion, they have the best made foundation of any pontoon on the market today. With that construction stoutness comes a higher price tag as well.
And, with their C Class offering, theyve kept the best part of the quality construction and scaled down the extras to provide a sturdy platform at a much lower cost than their higher end L Class and Corsa Class.
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Manitou 23 Legacy Shp
The Manitou 23 Legacy SHP is popular for its high-end features and performance. Complete with luxury amenities to keep you comfortable and entertained throughout your ride. Youll instantly feel at home with its classic layout and color scheme, plus it offers plenty of storage space for your things and boating accessories. One thing to praise about this pontoon is its powerful engine that allows the boat to go faster and faster as you sail through the water. And with its power assist steering, youll feel secured and in control throughout.
- Less person capacity than other pontoon boats on the list
Avalon Ls Quad Lounge
Image from avalonpontoons.com
The Avalon LS Quad Lounge is an affordable pontoon for the whole family. It is available in 20, 22, and 24 foot options, and has two seats forward and aft that face the water, allowing for the whole family to enjoy the perfect view. All seats are mounted on aluminum lifetime metal frames, ensuring that the boat will last and not break down with use. There is a pop up privacy curtain and frame, allowing for a quick wardrobe change for the indecisive member of the family. There is also a standard ski tow bar, as well as a stainless steel grill: the perfect way to celebrate a day out on the water.
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These Great Boats Are Easily Affordable So Everyone Can Get In On The Fun
Family boating is more attainable than ever. To show you what me mean, weve put together a list of 10 great, affordable pontoon boats.
Pontoon boats remain some of the best values on the water. Its true you can forget about all those old stereotypes about having to be super-wealthy to be a boater. The reality is that boating is for everyone, and thats never been more true than today with more than 90% of all boat owners today claiming household incomes of under $100,000. Thanks to some ingenious engineering, and record-low interest rates, any family can get out on the water today especially with these amazing pontoon boats that take value to all-new levels.
So what are you waiting for? Get in on the fun with these incredible, affordable pontoon boats.
Tips For New Pontoon Or Tritoon Buyers:
If buying a new pontoon or tritoon, from a boat dealer make sure you are going to have a good relationship after the sale. One thing to consider is how close they are for when you need service.
When buying from a dealer, be sure you are not buying a pontoon that has extra equipment you dont need.
Often dealers will try to sell you the extended warranty and other upgrades that are often times unnecessary.
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Nrs 14′ River Cataraft
Image from nrs.com
The NRS 14 River Cataraft is the luxury and yet ultimate sportsmans version of the basic inflatable pontoon boat. At almost 14 feet in length and weighing 72 pounds, it has a large upper frame allowing for 2-3 passengers, all the while carrying gear for those trips to that overnight campsite. The pontoons are made of heavy-duty Pennel Orca material which is super abrasion, chemical and UV-resistant for extra durability.
The tubes are comprised of three air chambers, allowing maximum peace of mind in any emergency situation. The Cataraft has a 10-year retail warranty, which goes a long way to ensure they stand behind their product. This is the inflatable you would raft down a river with and have no worries that it would pop on the first rapid you came across. The Cataraft is built to last, and strong enough to endure some major force in its everyday use.
Larson Escape Rt220 Cruz
The RT220 breaks the mold of ugly boxy pontoon boat design with a sleek helm and the addition of fiberglass components which allows for a sleeker and more attractive design. Its equipped with a Bimini top which is stable at full speed, along with a removable pedestal table that goes up quick when you need it but can be moved out of the way for other activities. The RT220 Cruz is one of the most attractive pontoons on the market today.
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Where Moments Become Memories
As we go through life, we as adults all recognize two denitive truthsour kids grow up too fast and theres never enough time in the day to do everything we want.
Its time to stop lamenting the lost moments and start making proper memories.
For more than 35 years, the SUN TRACKER® team has crafted a lineup of pontoon boats designed specifically to help anglers, families and any other outdoors enthusiast bring everyone together for better experiences. Whether youre teaching your grandkids to fish, replacing game night with friends with a night out on the water or just spending quality time with your significant other miles away from cell service, SUN TRACKER has a model with the features, comfort and room you need.
So, come out and make the most of your time on a SUN TRACKERthe best spot for turning moments into memories.
Anglers and Families across the nation are realizing the power of social distancing on the water. When you’ve visited one of our Dealership showrooms lately you might be seeing less inventory than usual but don’t worry, we are still delivering boats from our plants quickly to our Dealerships.
And the good news is, it is a boat built JUST FOR YOU!
Tips For Used Pontoon Or Tritoon Buyers:
If buying a used boat, considering who will handle your service needs is an important decision.
If doing yourself, where will you get the parts necessary?
If you are not comfortable doing all of the mechanical work, is there a service provider you can trust that has expertise working on the brand pontoon and more importantly the brand of motor?
It may seem like a small detail but in my experience considering these factors before making a buying decision will ensure a more enjoyable and longer time as a pontoon boater.
So, youve found out all the ways to save to get the most for your money on your pontoon or tri-toon, now here are some thoughts on add-ons or upgrades you may want to consider.
|Options to Consider|
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Why Harris Cruiser Pontoons:
One of the best manufacturers in the industry is Harris. They have been building pontoons since the 50 and are owned by Brunswick who also owns Mercury Motors.
Because they exclusively offer the Mercury engines that are supplied by their parent company, there are some efficiencies and cost savings gained. Having to only rig boats for a singe outboard type means less inventory on hand and all boats are designed from the ground up to fit a Mercury engine.
The 2nd reason the Harris Cruiser specifically was selected is because it is their value model. It is build along side pontoons and tritoons that are $20 to $50K more with the same level of quality but just scaled down slightly. And the same as the Lowe pontoon, these are only rated to 150HP on the tritoon models.
Without all the bells and whistles and more plan options, the price is kept down while the quality is kept relatively high compared to the cheaper competitors.
Top Us Pontoon Boat Manufacturers
Below are the top companies on Pontoon & Deck Boats Whos Who list for 2014, ranked by the number of models they had for sale in that year. Additional information for each company includes the brand they were recognized for, their company headquarters, and year founded. Dashes indicate where information was unavailable.
Table 1: Top U.S. Pontoon Boat Companies
Bennington, based in Elkhart, IN, manufactures standard and custom luxury pontoon boats. The company offers five series of pontoon boats, including sports and fishing boats, with various levels of features from 16 to 30 feet long.
Berkshire Pontoons boats, ranging from 18 to 27 feet, feature composite made in the USA. Their boats come in 4 series with custom options. Berkshire is a division of Forest River, Inc., which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
G3 Boats, which is owned by Yamaha, manufactures outboard motor and pontoon boats in Lebanon, MO. Their outboard motorboats are made for hunting and fishing, while their pontoons are made for leisure applications
Crest offers nine different models of boats, including fishing and leisure boats, with customizable engines, interiors, and other features. The company is headquartered in Owosso, MI.
Apex Marines offerings include fishing and leisure pontoon boats, with its fishing boats made in the USA. The company currently offers 12 series of boats, including four types of leisure pontoons and eight series of fishing pontoon boats.
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Boat Brands & Manufacturers
Small lightweight and, durable trailer boats made of aluminum are most often used for freshwater fishing. Generally very simple craft, featuring riveted or welded aluminum hulls and bench seating, they can be operated in fish-friendly places – shallow water, coves, inlets – not many other boats can reach. Powered primarily by outboard engines, this type of boat offers both tiller and remote steering options.
High performance boats are the sleek sports cars of the boating world, offering high speeds and precise handling to boaters who prefer their thrills full throttle. Marrying big horsepower with sleek hulls results in boats that are equally at home slicing through ocean swells or tearing up inland lakes. Cranking offshore or simply relaxing in a cove, performance boats deliver lots of smiles per hour.
Pontoon boats give families with younger boaters a secure place to enjoy the ride or toddle about when at anchor, thanks to wide decks and “play pen-like” side rails and gates. When equipped with larger engines they can be as quick as runabouts.
What Every Price Conscious Pontoon Or Tritoon Shopper Needs To Know
Now, in addition to selecting the right brand and model, there are other ways to get the most for your money when shopping pontoons and tri-toons. Ill share a few tips below.
And, check out the last section where youll discover a key area every pontoon shopper needs to make the best decision for their boating needs.
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How Long Do Pontoon Boats Last
One of the many reasons why pontoon boats are popular is because they tend to have a longer lifespan than other motorboats. The top pontoon boats last on average about 10 to 20 years. They are easy to maintain and are typically less expensive to insure. Of course, the lifespan of any pontoon boat depends on the brand, its material, and construction, maintenance, where it is used(saltwater or freshwater, and how often you use it.
Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 Dlx
Pontooners who like to hit the lake one day and then head for the bay the next will want to check out the Sun Tracker Party Barge 20 DLX, which can be had in a complete boat-motor-trailer package for a couple thousand dollars under our max. That gets you a 90 horse Mercury FourStroke, too, so this boat wont be a slouch and you can expect to run at speeds nearing 30 MPH.
The trailer is a tandem-axel rig with brakes and a forward boarding ladder. Seating includes a couch/couch/L-lounger layout plus the helm chair, with added comfort provided by 26-ounce upholstery over multi-density foam padding. Unique Perk Alert: The Party Barge 20 DLX has a wheelchair-accessible access gate.
Visit Sun Tracker to learn more.
So there you have it: 10 affordable pontoon boats that the average American family can get without even changing the budget. Then again, if money is no object
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