The Many Benefits Of A Pontoon Boat

I have a few friends who own pontoon boats. I’ve never really appreciated it until now, but after speaking to those friends about their boats that they keep on South Carolina’s beautiful Lake Murray, I can see the many benefits of a pontoon boat. I’ll share what I’ve learned in this blog!

pontoon-boat-slips-on-Lake-MurrayMy couple friends, Jake and Holly, told me this story:
My wife didn’t like the fishing boats because they were unsteady and uncomfortable and didn’t offer much for our little kids who get bored with fishing after 30 minutes. I didn’t like the idea of a ski boat because it’d be difficult/weird to fish from, and I wanted to fish! We went to a small boat show and sat in a few boats we both thought would be okay. But then we boarded a pontoon boat for the first time. Holly got that little smile, turned to me and said, “Okay, this could be kinda fun.” For my wife to show that level of interest, this was a big win! My wife enjoys boating with the family, but just doesn’t get as excited about it as I do, so I knew something had clicked for her.

So what peaked Jake’s wife’s interest? Mostly, the family-friendliness of a pontoon boat. Hence, reason number 1 why Pontoon Boats are the perfect pick (try to say that 3 times fast):

#1. Pontoons are Perfect for Families with Kids

When you have little kids, they often get bored on a traditional boat because they can’t run around and are constantly told where they can’t be. That doesn’t make for an enjoyable trip in a child’s eyes, or a parent’s.  On a pontoon, there’s room for them to run, play with play dough on the table, wave the down-skier flag, fish, ride the tube, etc.

Older kids want to be with friends, which means they often don’t spend much family time—unless you have the king of all toys (a pontoon!). Unlike traditional boats, which usually have limited seating capacities, pontoon boats commonly hold 11 or more passengers. If you’re going out on the lake on Saturday, your kids can invite several friends over for games. Your kids suddenly become very popular, and you get to spend time with your kids and see what their friends are like.

#2. Pontoons are The Ultimate Fish/Ski Boat

When you go to purchase a boat, the first question you should ask yourself is: “What do you want your boat to do?” If your answer’s “a little bit of everything” you’re going to be looking at a LOT of boats because every type of boat tries to be something it’s not—nice ski boats with awkward front trolling motors and fishing boats with awkward ski platforms (and a tow bar that constantly gets in the way).

If you get a pontoon boat, in a way, it’s a compromise—not as maneuverable as a ski boat and not as good in shallow water and narrow areas that fishermen sometimes like. However, a pontoon boat’s platform adds something to fishing and skiing that makes it an excellent ski boat and fishing boat. For skiing, you can take more people out on a pontoon boat than a ski boat. For fishing, a pontoon boat is stable so it doesn’t spook the fish, it has ample room to walk all around the boat to fish in different locations, and can even have full enclosures to fish through the cold winter months with a heater inside.

#3. Ease of Use/Maintenance

Pontoons are made of quality aluminum, so they dent much easier than they tear. If you commonly boat at a lake or river with rocks or shallow areas, you can just expect that sooner or later, you will get a hole in the hull. With pontoon boats, it’s much less likely to happen, and usually cheaper to fix when it does (because you don’t have to fix the gel coat).

Another advantage that makes pontoons easy to use and maintain is cleanup after an outing on the water. The ski boat guys have to towel off their boats after every use, because water spots on the gelcoat paint are very difficult to remove.  Pontoon boats don’t need that.

#4. Longevity

Pontoon boats are a fantastic project boat. When your boat is 15 years old and you have holes in the furniture and faded carpet (and hundreds of fun memories), you can buy one-size-fits-most couches for pontoon boats and replace the furniture pretty easily. Good luck finding a matching cushion for your ski boat. Even if you aren’t terribly handy, a boat renovation is a great do-it-yourself project that will allow you to do what you can, and take the rest into the repair shop for the mechanical/electric parts. Pontoon boat forums are full of before/afters of some horrible boats turning into real beauties.

#5. Comfort

With a large area and comfortable couches to sit on, it’s tough to beat the comfort of spending a day (or multiple days) on a pontoon boat.  When your riders are tired of getting dragged through the water, they can pull up the changing room and get out of their swimsuits into comfy clothes.  Then, in dry clothes, you can have a full barbecue right on the boat and serve your passengers. Some pontooners even install a fire pit right in the deck of the playpen. Spending a day on just about any pontoon boat makes you feel like an instant millionaire—without spending tons of money on the fanciest pontoon boat to do so.

#6. Safety

With little kids, I feel like a pontoon boat is much safer because there are fewer “don’t go there” areas on the boat. They’re fenced in with high side rails so they’re less likely to fall out of the boat. (Still, you need proper PFDs.)  Pontoon boats are also quite safe because they’re huge and heavy. This makes them easy to drive because they’re very unlikely to flip. With the max speed of many pontoon boats being around 28mph, and with the turn radius not being overly tight, you could probably make a hard turn at full speed and not come anywhere close to flipping the boat (though I would not recommend testing this theory for obvious reasons).

Be sure to keep onboard some basic pontoon safety equipment in case emergencies do arise.

So there you have it! There are many benefits to owning a pontoon boat for you, your friends and your family.
No matter what type ‘floats your boat’, we have a boat slip to lease on Lake Murray. Timberlake Marina is a 200 deep water, newly renovated, wet slip marina centrally located on Lake Murray offering a serene marina with docking appropriate for power, sail, and pontoon boats as well as jet skis. We also offer slips with boat lifts and jet ski floats. Water and electricity is available for all of the docks and there is ample, paved parking.  If you’d like to lease a slip NOW, call (803) 728-4413 and we will get back with you ASAP.  Boat owners in Columbia, SC now have the perfect place to keep their boats in the water, so water loving Sweekends will be much more convenient!  Keeping your boat at Timberlake Marina makes absolute sense. CALL TO LEASE YOUR SLIP TODAY!

See also Lake Murray – Perfect Place To Go Fish