There are over 87 million adults who participate in recreational boating in the U.S., with the activity being popular the world over. Pontoon boats can be a great option for the beginner boater. The benefits of a pontoon boat also include plenty of storage space, a fairly long lifespan, and on average a lower annual insurance cost. If you are considering pontoon boats for your needs, here are five features to keep in mind while shopping around.
Five Key Features to Look For to Find the Best Pontoon Boat.
Water sports were popular among just about 13.4% of adults in 2017, making this a relatively exclusive club. Renting a personal watercraft for a day can be very enjoyable, especially if your guests have never been on any kind of boat before. However, if you want to purchase a pontoon boat you will need to be more selective.
1. Anchor Space. Although a pontoon is a smaller boat, it absolutely needs to have storage space for an anchor. While it will hopefully never need to be used, an anchor can prove to be a major safety assist during inclement weather.
2. Bow Deck. A bow deck is recommended to be at least 12 inches of space from both the fore and the aft. This will make it easier for boarding and for tie-up.
3. Boarding Gates. Make sure the boat you like has gates that open easily and meet safety standards. It is a good idea to look for ones that have an opening of 32 inches so as to accommodate a wheelchair if needed.
4. Raised Captain’s Chair. The captain of the boat must have clear visibility over the heads of any passengers for navigational purposes.
5. Seating Arrangements. How many people do you plan to regularly bring aboard? Be careful of choosing a boat that is too small, or one that is too big.
The right pontoon boat for your needs will need to meet several requirements. Of course, this list is not comprehensive. However, keep in mind the purpose of your boat when shopping around. Remember to have fun with it.