Getting Your First Pontoon Boat? Tips for First-Time Buyers | Manitou
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Here we will be discussing the many pontoon boat options available to you and will highlight some key points about pontoon boat ownership to try and help you decide which type of pontoon boat is best suited to your needs. For example, when buying a boat there are a few things to consider. These are just some of the dilemmas you will encounter when you decide to buy a pontoon boat so having a little knowledge about these boats and what to look for in one can steer you in the right direction when choosing your next buy.

First of all, you have to decide what you want your pontoon boat to be used for. This may sound obvious but knowing what your requirements are in a boat will save you time and money. Being focused on the type of pontoon boat you need will allow you to discount all other options and really focus down on only those boats that match your crt. It will also allow you to better understand the current pricing range for your ideal boat � both new boats and used ones. This is the question you must ask yourself and you must answer it accurately in order to increase your chances of selecting the right boat from the outset.

Here are a few things to consider before buying your next boat and to find out if a pontoon boat is the right choice for you. One of the most important decisions to make when looking for a boat is where are you most likely to use it � calm freshwater lakes or open ocean environments? Hull shape and size are the main factors to consider here because different hull designs are better suited to different water conditions.

Although a pontoon boat has a very unique design , it is still very versatile, and can be utilized for a vast variety of uses. What do you intend to use your boat for? Will the boat be used for fishing, cruising, partying or for water sports, for example? The list of uses for a pontoon boat could fill several pages, and this is before any customization is done to your boat so it becomes even more versatile.

The beauty of a pontoon boat is that it can realistically be used for most recreational water activities except in whitewater environments.

Whether your boat is for simply bobbing around in a pond or adrenalin infused water sports, it helps to first understand what you are going to use your pontoon boat for.

Being armed with some basic information about your intentions for your boat will make your buying decision that much easier and will let you know what type of accessories and equipment your boat will need as well as giving you a heads-up in regards to purchase price and overall running costs of the boat. The overall size of a pontoon boat is probably the first thing to think about, for a few reasons.

A large pontoon may be too big of a boat for your small local lake or for fishing in local ponds and rivers. But there is more than just the environment the boat will be operating in to consider.

Be realistic about how much kit are you likely to need and if there is likely to be a large number of crew, family and friends onboard etc. Or, will you be a solo mariner in your pontoon boat? Larger boats require more than one person to operate them safely when docking and loading and unloading. Not all pontoon boats are large luxury craft and for your needs you may only need a mini pontoon boat.

It almost goes without saying that a pontoon boat is one of the most versatile recreational boats for delivering a very adequate solution to your fishing needs.

Any type of pontoon boat can be used for fishing, especially for freshwater fishing on calm inland bodies of water. Not only is angling a popular pastime for pontoon boat owners but those who enjoy bowfishing will also find that the stability offered by a pontoon boat as well as the large wide deck means this type of boat offers an ideal platform from which to shoot. However, large or even medium sized, pontoon boats are not at all necessary if you require a reliable and effective fishing pontoon boat.

Mini pontoons, like these ones , are relatively inexpensive, robust and are perfect for fishing in very shallow waters but, just like their bigger counterparts, mini pontoons are also worthy fishing vessels in a myriad of environments. If you are new to boating, especially new to pontoon boating, then it might be worth considering a pre-owned pontoon boat. And as a pontoon boat has its own characteristics when on the water, the skills required to drive a pontoon boat are probably better acquired on a less expensive boat than on a brand-new vessel.

It could prove very costly otherwise if things go wrong. Spending time on the water, in a less expensive, used pontoon boat will also allow you to gain the experience needed to make a more informed choice about what type of pontoon boat is the ultimate fit for you. Advantages of buying new pontoon boats are going to be similar to buying a new road vehicle in that they provide warranties, finance options, dealer support and so on.

New pontoon boat providers also supply accessories, trailers, safety equipment and so on as well as being able to offer you sound advice about all of the above. Disadvantages to buying a new pontoon are also similar to those encountered when buying a new road vehicle in that they depreciate in value very quickly. Having the financial worth your new shinny boat sliced by a third the minute it leaves the dealers yard can be difficult to swallow after spending a great of money.

Instead making a purchase decision when buying new usually involves considering the size of the vessel and the little extras that come with it. If one dealer offers you fishing rod holders as standard maybe a different dealer will give you the same deal but throw in a Yeti cooler as well to steal the sale. With a new boat you can pretty much trust a well-established manufacturer and dealer to be selling water-worthy craft with no defects.

When it comes to pre-owned pontoon boats they should be thoroughly inspected for damage, bad repairs, leaks, as well as the overall condition of the boat. To save you time, energy and avoid the risk of making a bad buying decision consider bringing someone with you that who has experience with boats and knows what to look for. The same goes for inspecting the motors. Check engine hours, year of manufacture.

Ask if it has it been stored indoors or outdoors. Make sure the motors work correctly and start first or second time. They should have no obvious signs of leaks nor should there be any rattling sounds coming from it. Ditto for other electronics such as trolling motors, batteries, radios and sonar equipment. Also check all the little extras for defects. For example, are the life jackets in good condition with no rips or tears? If the boat comes with a trailer then look it over for any signs of damage, make sure everything works as it should including reflectors, brake lights, the hitch and so on.

Are the tires in good condition? If the trailer is likely to give you problems, your pontoon will go nowhere, or worse it will end up damaged on the side of the road. It could be expensive to put any problems right without the relevant up-to-date paperwork and you may not even be able to properly insure your boat. By far one of the biggest deciding factors when it comes to purchasing a pontoon boat is the cost. What extra accessories come with a used boat deal and what items come as standard on a new boat and what will you have to pay extra for?

Set a budget and be strict with it. When you have a set of criteria you want from a pontoon boat and a limit on the amount you are willing to spend it becomes easier to determine if a new boat or used boat is the best option. This budget-approach will also help you to fine-tune your expectations in regards to accessories.

If your budget is too low you may find that you have to prioritize the accessories in order of importance and be prepared to forego some of them. On the flip side, if you have an ample budget for your requirements you may find that you can add accessories that you may have previously thought were unnecessary expenses.

There are costs associated with the maintenance and repair of the boat, and its accessories. There are also costs associated with the transportation of the boat as well as dock and mooring costs. Also consider if will there be club fees or charges for using particular waterways or if you need to store your boat indoors?

Insurance is another consideration that you have to factor into your running costs. Insurance can vary from state to state. Learning as much as you can about pontoons, so you can find one that is best suited to your requirements and the potential costs involved, can be as simple as asking some pontoon boat owners about the subject. Pontooners are true boat enthusiasts who are only too eager to offer you expert advice and guidance. Asking how much it costs to buy a pontoon boat is a bit like asking, how long is a piece of string?

There are many variations of pontoon boats and different manufacturers, producing different sized boats made from different construction materials from full-on mini inflables to large craft made with abrasion resistant PVC and nylon on aluminum, steel or plastic frames. Pontoon boats can also be sold with an almost endless list of accessories from simple fishing rod holders to canopies and stilts. So, given all the variables, it would be impossible to accurately say how much a pontoon boat will cost.

Pontoon boat manufacturers and dealers are dotted throughout America and they can easily be located by a simple internet search. Although you can buy large pontoons online I suggest you visit a local dealership for such a big purchase. Of course it is perfectly fine to source mini pontoons online and you can be assured of a great deal if you browse different online stores and look at different makes and models.

As I mentioned previously there are some awesome deals on mini pontoons available online, especially when it comes to inflatables. For larger recreational pontoon boats you might find what you are looking for in the following list pontoon boat manufacturers:.

Pontoon boats are usually very easy to operate. As a luxury vessel designed for calm water usage pontoon boats are intentionally designed to be easy to drive. So, why does a pontoon boat sometimes Pontoon boats are no longer the simple sluggish flat platforms they started out as. These days modern pontoon boats are impressive, luxurious speed boats that can be used for the same type of water Skip to content. Contents Picking the best pontoon boat for your needs So, why do you want a pontoon boat?

Where will you use it? What are you going to use your pontoon boat for? What size of boat do you really need? Which pontoon boat for fishing? Should you buy a new or used pontoon boat?

Best pontoon boat manufacturers. Continue Reading.


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