Pontoon boats are steadily emerging as the darling of the boating world. First introduced around 1952, these spacious, versatile, and stable watercraft have come a long way, morphing from simple floating platforms into sophisticated boating marvels. Today, they are a force to reckon with in the inland and bay-based boating landscape.
Let’s delve into the realm of pontoon boats and explore some of the top models dominating the market in 2023.
Exploring the World of Pontoon Boats
Pontoon boats, with their shallow draft and low wetted area, offer impressive performance even with relatively low power. Their stable, flat ride makes them suitable for a variety of uses. Whether it’s fishing, lounging at anchor, watersports, or long-distance cruises, pontoon boats cater to a broad spectrum of boating enthusiasts.
The popularity of these boats hinges on their versatility and ability to offer a gamut of amenities within a compact hull length. From sprawling sunbathing spaces, state-of-the-art stereo systems, refrigerators, to cooking grills, they are the ultimate party platforms on water.
Top 11 Pontoon Boats of 2023
In 2023, several pontoon boat models are vying for the limelight. Let’s explore some of the best options on the market.
1. Manitou Explore 24: The Stealthy Innovator
The 24ft Manitou Explore 24 is a game-changer in the boat industry. Powered by the innovative Rotax Stealth outboard available in 115hp and 150hp options, this boat is all about performance and style. Its ultra-slim profile and flat platform from stem to stern enhance its aesthetic appeal and practicality.
Starting at a little over $76,000, the Manitou Explore 24 offers a quality interior at a competitive price point. If you’re looking for performance, you can opt for a 400hp Mercury Racing outboard for top speeds exceeding 50 mph.the pontoon
2. Premier 330 Escalante: The Ultimate Party Platform
The Premier 330 Escalante is nothing short of a floating playground. This two-deck behemoth can comfortably accommodate 22 people. Its vast array of features, from a full wet bar and ample refrigeration to twin Mercury racing 450 hp outboards, makes it the ultimate party platform on the lake.
3. Pinecraft Brio 210 – 2S: The Eco-friendly Fisherman
The Pinecraft Brio 210 – 2S is the perfect green solution for fishing enthusiasts. Combining a solid twin hull aluminum hull and layout with a zero-emission option, the Brio offers an eco-friendly fishing experience. With dedicated rod storage, a live bait well, and twin fishing chairs, it’s a fisherman’s dream come true.
4. SeaDoo Switch: The Jet Ski Crossover
The SeaDoo Switch, launched in 2021, is a fusion of a pontoon boat and a jet ski. Available in three sizes, from 13 ft-21 ft long, the Switch offers a unique boating experience. Its interior can be quickly reconfigured to suit the owner’s needs, making it a versatile choice for watersports and fishing.
5. Bennington QX Sport: The Luxury Speedster
The Bennington QX Sport is the epitome of luxury and speed. Sold out for 2023, this boat is already making waves for its premium quality and sporty propulsion package. Starting at $350,000, the high-spec QX Sport is as much a status symbol as it is a premium boat.
6. Sun Tracker Sportfish 24 XP3: The Fishing Pro
The Sun Tracker Sportfish 24 XP3 is a dream come true for fishing enthusiasts. Starting at $53,000 and equipped with a 150hp Mercury Outboard, this boat offers a comfortable fishing experience for up to 12 passengers.
7. Bennington QX: The Epitome of Luxury
The Bennington QX is a blend of performance, luxury, and customization. With a starting price of just over $100,000, the QX offers a spacious deck, a configurable layout, and power options ranging up to 900hp, delivering speeds in excess of 75 mph.
8. Harris Crowne 270 SL TE: The All-Rounder
The Harris Crowne 270 SL TE, with up to 800hp from a pair of Mercury Racing outboards, offers high performance and outstanding quality. Its wide range of customizable options and ability to handle open waters make it a top choice among boating enthusiasts.
9. Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 20 DLX: The Value-for-Money Choice
The Sun Tracker Fishin Barge 20 DLX is an affordable fishing pontoon boat that doesn’t compromise on reliability. With a starting price of just under $30,000, it offers excellent value for money and a great boating experience.
10. Bennington 25 RX Sport: The Watersports Champion
The Bennington 25 RX Sport, with a capacity of up to 17 people, is a watersports enthusiast’s dream. It offers enough speed for skiing and ample lounging space for sunbathing.
11. Tahoe 2585 Grand Tahoe QL: The Cruising Connoisseur
The Tahoe 2585 Grand Tahoe QL is an excellent cruising pontoon boat. With a range of almost 160 miles at 15 mph and a top speed of around 45 mph, it’s a popular choice for family and friends who enjoy touring.
The Rising Popularity of Pontoon Boats
The pontoon boat, with its versatility, reliable outboard power, and relatively low purchase and running costs, has transformed from a basic workhorse to an object of desire.
From fishing to watersports, lounging at anchor, and long-distance cruising, the pontoon boat caters to a wide spectrum of boating enthusiasts. Its easy-driving and boarding characteristics have carved out a new niche in the boating world.
Whether you’re a seasoned boater or a novice, the pontoon boat offers a boating experience like no other. With a range of options available in the market, you’re sure to find a model that fits your needs and budget.