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Pontoon Boats [ What are They and How They Are Used ]

If you are looking for something to spend some quality time with your friends and family on water, then you must’ve come across pontoon boats. But what are they actually? Being such odd-looking water vehicles, it is natural for you to wonder that. I was the same when I first heard about them. So, what is a pontoon boat?

Pontoon boats are inland water boats that are vastly used for fishing or having parties on the water. Rigid structures called ‘pontoons’ help the boat stay afloat. It has a significant measure of buoyancy so that luxuries like tables, chairs and bars can be built. These trendy boats are best for recreation and even water sports.

If you’ve heard of pontoon boats for the first time, there’s plenty that you should learn about them. From what they are used for to why they are named as such and their safety, I’ve covered almost everything on pontoon boats here in this article.

So, keep on reading if you are interested to know more about them.

Why Is It Called A Pontoon Boat?

If you are planning on taking your friends and family out on the water, it is necessary to have a stable platform for safety and security, as well as comfort. Ambrose Weeres, the inventor of the pontoon boat, knew this.

Nowadays, steel oil drums make up the modern-day pontoon boats. They are fused from end to end with an elementary curved nose cone at the front of each pontoon.

The wood railing surrounds a plywood deck. Unlike usual fishing boats, these boats are wide and much more stable.

‘Pontoon’ is the floating structure that keeps the boat afloat. This is why it came to be called pontoon boats. Due to such fast popularity over a short period of time, he opened his company called Weeres Pontoons. This company has built and sold 30,000 boats to date.

What Is A Pontoon Boat Used For?

Pontoon boats are used for parties or fishing, especially in the summer. These boats are best for parties as they are quite spacious so your guests or family members don’t have to be cramped up together, unlike traditional boats. The stable structure helps the boat stay still on water which is important so it doesn’t alarm the fish.

Let’s learn more about its uses in detail.

  • Parties

If you’re having a celebration on your boat, then you need not worry about the capacity. It provides an extensive space to store everything you might need for a cruise and can fit up to 13 people!

Your guests can walk about freely and enjoy the fun activities available. It is so spacious that you can even have a little barbeque on the deck!

  • Fishing

The platform of a platoon boat is strong and stable. This helps you fish while dangling your feet in the water.

Even though a fishing boat is more ideal, this will give you a nonchalant fishing experience if you’re not looking for a serious fishing trip. It will be just like you’re fishing at the dock!

  • Fun Activities

If you’re out on the water, one of the most attractive ways to have fun is through water sports. A pontoon boat offers a wide range of extreme water activities like wakeboarding and water skiing.

For kids and people who are not comfortable with extreme sports, there are other fun activities for them to try out like tubing.

Are Pontoon Boats Safe?

These boats have fences with high-built rails, this reduces the chances of falling into the water and is safe for kids too. Stability is very essential on water because it prevents the boat from any kind of danger and a pontoon boat has got that. Thus, pontoon boats are safer than other boats as they have about two tubes on the hull which helps them stay balanced on water.

But, pontoon boats can cause accidents as well. When the waves are small, these boats are very safe but they can be more dangerous than other boats when the waves get bigger.

The V shape of regular boats is there to help cut through waves. This allows regular boats to glide through strong waves. Pontoon boats are built to remain still on calm waters.

So, they don’t have any sharp angles. This allows them better stability on calm waters but also puts them completely at the mercy of strong waves.

Pontoon boats dive into the waves while cruising instead of going over them. Due to which large waves cause a problem. In extreme events, this can cause capsizing.

Therefore, it is best to get out of the water when there is a storm or rough waves and wait till everything is calm. Once the atmosphere is cool again, you can go back out in the water and enjoy your cruise.

Can Pontoon Boats Flip Over?

The boat offers a pontoon tube design and solid flat deck which makes it a very buoyant craft to be used on calm inland waters. The two pontoon tubes give it great stability on the water so the chances of this boat flipping over are very slim under normal circumstances.

Unlike deck boats and traditional v-shaped hulls, it is implausible that pontoon boats will flip over. The boat can still stay afloat even if one of the two tubes underneath the deck is not functioning. Due to the exclusive design, it can also hold off rolling from side to side a lot better than regular boats.

You must know that the design of pontoon boats is not suitable to drive on oceans where the waves are very strong. It was only ever used in calm waters like rivers or lakes as the waves there are small which makes it easier to control the boat.

In most cases, boat accidents occur due to a lack of common sense. A boat as safe as a pontoon will hardly encounter any dangers, let alone accidents.

Nevertheless, it is always best to take proper safety measures when you’re on the water. Here are a few things you can do.

  • Weather Forecasts

Before deciding on taking your boat out on the water, it is very helpful to check the weather forecast. Pontoon boats should not be used in stormy conditions or on water bodies where there are high waves.

For your safety, you should take your boat back to shore as quickly as possible if you see a storm incoming.

  • Weight Distribution

Like any other boat, the weight on a pontoon boat should be of equal distribution. If one side is heavier than the other, then the boat will be unbalanced.

This increases the risks of it flipping over. You should also be aware not to overload your boat with more than its maximum capacity.

  • Speed

It is best to drive pontoon boats on calm waters. They should not be driven at a high speed as the design is not applicable for it.

There are probable risks of mishaps when your boat is speeding, like motorboats. Thus, it is best to drive pontoon boats at a regular pace.


By now I’m sure you have a pretty good idea of what is a pontoon boat. They are basically party boats for having fun with your friends and family. So, if you like fishing with your family or a nice boat barbecue, then the pontoon is the best investment you can make.

Through this article, I hope I was able to assure you of its safety enough for you to consider getting one for yourself.

Thanks for stopping by and have a very wonderful day.