Pontoon boats comes in different shapes and size. The dimensions of the boats are affected by a number of factors that include the manufacturing company, the model and make of the boat and the purpose it is to be used for. Generally, the length determines how wide a pontoon boat is. These are generally in a specific ratio to each other. Addition of a third pontoon does not necessarily change the dimension of the boat. This article addresses the question “How Wide is a Pontoon Boat?”
Though different manufacturers have slightly different width to length ratios in their boats, a general classification can be made that defines how wide is a pontoon boat.
Small Pontoon Boats
Small size pontoon boats can be defined as ones that have a length that is less than 20 feet. These boats typically have a width which is around 8 feet. They generally have two pontoons with a diameter of 24 to 26 inches each. A smaller boat which may be 12 or 14 feet in length, may have a width of 7 feet. Sport CRB / QL from the house of Tahoe Pontoons is an example of such a boat. Its 14, 16 and even 18 feet models have a width of 7 feet. The Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 DLX has a width of 7 feet while the Party Barge 18 DLX from the same manufacturer is 8 feet and 2 inches wide. Small pontoon boats that are 7′ wide or less can also be characterized as mini pontoon boats. Click the following link to see our comprehensive guide to all major mini pontoon boats.
Mid-Size Pontoon Boats
The mid-size pontoon boats are classified as those having a width from 8 to 10 feet. These boats generally have a length that can vary between 20 feet to 40 feet depending on the manufacturer. The boats can have two or three pontoons as per the choice of the buyer. This segment has the highest number of boat models and is quite sought after. The 27 feet wide beam QX series from Bennington has a width of 10 feet and can accommodate 18 people easily. However, as you can see from a Sylvan brochure (one of my favorite pontoon boat brands, and most likely the brand that I will be purchasing JUST as soon as we have enough money saved up), all of their standard boats have a 102″ (or 8.5′) width. In the 20′-30′ range I would say most standard pontoon boats hover around the 8.5′ (+/- 6″) range.
Large Pontoon Boats
If someone is thinking how wide is a pontoon boat at maximum, there are a few pontoon boats that are almost 12 feet wide. The Dodici manufactured by Premier pontoon has a width of 11 feet and 10 inches and is available in 29 and 31 feet lengths. The boat can easily accommodate 26 people and has 26-inch side pontoons and a massive 42-inch center pontoon.
Different Widths of Pontoon Boats
By width of the pontoon boat, it can mean either the deck width or the tube width. Different manufacturers can include either one of two of them in their specifications. Now, beam width is something which is more of our concern as it will reflect on the space in the deck. Tube width on the other hand will reflect on the performance of your pontoon boat.
Width of Customized Pontoon Boats
Besides the standard widths of models from different pontoon boat brands, customized boats are also available. Various manufacturers, fabricate pontoon boats that are as per the requirements of their customers. The biggest of these boats may have width anywhere from 12 feet to 20 feet in proportion to the length of the boat and the intended usage for the boat. The boats can be from 30 feet to all the way up to 50-60 feet. These boats require pontoons that may be 30 to 60 inches in diameter. These boats are generally used for hosting parties and events for a large number of guests on the water. We hope that this articles has answered your Question “How Wide Is a Pontoon Boat”. Please feel free to ask questions below.
Factors to Consider when Selection the Right Size Pontoon Boat
Now we have had an idea of what we can expect in terms of the width when looking for pontoon boats. You can arrive at the proper choice of size of pontoon boats only after making some considerations. This becomes important as pontoon boats are a huge investment. With the right size of pontoon boat, you can have the right experience. Several factors influence the choice of pontoon boat size. Let us have a look at each of them in detail.
Storage and Transport
Storage and transport means need to be thought of even before you look out for the floorplans. The pontoon boat you intend to buy should fit your storage dock and the trailer in which you are looking to transport it, both in terms of length and width.
It is better to take the proper dock space measurements before looking for pontoon boats so that you can be assured that you are equipped with proper storage requirements beforehand. This will ensure that the pontoon boat fits the trailer. With the measurements of your dock space you can compare the measurements of the pontoon boat you intend to buy. This will give you guarantee that the pontoon boat you intend to buy will fit your space. Now if you plan to tow and store the pontoon boat in your storage space, then remember to include the length and width of the trailer too. Now in case of towing, take into account the combined weight of the pontoon boat and the trailer. This should be within the towing capacity of the vehicle you intend to use for towing
When considering length of pontoon boat, remover to include length of outboard motor which can take up about two or three feet.
For example, a 19 foot pontoon boat requires at least a 22 foot long trailer (with outboard motor)
In order to arrive at the right choice of pontoon boats, you also have to have an idea about the people you expect to have with you in your pontoon boat adventures. The market is flooded with different pontoon boat models having different holding capacities. There is no shortage of options. So why make the wrong choice and repent later? It is not like you can go looking for new pontoon boats after a year or so when you realize the pontoon boat is not fitting your passenger capacity. Now, overloading your pontoon boat is a great unwanted risk. It can be very dangerous when you are out in the water and your pontoon boat is overloaded. The pontoon boat will remain stable, comfortable and safe in the water while traversing within its carrying capacity.
Now, the small pontoon boats can carry about 8 persons. As size increases, the carrying capacity increases. The medium sized pontoon boats can have about 10-12 people. There are larger pontoon boats with over 20 people capacities.
Location or Body of Water
There are different water bodies or locations to which you can take your pontoon boat. You can take them to lakes, rivers, bay, creeks, etc. Based on the location or the water body, the size consideration can vary. Now the smaller pontoon boats with smaller motors are well suited for small bodies of water like ponds and rivers. They are suited for such water bodies without high currents. If you take them to large bodies of water, they will have a hard time hitting those high currents. Now if you go for the reverse case and take a larger pontoon boat with you to a small river, then this can lead to navigational limitations. So if you are frequently into calm water bodies, then a small sized pontoon boat can let you sail smoothly, even through the shallow ones. However, if you look to navigate on those locations where the wave action gets high, then it is better look for larger sized pontoon boats, which are more stable under such conditions. It is better to go for those 23 to 28 feet long ones or the much larger ones with width ranging from 8.5 to 10 feet in such cases.
There are limitations on the sizes of boats in certain locations. This varies from state to state. So it is better to have a check on that before going for any larger models.
Pontoon Boat Recreational Activities and Size Considerations
Pontoon Boats are used for many different recreational activities. You can use them for fishing, partying, lounging or any other recreational activities like tubing, wakeboarding, etc. There are variations in the size considerations based on the intended purpose of using the pontoon boat. Then only you will be able to achieve the right experience in your water activities. So let us look into how we can select the correct pontoon boat sizes suiting the water activities we intend to carry out.
Fishing is something which pontoon boat owners watch out for. Some cruising models also include options for fishing. The floorplan for fishing models should allow you to take all your fishing gears with you. There can be fishing rods, fishing nets, etc. requiring sufficient storage space. There can be livewells so that you can keep your catches fresh. The floorplan can also include fishing stations, tackle storage, etc. In general, about 22 feet long pontoon boats with 8.5 feet width will be a good choice for those passionate fishing anglers. As size increases, you get more in terms of storage and convenience. For those involved in occasional fishing and more of cruising, 19-20 feet long pontoon boat with 8 feet width will be a good choice.
For swimming and snorkeling, there is not much in terms of storage requirements. In this case, you need to have a check on the passenger capacities. You just need to have a check on the carrying capacity of your pontoon boat. You can take as many passengers with you based on the safe limit of your pontoon boat. For scuba diving and water skiing some equipment is required and hence storage requirements are also needed. Water sports like water skiing requiring pulling the ones involved in the activity require you to look into the speed and the motor of the pontoon boat. In such cases, the pontoon boat should have at least 90 HP maximum engine HP. You can ride wild with higher horsepower engines. Thus as the intensity of the water activity increases, you need to look for proper engine horsepower considerations too.
Sunbathing and Lounging
If you are just interested in cruising or partying with your friends, then you look for larger decks. With comfy seating options, you can relax and enjoy with your friends. The double decker pontoon boats with upper decks can give you a great location for sunbathing. They offer more shade. You also get much greater field of view from the upper deck. You can alsohave water slides which are great fun. These models usually come about 25 feet and more in length with width of 8.5 feet or more.