Pontoon boats have gained popularity over the years as the perfect multi-purpose vessels. They can be used as luxury boats, cruisers, water sports platforms, and they make excellent fishing boats. However, there is always the question of affordability when choosing these boats. That is why many boat owners are looking for the best value pontoon boats that offer excellent features at an affordable price.
What is affordable may differ from person to person, depending on their pockets. The average pontoon boat costs about $30,000, and the price can be much higher if the boat is from a known brand with a lot of features. While going for an affordable boat is essential, longevity and durability should be the priority for anyone investing in a pontoon. This article will provide a detailed review of some of the best value pontoon boats.
Reasons To Choose A Pontoon Boat
Pontoon boats are the best choice for people who don’t want to get the traditional boats. Pontoon boats are family-friendly and multi-purpose. There are also options to buy electric models for environmentally conscious people. The following paragraphs will highlight some of the reasons to choose the best value pontoon boats.
It is excellent for fishing and skiing
An advantage of the pontoon boat is that it offers people a taste of both the fishing and skiing experience. Although pontoon boats may not maneuver in shallow water and narrow areas, the platform of a pontoon boat is excellent for both fishing and skiing.
People who want to use their pontoon boat for skiing can invite as many people as possible. On the other hand, those who would prefer to use it for fishing will get a stable boat that doesn’t spook fish on the water. Pontoon boats even have a hull enclosure with a heater for fishing during winter.
It is great for families
Traditional boats often bore kids because they can’t run around on them. However, there is ample space for kids to run around and play on the couches on a pontoon boat. They can fish or use the sound system to have fun while on the boat. Unlike traditional boats with limited space, a typical pontoon boat can take 11 persons.
A pontoon boat is easy to maintain
The manufacturing of pontoon boats makes them very sturdy and easy to maintain. They are made of aluminum which keeps them tear-free. People who use their boats in shallow, rocky waters may experience frequent holes in their hull. However, with a pontoon boat, the chances of it happening are less likely, and if it happens, it can be easily repaired.
In addition, pontoon boats sit high on the water, and they are easy to load onto the back of a trailer without damage to the hull. An added advantage of the pontoon boats is the ease of cleaning them after using them on the water. A ski boat will need cleaning after an outing because the gelcoat gets water spots that are difficult to remove. There is no need to clean the water on a pontoon because there is usually no spotting.
Comfort is assured
Pontoon boats come with ample space, allowing people to sleep on the couch while on a trip. There are large couches and areas with comfortable seats for passengers. Some pontoon boats even have a changing room to get out of their wet swimsuits. A barbecue grill allows passengers to have a barbecue on the boat while enjoying the stable and smooth-riding of the pontoon boat.
It is long-lasting
Pontoon boats are easy to repair, which allows them to have very long lives. Most of the couches can easily be replaced due to the availability of options in the market. Also, pontoon boats are easy to customize; hence people don’t need to buy a new one in quick succession.
There is ample storage
A boat needs ample storage, especially when many people are on board. Generous storage helps people safely keep their coolers, bags of clothes, and extra blankets. While most boats don’t come with storage which may cause people to litter their luggage all around the boat, pontoons come with dedicated storage.
Safety is high
Pontoon boats are much safer than traditional boats, especially for kids than traditional boats. Pontoon boats usually come with a high side rail to reduce the likelihood of children falling over the sides. These boats are heavy and sturdy, making them less likely to topple over even at high speeds.
The Best Value Pontoon Boats
Below is a review of the top ten best value pontoon boats you can consider buying.
The Avalon Gs cruise comes at a starting price of $33,450, which makes it quite an affordable pontoon boat. It comes with two large front benches and a curved rear bench for comfort and conversation. It doesn’t have a side gate because the producer offered maximum seating instead. Avalon cruise has a floor plan with a port and starboard, with an added aft board.
It comes with a rotocast helm stand that has grey wood dash panels. Two fusion El speakers keep the music on the pontoon loud and crispy clear. It has a removable windshield and a viper steering wheel.
- Avalon Gs comes with an easy-to-remove windshield.
- The boat has a chair adjustment slider for both the front and rear seats.
- The floor of the boat is a complete deck riptide vinyl flooring.
- It doesn’t have tilt-steering.
Gs-Fish is a great value boat that starts at a pocket-friendly price of $31,400. It comes in three different layouts, and the prices are budget-friendly across all three. The boat has live wells, rod holders, and a rod box for the console model. It has four seating chairs that can be used to fish in the bow and aft areas of the vessel. Gs-Fish comes with a center console fiberglass helm stand with grey wood dash panels.
Gs-Fish helm is equipped with a Garmin 5CV color fishfinder and two fusion El speakers. The interior features offer luxury while fishing. People will benefit from the exclusive matrix 50 soft-touch seat vinyl and cup holders.
- The boat has suspension seating which is excellent for a boat in its price range.
- Stainless cup holders make the boat great for both fishing and luxury.
- There is the presence of Non-skid vinyl strips for smooth entry.
- The seating capacity is relatively small.
Bennington 168SVL is a small pontoon with a starting price of $16,692. It comes with a wide stern bench that leads up to the port side in an L configuration. It also has a big bow, entry gates, twin bow lounge seats, and an eight-foot beam. The pontoon boat comes with an endless list of customization, and it is easy to produce. The approximate length dimensions are 17 ‘4.5.”
Bennington 168SVL comes with a simtex vinyl upholstery with metallic carbon diamante. This pontoon has a tilt steering which makes directing the boat relatively easy.
- The starting price of $16,692 makes the Bennington 168SVL quite an affordable boat.
- It has a wide stern bench for easy and comfortable seating.
- The engine breaks down too quickly.
Crest Classic Lx has about 12 floor options available 20-24 feet long. The boat comes in quad-lounger cruising models to models with rear sun pads. Crest Classic Lx has a starting price of $21,907. The standard performance package has two large-diameter tubes of 25″. It also has a 26-gallon fuel tank that packs 115Hp. The Crest Classic standard package has four chambers for durability, strength, and floatation.
If a buyer upgrades to the CPT performance package, they’d get an aluminum underskin and ski tow. Also included in the CPT performance package is a 48-gallon fuel tank and up to 150Hp. Finally, this performance package consists of a seastar hydraulic steering and three 25″ diameter tubes.
- Crest Classic Lx offers up to three different engine performances.
- The engines are pretty powerful for a boat in its price range.
- There is too little information on the features.
Lowe Ultra 180 Cruise packs a nine seating capacity with a versatile twin lounger at the bow. The lounge in the boat’s stern is shaped in an L configuration which allows for communication between the passengers. This pontoon boat has seven cup holders and ample under-seat storage, and a heavy-duty bimini top that is nine feet long.
It has one aft and one amidship, which makes access to the Lowe Ultra 180 Cruise dock easily accessible because of the forward deck, making anchoring the boat effortless. The boat’s gates are solid to avoid pinching while the power is on. The Lowe Ultra 180 Cruise is also very affordable with a starting price of $15,000.
- The boat’s forward bench offers a lovely lounge for reclined seating.
- It has a swivel bucket for the skipper and first mate.
- The boat breaks down too quickly.
SunChaser is a $28,000 pontoon boat with a 60Hp Yamaha engine on the mount. The boat doesn’t sacrifice its deck for seating space. It has an open terrace with couches and loungers. SunChaser Geneva Cruise 20 features sofas that face each other with a dining table at the aft. The starboard is wide open, which allows plenty of elbow room.
Sun Chaser Geneva gives users the option to add a third up and amp the boat speed to 200Hp. The x-treme PR25/20 performance package offers increased speed, faster planning times, better lift, and a tighter turning radius.
- The performance package radically improves the boat’s performance.
- Sun Chaser Geneva comes with a dinette at the aft.
- There is little information on the boat’s features.
Cypress Cay 171 is an excellent option for people who want a smaller boat loaded with a lot of accessories. It comes at an affordable price of $18,000 and comes with a 50Hp mercury four-stroke located on the transom. It has an aft that is forward-facing with a helm and pedestal passenger seat. This feature ensures that all eight passengers are assured of maximum comfort despite the boat’s small size..
- Cypress Cay C 171 Cruise is one of the most budget-friendly pontoons.
- It is pretty comfortable even though it is not large-sized.
- The seating arrangement on the pontoon is quite different from others.
- The Cypress Cay C 171 doesn’t have a lot of features.
Suncatcher Select 18F is perfect, especially for people who like a fishing boat. It comes with an adequate 70Hp Yamaha engine that serves well both for fishing and pleasure. It has a stern-fishing platform that includes an in-built live-well, vertical racks for four rods, and a pair of rod holders. Suncatcher also has vertical racks for six more rods, fishing seats, and reel-in. The boat is pre-wired for a bow-mounted trolling motor, and the boat costs about $35,000.
- The boat has a cocktail table which serves well for drinks.
- An in-built live-well is present for fishing enthusiasts.
- It has a wide-body design which makes fish-catching easier.
- The price is higher than most value pontoons.
Ultra 200 Cruise is one of the entry-levels for Lowe’s pontoons, which means that the boat is very affordable. There isn’t much going on by way of design. However, one can expect a solid build. It has two swivel chairs and wrap-around benches that lean forward. It has a foldable bimini cover that folds up the boat’s middle, and there is access to water due to the platform at the bow. The standard option includes everything one needs to go on a trip; trolling motor plug, navigation lights, and cup holders.
- The price is just right for people who may not be able to afford more expensive pontoons.
- Lowe Ultra 180 carries a power 115Hp engine.
- The design is too basic.
Manitou 20 Aurora LE is the perfect $28,000 pontoon boat for people who like to fish. It comes with a 40Hp engine that provides sufficient power for fishing and cruising. Although the engine may not be the most powerful on the water, it is adequate considering the price of the pontoon. The boat’s helm has a digital display which looks better than the standard analog ones. It also has a high-back chair that is very comfortable.
- It has two stern fishing chairs.
- Maximum comfort is ensured because of the comfortable floor plan.
- There are drain channels around the edges of the stowage.
- A 40 horsepower means that the Manitou 20 Aurora isn’t a swift boat.
Although many desire to own expensive pontoons with lots of features, sometimes, less costly boats come with adequate and beneficial features. The best value pontoon boats, like the Lowe Ultra 200, comes with recline seats and swivel chairs for the boat’s skipper and first mate.