Owning a pontoon boat has always been projected as something only the wealthy can do. It’s true that high-end pontoon boats can cost a fortune, but several other types of pontoons can be purchased without breaking the bank. You will be surprised to learn that some pontoon owners list their pontoon for sale on Craigslist.
That being said, maintenance and repair costs are higher than the cost of the boat itself. This is more likely to be the case with saltwater pontoons. Saltwater is extremely corrosive. You must be prepared to wax the boat before and after every boat ride. This post is intended to get you familiarized with several types of pontoons and their prices.
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What is the Average Cost of a Pontoon Boat
1. Fishing Pontoon Boats
Most solo anglers prefer a smaller boat like a kayak or a canoe for fishing. A small boat is indeed easy to move around, but it does have enough storage capacity. Most kayaks do not have more than one hatchet, let alone a Livewell. This is where pontoon boats come in the picture. Contrary to popular belief, a pontoon boat is fast, maneuverable, and sleek.
Estimated Cost: $10,000
2. Luxury Pontoon Boats
Are you looking for a recreational boat for your whole family? Luxury pontoon boats are one of the most preferred boats for family outings and small onshore events. A premium pontoon is equipped with accessories like grills, refrigerators, sound systems, and a large television screen. In addition, the ones with a multi-engine design offer performance comparable to speed boats.
Estimated Cost: $75,000
3. Party Barge Pontoon Boats
The entire deck space in a party barge pontoon boat is dedicated to seating or standing. Some affordable party barge pontoons simply have a flat deck and some seats. Such pontoons are excellent for onshore parties.
Assuming you are looking for a pontoon for partying with your close friends, co-workers, or business partners, a single-decker party barge would suffice. Professionally managed parties are generally held in a multi-decker party barge pontoon boat.
Estimated Cost: $25,00
4. Watersports Pontoon Boats
Generally, people do not associate a pontoon boat with watersports. The hull of a traditional pontoon boat is designed to promote stability on the water. However, some manufacturers have introduced sporty pontoons on the market. These boats have engines with a higher horsepower than regular pontoons. They are even capable of pulling a skier or a large-sized towing tube at high speeds.
Estimated Cost: $20,000
5. Value Pontoon Boats
You will be surprised to know that you can buy a brand new pontoon boat at the cost of an average car? Value pontoons come with all the comforts and conveniences needed for an enjoyable boating experience.
Apart from being used for applications like fishing or watersports, pontoon boats can also be used as a party or leisure boat. Versatile pontoons generally have foldable marine-rated interiors. Some value pontoons have a pop-up changing room on deck.
Estimated Cost: $5000
Accessories That Can Add to the Price of a Pontoon Boat
1. Trolling Motor
If you plan to use the pontoon for fishing, you must equip the vessel with a trolling motor. A trolling motor is a self-contained unit that includes a propulsion system and controls. You might have to install one or two such units, depending on the size of the fishing vessel.
In most cases, the unit is powered by a deep cycle battery (which also adds to the cost). A trolling motor is used as a secondary means of propulsion once the boat arrives in the fishing hot spot. The motor is quiet, and hence it prevents the fish from getting spooked.
Estimated Cost: $300 (1 unit)
2. Sound System
Unfortunately, you cannot instate a regular sound system in a pontoon boat, especially if the boat is meant for saltwater. Even if the sound system is placed in an enclosed space such as a cockpit, the moisture containing high salt levels will corrode the metal parts of the speakers.
For a party barge pontoon boat, it is recommended that you install a marine rated sound system. Marine rated electronics are coated with corrosion-resistant paint.
Estimated Cost: $80
3. Boat Covers
Most pontoon manufacturers do not provide a fool-proof cover for the vessel. The cover may protect the boat from dust, but the sensitive metal parts remain vulnerable to moisture, cuts, and scratches. Even the interiors of the pontoon boat must be protected from the ultraviolet rays from the sun. A good quality boat cover is an investment every pontoon boat owner must make.
Estimated Cost: $140
4. Boarding Ladder
A boarding ladder helps passengers get in and out of the vessel. Not all shores are equipped with a well-built dock. It’s another thing for fishermen to step into the water and hop in a boat without assistance, but you cannot expect the same level of agility from guests and patrons. After a party or an event involving alcoholic drinks, it is important to off-board the passengers safely.
Estimated Cost: $80
A Livewell is a tank used to keep the bait and catch alive. Some fishermen kill the game fish with a hammer right after retrieval. Killing the fish right away is not recommended as the flesh begins to stink on board.
Fishermen who sell fish for a living need to keep the fish alive for days are even weeks. You can go for a portable livewell if you want to use the pontoon for purposes other than fishing.
Estimated Cost: $180
The prices of the pontoon boats mentioned in this post are a rough estimate. For the boat accessories, I have come to a conclusion after researching several products on online stores like Amazon and Target. A value pontoon boat with all the necessary features will cost you somewhere around $5,780.