Pontoon boats are fast becoming one of the most popular watercraft used for pleasure cruising and for sports fishing. Families and other weekend sailors especially are drawn to them. They are quite comfortable, easy to maneuver, and reasonably priced. They have become the perfect boat for family enjoyment, either cruising or fishing on a quiet lake or calm lazy river. Larger pontoon boats are perfect for on-the-water or dockside entertaining. What should the prospective buyer be looking for when looking to purchase a new pontoon boat?
There are four major decisions that you must make: determine the type and size of the boat, determine how much you can afford, select a manufacturer’s brand, and select a dealer.
Determining the Type and Size of Your New Pontoon Boat
The first thing that you probably need to determine is the type of pontoon boat you would like to buy. Are you looking for a boat primarily for fishing? Do you need a one-man or a two-man boat? Are you a fly fisherman that has specific navigational requirements? Is your boat meant only for family weekend cruising? Are you looking for a simple paddle boat to entertain the kids while you’re on vacation? Are you looking for a party boat? Pontoon boats are available in as many different varieties as you can imagine uses for.
Selecting power for driving your boat is critically important. Do you wish to use oars and manpower only to move about? Will you be needed a small trolling motor or a high horsepower outboard. Will an electric motor or electric pontoon boat meet your boating needs? When buying a new boat, it’s important that you consider all possibilities.
You may opt for a pontoon paddle boat or you may want to go for a pontoon engine boat. Pontoon electric boats are also available in the market. Once you have decided which boat you would like to have, you can turn your attention to choosing a brand.
How Much Will this Boat Cost?
Cost may determine whether you buy a new or used pontoon boat. You may decide not to include some of your desired accessories. New pontoon boats are very sturdy and reliable as compared to the used pontoon boats. You must understand that every boat has a useful life. A pontoon boat which has been used for a good number of years is bound to have experienced certain wear and tear may require expensive repairs.
New pontoon boats would also serve you for many more years than a similar used pontoon boat and would, statistically, save you money in near-term maintenance costs. If you are prudent, however, and thoroughly inspect and test drive a used boat, you may step into a bargain that will give you years of excellent use.
Price the new boat first. If price is forcing you away from the boat you really want, then consider a used one. Ultimately, new or used, the price will depend on the size of the boat that you select. Naturally, a larger pontoon boats will cost more that a smaller one.
Which Manufacturer is the Best for Me?
Is it important to select a particular manufacturer? Certainly. The increasing popularity of pontoon boats has lured many new manufacturers into the business. Not all produce products of the same quality.
Some of the pontoon boat manufacturers have been in this business from a very long time while some have entered the world of pontoon boat manufacturing only recently. Some pontoon boat manufacturers limit their product line to specific specialty boats, but most, due to the competitive nature of the industry, manufacture the full range of pontoon boats.
Make good use of the many pontoon boat review websites to determine which manufacturers have the best records. There are many older and newer manufacturers that have built up excellent reputations.
Pontoon boat manufacturers strive hard to come up with the best quality pontoon boats so that they can attract more customers. Many of these manufacturers have already made a name for themselves and enjoy a good reputation in the market. In order to compete with these big names, new manufacturers try to attract more customers by offering tempting prices and discounts on their pontoon boats.
Check to see what awards different manufacturers have received over the years. Such awards are given to those manufacturers who have produced products and services of the highest quality. So check this information if you want to get an idea as to which pontoon boat manufacturers are enjoying success and are known for manufacturing excellent boats, then select one of their brands, whether new or used, to ensure a high probability that you will own an excellent pontoon boat.
Selecting a Dealer
The rise in the demand for pontoon boats, has caused a parallel rise in the number of pontoon boat dealers. Dealers are the industry’s interface with the customers. Some dealers specialize in new boat sales, some in used boats only, and some in both new and used. Some deal with fixed firm prices, while others will haggle for a best price.
Whether you buy new of used, learn about a fair price for the selected boat so you can intelligently discuss price with the dealer. Buy from a dealer that offers an acceptable warranty on both new and used products.
Seek out dealers who service pontoon boats as well as selling them. Ensure that the dealer you buy from also sells accessories and parts for the boat you are considering. Also, and this is most important, make sure that your dealer is an officially recognize vendor for the brand of pontoon boat that you are considering, to ensure that you get required service when you need it.