We’ve all heard of pontoon boats, but what are they and when did they first launch onto the boating scene?
The year was 1952, and in a small farming town in Minnesota USA, a farmer by the name of Ambrose Weeres came up with the idea of building a wooden deck and then tying it to two aluminum cylinders, because he assumed that it would be much more stable than conventional boats. And he was right!
Because he lived in the area of 1,000’s of lakes, he thought that his invention might have some probable interest so he started to market it. He found it relatively easy to sell the first few so he set up his own manufacturing company and named it Weeres Industries. Over the years he was fondly known as “Mr. Pontoon.”
Pontoon boats are generally less than expensive than conventional boats because of the simple construction. Because of their simple design these days, being a flat-bottomed boat or catamaran with floats, insurance on these boats is low cost even with the addition of motors over 200hp. Because of the spaciousness and shape of the deck, the boat is a much safer alternative to boats with a v-shaped deck.
Because of their shallow platform, they are less likely to be damaged from submerged debris, so are extremely popular for rentals in the pleasure boat market. They have also been modified to carry a house like structure, thus becoming a houseboat.
There are so many models of pontoon boats these days coming in different sizes, shapes, colors and layouts. Some people like the simple design but others want more luxury items added for maximum comfort. One of the most asked for requirements is for lots of storage space for food, clothing etc. Some pontoon boat companies these days will custom build and personalize your boat for you.
A pontoon boat, because of its’ very smooth cruising, has become very popular with families. Because of the wide deck so many more people can enjoy this form of sailing. For the more adventurous, the manufacturer has added an extra tube making it a three tube pontoon, which increases the speed.
For stability in rough water using a pontoon boat with three tubes is recommended because it stays on top of the wave rather than going through it. Adding the third tube also increases speed with the addition of a higher powered motor as it skims along the water. This also lessens fuel consumption.
The pontoon boat industry is thriving with so many small and large companies starting up. Because there are so many to choose from, you must make sure that the craftsmanship is of a high quality and don’t just buy because of price.