Is It Worth Buying A Pontoon Boat? Know The Answer Here

“Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.”

Over the past few years, with the excessive rise in stress levels, people have started spending more and more money on leisure.

Especially amidst social distancing that has been going on for the past year, people have sought peace in pontoon boats’ calm waters.

If you have a dream of wearing your sunglasses and “chillaxing” on the deck of a pontoon boat, I suggest you read further to explore your options.

Is it worth buying a pontoon boat?

So, is it worth buying a pontoon boat? If by worth you mean a good investment in terms of monetary value, then not so much.

However, if you mean years of enjoyment and spending quality time, then a pontoon boat might be a perfect choice.

But before jumping into making a big purchase, you might want to consider renting a pontoon boat to test the waters (Yes, literally!). 

Advantages of Buying a Pontoon Boat?

If you’ve set your heart on buying a pontoon boat, let’s see some of the advantages of owning a pontoon boat:

1. Spacious:

Pontoon boats have a large deck which provides a lot of room. You can decorate with the furniture as you like.

You can cover it or leave it open to bathe in the sun. If you love to travel with family, they are perfect for you as the children (with their friends) can move around the deck freely.

2. A Day of Fun:

You can use the pontoon boat for several purposes like cruising, fishing, and other water activities for a day of fun.

If it is too hot, one can go for a swim in the middle of the lake. It provides for a lot of quality time with family or friends.

3. Traveling in style:

One of the pontoon boat’s best qualities is that it is stable in calm waters.

So the passengers can roam around freely on the deck without any fear of sudden movements. It is incredibly safe for families with children as it moves very steadily.

4. Safe on shallow waters:

Pontoon boat heights are generally shallow, making it easy to maneuver them near the coast and in shallow waters without causing any damage to the boat’s body.

Because of this, we can drive our boat near the coast without having to worry about depth. 

5. Provides for excellent social gatherings:

It can be like a family gathering or a get-together with your friends. It becomes a day to remember. We can also cook on the boat, making it so much more fun than your regular get-together.

I could go on, but you get the point. Owning a pontoon boat might be the right decision after all. 

Disadvantages of Buying a Pontoon Boat

Before jumping to conclusions, let’s look at the other side of the coin. Buying a pontoon boat comes with its own set of problems. Some of them are:

1. Speed:

For some of the adventurous people out there who prefer the adrenaline of traveling at high speeds on water, the pontoon boat purchase might be disappointing.

These boats are known for their stability and not for their high speeds.

They are not extremely slow to the point of being boring, but you shouldn’t rush into buying them if you are looking for something sportier in nature. They are for having a fun, relaxing day with friends and family.

2. Lack of maneuverability:

Although these boats are stable and easily operated in vast water portions, they are challenging to operate in difficult areas like turning around tight corners and other narrow places as they have a somewhat big turning radius.

3. Risky in rough waters:

Although surprisingly stable in calm waters, one might not want to be in a pontoon boat during a storm. They can prove to be very dangerous to navigate in rough waters because of their reduced maneuverability.

4. Not everyone’s cup of tea:

If you’re looking to buy a boat for some specific purposes like water skiing and other water sports, you might want to buy a boat specialized for them.

Also, these boats are to take out during broad daylight in the lake for a day of fun. If you are looking for overnight stays in violent waters, you might want to look elsewhere.

Despite the disadvantages, a pontoon boat appeals to a wide range of customers because of its versatility and the fact that it is low maintenance.

You have to make sure to cover the boat when not in use and prevent algae. But we don’t necessarily need to buy a boat to experience a day or two out on the waters.

Having understood the advantages and disadvantages of buying a pontoon boat, we should know all our options.

Should You Buy, Rent, or Lease?

If we have no boating experience for starters, we should start by renting a pontoon boat to understand the experience.

For people who have little idea about what they’re doing, I suggest leasing a boat for some time, preferably in summer vacations, so that they could utilize them entirely to your benefit.

If looking for a more permanent source of fun, I suggest you consider buying.

But you do not want it to end up like that gym membership that you purchased but never used. So, let us go over some of the advantages of renting a pontoon boat:

Advantages Of Renting A Pontoon Boat

1. Fun without responsibility:

(At the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat), I say renting a boat provides the luxury of chilling on the deck of a pontoon boat without having to worry about the financial burden of buying one (Not a brat now, right!).

Plus, renting a boat is easy nowadays. Several shops on the docks provide this facility of renting boats for one day at varied price ranges. Also, nowadays you can rent a boat sitting at your home by making a call.

2. Some special occasions:

If you don’t need the boat regularly for your weekends and holidays, you can just rent it for your birthdays or anniversaries and other occasions to make them unique.

A party in the middle of the lake will surely make your classmates jealous for an entire year! 

3. Testing before buying:

If you have your heart set on buying a boat, I suggest you rent one and have a little experience before diving into the deep end.

You will realize the problems faced out on the water and learn about different pontoon boats’ nuances. It will ultimately help you in making a more accurate purchase according to your needs.

Buying a pontoon boat is a great idea, but it is a giant leap. You have to remember it requires regular maintenance.

But that should be no reason for us not to have all the fun. We have seen the benefits of boat rentals. Besides renting, another great alternative to look into is leasing a pontoon boat. Some of its advantages are:

Advantages Of Leasing A Pontoon Boat

1. No pressure:

Aside from financial burden, we do not have to feel guilty about not going out to the sea on every possible holiday.

If we buy a boat, we feel the pressure of utilizing it to the last lee.

Whereas if we lease it, we can do it according to our comfort like in the holidays or when visiting our family and having fun. And you don’t have to pay for storing the boat when you aren’t using it.

2. No commitment:

You can lease different boats for different periods according to the needs. A cruising boat for relaxing, a fishing boat for fishing, and a large one for a party (This is the best option for people with commitment issues.) 

3. No worrying about the boat losing its value:

Talking about financial investments, a pontoon boat, like all other vehicles, depreciates over time.

Especially boats are fastest when it comes to losing monetary value as they contact water most of the time, making their maintenance challenging. So, invest your money in real estate and lease a boat for fun. 

Should You Buy a Used Pontoon Boat?

Some people who want permanent availability might opt for a used pontoon boat to go for a more affordable alternative.

Like buying a second-hand car, people might consider buying a used boat to satiate their desire to own one.

But a boat is very different from a car. The damage in a used boat might be far worse than in a used car. Besides the essential wear and tear from driving, the boat might have damaged due to low maintenance or improper storage.

The warranty will not cover any further problems you might cause that a new boat has to offer. And I don’t think I need to mention the aesthetic aspects of buying a brand-new shiny boat.

But one plus point in buying a used boat is you’ll know it covers all the bases in terms of security.

Once you test it, you know what to look forward to in all the unforeseen scenarios. If you consider buying a used boat, some things to remember are:

  1. Buy from a trustworthy person. Do not take just any boat out on the water without knowing it inside out. 
  2. Buy a boat that does not have too much damage. If repairing and embellishing the old one costs a ton, I’d say go for the newer model. In that way, you can get the latest features of your choice on the boat. If there is damage, make sure it does not affect the security of the boat. Safety on the water is of utmost priority.

Do Pontoon Boats Hold Their Value?

While we are talking about the worth of buying a pontoon boat, let’s see if they hold their value. With any large-scale purchase, people want to know if they will be profitable in the long run.

Unlike property, you never reap more than you sow (monetarily speaking) with vehicles. But it gives you hours of luxury, fun time, and memories together.

So, in terms of exploiting the boat for a good time, I would argue that it is a wise investment.

But it is not a very wise investment if you are not someone who looks forward to spending the whole day out in the sea every once in a while.

How Much Does a Pontoon Boat Depreciate as time goes?

Let’s see. A pontoon boat price ranges from $15000 to $60000 based on brand, size, quality, and features.

Like cars, pontoon boats start to lose value as soon as you take them out of the shop (so to speak). There is a steep fall in their value- almost 25-30%, within the first two years of buying them.

After about ten years, their price becomes constant and stops depreciating at such a high rate. Also, a well-maintained (professional term for ‘less utilized’) pontoon boat will go for a higher price than one that has been in use to a greater extent.

Choosing the right platform for the boat’s resale also goes a long way in accurately deciding the value of your used pontoon boat.

Is a pontoon boat a good investment?

If you’re looking for a way to make money by investing in a pontoon boat, look elsewhere. But I think anyone buying any vehicle already knows that.

Similarly, we don’t buy a pontoon to earn more money.

We buy it to gain a more fun time and make life more relaxing. So, a pontoon boat is an excellent investment in the sense that it gives us several great memories.


If you are going through a stressful period, rent a boat or lease one for a longer time. But take a moment before buying one.

Now that you know about the advantages and disadvantages of owning a pontoon boat, you have all the necessary information to make the right decision.

(Do not let this decision be a result of the midlife crisis!) Consider all the aspects before making the purchase.

If you decide to buy it, that might be the best decision you ever made. It is the best way to escape from the daily mundane life. Go on the blue to drive away from the blues!