Pontoon Boat : What is it?
Pontoon boats are large boats with wide, flat decks supported by flotation tubes or logs called pontoons. They measure 16 to 22 feet and have flat bottoms made up of two to three airtight aluminum tubes, attached to the outer edge of the deck. The deck usually features safety railings on the sides and contains the helm station, either at the middle or side. Also called party boats, pontoon boats have a capacity of six to 12 people and are often fully equipped with upholstered seats, tables, coolers, roofs, and sometimes even toilets.
Pontoon boats can be propelled by motors or human power. Smaller pontoon boats, particularly one-person models, are usually paddled or kicked over the water. Larger boats are powered by motors, most commonly the outboard type using gasoline engine and either a two- or four-stroke cycle.
Pontoon boats are generally slower than other motor-powered boats, and are more ideal for lakes and rivers than oceans and large waters. Their open construction also makes them more prone to splashes from large waves, which can damage the deck and furnishings.
Kinds of Pontoon Boats include the following:
Standard one-person pontoon boats
Standard one-person pontoon boats have weight capacities from 250 to 400 pounds. They are smaller than other types of pontoon boats, with smaller models measuring about seven feet. They provide an excellent platform for fly fishing and other forms of water recreation.
Two-person pontoon boats
Two-person pontoon boats are designed to accommodate two or more people. They are much larger and heavier than standard pontoon boats, and are usually have to be carried around on trailers. They can be difficult to assemble, and are usually taken apart only for winter storage.
Packable pontoon boats
Packable pontoon boats can be folded up in to sizes small enough to fit into backpacks. They are very easy to set up and store, making them ideal for long trips to rivers or backcountry lakes. They are extremely lightweight, but do not offer as many features as standard pontoon boats.
Kick boat pontoon boats
Kick boats are a cross between large pontoon boats and simple float tubes, consisting of two inflatable pontoons. The user sits between the two pontoons with his legs in the water, kicking the water back to propel the boat. They are very light and portable, but can be tiring to use. They are ideal for rivers with steady currents, rather than still or fast-flowing waters.
Engine: Choose a pontoon boat with a good quality engine that performs well on minimum fuel consumption. Make sure it runs smoothly and quietly, and does not emit dirty smoke or other harmful emissions.
Tubes: The number of pontoons on your boat should depend on how you want to use it. For water sports or activities where speed is required, a three-tube boat should deliver the right speed and withstand rough moves. Pontoon boats for leisurely fishing or recreation, you can save costs on a simpler two-tube without compromising performance and stability.
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