Pontoons have been a popular style of boat since their inception. They’re the type of boat that many people are drawn to and buying one can be very exciting. But for some boaters, it can be hard to figure out the actual cost of a pontoon boat. This buying guide will help you find out how much a pontoon boat is in reality.
How Much is a Pontoon Boat?
Like many boats, pontoons come in a wide range of styles, with huge variations in potential features. With those differences come fluctuations in price, meaning that there’s likely to be a model out there that’s priced just right for every buyer. How much your pontoon boat costs will likely depend on what size and style you’re looking for. First-time buyers may want to check out this boating basics page to help get a sense of what is available on the market.
How Much is a New Pontoon Boat?
New pontoon boats are, of course, going to come with a higher price tag than used boats, however, manufacturers usually offer several models spanning from more affordable options to high-end luxury models. A new boat can cost $25,000 to over $150,000, depending on the model. One of the benefits of a new boat is the ability to customize your boat to your specifications. Plus, most importantly, your boat will be brand new, meaning it will be stylish and free of any wear and tear.
How Much is a Used Pontoon Boat?
Generally speaking, the first advantage of buying a used boat is that it will be cheaper. Even if the boat has only been on the water for a few seasons, depreciation will make the cost lower than a new version of the same model. You can be sure that everything on board the boat is time-tested, and you can cruise without worrying about damaging a brand-new boat. In the case of a used boat, you’ll definitely want to consult with a certified marine surveyor to make sure it is in good working condition.
What Pontoon Size and Type are You Looking For?
The length of a pontoon boat is a variable figure between makes and models, and when painting with a broad brush, if a boat is longer or wider, it will be more expensive. The length and width also correspond to the passenger and storage capacities of the boat, as the amount of deck space will obviously change depending on the size. When deciding on which boat is right for you, it’s worth considering how you’re intending to use the boat and even talking with your future crew about what size boat will be right for you.
Cost of Pontoon Boat Maintenance:
When budgeting for your boat an often-overlooked consideration is maintenance. Every boat takes upkeep, from cleaning to engine maintenance and repairs. How you are going to handle the safe storage, transport and protection of your vessel should be planned out before you take delivery.
Keeping your boat clean will cost money in the form of supplies and this cost is typically determined by the size of the boat. The good news is that the benefits of cleaning your boat will outweigh this cost, since there are enormous benefits to making sure your boat is cleaned on a regular basis. It will keep build-up from harming the hull and equipment and it can improve fuel economy, both of which will save you money in the long run.
Accidents happen. Hopefully they won’t, but if they do, you need to be ready to handle the expense of repairing your boat. Even if you’re very careful, if you’re using your boat over a long period of time, there’s simply no way to avoid some type of damage. To handle that cost, you can always look into boat warranty packages.
Another way to handle unexpected repair costs is to insure your boat. Whether you legally need boat insurance will depend on what state you live in, as well as your purchasing plan and where the boat will reside as some banks and marinas require proof of boat insurance. Either way, you should consider insurance as a valuable investment to give you peace of mind. Pricing of these plans will vary, depending on what coverage you’re hoping to get, as well as how much the boat itself is worth, what condition it’s in and what features it has.
If you plan to keep your boat at a marina, whether in a slip or a dry storage, facilities typically charge by the foot. The length and width of the vessel will impact the cost and availability of space, so that may be something to take into account when selecting the size of your boat. Additionally, as much as none of us would like it to, for many of us, winter does come eventually, and you should be ready to winterize and store your boat ahead of time. Winter storage can be pricey, so it’s important to budget appropriately and do your research to find a facility that’s good for you geographically and financially.
Cost of Pontoon Boat Accessories
Every boater has their own reason to get out on the water and every on the water activity will require its own gear.
Your boat isn’t just a boat – it’s a vehicle to allow you to do so much more. Those activities come with their own costs, though, and they’re worth considering at this stage in your purchase process. If you’re hoping to do watersports, the price of tow ropes, skies or boards, ladders and will be important to you. Fishing gear also has its own costs associated with it and should be planned for accordingly.
Always consider the process of getting your boat from place to place. It’s easy to think about your boat as just a watercraft, but how will you get it to and from the water? Buying a trailer or tow package to haul your boat will make this process much smoother, but it’s another cost to think about.
To ensure your boat stays in excellent condition and is ready to go when you are, getting a cover for it might prove a wise decision. There are a number of options for a cover, from simple snap-on canvas covers to fully automatic covers built mounted on a boat lift. The type of cover you consider will depend on your location and proximity to the water, but is a worthwhile investment to keep your boat’s interior in pristine condition.
Add-On Feature Costs
If you’re hoping to entertain on your boat deck, you may be very interested in upgraded lighting or audio systems. It’s worth looking into what kind of layouts and features come with the pontoon you’re thinking about purchasing, and which ones will cost extra. If you want a different furniture set-up than the standard options, you should be prepared for some extra spending in that area, as well.
Pontoon Boat Financing
Once you have decided the style of boat, any options, and whether you are buying new or used, it’s time to calculate what the final cost will be. With a final figure, determining how to finance your purchase may seem daunting, but there are many tools to help boat-buyers through the process.
Pontoon Boat Financing Calculator
A great resource for boaters is this pontoon boat financing calculator, which can help buyers figure out what kind of finance plan is right for them and how much they can afford. First-time buyers are particularly encouraged to check it out, to better understand what’s involved.
Boat Financing Forum
Another tool to help you through this process is to join a forum for boaters to discuss financing with other pontoon boat buyers. Boaters are usually very open to share their experiences and what worked for them. Users can receive helpful advice from people who’ve done it before and join a network of like-minded boaters to help get the most out of their pontoon boat.