10 Best Small Pontoon Boats
“You can’t buy happiness. But you can buy a boat, and that’s pretty much the same thing.”
How are you going to plan this summer with your kids?
You must have got a long list of items to choose from. I want you not to skip boating at any cost because happiness is boating.
I love boating because it takes over my worries. And I want you to experience it too.
Boating gives you sailing experience, but it also offers recreational activities at the same time.
Why don’t you think of becoming a captain of a small boat? A pontoon, maybe.
Yes, it’s affordable.
Buying a small pontoon boat would be a much reasonable option for those who have a low budget and a small family.
Reasons Behind Buying a Small Pontoon Boat?
Nevertheless, a pontoon is a luxury item, and buying one shouldn’t be impulsive.
It’s all about due diligence and a prudent buying decision to avoid ambiguity.
Take a look at the benefits of small pontoon boats to initiate the buying process with no hesitation.
Suitable in Shallow Water
As the name suggests, pontoon boats are flat-bottomed watercraft that tend to float on the water’s top.
They are known as shallow water vessels because they function smoothly in shallow water.
In lakes, ponds, or rivers, the small pontoon boats will give you an experience like no other boat can.
Versatile and Easy to Handle
Have you ever heard that smaller vessels are difficult to handle?
Never! I believe.
Small pontoon boats are flexible enough to operate, dock, tow, and store due to smaller size and light-weight. They can be used to carry out many fun-filled activities, including daily routine tasks. This may include:
- Water skiing
Small pontoon boats are safe enough because they are usually made for beginners. And they are difficult to turn over due to moderate speed.
You might be worried about the lifespan of any luxury item that you are about to purchase.
Let me tell you that small pontoon boats tend to sail for years. The low maintenance cost would urge you to spend a little more money on customization. You can place speakers, LED lights, and inflatable water accessories, if not provided in the standard pontoon.
If you’ve made up your mind to be a captain of your boat this summer, you‘re prepared to invest, but hang on.
Sometimes, pricing becomes a showstopper before making any purchase.
Being a beginner and buying a luxury item, I believe its price tag won’t make you disappointed. The pleasure and mental peace are far-reaching that you would get at the price.
10 Best Small & Mini Pontoon Boats – Let’s Get Started
This article would help you find the ten best small pontoon boats.
Since new models have come out, therefore I’ve shortlisted the following boats for you.
- Qwest Pontoon E-Class XRE
- Lil’ Cruiser by Pond King
- Venture 1675 by Avalon
- Cruiser LX-160 by Harris
- Ultra 160 Cruise by Lowe
- 160 Sprint by Crestliner
- 188 SFV by Bennington
- Vectra 17 by Princecraft
- SR SW160F by Godfrey
- Bass Buggy 16 XL by SUN TRACKER
Before moving forward, it’s better to get familiar with a few different terms of a boat.
- Aft or Stern means back part of a boat
- Bow means the front part of a boat
- Port means the left side of a boat
- Starboard means the right side of a boat
Let’s dig deeper into each boat.
Manufacturer: Apex Marine Inc.
50 Years of Experience
The words “proudly American made” are given meaning by Apex Marine as we keep innovating. The goal of Qwest, a division of Apex Marine, is to produce high-quality pontoon boats that outperform market expectations while providing the best possible boat for our customers. Our incredible contemporary designs are outfitted with state-of-the-art technology and created especially to provide you with an unforgettable experience.
We are motivated to provide you with outstanding quality, modern, multi-functional layouts, generous packages, and continuous modern design arrays for cruising, fishing, bar boats, and water sports. We constantly strive to create pontoons with the best quality and features in their respective classes. You can tell that a Qwest was created when you look at one.
- 8’ Wide Beam
- 1-1/4” Powder Coated Railings
- Custom 8’ x 9’ Forward Facing Bimini Top
- Motor Mount Fuel Tank (13 Gallon on 14’ – 16’ models / 25 Gallon on 18’ and larger)
- Rear Platform Extension with Stainless Steel Rear Entry Ladder
- Playpen Cover
- Lift and Lock Gates/Hinges
- Multi-Chambered Pontoons (23” Diam. on 14’ – 16’ models / 25” Diam. on 18’ and larger)
- Rich Upholstery w/Ultra-Flow Seat Base Ventilation
- Luxury Woven Vinyl Flooring
- Fiberglass Helm Stand
- Clarion CMM20 Bluetooth Stereo
- LED Courtesy Light on Helm Stand
- Dual USB Charger on Helm Stand
- Helm Dry Storage Tube
- On/Off Main Battery Shut Off
You would avail limited lifetime warranty on decking, seat frames, framing cross channels, and pontoon tubes. Whereas, a 5-year warranty period is available on seat vinyl, vinyl flooring, and canvas.
- Pontoon Length: 16′ 3″
- Deck Size: 8′ X 16′
- Overall Length: 17′ 7″
- Pontoon Diameter: 23″
- Max Horsepower: 50 HP
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 13 gal
- Max Weight Capacity: 1,385 lbs
- Max Person Capacity: 7 people
- Max Person Weight: 960 lbs
- Approx. Dry Weight: 1,525 lbs
This small pontoon boat is useful for both cruising and fishing. Either way, you would be boating your way to relaxation. Also, the various color combinations give you the right to choose what you consider best for you.
Are you ready to buy this small pontoon boat?
Manufacturer: Pond King Inc.
Pond King Inc. started offering pond and lake management services along with fish stocking in 1995. The company then moved into manufacturing and designing mini and small pontoon boats for small ponds and lakes.
This will give you a lifetime experience in lakes and ponds. Look into some significant features of Lil’ Cruiser to enjoy it for the years to come.
- Pontoon length is 16’ 6’’
- Two benches and one adjustable captain’s chair
- Maximum person capacity is five
- Maximum weight capacity of 1,300 lbs is allowed
- Comes with 91-square foot deck and ample plush seating, along with a Bimini top
- Carpeted marine-grade plywood deck
- Available in 9.8 HP, 15 HP, or 25 HP Tohatsu outboard motor
- Extended rail with front and side gates
You may get this boat in different price ranges depending upon the horsepower.
The company offers a 10-year warranty on all its steel frames, aluminum frames, and welds. Also, you’ll have a 5-year warranty on the motor.
Most importantly, if you aren’t satisfied with your boat at the delivery time, the company will turn around. Just bring the boat back at its largest retail outlet, and the company would refund your entire deposit.
Above all, Lil’ Cruiser is a cruising boat for your family at a reasonable cost. You may find it the best boat when it comes to sailing in small lakes and ponds.
To get your queries answered, the below link would be quite helpful.
What if I tell you that Avalon has won the Marine Industry Customer Satisfaction Index Award from 2008 to 2019 consecutively?
Yes, it’s true.
Besides, the incidence of warranty claims in the company has been among the lowest in the industry.
Over forty years ago, Avalon entered the marine industry to manufacture a wide range of boats. The committed team aims to deliver a stress-free boating experience to you and your family.
Avalon’s mini pontoon boats come in various models and styles. But, Venture 1675 can hit the market aggressively among small pontoon boats.
You would be eager to get to know its features. So, here they are:
- 17’ 5’’ overall boat length allows six travelers at a time
- Maximum engine power is 50 HP
- Overall weight should not exceed 1,350 lbs
- Chain adjustment slider (front, back and rotate)
- Vinyl non-skid strips for entry gates
- Deck corner impact protection
- Tapered front deck with navigation lights
- Bimini Top and rare aluminum ladder
Avalon’s Venture 1675 comes in three variants under the same boat length. These variants have distinctive features in the bow and aft area:
- Quad Fish – Having four fishing stations in the bow and aft area
- Rare Fish – Having two fishing stations in the aft area, while the mid area to the bow is for cruising and lounging
- Bow Fish – Having two fishing stations in the bow area. The aft contains a rear corner seating area and a rear-facing bench.
You can choose various colors and styles for exterior walls, vinyl, and flooring.
The company offers you a limited lifetime structural warranty as well. This may include Pontoons, crossbeams, wood decking, and motor mounts.
Overall, Venture 1675 is a well fishing-equipped pontoon boat that would accommodate your budget. It’s one of the best pontoon boats for fishing enthusiasts due to its sleek interior design and convenient fishing features.
Harris is the name of elegance in the US boating industry. For more than 60 years, it has been serving its customers with lavish comfort and sophisticated style.
The company doesn’t compromise in designing the boats, and it offers state-of-the-art onboard technology. Like Avalon, it has also been recognized with the Customer Satisfaction Index Award for back-to-back 16 years.
Harris offers you this small pontoon boat in two variants at different pricing:
Let’s understand what features each variant of Cruiser LX-160 offers:
- Overall boat length is 17’ 10’’
- The maximum overall weight capacity is 1,652 lbs
- Maximum eight travelers are allowed
- Maximum horsepower is 50
- Aft L-shaped vinyl seating
- Ample lounge seating with under-seat storage
- Dual bow fishing positions with storage compartment and Livewell (Fish)
- Rod storage (Fish)
- Port and Starboard bow lounge benches (Cruise)
You’ll have a chance to choose from limited color options.
The company is pleased to offer you a limited lifetime warranty for the entire structure. This may include pontoon tubes, decking, motor mount, and fence rail. In addition, all materials and artistry are covered under a 10-year warranty.
This small pontoon boat would manage to make most of your time out on the water. Whether it’s cruising around the lake or catching a fish of the day, this boat would make your day memorable.
Lowe has been designing a wide range of boats since 1971. It has created generations of family memories through great experiences on the water.
Lowe’s Ultra 160 Cruise is a pontoon boat for family cruising. Its features are more or less similar to other small pontoon boats.
- Overall boat length is 17’ 10’’
- Maximum eight individuals at a time
- Maximum overall weight capacity is 1,659 lbs
- Aft bench seat with convenient storage underneath and cupholders
- Port and starboard bow lounge benches
- Maximum engine power is 50 HP
- Fold-down helm and passenger seat
- Heavy-duty 9’ Bimini top with quick disconnects
- Plywood flooring
This small pontoon boat comes in three ELPT options at much affordable pricing. These include:
- 9.9 ELPT Command Thrust Pro Kicker Four Stroke
- 25 ELPT Four Stroke
- 40 ELPT Command Thrust FourStroke
Lowe’s Ultra 160 Cruise gives you long-lasting durability, spacious seating, and smart amenities at a reasonable value.
Besides, the limited range of color combination is also available for both exteriors and interiors.
Pontoon logs, decking, motor pod, fence, and gate rails are covered in warranty for the boat’s life.
If you need any further clarification, you can visit the website and chat with your nearby dealers’ representatives.
Having more than 70 years of excellence, Crestliner is recognized as the world’s most durable aluminum boat manufacturer.
Crestliner’s 160 Sprint is an entry-level pontoon boat. When it comes to an outing, it serves two primary purposes of the water, i.e., cruising and fishing.
Therefore, it comes in two choices for pontoon boat lovers.
- Fish and Cruise
To explore each variant, you need to skim through some leading features.
- Overall boat length is 17’ 10’’
- 1,659 lbs are the maximum weight capacity (Cruise)
- 1,640 lbs are the maximum weight capacity (Fish and Cruise)
- Maximum 8 individuals are allowed
- Maximum HP range is 75
- 9’ black Bimini top with quick connectors
- Comfortable passenger seat with helm seat
- Available in three fencing colors (black metallic, maroon red, and slate blue)
- Three entry gates (rear, bow, and portside)
- Stern lounge bench with beneath storage
- Coverage of limited lifetime warranty
- Bow port and starboard lounge with storage and drink holders (Cruise variant)
- Two bow fishing chairs with storage area (Fish and Cruise)
You can keep a lot of belongings easily due to enough space and storage capacity. The company offers seven engines to choose from. The price of the pontoon varies according to the engine.
Crestliner’s 160 Sprint would give you better speed and stable cruising experience. The company allows you to enjoy other options like four vertical rod holders, tilt steering, removable table, ski tow bar, and docking LED lights.
To know more about it or purchase this model, you can visit the manufacturer’s website
Manufacturer: Bennington Marine
Bennington Marine was founded in 1997 by a small group of veterans. The company has raised its standard by innovation in designing and customer satisfaction.
Bennington’s 188 SFV is a small pontoon boat equipped with bass seats, rear fishing stations, rod holders, etc.
Its significant features are as follows:
- The pontoon boat has an overall length of 18’ 9.5 ‘’
- Three foldable fishing seats
- Comfortable captain’s chair
- Port bow Livewell with two cup holders
- Corner starboard Aft deck
- Seven-person seating capacity
- Maximum engine power is 60 HP
- Starboard Bow storage compartment with a rod holder and cup holder
- Marideck flooring
You may get a limited lifetime structural warranty on the structure, gates, motor mount, etc.
Moreover, the company offers you a 10-year warranty on materials and crafts.
Bennington’s 188 SFV is a fishing pontoon boat featuring L-bench midship, and dual bass seats upfront.
Whether you are looking for a family-friendly boat for full-time fishing or occasional fishing outing, this pontoon boat would suit you. And its powerful engine would maintain the pace on the water.
In 2014, Princecraft celebrated its 60th anniversary in the boating industry. Its pontoon boats are widely accepted among families and fishermen due to its wide-range and design.
Vectra 17 is the small pontoon boat for enjoying cruising experience on the water. Let’s take a look at its main features.
- Overall boat length is 17’ 8’’
- Maximum weight capacity is 1,409 lbs
- It can accommodate seven persons
- Engine power ranging from 9.9 to 50 HP
- Storage compartment under all lounges
- Rod storage compartment and portside gate
- Marine-grade carpeted wood deck
- Rear swim platform and Bimini top
- Walk-thru rear gate and bow gate
- Plush and heavy-weight upholstery
- Limited lifetime warranty and 10-year structural warranty coverage
This small pontoon boat offers a wide choice of seating options for your family. Also, the price would be different based on the engine’s horsepower that you would choose.
Enough storage capacity with comfort cruising would give you an unforgettable experience. With this pontoon boat, it’s time to gather your family for an outing on the water.
Godfrey has been manufacturing boats to bring you and your family closer for the past 60 years. The pontoon boats are designed to make the most of your time while you are on the water.
Godfrey’s SR SW160F is one of the best small pontoon boats for fishing fanatics with sufficient seating capacity. Its essential features would make you understand more about this boat.
- Overall boat length is 17’ 5’’
- The maximum engine power is 50 HP
- Eight passengers at a time
- Overall weight capacity is 1,558 lbs
- Dual bow fish seats with storage compartments and rod holders
- A spare fish seat in the stern
- L-shaped lounge with underneath storage
- Backrest and armrest helm seat
- Maximum engine capacity is 60 HP
- Walk-thru rear gate and bow gate
- Portside gate and Bimini top
The company is committed to providing a limited lifetime structural warranty on pontoon tubes, decking, etc. Besides, a 10-year warranty on flooring, furniture, upholstery, gauges, and electronics is also there for the taking.
This small pontoon boat navigates smoothly on the water. Also, you would enjoy fishing comfort with plush, 360-degree rotation, and height-adjusting seats.
If you want to book a virtual tour and get a price quote, just click the below link.
Manufacturer: SUN TRACKER
Bass Buggy 16 DLX, the last small pontoon boat, stands out in offering quality and comfort on the water.
Its manufacturer is SUN TRACKER, which has been in the boating industry for more than 35 years. The company aims to build longtime memories on the water with family and friends. It has more than 130 nationwide dealers, including shops and centers.
Let’s take a look at some key features of this small pontoon boat.
- 16’ overall length boat provides bow space for water-related activities
- The capacity of seven persons; maximum persons’ weight is 1,150 lbs
- Two Bow fishing positions with fold-down fishing chairs
- L-shaped lounge with under-seat storage
- Port wheel-chair access gate and under-deck ladder
- Erosion-resistant wire wrap and water-resistant connectors
- Smooth and peaceful ride due to soundproof and anti-vibration engine
- Electric Start-Long Shaft-Power Trim (ELPT) motor engine
- Maximum recommended HP is 40
This small and comfortable pontoon boat is available for an affordable price range under two fencing colors, i.e., black metallic or indigo blue.
You can find its four variants in terms of the motor engine, but at different price ranges.
- 20 ELPT Fourstroke
- 25 ELPT Fourstroke
- 40 ELPT Fourstroke Command Thrust
- 9.9 ELPT FourStroke Command Thrust ProKicker
You can also enjoy a lifetime warranty for pontoon logs, the motor pod, and deck supports. However, workmanship is covered for ten years, including plumbing, vinyl, furniture, electrical components, etc.
I wouldn’t be wrong if I call this boat a Fishing Pontoon having good speed and stable ride.
Wrap-Up On Mini Pontoon Boats
Every mini pontoon boat is built to suit the way you prefer to relax and have fun.
I’ve done my job; now it’s up to you to consider how you would spend this summer with your loved ones. But, never forget that boating time means family time.
Nevertheless, I’m pretty hopeful that you would make your excursion memorable by adding a small pontoon boat in your buying cart for your family.
Fish are calling you.