Whether you’re sailing on the coastline or catching fish in the nearby lake, your boat is supposed to be your loyal companion throughout the journey. Since there are so many types of vessels, it can be a daunting task to pick the right one.
So if you’re confused between a bass boat or pontoon, I can help you choose the right one according to your requirements.
In this article, I have listed all the details about these boats, hoping it will give you a better mental picture before you head out to purchase your new boat.
Characteristics of Bass Boats
A bass boat is small and designed primarily to fish in freshwaters like lakes, rivers, and streams. These boats are usually 17 feet long and around eight feet wide. They are motorized boats made of aluminum or fiberglass and have V-hulls.
Pros of Bass Boats
How does a bass boat help with fishing? Here are some benefits:
Bass boats have the upper hand when it comes to speed. They come with powerful 250-300 HP outboard motors that help zip through the water at high speeds of 35 to 50 mph.
You can easily cover a vast distance of water in a bass boat without burning too much fuel. They also have a trolling motor that is relatively quiet, which helps in catching more fish.
Easy to Handle
It is easy to maneuver a bass boat as they are small and lightweight, helping them smoothly move around obstacles in the water. So if the motors fail or you run out of fuel, you can easily paddle this boat.
These boats have V hulls and a flat front deck that gives them excellent stability even in rough waters. They come with swivel chairs and have power poles that allow you to anchor your boat with just a push of a button, letting you keep your fishing lines steady.
Bass boats, as the name suggests, are mainly for bass fishing, so they have large storage compartments for keeping fishing gear. They also have one or two livewells, which are big enough to hold a large number of fish.
Moreover, these boats have enough space to accommodate three to five people. So, in a bass boat, you can always bring along some company.
Cons of Bass Boats
Just like everything else, bass boats have some disadvantages:
Not Comfortable Enough
Bass boats do not provide shelter from rain or sun rays. Also, you do not have enough space to move around, especially when fighting a big fish, and you might end up with wet clothes in rough waters.
With a bass boat, you have to wipe it dry every time you take it out of the water. Otherwise, it leaves stubborn spots behind. Moreover, their fiberglass hulls are prone to sun damage, cracking, and breakage.
So you might have to put in a good amount of effort to keep your boat in working order.
Characteristics of Pontoon Boats
A pontoon boat is a rectangular vessel that is fenced in with high rails. It has a flat deck that lies upon two hollow aluminum tubes. With an average length of 20 feet, these boats are like floating living rooms, aka ‘pleasure boats.’
Pros of Pontoon Boats
What makes pontoon boats so popular? Here are a few reasons:
Are you planning a dinner party out on the water? Then you are in luck with a pontoon boat. This boat has an ample amount of space and storage capacity, allowing around 20 people on board.
The ample deck space lets you stretch and take a snooze while 15 other people are fishing around you.
You can also accessorize it with multiple fishing rods, livewells, furniture, a boat grill, and whatnot. The sky’s the limit!
Fishing experience with a bass boat or pontoon can be similar, but you have a more stable platform for fishing with a pontoon. They hardly wobble and stay steady when you reel in a good catch, making fishing an easy task.
Moreover, you can enjoy water sports, such as skiing and tubing, and even attach an inflatable water slide to a pontoon boat.
You don’t have to worry about sunscreens when fishing in a pontoon as these boats come with sunshades.
Plus, enjoying a ride with your children and even pets is possible in pontoons, thanks to their high rails, which ensures safety. Overall, pontoons are safe boats as they are heavy and are unlikely to flip in the water.
Cons of Pontoon Boats
Despite being so versatile and comfortable, pontoon boats come with a few disadvantages:
Need a speedy boat? Pontoons are not for you then. With an average speed of 20-30 mph, these boats will take longer than you’d expect to reach your destination.
Since they won’t be winning you any races, they’re better suited for family outings and sports like tubing or some laid-back fishing.
Difficult to Maneuver
Pontoons aren’t exactly maneuverability masters. In fact, they’ll prove frustrating if you’re looking for swift and easy handling, as they won’t be able to go around tight corners or make sharp U-turns.
Not for Rough Waters
One of the biggest bummers about owning a pontoon is that you’ll always have to be on the lookout for bad weather. Due to the lack of a V-shaped hull, these boats can easily topple over in rough, angry waves. Hence, it’s not wise to take pontoon boats out on the sea as they are designed for calm waters.
Bass Boat or Pontoon: a Quick Comparison
A bass boat is all about speed, massive fish tackle, little personal space, and the ability to move swiftly in different water locations. It is smaller in size compared to a pontoon and is also pretty lightweight.
Bass boats are suitable for professionals and competitive anglers who participate in fishing tournaments. So if you are into freshwater fishing or like to reel in dinner from the nearby lake, then a bass boat is all you’ll need.
On the contrary, pontoons are relatively slow, spacious, and stable boats and are good for recreational activities that involve a large group of people. If you like hosting barbeque parties or enjoy spending time with your kids, then a pontoon boat is the boat for you to live all your dreams.
Whether it’s a bass boat or pontoon, you can participate in watersports with both of them. However, skiing and kneeboarding are not possible with bass boats, as they’re too lightweight and small for this purpose.
As far as cost is concerned, bass boats are a lot more expensive than pontoons. However, pontoon boats can become equally costly once you accessorize them.
The Bottom Line
According to experts, spending time in, near, or underwater is beneficial for human health in several ways. So I would encourage you to invest in a boat to explore, as it would help you appreciate nature and connect with yourself and your loved ones.
I hope this article provided you with enough information about both kinds of boats to help you reach a decision. So whether you buy a bass boat or pontoon, the ultimate goal is to unplug and get out on the water.