Last updated on January 13th, 2021
Enjoying your day out on the waters is only possible if you own the type of boat that best fits your needs. A multipurpose boat lets you host parties, enjoy water sports, go fishing, and relax with your family over weekends.
For such occasions, a pontoon boat or deck boat tops the list of the best kind of entertainment boats. But the question is, which one’s the best option to go for?
In this post, I have compared both types of boats to help you hunt down the perfect pick. So if you’re interested in knowing more, keep reading!
Pontoon Boat or Deck Boat: A Comparison
Though you might find both types of boats quite suitable, they come with a few differences. The following details will help you differentiate between them, providing you a better idea about their unique characteristics:
Pontoons are rectangular in shape and are fenced in with high side rails. In comparison, a deck boat resembles a speed boat. One of the main distinguishing features between a classic pontoon’s layout and a deck boat is the hull.
The deck of a pontoon lies flat on two or three hollow aluminum tubes, called pontoons, which are evenly distributed. This particular feature keeps the boat steady, both while moving and when still, providing excellent stability.
On the other hand, a deck boat has a traditional V-shaped hull. These hulls allow the boat to cut through water in a better fashion at high speeds. It also gives the boat a sleek and sporty look.
When it comes to size, pontoon boats are about 20 feet long on average and usually have a width of eight feet. Smaller varieties may have lengths up to 12 or 14 feet and widths of about seven feet. The long pontoons have a diameter of about 24 to 26 inches.
Similarly, deck boats come with a length range of 19 to 23 feet and have widths that average up to seven feet. Hence, size won’t matter when it comes to choosing between a pontoon or deck boat, as they’re almost similar in length and width.
If you have any future plans to throw a floating party for your friends on your boat, then nothing can beat the spacious deck of a pontoon boat. Due to the flat surface of the deck, it pretty much resembles a floating living room.
This boat boasts an abundant amount of space to walk around, with plenty of storage compartments and a decent number of furniture. It has seats that can point in any direction, can have a table or two, and even a boat grill.
Pontoon boats can accommodate up to 20 people. Contrarily, deck boats can fit up to 8 to 12 people and usually have seats facing forwards, which are best for enjoying high-speed cruising. This boat also provides a fair amount of storage space, but in general, pontoon boats offer more.
When it comes to speed, deck boats have an advantage. These boats have quick takeoffs and the ability to reach a speed of about 70 mph. Their average speed is around 50 to 70 mph. Pontoon boats, on the other hand, have cruising speeds between 40 to 60 mph.
If you are looking for a boat that provides a stable and wobble-free ride, then a pontoon boat is exactly what you need. These boats are easy to drive and very unlikely to flip, owing to their massive structure and wide turn axis.
Also, because pontoon boats sit up higher in water (due to the metal tubes underneath), it is easier to drive them in shallow waters.
Deck boats, on the other hand, are designed to fulfill your need for speed. Their V-shaped hulls can help you reach your destination faster, even during windy weather conditions. A deck boat should be your pick if enjoying a cool, rolling ride with your friends seems appealing to you.
Whether it’s a pontoon boat or deck boat, both kinds of boats stand out when it comes to being versatile. These vessels are ideal for activities like fishing, water skiing, tubing, lounging, and cruising. There is, however, a slight difference between them.
Since pontoon boats provide a more stable and roomy platform, they are ideal for fishing. You can install rod holders, live wells, audio speakers, LED lights, and even an inflatable water slide to a pontoon boat for your children.
Deck boats, on the other hand, are the go-to option for water skiing, kneeboarding, and tubing for a more thrilling experience.
Generally, a deck boat will cost you more than a pontoon boat. The price of a deck boat falls anywhere between $30,000 and $80,000. Pontoons, however, being cheaper, have a price range of $15,000 – $60,000.
If you want a budget boat for a lazy day out with your family, then go for a pontoon boat. But if you are planning to invest a good sum of money for sporting activities, then a deck boat will be more suitable for you.
All types of watercraft need some effort in order to keep them clean and in working condition. Whether you own a pontoon or deck boat, both of them require an equal amount of time for their maintenance.
However, deck boats’ fiberglass hull requires wiping after each time you take it out on the waters. This prevents oxidation, which makes the fiberglass dull and chalky. So, you might have to invest extra effort into maintaining these boats.
Pontoon boats are usually more durable than deck boats and can last for 10 to 12 years. The aluminum hulls of pontoon boats only dent rather than breaking or cracking if subjected to impact.
On the flip side, the fiberglass hulls of deck boats are prone to damage. Additionally, too much UV ray exposure makes the fiberglass brittle, making deck boats less durable.
Deciding between a pontoon or deck boat can be tricky since both types of boats do not differ much. They both are highly versatile and have their pros and cons, though, if you have children and own pets, then a pontoon boat can be your best pick.
According to the US Coast Guard statistics, pontoons are highly safe boats. You can easily picnic with your kids in the middle of a lake or teach them fishing. In short, a pontoon is a ‘pleasure boat’ to meet all your partying requirements.
However, if you’re a water skiing enthusiast, and have plans to bring your friends over for a thrilling water ride, then a deck boat is all you need.