A flat-bottomed pontoon boat is a great choice for entertaining a crowd, for bringing your whole family onto the boat, or for those who want room to walk around while fishing or just relaxing on the water. The wide bottom of a pontoon boat does slow it down somewhat, so it's not the best choice for racing other boats; that bottom may also be too wide to fit into narrow streams and shallow areas of your favourite lake. However, for partying or for relaxing, it can be the perfect choice! Note a few questions to ask when considering a pontoon boat purchase so you know you get the right choice for your boating needs.
Ask about the trailer
Not all boat trailers are meant for the wide bottom of a pontoon boat, and you may need something oversized and with different tie-downs than you would use for a standard boat. It can even be good to buy a pontoon boat that comes with its own trailer, so you know you get the right size and design. This will ensure your boat is secure and that the trailer lights don't get obscured by the boat or any of its accessories and features.
Ask about using the boat in saltwater
If you're taking the pontoon boat into saltwater, don't assume that the flat bottom of the boat has no risk of corrosion simply because it's not partially submerged like a V-shaped hull. Your boat's body will still suffer exposure to high levels of damaging salt and resultant corrosion, and you may need the boat coated with what's called an anti-fouling paint, meant for aluminium or other metals that are exposed to salt. Always ask about this when choosing a pontoon boat so you know you get the best protection for saltwater.
Ask how to maintain the tubes
Pontoons are made with tubes under the deck, which elevate the boat and help keep it afloat. Those tubes may need different maintenance than the body of the boat; they may be made of a lighter metal than the boat body so they can easily float, and may need to be checked for leaks, broken seams, and other such damage. Any needed repairs to the tubes should be done as soon as possible, as a hole in the tube can allow it to collapse, and your boat is not usable. Always ensure you know how to maintain those tubes when considering a pontoon boat purchase.