The pontoon boat is the watercraft of choice for boaters who want to make sure everyone gets a slice of maritime merriment. With a wide open deck, lots of space, and greater comfort than most other recreational pleasure crafts, pontoon boats take the cake for offering the best experience for every member of the family.
Needless to say, pontoon boat manufacturers have recognized the role they play in the family market. So most companies have come out with models that cater more and more to families. Looking to cop a pontoon boat the whole brood can enjoy? Here are some family pontoon boats to consider.
Best Pontoon Boats for Families
To be fair, any pontoon boat can be a family pontoon boat with the right upgrades and accessories. But there are boats out there that come straight out of the dealership with all of the bells and whistles that can make it well adapted for family use sans the need for aftersales adjustments and purchases.
So if you were looking for something that would come well-equipped for your crew straight out of the showroom, these boats might be worth looking into.
1. Godfrey Monaco Sundeck
For the moms and dads with a little more to spare, the Godfrey Monaco Sundeck can be a good choice. Available in either 23 or 25 feet varieties, the Godfrey Monaco Sundeck is a double decker pontoon boat that provides amenities that cater to every age group.
First off, the spacious boat can accommodate up to 14 passengers, giving you more than enough room for family and friends. The lower deck features comfortable seating with loads of underseat storage space to keep your essentials within reach. This makes the perfect hang out spot for all of the adults on board.
Climb up to the upper deck and you’ll find a built-in slide with a water pump. The slip-free ladder makes sure that your youngsters can climb up top without having to worry about losing their footing along the way. Oh, you also have the option to add a mid-ship bar for added enjoyment.
2. Manitou Encore
Advertised as a cost-friendly sports pontoon boat that’s designed for water skiing, wakeboarding, and all-day lake-top comfort, the Manitou Encore is perfect for families who might be looking to experience something a little more exciting. The pontoon boat’s performance features make it more powerful than other pontoons without losing sight of safety.
Easy to handle, the Encore is available in three different layouts, with their stern lounger considered the best choice for families hoping to spend the day together. It also comes with a 7-inch Garmin Echomap for effortless navigation, and integrated cupholders which should come in handy for those big family lunches on the waves.
With a capacity of up to 10 passengers, this boat provides ample room for your family and a few extra friends. You also have the option to pay for package upgrades that improve comfort and aesthetics for a more enjoyable ride.
3. Suntracker Party Barge 22 RF DLX
The Suntracker Party Barge 22 RF DLX offers a rear-facing lounge that gives families the perfect spot to hang and chat while enjoying the picturesque views of the lake. The spacious lounge area comes with a built-in center table with cup holders and enough surface area to accommodate snacks and even an elaborate lunch for a more comfortable dining experience.
Throughout the boat are three other couches with lots of underseat storage space, letting you stow away your family’s essentials for every boating trip. It also comes with a brand new stereo system that delivers crisp audio quality to keep the party going for hours.
Equipped with a 10-foot bimini top, a folding boarding ladder, and a swim platform, the Suntracker Party Barge 22 RF DLX delivers everything you might need for a seamless family boating experience - no aftersales purchases required!
4. Harris Sunliner
Plush comfort - a phrase to describe what the Harris Sunliner is all about. This ultra-comfortable pontoon boat features pillow-top vinyl upholstery that makes its seats supremely cushy and soft versus other boat seats on the market. This makes it perfect for families with small children who might get a little fussy on stiff seating.
The boat’s layout is also part of its appeal. The lounge areas provide passengers comfortable little nooks to hang out and spend time together, allowing a more relaxing ambiance for making memories. Needless to stay, storage isn’t a problem, with all of the seats concealing compartments for all of your family getaway needs.
Equipped with a third tube, the Harris Sunliner also happens to be one of the most stable pontoon boats on the market. The tri-toon helps ensure a stable and safe ride, perfect for boaters who want to make sure their family is protected from accidents at all times.
5. SunChaser Geneva DS
SunChaser’s Geneva DS offers versatile performance to cater to everyone on board. Available in either 22 or 24 foot varieties, the layout was designed so that passengers could comfortably lounge about. But more than just the seating layout, the boat also features an extended deck that gives you room for diving or optional fishing seats.
The rear lounge features a multi-purpose table with built-in cup holders, making it easier to host family meals. The seats are also upholstered in premium vinyl and high density foam, giving you cushy comfort that can keep you seated for hours on end.
Easy to maneuver, the SunChaser Geneva DS is perfect for first time boat owners who want something they can steer without a fuss. And with a capacity of up to 13 passengers, this pontoon boat promises to accommodate the whole family - and then some.
What to Look for in a Pontoon Boat for Families
What exactly sets a pontoon boat apart as a viable choice for families? Well, there are a few factors you might want to take into consideration. If you want to make sure you’re buying the best pontoon boat for your brood, see to it that you take these points into account:
Of course, space should be your biggest consideration. Things can get pretty cramped on a pontoon boat especially when you consider that you’re packing food, gear, clothes, and other essentials aside from just your passengers.
See to it that you’re buying a boat that fits more people than the headcount you’re looking to accommodate. Pontoon boats can be small enough to fit just 6 people, while others can fit more than 16. Stay within your budget restrictions, but make sure you choose a boat that fits a little more than you intend.
Other than that, there’s deck space. Did you know there are lots of families out there who can customize toilet rooms for their pontoon boats? If you’ve got a bunch of kids and teens on board and you want to make sure they can comfortably evacuate their system anytime, anywhere, then a larger deck space should be ideal so you can add your DIY amenities.
The average pontoon boat speed stands at around 25 mph. But there are boats out there with engines designed to generate speeds up to 50 mph. These can be ideal for families with grown children who want to enjoy water skiing or tubing at a more advanced level.
Then again, if you’re bringing along little bundles of joy, you might want to stick to boats that cruise at a more comfortable speed. That said, you probably won’t need to shell out on a boat with too much horsepower if you’re looking to lounge about. But if you’re interested in extreme water sports, then the starting point for horsepower should be around 90.
If you want to make sure that your family can experience all the excitement and enjoyment that pontoon boating has to offer, it pays to buy a boat with a few added features. Funny enough, even something as simple as built in cup holders can be immensely helpful especially when you consider how crazy meal time can get with the whole family in tow.
Other features to look out for include slides, extended decks, extra storage space, and sun shields. But while most of these might add to the overall comfort and convenience of your boat, it helps to understand what your family would need the most. Stay within budget and pay for the features you really think you’d benefit from.
Family Fun in the Sun
Pontoon boats are the perfect watercraft for families hoping to enjoy life on the waves. But not all pontoon boats are created equal. Family pontoon boats typically provide more roomy comfort, extra entertainment features, and safety additions to make them more ideal for groups with kids and teens. Make sure you consider your own family’s needs to buy a boat that truly fits the bill.