The pontoon boat is quite the versatile vessel indeed. Available in a range of sizes, pontoon boat models and variations cater to every kind of boater. So whatever your taste and standard, you can be sure to find the perfect pontoon boat to satisfy your fancy. Of course, functions, features, and amenities can play a role in the selection process, but size is almost always one of the deciding factors.
Depending on the space you have for boat storage, and the kind of use you expect out of your pontoon boat, it's important that you carefully consider how big or small you want it to be. But because most manufacturers advertise their pontoon boats in terms of length in feet, many buyers can't help but ask -- how wide is a pontoon boat? Here's what you need to know.
Are All Pontoon Boats the Same Width?
The short answer is no, pontoon boats can have different widths relative to the manufacturer. The measurements for pontoon boats are not set in stone. There's no such thing as fixed ratios for length and width. So that gives manufacturers the freedom to decide what different dimensions would best serve their purpose in terms of achieving the ideal space, functionality, and efficiency for their boats.
With that said, all pontoon boat manufacturers employ their own, different standards when it comes to deciding how wide or how narrow they want their boats to be. In general however, you can expect the width to be directly proportionate to the length. That is, as the boat becomes longer, so too does it become wider.
Standard Widths for Pontoon Boat Size Categories
Pontoon boats can be placed in different categories based on how wide and lengthy they are. These include small, medium, and large sized pontoon boats. Some boats might not fall within these categories, and are thus dubbed custom sized.
And while the ratios aren't fixed, you can glean width measurements based on the category of the pontoon boat you're looking at. Smaller pontoons will have a shorter tube measure, a smaller number of passengers, and a narrower beam. The opposite is true for larger boats.
Small Pontoon Boats
Typically, this pontoon boat size category measures less than 20 feet. A good example would be the GS Cruise II from the brand Avalon. They're ideal for groups of 10 or less. The smallest pontoon boats can measure just 12 feet in length, with their tubes extending some 4 to 6 inches more than the deck itself.
In terms of width, these boats can measure between 7 and 8 feet, but there might be a few picks that stretch up to 9 feet. However that's not generally too common. In terms of their tubes, these pontoons can have 26 foot diameter logs. These pontoons are great for solo fishing.
Medium Pontoon Boats
These pontoon boats represent the center of the market and consist of the most options. They're typically the most popular pontoons among buyers because they provide sufficient space for party purposes and fit most people's budget.
They can measure between 21 to 40 feet in length, and typically brandish a width of about 8 to 10 feet and come with 26 to 28 foot diameter logs. Depending on the layout, they can accommodate anywhere from 12 to 18 or more people.
Large Pontoon Boats
As the biggest choice in the bunch, these large pontoon boats tout ultra spacious interiors, sprinkled with plush seating for maximum capacity and enjoyment. These are wide boats that also require a lot of care. Lengths can stretch a little beyond 40 feet, with the standard width reaching over 12 feet. They offer enough room to accommodate a maximum of 20 people at a time, or more depending on the manufacturer. However they're not going to fit the usual garage.
If you're going to buy a pontoon, do note that some of the measurements overlap between different categories. That's because the category of the boat is determined based on its total floor area, and not just the length or width of the boat in feet.
For example, a pontoon boat that measures 26 feet by 8 feet from one brand will have a smaller floor area than a boat that measures 26 feet by 12 feet wide. That's why the former would be categorized as mid-sized, while the latter falls into the biggest bunch.
How Wide is a Pontoon Boat and The Most Popular Models?
So maybe you're still looking to get a more detailed idea of different pontoon boat sizes. Again, the answer to how wide is a pontoon boat depends on the manufacturer. But to guide your choice and to help you narrow down your options, here are some examples of the most popular models from known brands and how much they measure at the beam.
- Bennington 218SL -23 foot and 9 inches in length, 8' in width
- Sun Tracker Party Barge DLX - 20 foot in length, 8' and 2 inches in width
- Crestliner 240 Rally DX - 25 foot and 10 inches in length, 8' and 6 inches in width
- Avalon GS Cruise II - 19 foot and 5 inches, 8'5" wide
- Bennington 25LTSBA - 24 foot 4 inches, 8'5" wide
How Wide is a 24 Foot Pontoon?
The most common question asked in the sphere of pontoon boat widths is how wide wide is a pontoon boat that's 24 feet long? Well, if it hasn't been emphasized quite enough yet, pontoons vary significantly in terms of width, since there really isn't a set standard for brands. However because the 24 foot pontoon model is generally the most popular, most buyers can help but ask how much these pontoons measure in terms of width.
Considered a mid-sized pontoon, a 24 footer can have a width between 8 and 10 feet. However we're not discounting the fact that there might be pontoon boat manufacturers out there that design boats that are wider despite measuring 24 feet long. Generally speaking however, it's uncommon to find pontoons that are half as wide as they are long.
What Does Beam Mean?
The beam is defined as the widest part of a pontoon boat from the ship's nominal waterline. In layman's terms, this is the widest part of the boat above the water measured on the outer side. Remember that for V-hulls, the boat becomes narrower as you reach the base under the water surface. That's why it's a standard to measure the beam above the nominal waterline.
If you're looking up pontoon boat listings and you encounter the word beam, that generally just pertains to how wide the boat measures at its widest point. Remember though that this measures how wide the boat is on the outside. This means that it might not be as wide on deck.
Over to You
There are a number of reasons why you might want to measure your boat. Whether you're buying a new boat and you want to make sure it will fit in the garage, or if you're sizing up your options to find the perfect dimensions for your fish catching contraptions, it's important to know just how wide is a pontoon boat. And while the measurements aren't exactly set in stone, understanding the nuances should help you make proper estimations to narrow down your options and find a boat that's perfect for your purpose.