You know what your pontoon needs? A bar. Sure, you could always just toss a few beers into a cooler and leave it at that. But how cool would it be to have a fully functional bar complete with chairs and tables to host some parties with friends and family?
Of course, some people might have told you it isn’t practical or possible to get a full-on pontoon boat bar installed in your space. But we’ve got just the stuff to help you achieve a sophisticated set-up without having to spend a fortune.
Ideas for Pontoon Boat Bar Furniture
The first thing to ask yourself is how invested are you in this boat bar? Do you want something that will remain in your space as a permanent fixture or are you looking for something a little more flexible? If you have limited space, then you might not be able to designate an entire corner to just a bar, and that’s when add-on bars come in handy.
1. Removable Bar Trays
Boat owners who want a bar that’s available just when they need it might want something they can remove when it isn’t necessary. That’s where Docktail Utility Tables might come in. These designs mount to various areas of your boat and provide just enough table surface and storage to keep your bar essentials.
The Docktail Boat Bar Utility Table with Cup Holders and Storage mounts to most standard size rod holders. Despite being pretty simple in design, the tray offers resilient performance that can withstand the elements including UV exposure and moisture damage.
2. Mini Fridge
A cooler can offer sufficient performance especially if you’re a low maintenance boat owner. Heck, there are some pretty impressive cooler designs out there, equipped with fancy material and construction that can keep ice solid for up to five days.
But then again, a cooler doesn’t really offer that sophisticated boat bar aesthetic. So if you were hoping to achieve a classier look, then a mini fridge might be a better choice. The Uber Appliance UB-XL1 Personal Portable Mini Fridge holds up to 12 cans and touts a sleek silhouette that’s edgy and stylish.
Another suitable pick is the Cooluli Concorde Black 20 Liter Compact Cooler and Warmer that features a smooth, glossy finish, and a spacious interior big enough to hold wine bottles, beer cans, and more.
We really like the Igloo Marine Ultra Cooler as it holds ice for days. But if you want something trendy & cool, we would recommend the Portable Mini Fridge by Uber Appliance. Another sleek option is the Compact Cooler Mini Fridge by Cooluli.
3. Bar Tops
Pontoon boats don’t usually come with tables that you can call bar tops, because they’re often too short. Nonetheless, there are after sales accessories you can buy to achieve a similar effect. The Magma Products Double Locking Stowable Pedestal Mount features an adjustable height that you can use as a stand for either a grill or a table, giving it even more versatility for your boat.
You could also just opt for something a little more straightforward, like the Springfield Marine Thread-Lock Table Package that gives you a little extra space for food and drinks for up to three or four people.
4. Bar Stools
Now, of course when it comes to pontoon boat bar stools, the options are pretty vast. They’re not going to mount to your deck like your typical furniture, but because they’re relatively compact and stable, you can bring them along without having to worry about accidents - as long as you don’t sit on them while you’re underway.
The Alpha Home 30” Bar Stool might not look like much, but its stable frame and square base make it especially stable even in rough waters. If you want something a little more stylish, the Leopard Outdoor Products Shell Back Adjustable Swivel Bar Stools boast sophisticated aesthetics and durable materials designed for use on boats.
6 Luxury Pontoons with Impressive Built-In Bars
1. Manitou SES Series
The Manitou SES Series includes three different boat models with varying bar set ups. The SES Bar comes equipped with just the bar top and seats, giving you an extra area that you can customize with your own furniture and appliances to achieve the bar experience you’re after.
The SES Galley comes with a grill, a refrigerator, and even a sink for easy clean up after every drinking session. And then there’s the enviable SES Entertainer that’s completely decked out with a bar top and galley, giving you the whole bar experience while you’re enjoying the great outdoors.
2. Veranda Vertex Bar Series
Veranda’s simplified bar floor area features a bar top with built-in cup holders and two club chairs. But for as clean and basic as the set up might be, the added countertop space and seating is more than what most pontoon boat owners look for.
Ideal for preparing snacks and mixing cocktails, the added bar area can be sufficient provision for entertaining guests. And because there isn’t a lot going on, you can expect there won’t be a lot to clean either.
3. Bennington G22
The ultra sophisticated Bennington G22 comes as either a standalone bar or a bar with a galley. The set-up looks impressively classy, complete with chrome accents and railings for an added aesthetic touch.
For the bar without the galley, an intuitive sink sits right in front of the bar itself for easy accessibility. And in place of bar stools, the design comes with reclining swivel chairs that can be far more comfortable for long hours of drinks and conversation.
4. Sylvan Mandalay 8525 Bar
What you might find to be particularly impressive about the Sylvan Mandalay 8525 Bar is the way they use dead space to make every inch of the bar area functional. A pop up glass and plate holder, a pull out drawer for your cooler, and a spacious sink all make the bar area feel much bigger than it actually is.
The boat also features a portside galley which provides more room for mixing cocktails and preparing snacks. And although the aft-side bar might be strangely positioned compared to many other pontoon boats with bars, the manufacturer makes it work by maximizing the space.
5. Avalon Ambassador Entertainer
Avalon’s Ambassador Entertainer is more like a bar with an added boat feature instead of the other way around. This jaw-dropping design touts an electric fridge, a built-in sink, hidden cold storage compartments, and an illuminated bistro table for maximum enjoyment and aesthetic.
The beautiful set up offers unprecedented comfort and style, and every area of the fully equipped boat bar boasts intuitive features and space saving elements that make sure not a single inch is wasted.
6. Godfrey SanSpan 2500 Wet Bar
The Godfrey SanSpan 2500 Wet Bar takes a different angle by offering boat owners a complete wet bar that feels more like a home kitchen. The spacious area makes the ideal place for preparing meals and snacks, or for cleaning up a fresh catch before tossing it on the grill.
What’s especially delightful about the Godfrey design is that they also incorporate a visual element by changing the flooring between the rest of the deck and the wet bar. This creates a more well-defined floor area, even going as far as making you feel like the bar is a kitchen space of its own.
Considerations for DIY Pontoon Bars
Adding a bar to your boat is a big investment, and it requires careful and tedious planning if you want to get it right. That’s especially true if you’re buying fixed furniture that needs to be bolted in place. So before you finalize those accessories and add-ons, make sure you take time to consider these important factors:
Most boat bars are installed towards the stern so they don’t block out high traffic areas. But not all boats have the same floor plan. Consider the places that typically see the most foot traffic on your deck, and try to steer clear of those places when setting up your bar. If the entire boat is usually subject to high traffic, then you might be better off with a removable bar instead.
Maybe you’re more interested in mixing cocktails, or maybe ‘drinking night’ is more about snacks than anything else. Consider the kind of activities you typically engage in before you buy anything for your boat. For instance, a sink might seem like a worthy addition. But if you don’t really wash too many glasses or plates, then a sink might not be too necessary.
A lot of the stuff you add to your bar won’t need to be there for many of your trips. So be careful how much you buy especially if you don’t have the storage for it. Underseat storage compartments are well and good for a few extra plates, stools, and table tops. But if you don’t want to have to keep taking paraphernalia on and off your boat, consider buying extra storage space as well.
Even pontoon boat owners on a budget can get that complete pontoon boat bar experience with a few extra accessories and furniture. Just keep in mind that even with unlimited drinks on board, it pays to drink responsibly! Other than that though, there’s tons of fun to be had with your own personal bar on a boat, making it the perfect hang out for those days when you just need to take a load off.