Pontoon Boats in the UK: Are They Legal and Popular?

pontoon boats in the uk

Roughly 60,000 pontoon boats are sold in the United States every year. And with newer, more sophisticated models coming out every so often, sales are only expected to increase in the coming years. But can the same be said for the pontoon market across the rest of the world?

In the United Kingdom, pontoon boat sales might not be quite as noteworthy as those in the United States. But why aren’t pontoon boats in the UK not quite as big of a hit as they are in the US, and will that change any time soon? Find out here.

Are Pontoon Boats Popular in the UK?

The short answer is no, they’re not quite as popular. Although there are about 80,000 motorboats registered in the United Kingdom, there are only a handful of pontoon boats owned and sold in a year.

The reason for that is because of the intended use of a pontoon boat. Sure, UK locals love to have a bit of R&R, and that’s precisely what pontoon boats are good for. But because the watercraft is specifically designed for inland waterways and lakes, UK residents don’t have a lot of options as to where they can use a pontoon.

The ‘natural habitat’ of a pontoon, so to speak, isn’t too available in the UK. So even if you might have the money to buy a boat, the places where you’d be able to use it would be pretty limited, which explains why they’re not too popular.

Where Can You Buy a Pontoon Boat in the UK?

There aren’t a lot of sources for pontoon boats in the UK. Although you might find a few websites that claim to sell pontoon boats in the country, they’ll typically redirect you to US-based pontoon sales websites. So there aren’t really too many options for UK pontoon boat buyers.

Interestingly however, a newer contender named Floating Terrace has popped up on the scene. Based in Europe, this brand claims to offer pontoon boats that are intended to reimagine the pontoon boat market in the UK and beyond.

They offer nine different pontoon boat designs to choose from, all of which feature spacious seating and luxury interiors. Their pontoon boat designs start at 29,500 euros, increasing up to 32,500 euros.

Are Pontoons Legal in the UK?

The short answer is yes, pontoon boats are legal in the UK. You can use them in lakes and some beaches, and there aren’t any laws that particularly restrict their use. The only issue really is that the pontoon boat market has yet to really take off.

There aren’t a lot of marinas that cater to pontoon boats, no after-sales services and business that target these watercrafts, and not a big community of pontoon boating enthusiasts. So even if you might be able to take your boat to a lake in the UK, there won’t be a lot of services or products to make the experience complete.

Are Inflatable Pontoon Boats a Thing in the UK?

Fishing is a major pastime in the UK. So inflatable pontoon boats are completely different territory compared to their bigger boat brothers. They’re actually pretty common in the UK, used by majority of fishing enthusiasts for their simple and convenient use.

Lots of fishing and boating stores in the UK offer inflatable pontoon boats, and there are whole communities dedicated to the niche.

What’s the Outlook for the UK Pontoon Boat Market?

Well, things are definitely looking up. Statistics show that there was about a 9% increase in pontoon boat sales in the UK over the last year. And with brands like Floating Terrace out here to change the landscape of the market, we can expect things to get a whole lot better for pontoon boat enthusiasts in the area.

One of the biggest variables is how well brands can make the pontoon boat more enticing for boaters in the UK. As more and more companies set up shop and offer pontoon boats locally, we might see an increase in demand and user interest.

Of course, that still depends on whether there will be anyone to provide the services and products necessary for the pontoon boat experience. And because inland waterways and lakes are limited both in number and in size, it’s only right that authorities keep a lid on the market’s growth so as not to overwhelm these natural resources.

A Completely Different Boating Context

It’s true - pontoon boats in the UK aren’t quite as popular for several reasons. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope for the boating niche yet. As more brands open up their business on local shores, and as companies make pontoon boating related services more available, we might see pontoon boats becoming more popular on UK soil within the next few years.

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