Buying a personal boat has never been easier for boating enthusiasts like you. Not only is the boating industry teeming with different options to go for, but it is also becoming accessible for people with a moderate budget.
Meaning, you don’t necessarily have to spend big bucks to get a personal boating experience.
Now that this problem is out of the way, the only hurdle that remains is choosing the perfect boat for yourself.
When looking for a boat to spend your free time relaxing in the waters, you’ll have to choose between two main options, pontoon boats or speedboats. If you’re planning to buy a boat and are confused about which one to get for yourself, you’re on the right page.
We’ve compiled the main features you’ll find in both models, followed by a complete showdown to help you figure out the best choice for yourself.
Main Features of a Pontoon Boat
Pontoon boats get their name from the two metal tubes that its deck is mounted upon. These metal tubes called pontoons help the boat get a balanced buoyancy, which provides room for larger decks.
What makes them unique is their minimalistic layout, making them lightweight and convenient to transport and store.
Here are some of the main features you will find in a pontoon boat.
Initially, upon their advent, pontoon boats were quite lacking in horsepower. That’s because their minimalistic design could not accommodate larger engines.
Nowadays, due to the use of new and efficient materials, larger engines can be incorporated in pontoon boats. This means they can give up to 900 horsepower and move smoothly using its streamlined structure.
You can travel at a speed of 60mph in your pontoon boat, which is pretty close to speedboats.
Pontoon boats are built especially for customers who want to relax and recline in their boats. Everything about a pontoon boat is luxurious. You can find pontoons with high-end woodworking, fabrics, and wheel covers.
According to your budget, you can find a customized design that matches your taste.
We love pontoon boats because you can easily incorporate electronics into it and increase its utility. So, if you want to host parties and get-togethers on your boat, you can get one with a high-quality stereo system integrated.
Besides that, some companies also offer boats with high-tech navigation systems, control panels, and chart plotters.
If you’re someone who prefers to spend their holidays and weekends in peace, pontoon boats are ideal for fishing. These boats come with the ideal interior design and seating arrangement for fishing.
Furthermore, you will also get separate compartments for your fishing equipment and efficient refrigeration systems to store your fish as well.
Main Features of a Speedboat
Now that you know what features you’ll be getting in a pontoon boat, it’s time to discover the main properties of a speedboat. The name “speed boat” implies an entire product line with many options to choose from.
To compare speed boats with pontoon boats, the most appropriate option would be to choose deck boats, as they’re quite similar to pontoon boats.
These particular speed boats are built for adventurous individuals who like to spend their weekends and free time outdoors. What makes them different from pontoon boats is their efficient streamlining and a sturdy hull that balances speed and navigation.
Here’s a list of the main features you can find in a speedboat so you can see if it fits your needs or not.
As its name suggests, a speed boat is designed especially for people who want to cruise gracefully through the water. Attributing to its streamlined structure and lightweight design, speedboats can glide effortlessly on the water at more than 120 mph speed.
In the case of speedboats, the best part is you can get a sizeable and powerful engine or even two engines that help boost its power and facilitate high speeds.
Speedboats cannot accommodate more than one or two people. So if you’re planning to gather a group of friends or family for a cruise, you cannot do it with a typical speedboat.
However, deck boats are types of speed boats that can give you enough space to stretch your legs and move around. Although, even these are no match for pontoon boats, which offer ample space for storage and movement.
If paragliding across the water with waves crashing all over your body brings a smile to your face, then a speedboat is the right choice for you. It can easily accommodate sports equipment and usually has in-built mounting ports designed especially for water sports set-up.
Besides that, its engine power can provide the speed you need for a thrilling experience, whether you’re wakeboarding, tubing, waterskiing, or parasailing.
Factors to Consider While Making the Choice
Now that you know the main attractions of both pontoon boats and speedboats, it is time for the showdown. Below we’ve listed the factors you should look for while buying a boat, along with our verdict for which boat is the best in each case.
If you want to buy boats to relax and recline with your friends and family on calm waters, you’ll need enough space on your boat to move around. In this case, pontoon boats are clear winners. They have a flat shape that allows people to move around.
Additionally, the seating arrangements are designed with one section facing another, ideal for socialization and group activities. On the other hand, large speed boats will provide enough space to seat 2-3 people. However, they don’t have enough space to move around.
If you’re a thrill-seeker who is looking for a boat to satisfy his adventurous needs, then speed boats are the best choice in this case. These boats accommodate large engines and are constructed with a streamlined design. This makes them better than pontoon boats when moving fast.
Pontoon boats come with large engines as well, but their shape doesn’t allow them to move smoothly at high speeds. This makes speedboats more compatible for individual or couple adventures, while pontoon boats are ideal for family fun.
Operation and Maintenance
Remember, when you’re out alone in the waters, you will have to handle your boat yourself. That’s why, while buying a boat, you should check its handling and navigability.
Pontoon boats are more comfortable to drive for beginners because of their flat hull shape and manageable engine. On the other hand, speedboats are fun to drive, but they can be tricky to handle if you’re not experienced.
Meaning, you should choose between the two depending on your expertise.
The price for personal boats is usually based on their engine power and luxury. That’s why speedboats are more expensive. You can expect to get a good speed boat for anywhere around $30k-$50k.
A pontoon boat is comparatively cheaper than a speedboat. You can get a decent pontoon boat for less than $10k. However, when it comes to fuel consumption, speedboats are more efficient due to their ability to cut through the water.
Take all these aspects into account while you’re deciding between a pontoon boat or speedboat.
That concludes our take on pontoon boats or speedboats. While both of these boats allow you to have a fun experience in the water, the final decision depends on your personal choice.
The first thing you should consider is what you’ll use your boat for. Similarly, you should consider your storage space, and finally your budget.
Remember, don’t go for the option that’s most expensive, or has flashy features.
Go through the pros and cons for each to see which one has the ideal combination of features for you to pick the best boat.