Pontoon Boat Buying Guide

Pontoon boats have come a long way. These are not your grandfather’s pontoon anymore! With so much to choose from, many aspiring boat owners look for a pontoon boat buyer’s guide to help them decide which boat will meet their needs.

What to Ask Before Buying a Pontoon Boat

It’s important to understand the experience you want out of your pontoon. Here are the questions you, as a pontoon boat buyer, need to ask yourself before purchasing a new or used pontoon boat.

View Tahoe’s 2022 pontoon boat model lineup »

Typical Number of
People On Board
Boat Length RequiredModel Options
1 to 515′ or less
6 to 1016′ to 21′
10 to 1621′ to 28′

Carrying more passengers means you’re going to need a bigger boat. This breakdown can help you decide which size will work best for you.

For more details, reference the specific make and model of your desired boat in our latest brochure.

Your GoalRecommended
Engine HP
Model Options
Speed is my goal!
I want tubing, cruising, skiing and more.
300 HP
Speed is important, but not the priority.
I want to go fast, but I’m not running any races.
150 HP
Give me your starting options.
I love cruising around my lake or river, but speed is not my goal.
40 HP

The acceleration and top speed of your new pontoon will largely depend on the size of your engine. First, decide how important speed is for you, then discover the recommended horsepower for your engine.

More resources:

From parties and watersports to fishing and family fun, pontooning offers something for everyone. Depending on your preferred activity, some boats will suit you better than others. Take a look:

ActivitiesLook for…Model Options
FishingFloorplans built for fishing
WatersportsHigher engine power, and boats with the right accessories for watersports
Parties on the waterEnough room for all your guests
Family funPontoon boats with slides
Your PriorityRecommended Seating ArrangementModel Options
Fishing is my #1 priority
  • Quad Fish
  • Fish-N-Cruise
  • Center Console Fish
Fishing is important, but cruising is my goal
  • Rear Fish
  • Bow Fish

If fishing lies anywhere on your list of activities, you may want to consider a pontoon model built for the task. Depending on your personal preferences, there are multiple seating layouts to choose from.

View all Fishing models »

Your SituationRecommended Resources
I will frequently tow the boat
The boat will be used in rough water
  • Choose a larger model to remain comfortable with cross wakes
I will use my boat in Saltwater
I live in a climate that gets cold in the winter
Your SituationRecommended Resources
I need to learn more about financing
I need to learn more about insurance
Increased performance
Wave handling
Captain’s area
Premium fishing options
  • Fishfinder
  • Livewell
  • Rod holders
  • A Fish model with additional fishing seats
Swimming options
  • Changing station
  • Diving board
  • Waterslide
Music and parties