Which is better pontoon or deck boat?

The summer truly is a unique time. It offers fun in the sun and access to plenty of activities that you wouldn’t normally be able to take advantage of. While the summer offers access to all kinds of unique activities, it is boating that is probably amongst the most enjoyable.

Not only that, but boating is one of the most versatile activities. With a boat, you don’t just have the opportunity to boat. You can fish, jet ski, cruise, race, or just lounge around in the sun. Of course, this depends on the type of boat you acquire.

Of all the options available today, it is the deck boats and pontoons that are the most popular and affordable. They are likely also the most readily available.

Unfortunately, if you are like most people, you can’t afford both or have room to store them, so between Deck Boat vs Pontoon, which is best for you and your family?

There is no denying that each model will come with its set of unique advantages and disadvantages. It will be up to you to find which best suits you and your family. Will it be the deck boat or the pontoon?

What Exactly Is A Deck Boat?

What Exactly Is A Deck Boat

The key to finding which boat suits you and your family is discovering what each boat has to offer. Before you can do just that, you have to figure out what each boat offers. The deck boat, just like the name suggests is a boat with a lot of prominent deck space.

It’s a boat that offers plenty of deck room for tons of cargo and amenities. You’ll likely be able to haul more friends and family members. That being said, these boats are similar to pontoon boats. They were created with the design of the pontoon in mind.

The design combines that of a pontoon with the Hull design of a runabout. Deck boats are constructed of aluminum or fiberglass and can be powered by either an outboard engine or an inboard engine. The modern design of these boats is around 22-feet but can come available in 18 to 25 feet long configurations.

The 25 footers would be the maximum available. The width of the boats is anywhere from 100 to 105 inches, which offers plenty of deck space to accommodate you and your guests.

Aside from the size, weight is another important consideration. The weight of a deck boat is right around anywhere from 2,500 to 3,500 pounds. This is similar to that of a pontoon boat, and by the time you add a trailer, you will probably be towing a total weight of anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000.

Despite their size and the fact that they are more significant, these boats were designed for a small group of individuals. That being said, a deck boat can comfortably accommodate 12 people.

Read Also: Best Double Decker Pontoon Boat of 2022

What Exactly Is The Pontoon Boat?

What Exactly Is The Pontoon Boat

Now, you know all about the deck boat, it’ll be time to learn about the pontoon boat, its design, and what it has to offer potential owners. A pontoon boat is similar in style and design to that of the deck boat. They are both flattish-style boats with more than ample deck space for most outings.

They’ll allow for the installation of plenty of amenities. Whether you want to do some lounging in loungers or some fishing from the deck, you’ll have plenty of deck space, especially if you have a smaller entourage.

On the pontoon boat and deck boat owners will have plenty of room to install expensive lounge chairs, stand-up bars, sun pads, and mounted fishing rods or stations. Pontoon boats can sometimes be referred to as tube boats because that is virtually what they are. Tubes are their prime structural units that help the structure float on the surface of the water.

In addition to being referred to as tube boats, pontoons are oftentimes called pleasure boats. You can likely imagine why. They are suitable for sea cruising, fishing, and a handful of water sports. As far as price goes, if you can afford a boat, you won’t have a problem affording a pontoon. They are amongst the most affordable options available today.

These boats have been used as small ferries to help people cross rivers and lakes in many parts of the world where needed.

Whether you are looking to entertain or get out on the sea with a group of people, you cannot go wrong with the pontoon boat. It will serve this very purpose and more. You can install grills, have dance parties, and tons more.

If you are more into fishing and that’s your main goal, you might be better off with the pontoon. This is because they are more stable and designed to drift into shallower waters. You’ll have access to more fishing destinations.

Read Also: Learn how to drive a pontoon boat (video)

A Speed Comparison (Deck Boat vs Pontoon)

Deck boats and pontoons are designed similarly with large and rectangular decks, but when it comes to speed, the hat tips in the direction of the deck boat.

The deck boats are speedier than the pontoons. One of the reasons for this is the V-shaped hulls. Not only are the motors more powerful, but the bodies of the boats are a bit more aerodynamic.

Deck boats have the option of being installed with either the inboard or outboard, but either option will outdo the pontoon, in terms of speed. It doesn’t hurt that the frames of these boats are much lighter as well.

A Comparison Of Handling

Given that the deck boats are faster, you can imagine that they also handle better. Once again, a lot of this has to do with the fact that they have aerodynamic bodies. The V-shaped hulls allow the boats to quickly and easily maneuver around tight turns and curves.

Many experienced boat owners would say that the deck boat handles similarly to that of open-bow boats. If you are looking for stability at all speeds, you’ll want to opt for the deck boat. Now, this is not to say that that the pontoon doesn’t offer a smooth ride or handle well.

The pontoon does fairly well, it just can’t hug curves like the deck boat. The deck boat offers little to no bow rise with superior turning at all speeds in the tightest of curves. Even with a full load, the pontoon boat will plane, which makes it less stable and questionable in choppy or rough waters.

This is not to say these boats aren’t safe because pontoons are one of the safest boats available today. They just don’t compare to the deck boat.

All this aside, another thing to keep in mind is that pontoon boats do come available with the option of additional hydraulic steering systems. These systems can be installed aftermarket or upon your initial purchase. Regardless of what you pay or the type of system you go with, they will still cut a wider swath than that compared to the deck boat.

The performance models with the triple tube system are about the only thing that comes close to comparing with the deck boat. These systems offer extra buoyancy along with stability.

Layout, Style, And Design

By now, you are probably already aware of the fact that both the deck and pontoon boat are similar in terms of layout. Well, at least in terms of deck design. They are both flat and rectangular, specifically designed for hosting and guests. That being said, the layouts are massively different.

With the deck boat, the helm station and control console are located on the starboard side of the deck. The passenger seat, as you could imagine, is right next to the captain’s seat on the port side, which is left for those not familiar with boat speak.

In terms of the entertainment areas, they will be towards the front of the deck boat. Despite what you think or what you’ve read so far, a lot of deck boats don’t offer much room. Some owners have gone as far as to covert the motor box into seating or storage just t get more room which is a heck of an idea.

This can enable extra sunbathing room or just hanging out room for the guests. Some deck boats also have seats on the foredeck to accommodate for improvised fishing and storage.

Pontoons, on the other hand, are similar yet different. Pontoons offer more than ample space for fishing and storage because they install as many facilities as they possibly can to suit the consumer. This is why pontoons are more popular options and the seating arrangements are better laid out.

While a deck boat is sleeker and more sporty in design, it is the layout of the pontoon boat that takes the medal by miles. That being said, the deck boat manufacturers always try to prioritize speed, while offering the mot for deck space. With these boats, you’ll go great speeds on a recreational journey.

Deck boats offer more pulling power for water skiing and some specific designs even have a dedicated wakeboard tower specifically designed for the sport.

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