Since their introduction in the 1950s, pontoon boats have risen in popularity. With the increased interest in these boat types, more and more boat manufacturers are designing pontoons in various sizes, for various uses, and, of course, at a variety of pricing points.
You may ask, what are pontoon boats’ prices due to their popularity? Depending on the size, quality, and fit-out, a pontoon boat can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a single-person inflatable boat to several hundred thousand dollars for the gigantic luxury ones. The most popular recreational pontoon boats range in price from $18,000 to $60,000; however, large luxury models can cost well over $100,000.
Pontoon boats aren’t cheap, but the price will vary greatly depending on the size, engine, features, manufacturer, and sometimes even your region and whether you buy new or used. In our guide, you can learn more about the costs of the most popular boats to buy and the upkeep.
By the end, you’ll see the costs can vary widely, yet there is a pontoon boat to fit every budget, be it a new pontoon or a used pontoon boat. The answer of how much does a pontoon boat cost will indeed be answered. (Read Fish Finder For Pontoon Boat)
Are Pontoon Boats Worth The Money?
Pontoon boats are available in a variety of price ranges. While $16,000 is a more reasonable starting boat cost. Prices for pontoon boats can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on individual features.
For the cost of pontoon boats, there are various elements to consider, some of which are necessary and others that are optional.
Here we focus on a few that have the most impact on pricing and the popular boat add-ons.
While certain boats may appear to fall into two categories, understanding the differences between them will help you better understand what pricing to expect.
As a result, different models have varied pricing ranges. However, general-purpose and fishing variants are typically priced similarly and have similar features, keeping costs under $30,000.
Pontoon Boat Size
A single-person boat is the most affordable, with an inflatable model costing about $500. Depending on the quality of the manufacture and materials, a slightly larger pontoon boat for two could cost anywhere between $2500 and $15000.
The $16,000 starting price for a small pontoon boat should only be expected for basic models.
And if you buy a brand new pontoon boat, pricing can easily reach $30,000 or more. Small pontoon boats are restricted in the types of water they may navigate.
While mid-sized pontoon boats under $30,000 are available, don’t expect them to be from well-known pontoon boat brands.
Mid-sized pontoon boats can easily carry 8 to 10 people while also providing the stability that small pontoon boats cannot equal.
Pontoon boats with a length of 23 to 30 feet can hold a dozen or more persons. These vessels are large and powerful enough to go out to sea or navigate hazardous waters.
Expect the pontoon boat cost over $50,000 for these, and don’t be surprised if they cost more than $100,000 depending on the engine and options you choose. (Find the Best Side Imaging Fish Finder)
Boat Type & Model
Pontoon boats are highly customizable, so they may be customized to suit individual tastes.
It’s not difficult to find pontoon boat manufacturers who specialize in specialized boating activities like fishing or watersports. Prices for these adjustments, however, may vary.
High-performance models and those designed for water sports activities are expected to be more expensive because of their high-performance outboard engines.
Pontoon boats designed for fishing should be like general-purpose versions, but adding extra features like fish storage would cause a significant price rise.
Pontoon Boat Custom Add-Ons
Furthermore, pontoon boats can be customized. Even when a boat is designed for a specific purpose, most manufacturers allow customization.
When buying a new pontoon boat, many customers consider a variety of upgrades. Because of the wide variety of alternatives, pontoon boat prices vary.
Engines are usually the most expensive part of a boat, the more powerful they are. The pontoon boat typically has a modest engine that does the task. Those who want to accomplish more with their pontoon boat will need to upgrade their engines from a few thousand dollars to around $15,000.
High-performance engines can cost over $30,000, and twin engines can cost considerably more.
An additional trolling engine might cost anything from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars for hobbies like troll fishing. Trolling motors for large pontoons can be very costly.
Paint and Appearance
Customizing paint color is common. However, some colors may cost $50-$70 more. In addition, premium paintwork with specialty finishes may be available at a premium price.
Aside from paint, other texture options for the console panel or rails are usually available for under $500. In addition, popular manufacturers sell decal and logo alternatives for roughly $300.
Boat Furniture Options
Additional seating is possible; larger fixtures like tables or a bar are tricky to install. These usually are only accessible for larger boats; thus, adding them will need rearranging the pontoon boat.
New seat covers can be an option if you purchase a used pontoon boat to give it a new lease of life. (Find the Best Down Imaging Fish Finder)
Extra installation options are available, but their costs vary substantially. Prices for stainless steel ladders, radios, docking lights, and windshields range from $500 to $2000 are good examples.
Other Pontoon Boat Costs
Other items for your boat that you should plan for are components that are not part of the boat but are necessary for your boating activities.
Prices range from $2000 to $5000 depending on length and material. Remember that a trailer slightly larger than the boat is recommended for further protection.
Bunks and rails can also help stabilize the boat on the trailer. A few hundred dollars extra to secure a tens of thousands of dollar investment sounds reasonable.
A trailer with a winch can command higher prices, yet it makes loading your boat far easier.
Pontoon Boat Covers
Pontoon boat covers start at $50, depending on size and material. However, a cover that protects the pontoon boat from the elements is essential. Quality covers can cost up to $500.
How Much Does An 18 Foot Pontoon Boat Cost?
So now you have a fair amount of information, you can use this to determine the average cost of a pontoon boat.
- Average cost for small pontoon boat – $14,500
- Average cost for medium-sized pontoon boat – $22,000
- Average cost for large pontoon boat – $47,000
There are many other things to consider for boat ownership besides what was mentioned earlier of what you can add and what you can’t.
When you buy a new boat, consider how you will be using it. In addition, think about how many passengers you will have.
With the average lifespan of a pontoon boat being around 18 years, they are built to last. Unfortunately, motors are not as durable, and you may need to change or upgrade during ownership.
With that in mind, don’t scrimp on quality or horsepower if you can afford it. Believe it or not, new boat engines can sometimes sell for $14,000, so when you see your pontoon boat price, you will factor that into the pontoon cost.
The pontoon industry can be funny; some boat brands are more popular in certain areas than others. Besides, dealers may not advertise prices as buyers may want the same price in another region.
Some boat manufacturers suggest retail prices when buying a pontoon boat, although the MSRP is higher than what you’d pay in a negotiated deal.
Guides rarely factor in longer-term pontoon costs that any boat owner will need to consider when buying. The money doesn’t’ just stop at the point you purchase the actual boat, as there are multiple other aspects you will need to factor in. (Learn How To Start A Inboard Boat Motor That Has Been Sitting For Years)
This will include aspects such as, but not limited to:
- Safety Gear
- Insurance and Licenses
- Cleaning and Maintenance
How Much Is A 10-Year-Old Pontoon Boat Worth?
Because a pontoon boat’s average lifespan is roughly 16 to 18 years, it’s worth considering buying an older boat to preserve some value before overhauling or scrapping it entirely.
Small pontoon boats are pontoon boats that are less than 20 feet in length. They have a width of 6 to 8 feet and two pontoons with a diameter of 24 inches each mounted underneath.
Pontoon boats in the medium size range from 20 to 40 feet in length and 8 to 10 feet in width. Three pontoons (also known as a Tri-toon) can be added underneath depending on the size.
Large pontoon boat:
Large pontoon pontoons can be 20 to 40 feet long and 12 feet large. However, these pontoons are substantially larger, up to 26 feet.
Water Sports Pontoons
If you wish to tow water skiers, tubes, or wake boards, you’ll need a water sports pontoon, as well as an engine, upgrade if you buy from the used pontoon boat list.
Transporting sports equipment and people at high speeds requires a powerful engine. Therefore, these boats are also likely to have aluminum sports arches, which give them a sporty and stylish appearance.
Graphics and custom paint can usually be added to these boats before purchase. Depending on the engine size, they can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000.
Most watersports pontoon boats have ski tow bars used to tow sporting equipment. They range in price from $200 to $700.
In addition, you’ll need life jackets for everyone on your new pontoon boat.
Typically, luxury pontoon boats cost the most because they offer fantastic comfort, space, and features. New pontoon boats are often twin engines and can be kitted out with LED lights, a high-tech sound system, and mod-cons.
Luxury pontoon-style boats have a boat price of between $50,000 to $100,000 due to their luxury design though they can go much higher into the several hundred thousand dollar ranges.
These boats are roomy and light, with adequate deck space to store livewells, fishing rods, and other fishing equipment.
Because of their slight draft, fishing pontoons are suitable for shallow or skinny waters.
Depending on the level of fishing equipment fitted, they cost anywhere from $15,000 to $23,000 to purchase.
A couple of add-ons for your fishing pontoon could be:
Trolling motors are battery-powered motors that are ideal for small pontoons. Two batteries, an onboard charger, wiring, and battery boxes are included. These are around $2,000 each. So installing a trolling motor on a tiny pontoon previously sold without one can easily quadruple the cost of getting out on the lake.
If you want to buy a fishing pontoon, you’ll need a fishing livewell. It is a container in which live fish are kept. Depending on the quality and size, these might cost as little as $200 or $1000.
- Marina rentals costs: To dock, it can cost between $1,500 to $2,500 per year (based on location and marina).
- Boat insurance: Boat insurance is something you need to have—budget for $100 to $400 per year.
- Maintenance costs: Save around $1,000+ per year according to boat size and the age of the boat.
- State boating license: These can set you back $50 to $75 per year.
Used pontoon boats that have been barely used for 1 or 2 years have the greatest pricing. The problem is that pontoon boat owners do not upgrade to newer model year boats as frequently as v-hull ski boat owners.
As a result, finding gently used 1 or 2-year-old boats can be exceedingly tricky. However, you’ll likely save $5,000 on a one-year-old boat if you can locate them, which could be a better idea than buying new.
State sales tax and registration fees vary by state and affect your total purchase price.