Pontoon boats became popular in the 1950s, but many Americans still enjoy using them. Thanks to growing interest, manufacturers began to create these vessels of various designs and sizes to meet demand. Besides its look and features, one of the crucial questions is how much do pontoon boats cost.
Be prepared that these boats are not cheap. Their price primarily depends on the dimensions, equipment, accessories, and finish, so you can expect to find the desired model for $15,000 to $60,000. Even though the average price is $35,000, some luxury models can reach even $170,000.
Factors That Affect Pontoon Boat Price
It is possible to find a pontoon boat in a wide price range, so you can pick out the one that fits your needs the best. A few factors affect whether this vessel will cost $15,000 or several hundred thousand dollars.
New or used
- New pontoon boat
A new pontoon boat will be costly since the price includes a manufacturer warranty, fewer repairs, and less maintenance. Plus, you will often get the necessary safety gear, the possibility of adjustment, and extra equipment in the package.
If you decide to buy a brand new pontoon boat, you should set aside approximately $18,000 to $60,000. The price will vary, depending on the boat features, size and quality, and engine.
The tricky part is that most manufacturers forbid advertising prices. Even when possible, you will see that suggested retail prices are often lower than the final bill you will need to pay.
However, it is possible to make some estimations. For instance, the most popular 22 feet (6.7 m) long pontoon boats with a 90 or 115 HP engine will cost you at least $35,000.
- Used pontoon boat
Once you decide to purchase a used pontoon boat, you will see that available models widely vary in cost. It is possible to find an older model comfortable for a few passengers for $10,000 to 15,000.
However, you should be careful with cheaper boats since it probably requires additional work and money before using them.
You should know that the pontoons’ value will decrease 25 to 35% after the first year, making a past season’s model an excellent alternative to a new one. Remember that a higher-end used boat is always worth more than one of a lesser quality of the same age.
Pontoon boats are highly customizable, so you can pick out a model you like and outfit it to your preferences. However, their price will primarily depend on the type you decide to buy.
The less expensive boat is a general-purpose model with a basic engine and comfortable seating. High-performance models will be more pricey, particularly those with sizeable motors. Let’s see.
- Water sports pontoon
This model always includes specific metal sports arches, providing a stylish sporty look. Plus, you can customize your boat with custom paint or graphics.
It is expected to pay $25,000 to $35,000 for this boat, but the price will vary, depending on the engine size.
- Family entertainment pontoon
This sizable pontoon is created for big-family accommodation. It has a luxury lounge and enough space for family activities.
Starting price for this model is about $45,000 to $80,000, depending on its size and engine quality. However, you can install a powerful engine for $12,000 to $20,000 and more other accessories, making your enjoyment complete.
- Fishing pontoon
This light boat has a shallow draft, making it perfect for fishing in shallow waters. You will also have enough space on deck for keeping fishing rods, live-well, and other required materials for fishing.
The price range for this boat is $15,000 to $23,000, depending on installed fishing equipment. Sometimes, you will need extra accessories, like:
- Trolling an electric-driven outboard engine that will cost you $915 to $2,750
- Live-well with an average price of $100 to $300
- For $20 to $30, you can get a fishing rod clamp
When it comes to fuel, you should be aware that final expenses depend on the motor type you have. For instance, you should count on 1 gallon (3.8 l) of gas per 4.2 miles (6.7 km) if you have an average 90 HP engine.
- Luxury pontoon
This stylish, super sleek boat is comfortable and can fulfill all your needs. Manufacturers often create them to customers’ standards and styles fully customized to their desires and needs.
It has dual silent engines and joystick steering, plus you can demand an included large lounge, bar, high-tech sound system, and LED lights. As you can expect, it is costly, and you should set aside $50,000 to $300,000 for this pontoon.
The best of all is that you can add numerous accessories to make your boat even cozier, like:
- Firepit – You can install this feature for $1,300 to provide the necessary warmth during cold days.
- Monster swing tow bar – It is a handy item when you plan to tow water skiers, but it is also costly. You should pay at least $600 for it.
- Corner bumpers – It is wise to invest in bumpers since they protect the boat sides from damage for only $30 per piece.
- Underdeck lighting – It will cost you an additional $300.
- BBQ mount grill – Its average price is about $35.
- Stainless steel railings – You can provide additional safety by installing them for $15 per railing.
Thanks to the increased demand for pontoons, many brands have included these boats in their offer. No one can tell you which manufacturer is the best, but some of the top-notch are:
- Sun Tracker
Boat prices will vary even in one manufacturer’s offer, but you should count on at least $24,000 for base Avalon fishing pontoon. On the other hand, Lowe starts their offer with $15,000 for a fully-equipped model.
On average, your pontoon’s price will mostly depend on its size. The length will vary depending on makes and models, but you can roughly determine a few groups:
- Single-person inflatable model will cost you less than $500.
- Small, 20 feet (6 m) long and 8 feet (2.5 m) wide pontoon has a price of about $14,500 for a basic model to $30,000 for a reputable brand.
- Medium-sized, 20 feet (6 m) long and 10 feet (3 m) wide pontoon costs at least $22,000, but you can’t find a branded boat under $30,000.
- Large, 23 to 30 feet (7 – 9 m) long and 12 feet (3.65 m) wide pontoons come with a starting price of $47,000. However, those that can accommodate more than a dozen people will cost you $50,000 to $100,000, primarily depending on the boat brand and engine type.
- Mammoth luxury pontoons will cost you at least $300,000.
Be aware that the engine affects the pontoon cost more than anything else. A 25 HP to 450 HP outboard engine price will have a share of $6,000 to $80,000 in the boat cost.
Some pontoons require two motors, dramatically increasing overall costs. Remember that you need to pay $900 to $3,000 on average for an engine upgrade when required.
Most owners enjoy adding some accessories to their pontoons to make them more convenient to use. Their price will increase your final bill:
- $2,500 for power assist
- $2,000 for camping cover
- $1,500 for wave shield
- $700 for Bimini canopy
- $200 to $1000 for fishing live-well
- $200 to $800 for ski tow bars
- $200 and $500 for ski ladders
- $150 to $400 for bottom keels
- $150 to $200 for speakers
- $300 to $1,000 for vinyl decking
- $300 for carpet decking
- $50 to $200 for anchors
- $50 to $500 for pontoon boat cover
- $35 to $500 for trailer winch
- $30 for a mooring cleat
As expected, the pontoon purchase price is not the only expense you will have. Be prepared to add extra money for:
- State sales tax of 6 to 10% of the total cost (approximately $100 to $500 annually)
- Registering fee
- Insurance that ranges from $20 to $50 a month
Then, you will have a few one-time costs, like:
- $2,500 to $10,000 for a trailer
- $1,000 to $1,500 for necessary safety equipment
- $250 to $300 for training courses
- $100 for a portable toilet if your pontoon doesn’t have installed Marine sanitation device
Unfortunately, that is not all. You should also calculate the ongoing annual expenses, such as:
- $3,000 to $15,000 for mooring fees
- $1,000+ for regular maintenance and necessary repairs
- $500 for winterizing
- $500 to $1,000 for accessories
- $450 for cleaning fees
- $50 to $75 for state boating license
- $200 for gas refueler
- $80 for a water filter system
Finally, you should count on $300 to $6,000 for freight (transporting the pontoon from the manufacturer to the dealership). That price will depend on the distance.
The final pontoon price typically depends on the boat type, brand, model, additional features, and accessories you choose. Even though its price will decrease 25 to 35% after the first year, this vessel is an excellent investment convenient for most water activities.