Pontoon boats provide a versatile platform for a number of fun boating experiences. From cruising to fishing and watersports, here are some of the best pontoon boats on the market today. Find the best pontoon boat for you!
Today, pontoon boats are one of the most popular boat types in the world. Collected here are reviews, pictures and videos of some of the best pontoon boats for 2014. Be sure to check back often as we will continue to add models as we test them.
Aqua Patio 240 Elite OB
Aqua Patio pays homage to the denizens of party cove, the sandbar, the island — well, pick your personal boating hangout — with the 240 Elite OB. Its centerpiece is a versatile aft lounge. In the up position, it offers a rear-facing, couchlike seat almost 5 feet wide that welcomes two in plush, upholstered comfort.
Comfort and luxury are Bennington trademarks, and nowhere on the 2350 QCL are those traits more evident than in the aft “club” seating. Decked in supple, hand-stitched vinyl, the 2350 QCL offers multiple seating positions so you can host a number of scenarios with grace and ease.
Decked out in its optional “Black Out” appearance package and sporting a stylish, matching water-sports tower, Bennington’s 2575 QCW drew lustful stares before we even left the dock. With its black anodized fencing, matching black aluminum fence panels and subtle (what else?) black graphics, the 2575 just looked bad ... in that completely good way.
It’s hard not to go into total relaxation mode the minute you step aboard Cypress Cay’s Seabreeze 250, especially when it’s outfitted in the brand’s inviting SL floor plan. In this layout, a single oversize lounger dominates the boat’s stern half.
Harris FloteBote’s Crowne 250 arguably goes where no ’toon has gone before, eschewing a pontoon’s trademark fencing in favor of curvy, molded fiberglass seating modules both fore and aft. In between, what aluminum the boat does use is solid and painted to match the glass. The result is a near-seamless exterior that blurs the lines between pontoon and fiberglass construction.
For years Lowe’s 21-foot pontoon platform has been one of its most popular. It offers a smooth, secure ride and plenty of seating, thanks to its 8-foot-6-inch beam. But the SS210 Super Sport features enhanced style and performance for 2014.
There’s a lot to like about the Legacy 25 SRS, but we’d argue one of the boat’s strongest features is simply Manitou’s obsessive attention to detail. Check out the split rear seating (SRS) configuration aft. Four separate seats are built into twin, molded fiberglass platforms to port and starboard.
Premier builds so many impressive large pontoons with outsize features that it’s easy to forget it does small well too. The 220 Sunspree is a good reminder of that. It’s a 22-footer with quality features that’s offered at a very appealing sticker price.
Is the sturdy aluminum sport arch adorning the new Premier 250 Intrigue PTX cool or hot? It looks awesome, and the Bimini top that extends and retracts with the push of a button keeps everyone shaded. It also has skylights to keep the cockpit bathed in natural light, if that’s what you want, and the built-in stereo speakers are pretty hot. So, in a word, the boat’s both.
The name Grand View might be the most appropriate one ever given to a pontoon, because this luxurious ride from Premier has a fantastic view from the helm. That’s because the helm sits on a platform elevated 2 feet off the main deck, giving the captain a full 360-degree panorama of the water. An adjacent couch to port of the helm ensures he doesn’t enjoy the view alone.
Princecraft celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2014 with the introduction of a brand-new, midrange series of pontoon boats called Quorum. A Quorum 25 can be had for as low as $36,000 — or you can option one to the max like Princecraft did to our test boat. What did this test reveal?
As you board the Majestic 256 Starliner, take a moment to note the polished stainless-steel bow gate with its smoked Lexan insert. It’s the first hint of the luxury to be found. That luxury includes generous parallel lounges forward, swathed in soft-touch vinyl with diamond-pattern inserts and built-in Polk Audio speakers; twin high-back chairs amidships flanking a handy built-in cooler; and a well-appointed helm.
Outfitted with a 250 hp Suzuki SS outboard and optional third tube, SunChaser’s Classic 8524 CrS may have cruise (CrS) in its name, but speed is definitely in its soul. Its center 25-inch tube features performance strakes on both sides to complement the interior strakes on each similarly sized outer tube.
Sylvan’s S series is sporty. On our test boat, that fact was immediately obvious in the lime green piping throughout the upholstery. Other bold color choices include orange and raspberry. The boat’s sportiest trait, however, is hidden out of sight below the waterline.
On the surface, the Vista 2285 Cruise looks a little different from the norm. Rather than using the more common exposed perimeter fencing, the manufacturer covers it behind embossed, exterior panels for a cleaner, more streamlined aesthetic. A stainless-steel rub rail carries your eyes, and the lines, fore to aft, breaking up subtly different color tones with art deco flair.