The Best of Pontoon Boats and Pontooning

Fine Tooning! Who is this guy?

The Best of Pontoon Boats and Pontooning

This is my first blog for Boating, so I figured I'd share a bit about myself and why I was tagged for the task of talking pontoons. Actually, "task' makes it sound work, which it's not. So far, anyway. Then again, this is my first installment, so what do I know?

I know pontoon boats, for one thing. I own a not-so-late-model Harris Flote-Bote that I rebuilt from the pontoons up. I chose to go the used-boat route because at the time I couldn't justify the price of a new boat when I had a new kid under my wing. The new kid on the dock was the reason I opted for the deck space and stability offered by pontoon boats, and as a new Dad I quickly learned why the boats' enclosed decks earned the nickname "playpen."

The used pontoon boat purchase came with the option of continuing membership in the boat club where the boat was located and to which its former owner belonged. Since the deal came with dock space – and not a trailer – we joined the organization of 100 or so pontoon boat owners who maintain tidy grounds and a small clubhouse on the shore of the local water supply reservoir. What I didn't realize at the time was the education – and the story fodder -- that such an association offered concerning all things pontoons.

That's key to my occupation, for I'm a full-time freelance outdoor writer, and specialize in writing about boats and boating. I hold current US Coast Guard captain's credentials (50-ton Master), have owned more than 40 power and sailing craft over a 50-year boating career that has included work on dive boats, lobster boats, commercial fishing boats and college summers patrolling Cape Cod waters aboard Boston Whalers as an ocean lifeguard. In addition to my boating writing, I host a weekly radio show that's syndicated in two dozen Midwest markets ( and write for many of the hunting and fishing magazines that you may read.

Day in and day out, however, I am a full-time pontoon boat owner. Like you, I enjoy my boat and am always looking for ways to enhance the pleasure of that ownership. That includes learning about what other pontoon boat owners, and the industry that serves us, are up to. I look forward to sharing what I know and continue to learn about pontoon boats and boating with you – and hope that you do same – via this new venue made possible by The World’s Largest Powerboat Magazine. Until it becomes a task, I’ll be talking with you at least twice monthly via this new “Fine ‘Tooning” blog.