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How Wide is a Pontoon Boat is the Best Fit for Your Needs?

Written by J. Harvey / Fact checked by S. Numbers

how wide is a pontoon boats

It’s a lovely day outside, and it’s one of those days when boating is the first thing that comes to mind. For this leisure activity, a pontoon boat is just the right boat for the job.

However, choosing the right pontoon boat can get complicated and take the fun right out of you. That’s why we put this guide together to answer some important questions, including how wide is a pontoon boat and other important information. Read on.

How Wide Is A Pontoon Boat?



  • Width: 8 feet and below
  • Length: Below 20 feet

Small pontoon boat sizes are typically at 7 feet wide but sometimes reach up to 8 feet wide. Some boats can be below 7 feet wide, but boats at 5 feet wide are usually for fishing in ponds and typically carry up to 2 persons.

In the past, pontoon boats at 8 feet wide were the standard pontoon boat width, but boats wider than 8 feet eventually became more popular. These days, compact pontoon boats seem to be more popular among small-sized boats due to their ease of use.


  • Width: 8 to 12 feet
  • Length: 20 to 40 feet

Medium pontoon boats have become increasingly popular since the 2000s and have become the standard. Beginning at 8 feet and 6 inches wide, a wider variety of boat engine options become available — ones that have more horsepower and offer better control.

Additionally, wider pontoon boats are also more stable and can sail larger bodies of water. They are now able to traverse lakes and rivers, provided the waters are calm. This capability comes from having larger tubes with a wider pontoon width.

Also, compared to small pontoon boats, it’s easier to outfit medium ones for a wider variety of recreational and leisure activities due to the increase in available space.


  • Width: 12 feet and above
  • Length: 30 feet and above

Large pontoon boats begin at 30 feet long but pontoon boat length aside, it’s the combination of both width and length that makes them large. These boats accommodate 15 to 20 people with ease, though they can go up to having 25 passengers or even more. They are used as a ferry quite often as well.

Due to their compatibility with even more powerful engines and the stability given by their larger tubes, they become more versatile. These are capable of sailing on the sea or ocean as long as they stay close enough to shore.

Also, they make excellent platforms for watersports and many water activities such as flyboarding and are even used commercially for such purposes. It’s almost like having a small island of your own.

Additional Note:

Don’t forget to consider the size you’ll need for a trailer for transporting your pontoon boat. It is recommended to have a trailer that is larger than your boat for safety; this includes all pontoon boat dimensions.

Why Choose A Pontoon Boat?


First, let’s talk about the general characteristics of pontoon boats. The main selling point of a pontoon boat is space. These boats are designed for leisure activities, and it is the large space they afford to people that make them excellent. It’s not uncommon to have space for lounges, dining, or even bars, aboard pontoon boats.

The pontoon in the name refers to tubes that allow the whole boat to float. A flat deck is then placed on top of the tubes, which is where people stay on the boat. You can think of it as a motorized raft where you can do all sorts of activities because you have such a large space.

The biggest disadvantages of pontoon boats are their limited speed and their lack of versatility due to their inability to sail through rough water conditions. However, as stated before, pontoon boats are for leisure and shouldn’t be judged based on how regular boats are judged.

Pontoon boats are commonly used for watersports and as ferries, aside from being watercraft for leisure boat rides on lakes or rivers. It’s also worth noting that some pontoon boats can still go as fast as motorboats, depending on the engine and number of tubes.

Considerations For Choosing Your Pontoon Boat

Now that you’ve taken a look at the main characteristics of a pontoon boat and (possibly) decided that you want one for your boating activities, it’s time to look at some of the important details for choosing which pontoon boat is right for you.


The number of passengers is the first consideration. However, it’s not about how many passengers you can have on board, but the number of people you can accommodate.

This means that people should be able to relax, unlike when riding a vehicle from one point to another; it’s all about people being able to enjoy themselves.


There are a lot of activities that people can do aboard pontoon boats, and knowing which activity you’ll usually be having should influence the type and size of boat you are going for, including the width of pontoon boat. Even the number of pontoons and size of the engine will be affected.

If you’re mainly fishing alone, a smaller-sized boat would do. But for some watersports and other water activities, a large space and larger engine are necessary. This makes a boat with a bigger pontoon boat width the better choice.

Many people use pontoon boats for sunbathing or lounging, so consider the space you’ll need if this sort of activity is what you’re after.

However, pontoons do not produce a large wake, so while they’re great for watersports such as waterboarding, they’re not good for wakeboarding.

Comfort Amenities

Pontoon boats can have a lot of amenities installed — lounges, tables, or even bars; it’s important to plan and make sure that an appropriate amount of space is accounted for.

Separators, bathrooms, or even beds can be accommodated by pontoon boats; so make sure to consider which amenities you would like to avail of and choose your purchase accordingly.

Be warned though that the most cost-efficient way to avail of specific amenities is to buy a boat with a specific layout. You can have them custom-fitted, but it will cost extra, and pontoon boats already cost a lot as it is.


Pontoon boats are often produced with a specific layout and design. Standard ones include layouts for Fishing, Entertainment, and Lounge, but the Cruising layout is most popular.

Cruising seems to have become most popular because of its versatility. But, if you lean towards fishing, for example, a fishing layout comes with a lot of perks for fishing, so think about it carefully or you could lose out on value.


Now that we’ve covered several important aspects of choosing the best pontoon boat for you, including how wide is a pontoon boat, it’s time you decided which activities you would prioritize for your boat. Just remember that having a pontoon boat is all about enjoyment.

Did you find this guide helpful? If you did, please share it with your friends. Also, remember to leave your comments below; we’d love to hear from you.

Boat safe, and have fun.

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