One of the most popular boats on the market today are pontoons and tritoons. And, as families start to research if this may be a good option for them, they often wonder, “How much do pontoons really cost?”
Well, after inspecting, shopping for and researching pontoons for over a decade, I figured I’d share some of that knowledge to help others make a smart decision when buying a new or used pontoon or tritoon.
Pontoons prices will range from:
$16K for a small 16’ with a 20HP
$29K for a 20’ with a 90HP
$35K range with a 24’ with a 115HP
$43K for a 22’ triton with a 150HP
$100K for a tritoon 25’ with 450HP
$5K to $40K for used pontoons in the most popular set ups.
See some specific examples below from some of the more popular pontoon brands on the market today.
|Pontoon Model||Base Boat||Estimated Payment||Level|
Pond King Elite (16’)
Pontoon w/ 30HP
SunTracker DXL (20’)
Pontoon w/ 90HP
SouthBay S222RS (22’)
Pontoon w/ 115HP
Harris 230 Sunliner (23’)
TriToon w/ 150HP
Bennington 25QCW (25’)
Tritoon w/ 250HP
Barletta L25Q (25’)
Tritoon w/ 450HP
Now, there’s more to the cost of a pontoon than just the base boat costs. There are options, increases in HP, pontoon insurance, boat loan terms, boat storage, maintenance and repair.
So, I’ve broken everything down as clear and detailed as possible, so you have the full picture of the costs involved in buying a pontoon or tritoon. Plus, there are some outstanding video resources included.
Cost of Popular Options:
As your shopping for your pontoon or tritoon, you’ll find the base boat prices often don’t include a motor, trailer or other options you would want on your boat.
To help give you a better idea of what your perfect pontoon would cost, here are some rough ideas of various option packages that are most popular.
As you get closer to figuring out which boat is right for you, you can often build the exact pontoon at the manufacturers website to get the retail price on each option.
|Options to Consider||Low Estimate||High Estimate|
|Accent Colors & Blackout Rails||$500||$2,000|
|Seating & Helm Upgrades||$500||$3,500|
|Privacy Curtains & Changing Stations||$300||$850|
|Lifting Strakes & Underskin||$500||$3,500|
|Ski Tow Bar||$450||$1,000|
|Dual Battery Switch||$350||$500|
Cost of Motors by Horsepower (HP)
In today’s world, most pontoons are powered with outboard power. Over 98% as a matter of fact and those outboards are a major portion of the cost of a new pontoon or tritoon.
Over the years, I’ve found that Yamahas tend to be on the higher side of cost with Mercury close behind. On the lower cost end are the Suzuki and Tohatsu. Although the cost ranking does change as you move through the HP ranges from 9.9 HP up to 450HP.
Check out our video; How to Choose the Right Outboard Power for Your Boat.
Below is a look at the average cost of a new outboard power based on the HP listed:
Cost of Pontoon Boat Trailers
If you will be a trailer boater, you’ll want to make sure you find a safe and reliable trailer. Some pontoons will come with one while others will not. If the pontoon you are looking at does not have a trailer, here’s an idea of what you’ll pay for a trailer based on the size of the boat.
|18’ to 20’||$2,000||NA|
|22’ to 24’||$3,125||$3,650|
|24’ to 26’||$3,595||$4,075|
|26’ to 28’||$3,995||$4,550|
|28’ to 30’||$4,350||$4,975|
Used Pontoon Boats
So far, we’ve been talking about new pontoons and tritoons, however many people opt for a used pontoon because they can often get more for their money.
Here are a few examples of used pontoons for sale and the asking price. Remember, there is usually some room for negotiations when buying any boat.
How Much Are Used Pontoons and Tritoons
1995 Sweetwater 20’ with 30HP Mercury 2-Stroke = $5,499
2000 Crest 25’ with 50HP Mercury 4-Stroke and Trailer = $10,995
2004 Bennington 2275 RL with 115 Yamaha 4-Stroke = $16,999
2011 Harris 20’ Sunliner with 115HP Mercury 4-Stroke = $21,999
2014 G3 G322F Tritoon w/ 150HP Yamaha 4-Stroke = $29,300
2014 Manitou Explode Tritoon w/ 250HP Honda 4-Stroke = $39,900
2015 AquaPatio 240EL3 Tritoon w/ 300HP Evinrude 2-Stroke = $54,999
To ensure you don’t pay too much, you’ll want to check this out before making an offer on any pontoon.
If you decide to go with a used pontoon or tritoon, you’ll want to watch these two videos:
How to Inspect a Used Pontoon without Getting Ripped Off
How to Test Drive a Used Pontoon to Avoid Future Headaches
You will also want to grab a free copy of the Boat Buyer’s Secret Weapon Toolkit, packed with checklists, questions to ask, cost of ownership calculators and few bonus videos.
Pontoon Financing and Monthly Amounts
According to the most recent numbers released by Info Link, over 50% of boat buyers finance a portion of their purchase. And, that number gets even larger when looking at new boats.
We’ve done a complete video on everything you need to know when looking for the best boat loan.
How to Get the Best Boat Loan
With excellent credit, you’ll be asked to put 10% down. If your credit is not perfect, they may even ask for a 20%+ down payment.
Boat Loan Interest Rates
As for interest rates, that will be impacted by your credit score, the type and age of boat your financing and the total amount financed. There are typically discounts as the loan amount gets higher.
Common breaks are at $15K, $25K, $50K and $100K. As you cross over $500K financed, the programs change slightly which shouldn’t be an issue when looking at a pontoon or tritoon. (not yet any way)
As of today, interest rates for a $50,000 loan amount with excellent credit is 5.49%.
To discover how to save on your boat loan, watch this video.
Boat Loan Terms
One area that surprises many boaters and will lower your monthly payment is the terms offered on most boat loans. With excellent credit marine lenders will extend terms from 84, 120, 144, 180 and even 240 months.
With interest rates fairly low and the strong resale value of pontoons and tritoons, it can make sense to finance even if you’re able to pay cash.
Be sure to check with your financial planner and evaluate your specific situation before making that decision.
Cost of Pontoon Boat Insurance
In addition to the cost of the boat, motor, trailer, options and financing, the boat insurance is another consideration. Many people are surprised to learn how much boat insurance actually costs.
Some factors that impact pontoon insurance rates are speed, geography (coastal and salt-water environments increase premiums) and where and how-to pontoon is stored (on the water, marina or trailer).
So, let’s look at the actual cost of pontoon boat insurance for various pontoons. I shopped these rates for a freshwater lake in the south with a trailer.
|2000 Sweetwater w/ 50HP||$10,000||$198/year|
|2020 SunTracker w/ 90HP||$32,000||$487/year|
|2020 Bennington R w/ 150HP||$64,000||$643/year|
|2020 Harris Solstice w/ 225HP||$84,000||$874/year|
|2020 Barletta C w/ 300HP||$110,000||$953/year|
Watch this video:
How to Get the Cheapest Boat Insurance Rates
Total cost of ownership:
At this point, you may be thinking… OK, that all sounds good but what other costs can I expect when owning a pontoon or tritoon?
We’ve made a great video that covers this exact topic:
The Real Cost of Pontoon Ownership
These costs will vary greatly based on where you do your boating, so we’ve created a cost of ownership calculator that you can grab for free. It’s included in our Boat Buyer’s Toolkit which you can click here for quick access.
Let’s look at some categories of expenses to account for in your planning stage. Plus, I’ll share some ways to keep your boat ownership cost as low as possible without taking away from your boating fun.
Where Will You Store Your Pontoon Boat?
There are a few options:
On Water at a Marina: This is one of the easiest options when it comes to boat storage. The costs will vary depending on your area and if it freezes in your area, find out if winter storage is included in your overall agreement. Many people find they will use their pontoons more when its sitting at the marina ready to go.
Dry Storage at a Marina: Similar to the on-water storage at a marine, the dry storage option is all about convenience. Just be sure that they are able to and know how to properly handle a pontoon or tritoon. One of the advantages of a dry storage marina is your toon will stay cleaner when tucked away inside a building.
On the Trailer in Storage Facility: Keeping your boat on a trailer in a storage facility will be a less expensive option however depending on the location may not be as convenient. One question to ask is about security and the hours you can come and go.
On the Trailer on Your Property: This is by far the cheapest way to go, even if you have to build a shelter. And, there is something to be said for being able to jump on your boat and tinker any time you want. Plus, towing a boat and using the ramp is simple with a little practice and the right training.
Winter Storage: Depending on your choices above, you may want to consider a separate winter storage location. Just ensure you set up this option early because in many locations the supply for good winter storage is limited.
How Much is Pontoon Boat Maintenance Each Year?
Every year, your pontoon will require some level of maintenance. Check the owner’s manual for the engine to find out specifics but items like oil and gear lube changes (every 1-2 years), impeller changes (every 2-3 years) , new batteries (every 3-5 years), winterization services and 100 hour services.
For most new boats, budgeting $250 to $450 engine will cover you in most areas of North America.
Boat Repairs Costs and How to Avoid Them
In addition to your regular maintenance, items that need to get done on a consistent basis, you should prepare for fixing things that break. It is an unfortunate reality that things on boats will break at some point.
The older the boat, the more you should budget for this area. Common repairs are replacing or rebuilding your prop from hitting something or getting into shallow water. Virtually every boater will have this happen in their time as a pontoon boater.
One way to reduce the repair costs is to keep up to date on your recommended maintenance schedule instead of letting items slip.Capt. Matt
Another great way to keep repair costs down is to use your pontoon regularly. Most boat repairs come from mechanical parts sitting without use for long periods of time.
What Boat Gear Do You Need On Your Pontoon?
In the US and Canada, there are items that are required on your boat at all times; fire extinguisher, anchor and navigation lights, life jackets, approved throwable device.
Then, there are things that smart pontoon boaters have on board; dock lines, anchor, first aid kits and the like.
And, finally there are the fun things that you’ll want on your boat. These may be fishing gear, towables, coolers, water toys, grills and this list can go on and on and on.
Here is a video we created with each of the categories including prices.
One way to save some money on these items is to look in Play It Again Sports, Craigslist, Kijiji or Facebook. Often when people get out of boating, they will sell their gear and you can pick up some nice stuff, often for less than half price.
How Much Will You Spend on Gas Each Year
Another boat ownership cost that can vary is fuel. This is 100% dependent on how you boat. If you run your pontoon out to a nice spot, throw out the anchor for the afternoon, then run home you may not spend much at all on fuel.
However, if you like to go fast, running WOT (wide open throttle) all over the place or spend most of the day pulling skiers or tubers, your fuel expense will be much higher.
One simple way to save on fuel is to slow down and find the optimal cruising speed for your boat. This will likely be around 3000 to 3500 RPM on your outboard. Check the owner’s manual or fuel burn gauge if equipped to cut your fuel consumption.
Who’s in a hurry on a pontoon anyway?
Boat Taxes and Other Fees
This may apply to you or it may not. Some states and some counties in the US charge property tax and/or a luxury tax on boats. You’ll want to do some check on the laws in your area.
Typically, this tax or fee is charged based on where the boat is registered and can vary widely from area to area. Check with your local tax website or with a local boat dealer for specific details.
Thanks for reading and be sure to leave a comment on the YouTube videos, I answer everyone personally.