Deck Boat vs. Pontoon Boat - Your Ultimate Guide

Published May 13th, 2021 by Bernardo

Deck boats and pontoon boats are some of the most versatile boats on the market. With huge, spacious designs, plenty of seating, and tons of storage, it’s no mystery why so many Americans enjoy these family-friendly crowd-pleasers. Although these boats have vastly different structural designs, they often attract the same type of clientele due to their similar capabilities. Let’s explore the fine details that will help you decide if a deck boat or a pontoon boat is better suited for your family and lifestyle.

What is a Deck Boat?

A deck boat is generally constructed from fiberglass with a V-hull. It offers an open deck layout with a dual- or single-console design. The bow features wrap-around seating or two lounge seats. The cockpit includes an L-lounge and plenty of legroom. Other features you can expect to find on a deck boat are a Bimini top for shade, bow and stern swim platforms, swim ladders, large storage compartments, and they’re easy to board.

Deck boats are built on a V-hull, making them easy to maneuver. You can anticipate sharp turns, quick planning, and a comfortable ride due to its soft re-entry into wakes. Deck boats can be powered by outboard or inboard-outboard engines, giving you more options to suit your needs. For these reasons, a deck boat can make a great boat for watersports or cruising.

How are Pontoon Boats Constructed?

A pontoon boat is constructed of two air-filled aluminum tubes, or “pontoons,” that support a deck. Pontoon boats offer seating at the bow and the stern and can have a dual- or single-console design. They deliver a spacious layout with plenty of room to bring along gear like grills or beach bags. A wide beam offers plenty of space and stability to bring along friends and family. Additionally, pontoons have high rails with bow and stern entries, making them extra safe for families with young children. If you anticipate bringing kids aboard, a pontoon boat may be the perfect option for you.

Pontoon boats are powered by outboard motors but take less horsepower to plane than a deck boat. While pontoon boats can be used for watersports, their wide beams make them less maneuverable, and they make wider turns. If you are looking for lots of space to fish, grill, relax after swimming, or watch the sunset on the lake or ocean, a pontoon sounds like the ideal boat for you!

So, how will I Choose?

Yes, pontoon and deck boats both offer some great features. With large passenger capacities and a stable ride, deck boats and pontoon boats certainly have a lot in common. When it comes down to it, a deck boat performs better at higher speeds so you can tow innertubes or skiers. This adds to the impressive deck space provided to bring along the whole crew. A pontoon boat is a fantastic all-around family boat that delivers stability, performance, and, most imperatively, safety.

For more information on our line of deck boats and pontoon boats from Starcraft Marine, be sure to check us out at any of our four locations. We are proud to showcase Starcraft Boats at our four Nautical Ventures Florida locations in Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Sarasota, and Tampa Bay.

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