Pontoon vs Tritoon: Which is right for you?

Published May 6th, 2021 by Bernardo

A pontoon boat, as you may know, is a beamy vessel constructed of a spacious platform atop aluminum tubes, or “pontoons.” These boats are quite popular for those who want to enjoy the lake or ocean with their families on a well-rounded boat. While the pontoon boats of the past may have been simple and designed to be basic fishing and cruising platforms, that is no longer the case. Today’s pontoon boats are versatile sports vessels designed with many different applications in mind from fishing, to cruising, to watersports.

Why a Pontoon?

Modern pontoon boats are available at a large variety of price points depending on the features you desire. One thing most modern pontoon boats have in common, though, is their luxurious appointments and modern construction. No longer are pontoon boats built as frumpy lake boats, but now as stylish cruisers. In particular, modern day pontoons are also aptly suited for saltwater environments. You will find yacht-style helms, comfortable upholstery, and high-powered engines.

Pontoon boats of today also feature modern systems. While yesterday’s pontoons generally utilized basic gauges and less-than upscale designs, modern pontoon boats are built with the yachtsmen in mind. The helms include sophisticated electrical systems, digital gauges, and high-functioning electronics like GPS/plotters and audio systems with Bluetooth connectivity.

Pontoons generally are rated to carry around 10 passengers, give or take depending on the size, and are very stable, making them ideal for families with children. Before you start researching pontoon boats for sale, you need to decide between a tritoon or a pontoon. Let’s explore your options.

Pontoon vs. Tritoon - Construction

Pontoons and tritoons look similar but have some slight differences making them suited to different activities. A pontoon is built on two tubes while a tritoon is built on three. Due to this, each vessel has its variances making them ideal for certain water activities.

Why a Tritoon?

A tritoon offers impeccable stability and an increased horsepower rating. This makes it ideal for ocean-going or riding busy lakes that may have lots of wake from other vessels. If you plan on bringing along a large group of people, like ten or more, you may be more inclined to choose a tritoon for their capacity and stability. A higher-powered engine is going to deliver a more impressive ride and will be necessary if you do decide to take it on the ocean. Tritoon boats also make great watersports platforms. A larger engine really gives you that extra power you need to get up on a plane and tow an innertube, skier, or wakeboarder.

Why a Pontoon?

A pontoon boat is a great vessel for enjoying leisurely days on the water with a good-sized group of people. Pontoons make great bass fishing boats and wonderful cruising boats. It’s also not uncommon to see a pontoon boat successfully towing an innertube or skier. Because they are built on two tubes rather than three, pontoons don’t require such a high horsepower engine, saving costs in initial engine purchase as well as fuel consumption. For example, the 20’10” Starcraft CX21 pontoon has a maximum rating of 125 HP while with a third tube, that same vessel has a maximum rating of 300 HP. A pontoon is also easy to maneuver and is great if you have a tight slip to dock in. They have very reactive steering and are simpler to steer without that third tube. A pontoon boat trailer is also significantly smaller and has fewer parts than a tritoon trailer.

How to Make the Decision

Now, it just comes down to your plans for the boat. Do you want a good fishing platform that will be easy to steer into your favorite fishing spot? Do you prefer a hardy vessel that can weather the ocean as well as serve as an impressive watersports platform? A pontoon will suit the former quite well, while someone looking for the latter will want to opt for the tritoon. Whatever your boating needs, be sure to contact Nautical Ventures to inquire about our impressive line of Starcraft pontoon and tritoon vessels! As your local pontoon boat dealership, we are proud to offer Starcraft Marine at all four of our locations, in Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Sarasota, and Tampa Bay.

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