Why Are Pontoons so Expensive | With Examples

Pontoon boats have come a long way since their inception in 1952. Pontoon boats are now used for a variety of different purposes, in addition to fishing and water sports, pontoons are now used as cruising vessels, party boats, law enforcement patrol boats, and more. Large gatherings on the water are becoming more prevalent with the advent of new party pontoons that can many people. This large craft often includes amenities such as bars and bathrooms to facilitate a really great time on the water.

This increase in popularity has led to a huge demand for pontoon boats and an increase in the price of pontoon boats. They are also marked as premium boats that can cost thousands of dollars more than comparable boats on the water.

Because of these two factors, many people are left asking themselves “Why are pontoons so expensive?”

Let’s look at the reasons why?

Pontoon Boats Are Not Mass Produced

Pontoon boats cannot be produced in assembly-line fashion due to the nature of their design. These boats are manufactured by hand beginning with a simple frame, then they start to add all the amenities that make pontoons so popular.

Production of pontoons is not automated, meaning that there is a lot of labor involved in their construction. This ultimately makes the production of a pontoon boat more expensive than some other types of boats on the market today.

Design of Pontoons Makes Them Expensive

Pontoons are designed to be structurally buoyant, this means that they are constructed with a great deal of buoyancy in order to keep them afloat. This buoyancy comes from the tubes (or toons, tri) that make up the main structure of a pontoon boat.

These tubes need to be airtight and multi-chambered with a high level of precision and puncture-resistant material to keep the boat afloat. Generally speaking, marine-grade aluminum is used in the production of pontoon boats and this material is both lightweight and durable.

This adds to the overall expense of a pontoon boat when compared to other types of boats with less complex designs.

Pontoons are meant for multiple watersports activities and enjoying your day on the water. Pontoon manufacturers provide a diverse line of boats to fulfill the needs and wants of virtually every boater. This increases the costs associated with purchasing a pontoon boat.

Size matters when it comes to pontoons. Larger pontoons are designed for larger groups of people or are more comfortable traveling across the water. This means higher prices when it comes to purchasing a pontoon boat.

Pontoons are versatile and can be used for many different purposes. This versatility is the main reason why so many people purchase pontoons but also increases their overall costs.

Industry Standards for Pontoon Manufacturing

Industry standards set by the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) are required in order for a boat to be certified as safe on the water. These standards include everything from design requirements to manufacturing, electrical requirements, and even installation of safety features.

The ABYC has set out these standards across five basic areas: safety, marine operations, equipment, and electrical systems, maintenance and repair, and specific standards for each type of boat.

Pontoon manufacturers must meet these industry standards in order to be certified as safe on the water. This certification process is expensive and time-consuming, adding to the overall cost of pontoons.

Pontoon Boats are highly customizable

Pontoon boats can be customized in a variety of ways to make them perfect for the individual buyer.

Some boat manufacturers offer a wide variety of options to choose from, while others allow for more limited customization.

The degree of customization generally depends on the price of the pontoon boat. More expensive boats offer more options and a greater degree of customization.

Some buyers look for a party pontoon or other lookout for sporting activities when shopping for a new boat.

Whatever the case, be sure to consider whether or not you will need customization and if your preferred pontoon boat manufacturer offers it before you make your purchase.

Pontoon manufacturers can offer their products at higher prices because of all these factors. People are willing to pay extra money for superior quality and unique designs. If you are on the market for a pontoon boat, research your options and weigh your needs against the costs of different models.

Pontoon Boats Are Premium

Pontoon boats are quite often seen as a premium and a class apart.

While they cover a lot of the same bases as other types of boats, there is just something about them that makes some people want to pay more for one.

Pontoons are often more expensive than conventional boats and this is mainly because pontoons offer such a unique experience on the water. They provide more room for friends and family to enjoy their time out on the water.

The extra space and features of a pontoon boat make them worth more money to some people, especially those who will use the pontoon for multiple activities over many years.

Pontoon Manufacturing Need Higher Level of Craftsmanship

The purpose of pontoons is to provide luxury and various types of water activities. This needs a high level of craftsmanship and precision.

It’s not easy to establish a company that produces high-quality boats like pontoons because it requires special skill sets, design processes, and manufacturing processes.

It takes a huge amount of money to produce a pontoon boat because it needs special machinery, tools, and multiple processes to build top-notch products. Not every company can afford to manufacture these types of boats.

Usage of Premium Furniture and upholstery

Being labeled as premium quality boat pontoons comes with luxurious furniture and upholstery too.

This includes comfortable seating, reclining chairs with armrests and cup holders, fold-out tables, and many more.

These premium features often require expensive upholstery and furniture that is only affordable to high-end customers looking for a quality product.

Advanced Electronic Gadgets

Pontoon boats are more than just a boat. They offer additional features such as advanced electronic gadgets, premium audio systems, and other entertainment options to provide you with a fun experience on the water.

These advanced technologies don’t come cheap because they use state-of-the-art technology that has been designed for luxury purposes. Being labeled as premium, high-end boats means that they are built with hydraulic steering gear.

This type of steering uses hydraulic power to move the rudder instead of manual or mechanical ones. Hydraulic systems provide better maneuverability and control compared to other types of steering gears.

Another feature that is often included in these high-end pontoon boats is an advanced fish finder. this device uses sonar to detect fish underwater.

It is an essential device for avid fishers who want to increase their chances of catching the best fish. Advanced electronics are not cheap, especially when they’re installed on a boat that’s already considered high-end.

Durability of Pontoons

Pontoon boats are built using a special type of material called marine-grade aluminum.

This is a durable metal that can survive constant exposure to saltwater and harsh conditions on the water.

While it is not as strong as steel, these types of pontoon boats are not used in heavy construction work. They’re meant for pleasure and relaxation.

The strength and durability of a pontoon will depend on the alloy of aluminum used for manufacturing. For instance, marine-grade Aluminum with 5083 or 5456 alloys is more durable compared to those made from 2014 types.

These boats are meant to be sturdy and durable so they can last a long time. It’s worth it to pay more for a boat that provides a lifetime of fun and enjoyment on the water.

Pontoon Boats come with powerful motors

Not all boats use a motor, but the motors used on pontoon boats are different from those installed on other types of water vessels. For high-speed maneuverability and stable performance on the water, these pontoon boats use powerful outboard motors.

Outboard motors are one of the most powerful types of marine propulsion systems available today. They offer a wide range of horsepower choices that can satisfy various customer needs and preferences.

Some Expensive Pontoon Boats

Barletta Pontoon

Founded by Bill Fenech and William Fenech, this company specializes in high-quality, high-performance pontoon boats and luxury cruisers.

They’ve been providing customers with great products since 2017. This company uses the latest technology and design processes to produce such incredible pontoons. These pontoons are quite expensive because of how sturdy, luxurious, and efficient they are.

Read More About Barletta Pontoons

Harris Pontoon

Started by Peter and Ernie Harris in 1956, this company has been manufacturing high-performance pontoons for more than 60 years.

They provide high-quality, durable boats that can help you have fun in the water. These pontoons are quite reliable and durable but these cost more than other brands. These pontoons are quite expensive because they’re built using high-quality materials and the latest technology.

Read More About Harris Pontoons


Dick Strefling founded Bennigton Pontoons in 1997. They have been producing high-quality pontoons for more than 25 years.

These pontoons are considered to be luxury boats because of their high price tags.

The custom features offered on these boats include premium audio systems, entertainment systems, and advanced electronics including GPS navigation tools. These additional features cost more than other features.

Read More About Bennington Pontoons


Godfrey pontoons were founded by the Deputy family in 1957. This company has been providing its customers with high-quality pontoons for more than 50 years.

Their pontoon boats are considered to be the best in the world because of their superior levels of performance and satisfaction. These pontoons cost a lot because they’re built using American-made materials and technology that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Read More About Godfrey Pontoons


The Premier is a company that specializes in high-quality pontoon boats and houseboats. They were founded by Bob Menne in 1992.

These pontoons are quite expensive because they’re built using quality materials such as marine-grade aluminum alloy and stainless steel.

This boat provides customers with generous deck spaces so you can move about the vessel with ease. The large windows also allow you to take in the views of your surroundings while you’re out on the water.

Read More About Premier Pontoons


The SunChaser company was founded in 2005. They’ve been building the best pontoons for more than 15 years.

Their pontoon boats are known for their quality construction, durability, and superior features. These pontoons are quite expensive because they’re built using high-quality materials such as aluminum alloy and stainless steel. These materials are only used in the pontoons that are designed for superior performance.

Read More About SunChaser Pontoons


The high cost of pontoons is due to a variety of factors, from industry standards for pontoon manufacturing to the fact that they are not mass-produced. Pontoon boats offer more room for friends and family to enjoy their time out on the water with a unique experience, which some people find worth paying extra money for. The customization options available also add an additional degree of expense when purchasing a pontoon boat. Considering all these variables before making your purchase can help you decide if it’s really worth the investment or not!