Boat Guide

Best Pontoon Boats: A Rental Guide

best pontoon boats

Spend a relaxing or thrilling day out on the lake with the best pontoon boats available in the market. In this article, we bring you a round-up of the finest pontoon boats, be it luxury, fishing, or high performance.

Best Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats used to be simple floating platforms made specifically to cater to families. The first known prototype was constructed by Ambrose Weeres in the 1950s. Basically, he attached a solid wooden platform on top of two steel barrels. Since then, pontoon boats have come a long way. Specifically, design, stability, storage, and power capabilities have improved. Below, we’ll present a few of the best pontoon boats (in no particular order) you should look out for, if you ever decide you want to take your family out cruising on a lake.  

1. Princecraft Vectra 25 RL

best pontoon boats
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Let’s begin this list with the Princecraft Vectra 25 RL – a relatively affordable pontoon boat that’s great for water sports. In fact, this watercraft can go as fast as 38 miles per hour. For this reason, tubing, jet skiing, or waterboarding will not be an issue.

Moreover, this pontoon boat can accommodate up to 12. You can enjoy the chaise lounges, large sundeck, and swim platform as you cruise through a lake. This stylish pontoon boat is comfortable and fast enough to accommodate diverse needs. Anyone you take on this trip will be left laughing in delight.

2. Aqua Patio 250 Express

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Following the Princecraft Vectra 25 RL is the Aqua Patio 250 Express by Godfrey Pontoon Boats. Now, this pontoon boat has sleek styling that automatically commands attention. In particular, it has a unique look in terms of perimeter fencing and seating layout. Consequently, this makes for a more aerodynamic watercraft.

Regarding its capabilities, this is a high performing boat. In fact, it’s built to handle water sports without sacrificing comfortability of its passengers. The 350-horsepower engine certainly helps with that. It even has extra ski storage in the center tube. Additionally, the 250 Express is highly customizable. For example, you can get a wakeboarding tower or blender.  

3. Harris Solstice DC 250

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Make a statement with the Harris Solstice DC 250 – a pontoon boat that has sports boat capabilities. Despite its speed, this boat has higher stability and more secure handling, owing to its three pontoons (as compared to the traditional two). In truth, because of its performance, the Solstice DC 250 falls in the middle of a pontoon boat and a runabout boat.

Depending on the size of your party, you can choose a suitable floor plan or extend the lounge. Additionally, you can opt for other features such as a power retractable sun top, water sports tow point, and tower speakers.

4. Premier 220 Cast-a-way

best pontoon boats
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Alternatively, if you’re not that into water sports, you can opt for a pontoon with less power. One such pontoon is the Premier 220 Cast-a-way, which is particularly great for anglers. It has a fish station, integrated well which can serve as a bait preparation station, rod lockers, tackle trays, and two fishing chairs. In addition, the area is easy to clean because of its vinyl cover.            

5. Starcraft SLS 5 DC

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Next, we have the Starcraft SLS 5 DC. This is a versatile pontoon boat that can be used for day trips, water sports, and evening cruises. Apart from water sports, other activities you could take part in includes swimming and rafting. In truth, you could call this boat an all-rounder.

This model is aerodynamic and lends to smooth handling even in rough water. In terms of its interiors, the SLS 5DC has comfy seats which are laid out in such a way that’s perfect for conversation.

6. Manitou 25 Legacy LT Dual Engine SHP

best pontoon boats
image by Bill Doster,

Another pontoon boat worth looking into is the Manitou 25 Legacy LT Dual Engine SHP. This model epitomizes luxury and performance all packed into one modern looking boat. What makes this pontoon boat stand out is the dual engine feature, which improves not only propulsion, but also maneuverability, speed, and docking.

What’s more, it has a spacious lounge which spans almost 5 feet, making it an ideal place to entertain people. Its swim platform, ski tow, and ample stowage further solidify its status a pontoon capable to handle water sports. For example, it has an in-floor locker which can be found in the center tube.

7. Avalon 2585 Catalina Elite

best pontoon boats
image by Bill Doster,

Also worth mentioning is the Avalon 2585 Catalina Elite. With bold colors, this pontoon boat is reminiscent of the 60s. Its retro style makes it stand out among the crowd. So if you want to be the talk of the marina, this model is a great option.

Although the 2585 Catalina Elite is sleek to look at, you’ll be glad to know that it doesn’t sacrifice either comfort or performance in exchange. In fact, it has a sport performance package with three pontoons, a wave shield, motor pod and fuel tank, as well as hydraulic steering. This makes it a reliable vessel to support your water sport activities.

8. Barletta L25UC

best pontoon boats
image by Bill Doster,

Lastly, the Barletta L25UC. This model is part of Barletta Sports’ L-Class pontoon boats, which are designed with great build quality, high performance, and utmost comfort at their core. The company’s roots in the RV industry is reflected in the innovations it has brought to their pontoon boats.

What sets this apart from the other pontoon boats we’ve mentioned so far is the attention to small details. For instance, the interior of this pontoon boat specifically makes room for a furry friend (a flip up table that can provide shade). Other innovations include several USB receptacles, fender storage, and an in-floor compartment for your other equipment.

Final Word on the Best Pontoon Boats

All in all, pontoon boats provide you with a way to have fun on the water with your family or friends. From parties, to games, to water sports, there’s simply a range of activities you could arrange.  

As can be seen from above, the best pontoon boats from our perspective are the ones which find a balance between price, design, built, passenger comfort, and additional features. Use our top picks as a guide for when you’re scoping out pontoon rentals.  

Lena Horner
the authorLena Horner
Lena Horner is a LA Galaxy fan who does freelance writing and marketing. A graduate of UCLA with a degree in Marketing, she enjoys the outdoor. Lena enjoys the outdoor and is constantly convincing her partner to live in an RV fulltime.

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