So, it looks like winter is already packing its bags and baggage, and we’re fast approaching that season when the boats come out to play and complement the abundance of sun and great weather for outdoor activities like angling, or just chilling and bonding with family and friends on the water.
Pontoon boats have become very popular in the last couple of years and that has caused an increase in demand. Pontoon boats are flattish highly functional watercraft that rely on floats to remain buoyant, and they come fitted with all sorts of accommodations like expansive lounge areas, stand-up bars, and sun pads. Nowadays, pontoon boats are made to give that experience one would normally get in yachts, and although these boats can’t wholly play the roles of yachts, they sometimes offer that enjoyable feeling only a yacht can provide. Some of the features they’re packed with have made them perhaps the most popular boat type in the market. Versatility is one of the things people appreciate the most about these boats. It doesn’t matter if you’re fishing, hanging out with friends or just need some alone time to yourself on the waters, you can always get a pontoon boat that best matches your needs.
Pontoon boats, just like every other thing in life, have their downsides. Some of them are priced outlandishly and that’s understandable; these boats are exclusive. Those who fork out fortunes to buy and own them know that they’re worth every penny spent on them. Pontoon boats have undergone really thorough innovative supervision, and as a result of that, we now have designs that are more luxury-based compared to the practical function-based models. Many boat manufacturers have taken the production of these boats seriously and that is largely owed to the high demands.
Below is our list of the top 10 best pontoon boats for the money in 2021.
10. Bennington 24 R Bowrider Swingback
Being a brand that’s mostly known for its commitment to details when it comes to the production of pontoon boats, Bennington continues to produce some of the industry-best pontoon boats. The 2021 24ft Bowrider is a reinvented model with more features that are perfect for several water activities, including watersport. The boat features the new V-Hull performance package that leaves you with more in-floor storage space. With the engine, there are several different options but we love the Yamaha package with 150hp. This strongly powers the boat to function more effectively. With a maximum capacity of 15, there’s just enough room to take everyone on board for that family weekend getaway! The MSRP for this boat starts at $95,803 USD.
9. Avalon 25ft Catalina Elite
If you’re looking for a high-performance pontoon boat model that is a little budget-friendlier than the other pontoon boats in the same elite class, then you should opt for this 2021 Avalon 25ft Catalina Elite. The boat’s sportiness is one reason why people seem to be head-over-heels for it. Being in this boat makes you feel like being on a ski boat. It features a fully adjustable drivers’ chair which comes which is complemented by a large Greywood table. Whether you’re on the boat alone or you’ve got a few friends with you, the large lounge arms with storage make up the perfect space for drinks so the fun can go all the way! Starting price? Just a little over $40,000 USD (exactly $40,940 USD).
8. Bennington QX 23 QXSBA
This boat might be a 2020 model but it’s still worth a spot on this list. The Bennington QX 23 QXSBA is a versatile pontoon that comes with sterndrive-powered runabouts and lets you have all that you need in a pontoon boat which is exactly what most boat lovers crave. The boat is powered by a four-cylinder Yamaha F150 four-stroke outboard that consumes 6.4 gallons per hour, making just less than 3.7mpg. Constructed with fibreglass, the Bennington QX23 QXSBA has an overall length of 25’3ft, a beam of 8’6ft and a dry weight of 2702lbs. The boat is priced at $71,732 USD.
7. Harris Crowne DL 250
When a boat is recognized by the popular NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) Innovation Awards for having perhaps the best design, then one should pay attention. What drew our attention to this 2021 Harris masterpiece is the way the manufacturer was able to implement all of luxury, performance and technology into a single body. The boat has a pontoon length of 25 feet and runs on an engine that cranks out a whopping 400hp. The boat also has a maximum capacity of about 11-13 persons / 2639lbs. The starting MSRP for this luxury pontoon boat is $93,554 USD.
6. Lowe Retreat 270 Extended Walk Thru
The 2021 Lowe Retreat 270 Extended Walk Thru is a 28-ft pontoon boat that is capable of having a maximum of 14 people in it. There’s enough under-seat storage for your items so even if you’re going with a couple of people, there’s enough storage for take-along. Described as an ‘all-around performer’ by the manufacturer, Retreat 270 Ext WT is worth every penny of the MSRP of $53,499 USD especially when it runs on an engine that has a maximum HP capacity of 300hp.
5. Avalon Excalibur
Being able to make different pontoon boats that serve different purposes with different price tags is something Avalon is known for and this claim is further confirmed by the luxury 2021 Excalibur model. The model is available in three configurations: Rear Lounge Windshield, Elite Windshield, and Quad Lounge Windshield, with all three having a common MSRP of $109,300 USD. The Quad Lounge Windshield has a sitting lounge on all four corners protected by a windshield. The space is big enough to lounge, sit and even store whatever items you decide to bring on board with you.
4. Grand Tahoe
The 2021 Grand Tahoe is part of Tahoe’s Master Collection and is the most pricey model of all the collections owned by Tahoe. This model is a mix of high-class performance and luxury. It features the Triple 27” Dia Waveglider which is a performance feature that keeps the boat working as effectively as it possibly can. The other features include interior and exterior multi colour lightning, information centre, twin-engine capability, and a touchscreen dash among many others. Pricing from this luxury pontoon boat starts at $109,300 USD.
3. Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 DLX
When deciding on which pontoon boat to purchase, you should always put comfort and safety into consideration. These two things are exactly what you’ll get when you decide to invest in the 2021 Sun Tracker Party Barge 24 DLX. The Party Barge 24 DLX makes good use of its massive 24’ 1” by 8’ 6” deck to provide a crew of 12 a lot of seating, storage and space need for unlimited fun on the water. The family-pleaser pontoon boat is packed with several features which include storage pockets in Bimini top, port and starboard LED navigation lights, nylon gate latches and heavy-duty hinges, Quicklift Bimini top deployment system, and many more. The sport steering wheel gives the captain a real sporty feeling and is complemented by a tinted windscreen.
2. Princecraft Vectra 21 RL
This is one of the most budget-friendly pontoon boat options on this list and yet it is packed with loads of features that will make you start wondering why it’s not priced higher than its actual price. Some of the good things that come with this boat are a swim platform, a sundeck with a 2-position adjustable backrest, storage under all the sitting areas, a 12-volt outlet, and a captain passenger seat. The 2021 Princecraft Vectra 21 RL has a starting price of $23,189 USD.
1. Avalon Ambassador Rear Lounge
The 2021 Avalon Ambassador Rear Lounge boat runs on a Mercury 400hp Racing Motor and we can all guess that’s what makes it stand out from every other pontoon boat on this list. With a 27ft space, the boat can accommodate more than 16 people and that’s good news for those who like to hang out with family and friends; there’s just enough room for everyone to fit in. With this pontoon boat, there are other additional features you can decide to purchase and they include Premium Sound Package, Double Bimini Top, Black Wall Vents, Rough Water Package, Slate Teak Flooring, and many more. The MSRP for this boat starts at $126,995 USD.