17 Best Pontoon Boats For The Money (Top Brands In 2023)

Pontoon boats can range from a few thousand bucks to more than you’d pay for a car. Whether you want a more simple boat or one with all the best accessories, there’s a boat for you!

Let’s look at the best pontoon boats for the money, so you can make the right purchase for your needs.

17 Best Pontoon Boats For The Money (Top Brands In 2022)
17 Best Pontoon Boats For The Money (Top Brands In 2023)

Marker One M25: Best Overall

This is a reasonably expensive boat. It has a fiberglass deck with an aluminum pontoon-style hull. It’s not cheap, but this is the best pontoon boat money can buy.

The M25 is an outgoing model, replaced by the newer Marker One 27. Accordingly, there are some second-hand premium models floating around that might be more attainable than the brand new version.

The Marker One M25 is ideal for cruising or fishing with 14 people on board. There’s plenty of storage for your gear and plenty of premium features, including:

  • A complete JBL sound system
  • A large Bimini top for ample shade
  • Convenient seating
  • Expansive lounge area in the bow
  • Swim platform with stainless steel boarding ladder
  • A ‘Portaloo’ bathroom

The Mercury Verado 350 motor is also very high-end. The motor has plenty of power for moving this boat and fourteen people over the water. 

Princecraft Vectra 21 RL: Most Versatile

The Pinecraft Vectra 21 RL is a 21-foot pontoon vessel with a spacious deck and enough features to keep a large family entertained out on the water.

The RL designation means this boat has a rear lounge section. With the switch on the backrest, you can either look forward or aft, allowing you to look in any direction and keep an eye on the activity around you. This feature is appreciated by parents who want to keep an eye on family members in the water.

All the loungers have storage space underneath them and there are plenty of oversized cup holders for all types of beverages. Additionally, the boat includes:

  • A bimini top
  • Large tables
  • An ice chest
  • A stainless steel boarding ladder
  • A tow bar for water skiers available as an add-on

There is a Mercury outboard motor with 115 horsepower (HP) that hustles this pontoon boat to a top speed of more than 35 miles-per-hour (MPH). The command station at the helm has a simple Jensen stereo setup with multiple waterproof speakers and a 12-volt outlet to power accessories.

Premier 310 Escalante: Best for Entertaining

If you have the money for this pricey pontoon boat, you’ll see the Premier 310 Escalante’s obvious appeal. It has enough room for 23 passengers, thanks to its dual-deck design.

The stern of the boat features all the equipment you need for entertaining, including a full refrigerator, wine cooler, sink, and remote stereo controls.

This pontoon cruiser is pretty much the height of luxury! It even features a porta-john and private changing room, which is rare on a boat in this class. The vessel’s many cup holders are all refrigerated.

There are plenty of fantastic features, including:

  • Many seating options
  • Teak tables
  • USB charging hookups
  • An authentic pop-up Yeti cooler
  • Plenty of storage space
  • A full JL Audio stereo system
  • An array of trash receptacles

The helm features tilt steering, a Simrad 12” display, charging stations, and more. With the Suzuki 350 outboard humming away, this boat will hit speeds over 50 MPH.

Lowe SS 210 CL: Best Budget Option

The Lowe SS210 CL is a multi-configurable pontoon boat that allows you to take control of the seating plan. Its design is versatile and comfortable, with seating for up to eleven people.

The CL designation means that this vessel is a Conversion Lounge model, where you can alter the aft seating depending on the activities you’re doing.

The helm station is a bit bare-bones, but this is an affordable lounger, not a wallet-busting luxury cruiser. It does feature some surprising high-end touches, including:

  • Bluetooth stereo connectivity
  • LCD display
  • Hydraulic steering
  • Tiltable steering wheel
  • Both a 12-Volt and USB port at the helm
  • Ladder included

The included boarding ladder is stainless steel, and the Bimini top offers ample shade. But, the tow bar is an add-on accessory. Pulling it all along the water is a Mercury 150  four-stroke motor that helps this vessel reach a top speed of nearly 40 MPH.

All of these incredible features make it one of the best pontoon boats for the money.

Crestliner 240 Rally DX: Best for Fishing

Crestliner is one of the most respected names in boat building. Their Crestliner 240 Rally DX is available in five different optional configurations, so you can tailor it to your style of boating.

For example, there are two fishing models that have a 15-gallon aerated livewell for your catch, a washing system, rod storage with locks, and even tool holders for your newest gear from bass pro shops.

Whatever model you choose, you’ll get the standard features that include:

  • A stainless steel boarding ladder
  • Stern and bow chaise lounges with integrated storage
  • A table with built-in cupholders
  • A large Bimini top

You can also opt for an add-on ski tow bar. One thing to be aware of is that the aft deck is fairly short.

The helm features an MB Quart stereo system with Bluetooth, a tiltable steering wheel, a 12-Volt outlet, a glove box, and more. One of the features that makes this boat even more appealing (besides its high quality for a relatively low price) is the connectivity of the stereo. It has five inputs, including a USB interface.

Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16: Best for Fishing on a Budget

The design of the Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 is ideal for fishing adventures. It has a 9-gallon live well, rod holders, a Bimini top, and captain’s chairs at the front, making casting and trolling easy. But, even in this configuration, this boat is pretty flexible and ready for a cruise. If you’re not into fishing at all, Sun Tracker also offers a model with wrap-around seating in the forward section.

This boat offers your choice of either a 20 or 50 HP Mercury outboard, so you can tailor your purchase to both your need for speed and your budget. You’ll also have the benefit of an included single-axle trailer and a ten-year warranty.

The inclusion of both for no extra cost is nearly unheard of in this class of boat. Plus, since Sun Tracker is relatively popular and they have a lot of sales volume, there are often discounts available. This is one of the best pontoon boats for the money.

Manitou 25 Legacy SL: Best Premium Value

If you’re looking for a fun, high-quality lounger, this premium pontoon boat from Manitou fits the bill. The 25 Legacy SL has joystick controls, plush vinyl seats, and a contemporary look all combined in an elegant boat with a capacity for fourteen.

It also has plenty of features throughout. For example, the stern lounger (hence the SL name) is configurable as front or rear-facing, and you can even recline the seats fully, converting them into a chaise. There is a high-end JL stereo system with Bluetooth. Remote controls give you command of your soundtrack from anywhere on the vessel.

There’s also a Bimini top, portside changing room, ladder, ski tow bar, dinette table with seating for four, and plenty of storage space.

Take the helm and enjoy digital controls, Garmin GPS, tilt and power-assist steering, and plenty of charging. The 300 HP Evinrude G3 motor pushes this vessel to about 50 MPH. This is a premium vessel from one of the best pontoon boat brands.

SunChaser Geneva 22 LR PSB: Best for Choosing Options

Sun Chaser’s Geneva series comes in a range of configurations, but this was the sweet spot for us. The seating is wrap-around, with a capacity for eleven. There are an array of customizable options, so you can choose the exterior and interior colors you want and even specify the color of your Bimini top.

There are towing and interior options for the Geneva 22 LR PSB, and you can decide on the style of tubing that suits your needs best. The ultimate design is up to you, and you can choose from add-ons like a JL stereo, underdeck lighting, a cooler, table, shallow water anchor, and more.

But, if you just want a plain, modest cruiser to hit the water with, it’s also available without any add-ons. Just choose your color options and set sail. Add-ons will drive the price up fairly quickly, but the Sun Chaser Geneva 22 LR PSB is a relatively affordable pontoon boat for the money.

Bennington SX 22 Swingback: Best for Premium Shoppers on a Budget

The Bennington SX 22 Swingback is a pontoon boat that does a decent job at almost everything you’d want. There are plenty of customization options available to fine-tune your purchase, and the stock setup is very versatile.

The seating is made with premium Simtex vinyl, so you can expect it to be quite durable. Most seats double as storage areas, with built-in compartments below them. The best seat in the house might be the aft lounger that can lay flat and turn into a full sunning pad. There’s plenty of facing seating along the sides as well.

If you want some shade, flip up the Bimini top. There is a cocktail table and a boarding ladder. You can opt to include several features like:

  • A changing room
  • Rear safety rails
  • Dock lights
  • A ski tow bar

Or, stick with the basic model and save some money on a relatively affordable but high-quality pontoon boat.

Lowe Ultra 162 Fish N Cruise: Best for Fishing Families

If you like fishing boats and you’re looking for a great deal, the Lowe Ultra 162 Fish N Cruise might be your top pontoon boat. Plus, the manufacturer offers an affordable financing plan that makes this boat’s affordable price point even easier to handle.

This boat has fishing-friendly features like a 15-gallon livewell and fold-flat seats up in the bow, but it also has functionality for cruising and all your other water fun.

There’s ample under-seat storage and a fairly large space under the helm console. Entry is on the stern, where there’s a 4-step ladder. There’s a Bimini top overhead, and the windshield in front of the fade-proof console has tinting to make it easier to see when the sun is shining off the water.

The Mercury motor makes up to 50 HP, but you can opt to bump those numbers up by selecting an even stronger motor. There are also other optional add-ons, like a saltwater package or docking lights.

Starcraft SLS 5 DC: Best for Water Sports

The standard equipment and features of the Starcraft SLS 5 DC are plentiful. For water sports lovers, the massive stern deck, boarding ladder, and standard ski pylon are ideal for a new pontoon boat.

But if you’re looking for a bit of a party boat, the SLS has you covered with plenty of seating and an optional rear remote for the stereo.

There’s a dual layout, with a high-backed helm chair, where you can take control with hydraulic steering, a tilting steering wheel, and an AM/FM stereo with:

  • Bluetooth
  • Auxiliary MP3 inputs
  • An integrated amp and subwoofer

The SLS model has inboard lifting strakes, and the center tube has strakes on the outboard side, helping you hit high speeds even in fairly rough water.

The standard HMX PR25 is part of this high-performance package, so the motor has plenty of oomph. Or, you can step up to a higher horsepower with an optional Yamaha motor.

Sylvan L-3 DLZ: Best Ski Boat

The Sylvan L-3 DLZ has a unique setup with multifunctioning floor plans. There are adjustable, plush vinyl seats in the bow, at the helm, and around the stern’s fairly large table.

Also, there’s an adjustable lounger at the stern. This lounger is convertible to either rear or front-facing with seating for six. Or, flip the backrest flat, and enjoy your flat lounge space.

There is a short but usable swim deck at the stern, where you’ll also find the stainless steel boarding ladder and included tow bar, making this a great value for a ski boat. There is also a ten-foot Bimini top, pop-up cleats, and a changing room.

The dashboard at the helm is simple and includes a fish finder. But, the windscreen is a little low, and the gauges can be hard to read in full sunlight. However, there’s Bluetooth for the stereo, a USB port, and a waterproof storage spot for your phone.

Pushing this all along is an Evinrude BRRP 250 G2, making a top speed of 43.2 MPH.

Avalon 2585 Catalina Elite: Best Party Barge

The Avalon 2585 Catalina Elite is ideal for a party barge, and its price point places it somewhere in between the most luxurious pontoon boats and the simpler, cheaper options. It has some top features, but it’s not over the top, so the starting price is in the middle of the market today.

There’s plenty of room and lots of plush vinyl seating. One standout feature is that the framing for the seats is made of aluminum, offering superior durability and drainage over typical blown-molding seats.

It isn’t the best value for your money, but if you have extra dollars to spend, and you want even more performance, there are three tiers of high-performance add-on features to consider.

In stock form, there’s still a privacy station, a large table, plenty of storage, and a pair of moveable drink holders. Plus, you’ll find an extended rear deck, stainless steel ladder, and a stereo with six speakers and a subwoofer. If you want a ski tow bar, you’ll have to purchase an add-on.

The Suzuki 200 SS outboard motor hustles this boat to a top speed of almost 40 MPH.

Hampton 2680: Best for Pure Luxury

This is one of the best luxurious pontoon boats on the market today. The Hampton 2680 is an excellent choice for anyone who demands high performance and can handle a relatively high price point.

It has enough capacity for twelve, with ample plush seating with simple hinged access to underneath storage areas. There are three boarding doors, each fore, aft, and amidships.

The captain’s seat is stately and well-appointed. The helm console is sophisticated and well-appointed with digital gauges, a Simrad display, and an integrated NMEA BUS connection approved by the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

The under-deck lights are all LED. There is a large, comfortable, L-shaped lounger aft, with a full sink in the galley for the lounge area. A cooler is standard, as is the Bimini top. There are plenty of additional features, and everything is as you’d expect in this price range.

The hull’s performance design and the powerful V-8 Yamaha outboard motor thrust this deck cruiser to well over 50 MPH.

Playcraft Infinity 2700: Best for Big Spenders

Playcraft makes some of the best luxury pontoon boats around. The Playcraft Infinity 2700 is no exception. This boat is laden with plenty of features and equipment that make it a stunning pontoon boat.

If you’re on a tight budget, however, this won’t be your best choice. Used models run in the low triple digits.

For big spenders, this is among the top picks from recent years. Here’s why:

  • Twelve to fifteen-person capacity (depending on total weight)
  • Plenty of space, ample seating
  • Lots of hidden storage
  • 27’ 6” feet of boat
  • Fully customizable to your needs and budget
  • Four lounge back sofas
  • Rear-facing sofas
  • Hydraulic steering
  • Ample lighting
  • High-end stereo
  • Drink holders
  • Color-matched Bimini top

So, even at an entry-level price for this boat, you get an impressive number of convenient and comfortable features. You can also add additional features for your specific needs if you want to go for an upgraded and more expensive package.

Powering it all is a 400-horsepower motor.

Barletta Lusso Quad Lounge: Best Lounger

The Barletta Lusso Quad Lounge is a budget buster, but it’s among the top picks of all the best luxury pontoon boats. There are multiple lines from Barletta, and even the Lusso comes in three different configurations. This setup has four loungers, one at each corner of the boat.

There are also four different floor plans to choose from. You can get what you need, whether you’re focusing on water sports or entertaining the whole family. The standard features are expansive and include a Bimini top, a high-end helm with all the tech you’d expect, and a storage pocket. This is one of the best boats you can get for cruising and lounging in style.

You also have an enormous list of options to choose from, including a teak decking upgrade, an engine communication system, and an exterior deluxe lighting package. Plus, you’ll have a 400-horsepower motor.

Harris Solstice 250: Best New Model

The Harris Solstice 250 SLEC is an all-new model that steps up the pontoon game in terms of features, luxury, and performance. It has increased deck space and plenty of room in the playpen. The playpen is what Harris calls the area of the boat within the surrounding safety rails.

This is a premium boat, but despite its relatively high cost, there’s still a lot of value.

You’ll find plenty of features on this boat with a capacity of up to fifteen. Take advantage of Harris’ CZONE digital switching for enhanced control, and choose from four performance packages for increased power and handling.

There are multiple floor plans to choose from in the 250 model lineup, with some more suitable for fishing, entertaining, or water sports.

The base model comes with a 300-horsepower engine, and it’s up to you and your budget if you want more power.

Final Thoughts

Buying a boat is a huge commitment. Now that you know all the best pontoon boats for the money, you can make the best choice for yourself and your family.

Whether you’re looking for a fishing platform, cruiser, party boat, or one that can do a little bit of each, there’s something here that works for you and your budget.

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