How Fast Can Pontoon Boats Go?

There is no doubt that pontoon boats are great and one of the reasons they are so great is simply due to the fact that they are very versatile. With a pontoon boat, you can go sailing, fishing, and you can even grill on your pontoon boat! When most people think of pontoon boats, they think of a peaceful day in the water. However, just because they are known to be used for more calming activities, it does not mean that they are slow boats.

If you have ever seen someone lunge around in a pontoon boat and wonder, “just how fast can pontoon boats go” then we have got you covered.

Let’s get started!

How Fast Are Pontoon Boats?

The more detailed version: First off, we have to mention that while pontoon boats have their quirk and charm, they are not known for their speed. A typical pontoon boat can travel at a rate of about 18 to 25 miles. This speed allows pontoon boats to be used for many water sports such as tubing and even waterskiing.

While this is the average speed, do keep in mind that the specific rate at which how fast a pontoon boat can travel depends on a variety of components. For example, the number of pontoons beneath its deck, how big the engine is, and the load the boat is carrying (of course a pontoon boat carrying one person can travel faster than a pontoon boat carrying five).

With that said, you are not destined to sit on a pontoon boat while other boats are racing around you. You can still do quite a lot with a pontoon boat but just know that if you are looking to go faster than 25 miles per hour, there are other boats that can easily do that for you. If you have your eyes set on a pontoon boat, then it is important to know its limits.

Pontoon Boat Safety Tips

While most people may not think being on a pontoon boat is unsafe because they are not racing with one, it is still important to be aware that accidents can occur at any time. Here are some quick and easy tips to keep you and those around you safe while on a pontoon boat:

1. Wear a Life Jacket:

  • Even if you are the world’s best swimmer it is still important to wear a lifejacket. A common misconception about drowning is that the people who drown are those that cannot swim. While the chances of you drowning do increase if you cannot swim (and you choose not to wear a life jacket), it does not mean that knowing how to swim well will keep you safe.
  • Most of the time the current is too unstable and even the best swimmers cannot fight against it.
  • We understand that wearing a lifejacket feels and looks cumbersome but when it comes down to feeling uncomfortable or saving your life, we hope you will choose the latter.

2. Know Your Boat’s Limit

  • Pontoon boats can carry many people but each pontoon boat has a different capacity.
  • It is important to know the limit of your pontoon boat because if you go over it, do not be surprised if it flips over.
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3. Have a Plan

  • Always tell someone where you are and when you are planning to come back. This is especially important if you plan on boating alone that day. The truth is, sometimes you just do not know what will happen when you are out there.
  • Having someone know where you are and when you are supposed to return will not only give you a safety plan but it will also give you peace of mind.

4. Bring an Anchor

5. Do Not Drink and Drive

  • The same rules apply on the water as it does off. While it is okay to enjoy a drink on a boat, if you are the driver do not risk it.
  • There are so many boating accidents that happen each year because the driver of the boat thinks he or she is “good enough” to drive and the reality is, he or she was not.
  • Not only being intoxicated creates trouble for you and your passengers but it also puts those around you at risk.
  • If you do plan on drinking or you want to drink, then ask someone else to drive. Or if you can see that the driver is drinking one too many drinks, then volunteer to drive or volunteer someone that is sober to drive.

The Design of Pontoon Boats and Why it Matters

Not all pontoon boats are created equal and how fast a pontoon boat can go depends on its tubes.

For example, most pontoon boats are traditionally made with two-tube pontoons. These are great for slower cruising speeds on a nice day. These are great for fishing or swimming or any activity where you do not need to race through the water.

However, if you add a third tube it will not only make the pontoon boat more stable and buoyant but if you design it just right…it can make a pontoon faster. Yes, you read that right, adding a third tube can make your pontoon boat go faster.

There is a bit of mechanics behind this so if you are interested in learning more about the science behind this or how to make your pontoon boat go faster, there are many tutorials online on this topic. Some are written in article form but if you are more of a visual learner, there are also tons and tons of videos made on this exact topic. 

How To Increase Speed of Pontoon Boats

So pontoon boats are not known for their speed but does that mean that there is nothing you can do if you want your pontoon boat to go just a bit faster? Well good news, the answer is there is a way to increase the speed of your pontoon boat.

To make your pontoon boat go faster, follow these tips:

  • Add more HP.
  • Add a second engine.
  • Lighten the boat’s load.
  • Lower the bimini cover.
  • Make sure that the pontoons are clean below the waterline before you set sail.

If this is your first time making adjustments to your pontoon boat then we suggest consulting with a professional first to ask any questions. If you often frequent a lake or river with pontoon boat rental shops, then you can even drop by and ask the owner or one of the workers for help.

The Final Takeaway

There is a reason why many times when you spot a pontoon boat, it is usually just drifting in the water peacefully. The passengers are either fishing, reading, talking, or on some occasions, grilling.

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This is because pontoon boats are very steady and they are great if you want to just take a minute and relax. If you are looking for a boat to crash through the waters then you might want to consider buying or renting another type of boat.

With that said, it does not mean that pontoon boats are insanely slow or anything. If you do want to take a quick and fun ride across the waters, then pontoon boats can do that for you as well.

While as of now pontoon boats are not the fastest boats in the water by any means, it does not mean that with time and new technology that that fact cannot change.