How Tall Is A Pontoon Boat On A Trailer?

How Tall Is A Pontoon Boat On A Trailer? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

February 3, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • Most Pontoons are 8 - 12 feet tall, depending on the boat size and trailer height.
  • Most boats will not fit through a residential garage door.
  • Every Pontoon should be cleaned and prepped before winter.

One of the most frequent questions concerning the upkeep of a pontoon boat is just how tall it is on a trailer.

The average pontoon boat stands between 8 - 12 feet tall while sitting on a trailer

(depending on the pontoon and trailer style). Owners should know that pontoon trailers will add at least 2.5 - 3 feet to the “bridge clearance” measurement listed in the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website.

An essential issue any pontoon owner will face is where to store their boat when it is not in use. Whether you have a dedicated spot in mind or plan to store your pontoon in an offsite facility, it’s best to find out the exact dimensions of your pontoon boat. Knowing your boat’s length, width, and height will prevent you from showing up with your boat in tow only to find out things don’t fit. This article will discuss the measurements of pontoon boats to help determine if you need extra space to park your pontoon during the winter months.


Table of contents

What Is The Best Way To Store A Pontoon?

The easiest storage method is to keep your craft on the pontoon boat trailer rather than set it on the ground or the concrete. At no time should the pontoon tubes sit directly on the pavement. Since pontoons have tubes made from aluminum, any contact with the ground or concrete can cause damage, scratching, or corrosion. Pontoon tubes create buoyancy in the water, not for shouldering the entire load of the boat.

How Tall is A Pontoon Boat On A Trailer?

Generally, an average size pontoon boat ranges from 8 - 12 feet tall when sitting on a bunk trailer. Double-decker boats or large pontoons with unique features require more space for an exact boat fit. It is always a good idea to consult your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website for your pontoon dimensions.

How Much Space Do I Need To Store My Boat?

In addition to height, you also need space for the length and width of your pontoon boat and trailer. The average pontoon size is 18 - 25 feet long, but most pontoon trailers are built to extend beyond that. For example, an 18-foot pontoon boat will need a 21-foot boat trailer ideally. A 22-foot pontoon would require a trailer 25 feet long.

The width of modern pontoons can vary, but most are never over 10 feet wide.

What Factors Influence A Pontoon Boat’s Dimensions?

Several factors play a role in determining the space your pontoon will need for its winter hibernation. While every pontoon boat has slightly different dimensions, most owners have dedicated storage sites.

The Design of the Boat

As a general rule, the average height of most pontoon boats is around 6 feet from the base of the tubes to the top of a folded-down bimini top. While larger boats require space than smaller pontoon boats, your owner’s manual can give you the exact pontoon boat dimensions.

The Trailer

Primarily, two different trailers are designed for towing pontoon boats. Scissor trailers (also known as center lift pontoon trailers) are constructed with a movable frame that fits between the tubes. A winch lowers or raises the pontoon as needed. A scissor trailer can be ideal for places that have height challenges. However, since the pontoon is balancing on a center frame, a scissor trailer is unstable if you plan to do any long-distance towing. (Owners should exercise caution when navigating tight turns to avoid a larger boat from tipping over).

The best trailer to handle the load of a pontoon boat is a bunk-style trailer. Bunk trailers are built with cross beams that support the entire pontoon weight. They do not raise or lower like a center-lift trailer. A bunk trailer is best when you need to tow a long distance, and most pontoon owners use them. Since a pontoon is often considerably larger than other boats, most manufacturers recommend using a multi-axle trailer to handle the pontoon and trailer weight. (Your marine store can advise you on the axle count and ideal length for your boat).

A single-axle trailer has a weight tongue limit of 2200 lbs and can be used for smaller pontoons or fishing pontoons under 16-20 feet.  The average bunk-style pontoon trailer has a bed that will sit 26” to 31” off the ground, depending on the trailer capacity and combined weight.

Will A Pontoon Boat Fit In A Garage?

Since most homeowners have a garage door with 6 - 7 foot clearance, a typical garage will not work for most pontoons. While a smaller boat may fit, the average modern pontoon boat is 22 feet long. (The average garage is built on a 20’ x 20’ slab).

Can I Park A Pontoon Boat On My Property?

If you have the land, you can build a carport to house your pontoon. Protecting your boat with a nylon cover is always a good idea to keep rodents, bird droppings, dust, and debris from damaging your pontoon.

If you decide to park your pontoon at your residence, you should double-check with your city ordinances. Many communities or HOAs will not allow recreational vehicles on residential property for any time.

What Do I Need to Know About Storing My Pontoon?

No matter what size trailer and pontoon you have, you must prepare your boat for the winter. Here are some suggestions to make your storage experience much more manageable.

Decide Where To Store Your Boat

You should find a place to park your pontoon boat when it is out of the water. If you do not have a separate building and storing the boat at your home is not an option, then you need to choose a secure facility. Many marinas also have parking areas that charge a monthly rate for housing your boat and trailer. You should always inspect the area to ensure the security of the facility and the reliability of the property management team.  

Clean Your Boat

Before taking your boat to the place you have chosen for parking, give your boat a good cleaning. A good washing and scrubbing of your pontoon boat are always best, and while doing so, give your boat a good inspection. Look for scrapes, dents, and dings.

All interior surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water and wiped down. This time is when to store equipment or accessories off of the boat. (Some accessories can be easy targets for thieves), and ropes, anchors, and other items should be inspected.

Prep the Engine

Pontoon manufacturers indicate that the gas tank should be close to full before storing your boat in the winter. If your pontoon is stored outside, moisture can form inside the tank and dilute the fuel. A gasoline additive is also a good idea.

Cover Your Boat

A good nylon cover or shrinkwrapping your pontoon is always a good idea. Pontoon covers are often held onto the boat by straps that run over the fabric. Shrink wrap can be done DIY, as long as you have the room to work around your boat and are careful not to burn a hole in the plastic when heating it.

How Tall Is A Pontoon Boat On A Trailer?
Jacob Collier

Jacob Collier

Born into a family of sailing enthusiasts, words like “ballast” and “jibing” were often a part of dinner conversations. These days Jacob sails a Hallberg-Rassy 44, having covered almost 6000 NM. While he’s made several voyages, his favorite one is the trip from California to Hawaii as it was his first fully independent voyage.

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