How Wide Is A Pontoon Boat?

How Wide Is A Pontoon Boat? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

December 15, 2022

Key Takeaways

  • Knowing the dimensions of a pontoon can make a difference in storage.
  • Knowing the dimensions can help you find the best value for your pontoon purchase.
  • The average width of a pontoon boat is 8-12 feet.
  • The least expensive option for storage is on a concrete pad at your home.
  • Homeowners should always check with local ordinances or HMA rules.

You are considering buying a pontoon but will need to know how wide to pour the concrete pad on which it will be resting. How wide is a pontoon boat?

The width of your pontoon boat depends on its size, type, and manufacturer. Large pontoon boats will be about 12 feet wide. Many smaller pontoons have widths of 8 feet, while medium boats have a distance of 10 feet. Tri-Toons are larger than pontoons and need more storage space.

Considering the popularity of pontoon boats, (the market is expected to almost double in the next five years to over $4 billion in sales), many families are turning to these excellent watercraft for their recreational activities. Whether it is cruising the family around the lake, tubing with the kids, or just getting a bit of fishing with your grandson, a pontoon boat is built for just that very thing. But what happens when you aren’t using it? What kind and size of pad should be underneath your boat? To answer those questions, you need to know some basic dimensions of your new boat.


Table of contents

What is a Pontoon Boat?

A pontoon boat is a flat-decked boat attached to two or three aluminum tubes to create enough ballast to keep the boat afloat. The large tubes run the boat's length on either side of the deck. A boat with three tubes is called a Tri-toon indicating three aluminum tubes rather than the standard two.

The deck is flat and, as such, allows for more passengers to ride than a standard V-shaped boat. In addition, the flat shape of the boat allows for more available different seating configurations and more maneuverability (passengers can walk about the deck).

The boat is powered by an engine positioned at the rear of the boat. Most pontoons have large outboard motors. While most pontoon boats are not built for speed (they are intended to be family cruisers), that doesn’t mean they are incapable of engaging in many different water activities.

Why is Knowing the Dimensions of a Pontoon Boat Important?

There are several reasons why it is a good idea to know exactly how big your pontoon boat is.

A Larger Boat Means More Money for Purchase

While more and more families purchase pontoon boats, they are costly. An average pontoon boat of 22 feet will cost over $40,000, depending on the equipment it has and who the manufacturer is. Knowing how large you want to go with a new pontoon boat is an excellent idea because you will pay more for a larger one.

Many people opt to purchase pre-owned pontoon boats, which can save money. It is essential to know the history of any boat you might consider purchasing to know how it was used and how well it was maintained.

A Larger Size Means More Passengers.

A larger pontoon deck means more people can safely board your boat and the larger party you can have. If you plan on doing a lot of entertaining on your boat, then knowing the people's capacity (along with the weight load) is crucial.

Most pontoon boats weigh about a ton and can handle another 1500 - 2000 lbs of equipment, passengers, and gear. Large pontoons can accommodate up to 15 people, but it is always best to err on the safe side and lower the limit, so you don’t overload the boat or strain the engine.

The Amount of Space for Equipment or Other Things

Similar to knowing how many passengers you can ferry on your new boat, dimensions can also help you get a handle on the equipment you will be transporting. For example, if you plan on using the boat for tubing, leave ample room on the boat for a fully inflated tube to ride.

The Amount of Space Needed for Storage.

Because you will need to find a place to store your pontoon boat when it is not in use, it's a good idea to know the dimensions, so you don’t get shocked when you find out how much you will have to pay. Larger pontoon boats will require more pad space (if stored outdoors), which means paying more monthly.

While rates vary from place to place, if you know the size of storage space you need, that information can help when shopping for rates. You should decide if you want climate-controlled storage, as you will have to pay extra to keep the rain and snow off your boat.

The most expensive option for storage is to store the boat on the water at a marina. You should spend more to anchor your boat in the broader slip.

If you plan on living on the pontoon while mooring it, thinking you will save some rent money, you should know that many marinas charge extra for the luxury. Some will not allow it under any circumstances. (Believe it or not, many manufacturers recognize the need for pontoons to have cabins or sleeping quarters and offer such boats to the general public).

The cheapest solution (assuming you have a truck to pull your pontoon with) is to store your boat in a dry dock at your home. Many homeowners have poured dedicated concrete pads for this purpose, so knowing the dimensions help you make sure you have a large enough concrete base. It is always wise to pour a pad more expansive than the boat so you don’t have issues backing it onto the concrete.

If you plan to store your pontoon at your home and don’t live in a rural area, get permission from your homeowner's association before staking out a place to pour concrete. Many neighborhoods have regulations preventing you from enlarging your driveway or storing a boat near your home. In addition, some municipalities do not allow homeowners to store their boats in the front or sides of their homes.

What Impacts Storage Costs?

There are lots of different factors that can affect how much you will pay for storing your boat.

Size of the Boat

The dimensions of your boat will adversely affect your cost. The bigger the space needed, the more you will pay.

Covered or Out in the Open

Many storage facilities have designated places to store your boat, some of which are covered. (During a recent trip to a large metropolitan area, I saw a storage unit with rows and rows of covered parking slots for RVs, Boats, and Trailers. It looked like a large terminal parking lot. You will pay more if you want your baby protected from the snow, rain, and hail.


Believe it or not, storing a boat will cost more in some areas of the country. Places that build their reputation for water activities, like the Gulf coast, Florida, or a city near a lake, will charge more. It might be worth driving away from the water source a bit if you can save a few bucks a month in storage fees.

How Wide Is A Pontoon Boat?
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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