Small pontoon boats have been gaining big popularity with boaters. They offer pontoon stability in a smaller size that is more maneuverable and great for shallow water and small lakes. In this article, we will take a look at the best small pontoon boats on the market today.
What is the difference between a small pontoon and mini pontoon?
Smaller pontoons come in a range of sizes. You will hear them referred to as small pontoon boats, compact pontoon boats, and mini pontoon boats.
As a rule of thumb, when you hear small pontoon or compact pontoon, that refers to pontoons between 10 and 20 feet in length. These are the largest of the small pontoon boats and have around 100-160 square feet of deck space to work with.
Small pontoons have enough horsepower for cruising with several people and even enjoying some watersports like water skiing.
Mini pontoons, as the name suggests, are the smallest pontoon boats you can buy. The originator of the “Mini Toon” is Kennedy Boats out of Wisconsin who bills them as powered pedal boats. Pond King also makes some awesome mini pontoons including a DIY kit.
Mini pontoon boats are intended for smaller bodies of water, specifically ponds, or limited access fishing on lakes.
Best Small Pontoon Boats
In this article, we will be focussing on the best small pontoon boats. When looking for a small pontoon boat, always take a look at the passenger capacity and weight capacity. This will give you the best idea of whether the pontoon is large enough for the people and gear you plan of heading out into the water with.
Complete with features like outboard motors, swim platforms, fishing rod holders, and so much more—these small pontoon boats deliver big features in a small space! Out top 5 list includes:
- Avalon GS Cruise
- Harris Cruiser LX 160 Cruise
- Bennington 188 SVL
- Starcraft LX 20 R
- Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 XL
1. Avalon GS Cruise
- Length: 19’ 5”
- Beam: 8’ 5”
- Dry weight: 1650 lbs
- Fuel capacity: 25 gallons
- Passenger capacity: 8
- Maximum Power: 75 hp
- MSRP: Approximately $25K
The Avalon GS Cruise pontoon is built for comfort and fun. It has a swimming platform and fishing platform built into the fore and aft of the craft. It also includes a Bimini top with a square tube frame for some protection from the elements.
The captain’s chair features a really nice-looking helm console, allowing the driver visibility of both the water and the fun. If you’re looking for a fun day out on the water with friends, the Avalon GS Cruise pontoon will do nicely. With extended lounge seats and comfortable seating for 8, this small pontoon tops our list at number 1.
If you are looking for a fishing boat, check out the Quad Fish model from Avalon. Quad Fish boats include four fishing chairs for fishing in the bow and aft areas of the boat.
2. Harris Cruiser LX 160 Cruise
- Length: 17’ 10”
- Beam: 8’
- Dry weight: 1578 lbs.
- Fuel Capacity: 6.6 gal.
- Passenger Capacity: 8
- Maximum Power: 50 hp
- MSRP: $11,900
The Harris Cruiser LX 160 Cruise pontoon makes a great second choice. Sure, you sacrifice a little bit of power and a couple of feet of lounge space compared to the Avalon. The thing that you also sacrifice, is price, though. Coming in at just under 12 Grand, the Harris LX 160 makes our second choice based on bang for the buck!
Featuring a still very spacious twin bow lounger style platform, this small pontoon is the perfect choice for families on a budget who are looking to reap the rewards that come with owning their own small pontoon!
3. Bennington 188 SVL
- Length: 18’9”
- Beam: 8’
- Dry weight: 1663 lbs.
- Fuel capacity: 25 gallons
- Passenger capacity: 7
- Maximum power: 60 hp
- MSRP: $18,356
This pontoon is a great family of fisherman-friendly pontoons. The Bennington 188 SVL small pontoon was built with a slightly smaller passenger capacity in order to accommodate more storage space. That means more space for fishing gear, snorkeling stuff, or whatever you can think of to help make your family’s day out on the water more enjoyable.
This small pontoon also features twin bow lounge seats and a large L-shaped stern lounger. While it may have made a small sacrifice in the passenger capacity department, it retains really great fore and aft platforms that are perfect for diving off of or hanging off a line.
Whether you are looking for a family-friendly boat for the occasional fishing outing or a full-time fisherman there is a floor plan for you. Every floor plan includes bass seats, livewells, rod holders, with options to fit your specific needs.
4. Starcraft LX 20 R
- Length: 20’ 10”
- Beam: 96”
- Dry weight: 1875 lbs.
- Fuel capacity: 21 gallons
- Passenger capacity: 9
- Maximum power: 90 hp
Starcraft is a long-standing brand name that has remained synonymous with small pontoons and family days on the water since 1903. In that extensive amount of time, it is safe to say that they have gotten pretty good at providing an affordable luxury craft that offers comfort, power, and at a good size too.
Let’s take a look at what Starcraft has for us with the LX 20 R.
This is a big and beautiful smal pontoon from one of the leading names in the industry. Starcraft has put together a real luxury cruiser here with incredible amenities that allow your family the utmost in comfort and safety. Four exuberantly comfortable loungers are around all four corners of the vessel, with storage basins built right into them.
This craft will accommodate any leisure activity whether it be a day on the canal, lake or harbour. Non-slip Seawave flooring adds a degree of safety when passengers are up and about enjoying themselves and a bimini top helps to conveniently keep the sun off of necks backs and shoulders for non-stop enjoyment.
5. Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 16 XL
- Length: 18’ 5”
- Beam: 8’
- Dry weight: 1320 lbs.
- Fuel capacity: 6 gallons
- Passenger capacity: 7
- Maximum power: 50 hp
- MSRP: $12, 995
This is a family favorite starter pontoon. This small pontoon is all about value per square foot so let’s have a closer look at the main specs that make up this great little vessel.
With twin pedestal style mounted fishing seats, this lovely, luxurious and family-friendly pontoon is angler-ready! This small pontoon has the itch to fish with vertical rod racks, a retractable ladder, and vinyl floor covering that makes cleaning up a breeze.
This small pontoon affords all of the benefits of its bigger counterparts at a portion of the price – perfect for parents who want to teach their young ones the ways of the water! This small pontoon features a large l shaped lounger in the back that makes it as much of a lounger as it is a line-dragger.
Small pontoons are one of the best all-purpose watercraft choices for families who want to get out on the water. Whether it’s recreation, swimming, or fishing, small pontoons come with full functionality at a fraction of the price of fiberglass or aluminum-hulled boat of the same size.
Perfect for those family days on the water, without the massive investment!
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