The first pontoon boat dates back to 1952 but today’s popular Party Barge was actually introduced in 1983. The Party Barge has made pontooning a family pastime. The greatest area of improvement over early models is the interior appointments with modern furniture that have become stylish and conveniently versatile. Sporty, automotive-inspired helms with sink and optional refrigerator make it easier to entertain with style. Loungers are as roomy as they are comfortable, and the ergonomic helm keeps the captain ahead of the game. Changing rooms allow you to shift gears quickly, while comfort features accommodate lazy days just as well. Pontoon boats can boosts your game with casting chairs, rod storage and holders, a roomy workstation and a convenient wash down station.

There’s not much you can’t do aboard a pontoon. Pontoons have a wide range of engine sizes to accommodate different budgets. The engines are designed economically and efficiently. Because a pontoon has so much lift, it rides high in the water, making it a good choice for larger lakes that get choppy. Not much trim is needed to lift the bow to reduce wetted surface, and increased engine pitch and a quick drop-off in speed let you know when you’ve trimmed it too far. Thanks to the standard hydraulic steering, it’s a pleasure to drive and tracks in a straight line when cruising. Often, pontoons that are designed with three tubes lean to the inside, but most don’t have strakes on the outside of the outermost tubes, which push back in turns. Another option, if you add a tall, screw-in ski pylon to the rear deck ($178) brings skiing and tubing to the mix. And thanks to the sophisticated performance tubes, you can run at virtually any speed without plowing, so gingerly towing young kids on tubes at 15 mph is as easy as towing an adult at 30 mph when slaloming. You often see a centerline storage compartment or at least an under-storage compartment that bulkheads for storing skis. The pontoon boat, known to be a cruiser/entertainer, generally has an extra large cockpit table positioned either fore or aft. Some have coolers in the captain’s console to hold a large amount of refreshments. There are pontoon boats specifically designed for fishing.

A pontoon can whisk you away to a place where the days are long and the possibilities are endless. With all the necessities and nothing extraneous, the pontoon boat delivers affordable comfort. Summer fun is for everyone; so get out there and enjoy it.

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“Boating World Magazine | The Leader in Recreational Trailerboating.” Boating World Magazine | The Leader in Recreational Trailerboating. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 July 2012.