Most people see pontoon boats and think that they’re just a party boat that floats out on the water. Some of them come in smaller sizes while others come as double decker party boats. Either way, a pontoon boat nowadays packs just as much if not more punch than a regular V-hull boat, and needs to be handled and operated properly. Here are a few things you should know if you ever plan to own or operate a pontoon.
Leaving the dock on a pontoon boat isn’t much different from any other boat; however the usual factor that plays devil’s advocate in these situations is the wind. Because the “logs”, as some like to refer to, don’t reach very far into the water, large gusts of wind could easily shift the boat in different directions. You need to be careful in this instance so that you don’t bang your boat up against the dock, causing substantial damage to the boat.
Now it’s not just docking you need to get a hold of, but you also need to learn about accelerating on a pontoon also. As with any other boat, apply power to the engine slowly and smoothly so your guests on board don’t go for an unexpected swim. You’ll need to watch for the bow of the boat to level out as the boat breaks plane. Once this happens, you can begin trimming the engine up to boost speed and obtain a more comfortable ride.
Turning and handling a pontoon can be tricky as well. Make sure that the first thing you do before turning the boat is to check your six. Remember, there aren’t any lanes out on the water so you never know what could be passing you by. Try not to make too sharp of turns as well, because pontoon boats being flatter than traditional V-hulls can send coolers, guests or other belongings flying right off the deck.