Tips For Buying A Used Pontoon Boat

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When buying a used pontoon boat always remember the old adage about buyer beware. With that said, there are many reasons to buy a used pontoon boat rather than a new boat. First and foremost, buying a used pontoon boat means you are going to spend less money. Second, there is often far more room for negotiating the price when buying a used pontoon boat. Follow these guidelines and you should have a happy boat buying experience.

If you are considering purchasing your used pontoon boat from a dealer then ensure that they are a member of the relevant state or national boating industry association. This should ensure that you receive professional advice that is backed up by an industry code of practice.

If the pontoon boat is on a trailer you’ll be able to take a walk around the boat and inspect the pontoons and make sure they are in sound condition. Find out how many hours are on the engine and ask the owner if they can provide receipts for any work done on the boat, including engine repairs, steering maintenance and any work on the pontoons. If the pontoon boat is in the water you’ll have the advantage of being able to take it for an on-water test or sea trial.


A survey provides the opportunity to discover any problems, determine the condition of the pontoon boat and see if everything works properly. A survey is frequently required if you are seeking finance for the vessel and is often required by an insurance company. The buyer pays for the survey and for having the boat hauled out of the water. If the survey turns up any hidden problems you may be able to negotiate further on the final sale price. Always choose an independent marine surveyor, and always have the pontoon boat surveyed both in and out of the water.

Pontoon Boat Insurance

Insurance for your pontoon boat can be a large expense, however, boat insurance is generally less expensive if you choose a high deductible, your boat is well-supplied with safety equipment, there are no fuel burning appliances on board and you have a clean insurance record. Insure your pontoon boat immediately, even if the boat is not in the water yet. A small pontoon boat can often be added to your house insurance policy so check with your insurer.


If you are considering buying a used pontoon boat that is already on a trailer you will need to check over the trailer thoroughly. If the boat and trailer are not compatible, your trailering experience, i.e. getting the pontoon boat to and from the waterway, and launching and retrieving your boat, can be a stressful experience that can ruin your boating enjoyment. With the right trailer under your boat, you’ll barely be aware that it’s behind you as you tow your pontoon boat to the lake or river. If the trailer hasn’t been properly set up and adjusted, you’ll become aware of problems immediately. And if the boat’s pontoons aren’t adequately supported, the trailer can actually damage your new pontoon boat.

Put simply, buying a used pontoon boat means you are going to spend less money, have greater room for negotiation on the sale price and probably be able to purchase your pontoon boat sooner than if you have to save for a new model.

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