Deck Boat vs. Pontoon: What’s the Difference?

As you keep looking for a small boat, which one between a pontoon and a deck do you think will suit your needs? Which differences will make you choose between the two?

Well, you are about to find out. Here, we’ll cover the deck boat vs. pontoon.

These two boats are excellent. You might want a vessel to hold small family events or one for just moving around the waters. At the end of it all, you’ll find that your picks are either on decks or pontoons.

Whether you want the boast for fishing or cruising, you should first know what they mean. So, let’s start with the meaning of the two boats.

What is a Deck Boat?

What is a Deck Boat

These boats have always been the better version of the speed boats for a long time. As for deck boats, you’ll get more space to bask in the sun and have more fun.

Many people use these vessels mainly because of their speed. Expect the boat to move fast on the waters.

Also, as you cruise, one might think that the vessel is coming out of the water. These high speeds come in because the body has a V-shaped hull.

Decks also tend to look like a hybrid of a pontoon and runabout boat like a bowrider. Expect the bodies of these boats to come from aluminum or fiberglass.

Remember, these boats are wider than normal speedboats. Most deck boats are from 18 to 25 feet long. So, these vessels can hold from eight to ten people.

What is a Pontoon?

What is a Pontoon

Pontoons are younger than the deck boats. Today, many people love them for leisure purposes.

But how different are they from the decks? With pontoons, you’ll have more space on you’ll have more space but fewer speeds.

This boat’s hull isn’t V-shaped but flat. It shows that they’ll move slower than deck boats.

Also, besides being flat, pontoons’ balance depends on tubes or cylinders. This spec gives the boat a raised look at the waters.

People love these boats because you can use them for many activities. It’s why many people call them pleasure boats.

The pontoons can carry from eight to twenty people. Most of them are 16 to 25 feet long.

Deck Boat vs. Pontoon: The difference in the Specs

You now have a picture of a pontoon and deck boat. But there’s more to these definitions. Please look at the differences.

1. Styling and Space

Styling and Space

When picking any boat, how much the design will touch you depends on your interests. You may love a vessel because of its speed or how it looks. Let’s see what these boats have for you.


These vessels have much space to hold many people. It means you can have more fun with many family members and friends. Riding on these boats is like having living rooms on the waters.

Remember, you can even have a meeting on pontoons. It’s because the boat’s seats allow you to face one another as you people move.

Also, the boats have spaces for easy walking around and lounging. The firms making these boats can also design them with many specs like coolers, bathrooms, kitchens, and many more.

Deck Boats

The decks also have more space. But here, the area isn’t for you to socialize more like in pontoons.

You can get this boat if your group or family loves to speed. Also, you can talk to one another, but the seats allow you to face forward as the ship moves.

Today, many companies try to bring in more specs on the decks. So, you’ll have more fun with your crew as you move on the waters at high speeds.

For example, you can get a deck boat with a wakeboard tower. This feature allows you have a sporty look over the waters.

2. Engine


It’s sweet to fall for the beauty of either of these boats. You should also consider the vessels’ motor. Read on to see which vessel’s engine can suit you.


Many pontoon boats come with outboard engines. These motors have a range horsepower of about 25 to 450.

Sometimes, you may never love outboard machines. There’s room for you to shit to the inboard motors. The changes mean that you’ll have to pay more.

Also, the engine’s power will depend on the size of your pontoon. Smaller pontoons need motors with less power.


You’ll have more freedom on engines when you choose to buy decks. Well, expect deck boats to either have outboard, inboard, or I/O’s (outboard/ inboard) motors.

Most decks have engines with a higher power than the ones you can use in pontoons. Also, the size of your boat won’t affect the horsepower of your motor.

Smaller decks can also hold bigger engines. It means you can cruise around the deep waters using deck boats.

3. Activities


Both boats allow you to do many things. Remember, your choice between the two will depend on your specific needs for the boat.


A pontoon will be best for you if you want a boat for parties. These boats have wider bodies and seats that allow people to speak easily.

These boats come with much space to store fun items like pads to sun bask and even firepits. It’s the better boat for parties.

Since pontoons have much space and slow speeds, you can use them for fishing. The vessels also have shallow drafts to help you reach the waters.


These boats aren’t best for leisure. You can only best use them for water sports.

The engines on these boats allow you to carry many items like skiers, tubers, and water boards. Also, you’ll have a high chance to win most water sports when you use a deck boat.

Yes, you can also use deck boats to fish. Unlike the pontoons, deck boats won’t give you an easy time since they don’t have the shallow points for accessing the waters.

4. Handling


Is it tough to control either of the boats? Let’s see which one will give you an easy time.


You’ll have quite a tricky time as you control a pontoon on the waters. Well, it’s because of their rectangular and flat shape and low engine power.

When making sharp turns on the water, you might have a bit of a tough time. These boats need a broader path to turn, unlike the deck boats.

Remember, it’s easier to maintain pontoons. It’s because they have an aluminum hull.


It’s easy to handle deck boats both on and off the waters. You’ll always have a relaxing time as you ride the vessels, even at high speeds.

The easy time is because of the V-shaped fiberglass hull. Also, it’s because of the engines’ great power.

If you buy a deck boat will a fiberglass hull, you’ll need to wipe it down after every day you spend on the waters. The water spots can become tough to remove if you don’t clean the hull every time.

5. Speed


Everyone loves to have a boat that can do many things in the waters, including moving fast. Let’s look at the broader difference in the speeds of these vessels.


If you love speed, then pontoons can disappoint you. It’s because of their engines and body shape.

These vessels have a flat and rectangular shape. The spec makes it tricky for the boat to move fast on the waters.

Also, most pontoons come with outboards. So, don’t expect the boat to move at fast speeds.

Remember, when a boat moves slower, you won’t spend much on fuel. But since you can get another outboard to improve on the speeds, be ready to spend more on fuel too.


You can fall for a deck boat if you love to ride on a speedy vessel. Unlike the pontoons, firms design decks for speeding uses.

Expect these vessels to have a V-shape that is streamlined. It makes the boats move faster against the water and wind currents as you move.

Remember, you can get the ones with a fiberglass body. When that happens, be ready to move fast on the waters.

Also, the engines with great horse powers mean that the boats can move up to 60 mph on the waters. Remember, deck boats give you the freedom to choose machines that will make your boat move at high speeds.

6. Price


Besides all the other specs, the cost of each boat can affect your final choice. Here are the details of the prices of these boats.


Most pontoon boat models are cheaper than the decks. It will cost you from 13000 dollars to 60000 dollars to get a quality pontoon boat.

Expect to get decent specs when you buy a pontoon with this price range. Some of the features entail leather seats, good floors, bathrooms, among many others.

Sometimes, you may choose to change the looks of your pontoon. Be sure that it will cost you more dollars. But, overall, if you are on a tight budget, go for a pontoon.


If you choose to go for a deck boat, be ready to part with more money. The costs range from $30000 to $80000. Remember, the prices will depend on where you’ve bought your boat.

The costs will also depend on the engine, size, model, and other features. After buying a deck boat, you’ll incur further costs to make the vessel better.


Pontoon and deck boats are boats that can help you do many activities. It will depend on your budget and interest.

Go for deck boats if you want a vessel for sports and faster speeds. But a pontoon should be your pick when you need a boat to help you have more fun on the water with many people.

Before buying, it’s safe to look at any boat model’s good and bad sides. So, between these tow boats, which one do you think is right for you? Please share your choice with us.

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