How To Drive A Pontoon Boat For Beginners | BestRecreations

How To Drive A Pontoon Boat For Beginners

Beginner’s guide for driving pontoon boat will help the newbie to learn techniques to drive pontoon boat.

The professionals find it very easy to drive a pontoon boat.

When you are a beginner your first concern is how to drive a pontoon boat.

Beginners need to learn some basic rules to drive a pontoon boat for an adventurous ride.

You have to know the basic principles of hydromechanics for ensuring the safety of yourself and pontoon boat.

Driving a pontoon is an easy task comparable to other ordinary boats or driving a car.

Following article helps you in becoming a pro driver of pontoon boat being a beginner.

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Things To Know Before Buying A Pontoon Boat

Pontoon boats are safest boats on the dock.

These boats are equipped with the safety features and sink very rarely. Although, I recommend buy the best pontoon boat for additional safety.

There are certain things that you have to consider. These include:

  • Boating locations. (Oceans, lakes, ponds).
  • Purpose of buying boat. (Professional or non-professional).
  • Budget plan.
  • How roughly you use the pontoon boat.
  • Choose between the pontoon and tritoon (three tubes). Tritoon is easy to handle.

Look for different models of pontoon boat and select the one compatible with your conditions.

There are one-man pontoon inflatable pontoons boats all the way up to party pontoon boats.

For improved visibility, avoid high fence and expanded deck. Go for the high helm.

Preventive Measures

  • Life jacket is mandatory for everyone sitting in the boat. You can also use other safety equipments.
  • Check the fuel tank before leaving the dock.
  • Examine that the radio is working properly.
  • Check out the battery of your phone to make communication possible in case of emergencies.
  • Safely place the equipments to ensure the safety of passengers.
  • Trim the motor before setting off.
  • Administer the weight evenly on the boat.

How To Drive A Pontoon Boat For Beginners? (Boating Basics)

Basic skills to learn for driving a pontoon boat are docking, steering, accelerating,, and reversing.

Once you get the grip over the skills and your gear is ready, you can enjoy the fishing confidently.

Basic boating skills can help you as a beginner.

But, pontoon boats have different designs compared to the other V-hull boats.

There are many more things you have to learn for beginning the trip on pontoon boat.

Step 1: Leave The Dock

Before leaving the dock, check out the list of preventive measures mentioned before.

Wind affects the boat due to peculiar design of pontoon boat.

Unfasten the deck ropes which attach the pontoon boat to the dock.

Warm up the engine by turning on the ignition before leaving the dock.

The power thrusts and drive adjustments are necessary to cope up with the wind gusts.

Reverse the boat in case of strong wind to counter its action.

Step 2: Acceleration

On reaching the open water, accelerate the motor to speed up your pontoon boat.

Slowly press the power button to drive the pontoon in waves and speed the boat.

Follow the laws of travelling area to avoid any inconvenience.

Step 3: Handle The Steering

It operates in the same way like the steering wheel of a car. Decide the direction in which you want to take your boat and point the wheel in that direction.

Once you set the steering wheel in the desired direction, press the forward mode and softly hit the throttle.

Sudden jerky movements and turns make it difficult to handle the controls of the pontoon boat.

Slow and smooth movements allow the better control.

Warn the passengers before taking a sharp turn.

Step 4: Docking The Pontoon

Coming back from where you started your journey is the final step.

Be cautious for this final step as you are moving from the zone of deep water to the shallow water.

  • Decrease the acceleration as you approach near the dock. High speed can damage both the boat and the dock.
  • Reposition the engine on the neutral mode to get into the right place.
  • Adjust the steering wheel to avoid drifting on sides and keeping the pontoon on the track.
  • Using the forward gear, transfer the throttle in the forward direction. It easily parks the boat slowly in the parking slot.
  • To make parking perfect, you can use reverse movements. Keep balancing the wheel as there will be wind and water currents.
  • Use the ropes of the dock to tie pontoon boat with it.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What Are The Safety Measures For Driving A Pontoon Boat?
A pontoon boat is different from other boats in many aspects. Keep the speed of the pontoon slow as there are no brakes.

Check the boat before the drive.

Make the turning points wider and smooth.

Warm the engine before leaving the dock.

Use safety jackets for the passengers.

Improve safety by replacing the often dim courtesy lights with marine led lighting strips.

How Durable Is The Pontoon Boat?
The careful handling of the pontoon boat along with the proper maintenance can long up to 10 to 20 years.

Defaults can be repaired or replacements can be made.

How Can I Drive The Pontoon Boat In Waves?
Extra effort and practice is required to drive pontoon boat in the rough water.

Waves are the disturbance in the water and challenge the boat driving.

You have to be prepared to deal with the changing sudden water currents.

Consider the following precautions when driving a pontoon boat in rough water.

Don’t make sharp turn if the wind is not favorable.

Extreme weather conditions are alarming for your safety. Quickly get back to the dock.

Distribute the load equally on the vessel.


Driving a pontoon boat for the first time is exciting and risky. And now that you’re all set-up and ready to sail, why not get yourself the best depth fish finder for pontoon boats out there.

Don’t be hasty and don’t risk your life in the state of excitement.

First learn the basic skills mentioned above and then experience the first drive.

Make sure your gear is ready to start the drive and check out the whether your pontoon is perfect to get started.

How to drive a pontoon boat for beginners is no more a problem. Begin the first drive.

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