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Pontoons vs. Tritoons

What floats your boat?

  • pontoon on the water

Pontoons Vs. Tritoons: Which is Right for You?

These floating platforms are more than just party boats. These days, pontoons and tritoons have become a popular choice amongst boaters for many reasons. From cruising along the shore in luxury to having watersports enthusiasts in tow, these boats are designed for many purposes. Read on to discover the difference between these fun crafts and see which 'toon you want to boat to!

Toons and Terminology

If you're new to the world of pontoons, don't fret! These multi-purpose boats have evolved from a basic platform attached to two tubes to luxurious feature-laden models designed for a comfortable day on the water. For starters, boats having two tubes or floats underneath are considered pontoons, and ones with three are called tritoons. And to add a little challenge to the mix, both types of boats still fall under the term "pontoon" due to the construction of the hull.

Loaded with Fun

Whether you're considering a pontoon or tritoon, modern features include lighting upgrades, entertainment systems, summer kitchens, wet bars, upper decks—and even water slides! The pontoon boat's reputation for being a "party barge" is well-earned due to its ability to seat a dozen or more people. These exciting boats are versatile and can be used for inshore fishing, tubing, waterskiing, and cruising.


  • pontoon on the water

Double the Adventures on a Pontoon

Pontoon boats are recognized for their stable platforms and are excellent vessels to use while fishing. These boats often feature fishing rod holders, special seating, fish finders, and live bait wells. Additionally, these two-tubed models can also be an ideal choice for cruising in calm water or for those who usually won't have a lot of passengers.

Triple the Action with a Tritoon

By adding a center pontoon tube, a tritoon boat (three tubes) is a faster and more stable pontoon boat that can exceed 50 knots. The center tube on a tritoon boat improves comfort and handling and is better suited for use as a watersports tow boat. Tritoons also tend to be larger and have room for more friends, family, and additional amenities. Overall, the modern tritoon boat offers an advanced and comfortable ride that most boaters never expect.  


  • pontoon on the water

A Tube-to-Tube Comparison 

If you’re still uncertain about which type of pontoon to choose, below is a quick rundown to help you compare. 

  • For entertaining large groups or a lot of passengers = tritoon
  • If going on leisurely cruises in calm water = pontoon
  • For pulling water skiers, wakeboarders, or towables = tritoon
  • If planning to fish on a lake: = pontoon
  • For longer boat rides or open-water excursions = tritoon 

Shop Pontoon Boats 

MarineMax has an outstanding collection of pontoons and tritoons for sale from top manufacturers like Harris, Premier, and more!

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