how much are pontoon boats

How Much Does a Pontoon Boat Cost on Average?

A new Pontoon boat will cost you between the price of $15,000 and $60,000. This price can vary vastly determined by the size and amenities of the boat and the type of engine. The Average cost of a used pontoon boat is roughly around $20,000.

There are many considerable pontoon boats on the market. Every day, many brands and models of pontoon boats are introduced. Before doing any expensive transaction, you should ensure you do shop around and do your research. This will allow you to get the best deal possible and get the best bang for your buck.

Purchasing a pontoon boat can be a difficult task since many manufacturers not allowing their retailers from endorsing prices. Though, a few manufacturers will have a suggested retail price for their vessels.

Examples of Pontoon Boat Prices

In this section of the article I’ll be providing you with some Pontoon Boat prices. You should take these prices with a pinch of salt as they can vary vastly depending on numerous different factors such as the location of the boat. These are prices which I’ve either been quoted or I’ve found online.

  • Bennington 20 SSRX – $30,000
  • Smoker Craft Sunchaser 8524 LR – $50,000
  • Party Barge 18 DLX – $16,000
  • Hurricane SS 201 IO – $43,000
  • Lowe SF232 – $29,000
  • Lexington 627ET – $60,000
  • Avalon Venture FNC – $22,000
  • Tahoe LT 2480 Quad Lounger – $35,000
  • Hurricane SS 201 OB – $44,000
  • Regency 220 DL3 – $53,000
  • Bennington 22 SLX – $25,000

What makes up most of the price?

Much of the final price of a Pontoon Boat is its engine. In a $20,000 pontoon boat, the engine itself is likely to cost around $11,000. This means that when you buy a boat, you’re mainly paying for the engine. This means that when you’re purchasing a second-hand boat, you should always ensure that the engine is in good condition as it’s what you’re paying for. There’s no point in the boat being spotless if the engine is in bad condition.

Pontoon Boat Accessories Costs

In this section of the article I’ll be providing you with the prices of some common Pontoon Boat accessories. These are some items and equipment which are commonly purchased along with the Pontoon Boat, or items which you may need soon after the purchase of your boat.

Ski Ladders – $500

Ski Ladders are almost essential. Without a ski ladder it’d be almost impossible to climb back into the boat after being in the water. This is required if you plan to participate in water sports and however should be considered even if you only plan on fishing.

Ski Tow Bars – $400 – 900

This is a bar which will sit at the back of your boat to accommodate a tow rope. Many pontoon boats will already have ski tow bar installed however not all will. Preinstalled tow bars may not be high quality therefore It’s recommended to purchase a new one.

Stereo/Speakers – $100 -$300

Many boats will have a wide range of stereo options for customers to choose from. The higher quality the systems are, the more expensive they’re likely to be. Most boats will come with a preinstalled speaker.

Motor – $1000 – $4000

Upgrading your motor can be very expensive – probably one of the most expensive upgrades. Upgrading to a 115hp motor can cost you in-between $800 and $2000. Upgrading to a 150hp motor will set you back $2,500 – $4,000.

Diving Board – $800 – $1600

A diving board isn’t something that most people will need on their boat however it can be a worthwhile investment for those who want to have some fun with their boat.

Emergency Light – $50 – $100

Emergency lights are a form of light which you can use to navigate around safely in the dark. I’d recommend that all boat owners have one on deck, especially if you plan on being on water during the evening. It’s amazing that you can now purchase these life-saving gadgets for so cheap.

Pontoon Boat Cover – $50 – $400

Improper boat practices can result in many different maintenance problems and a shorter boat life. It’s important to keep your boat protected when you’re not using it. A boat cover is required to prevent the weather from affecting your boat, preventing scratches and dents, keeping insects and rodents out of your boat and keeping your boat clean.

You can find my guide on Pontoon Boat Covers here.

How to find a good deal for a pontoon boat

When purchasing anything expensive, it’s important you shop around to find the best deal possible. Shopping around can help you find the best deal as you can compare prices between different sellers.

A large factor which will dictate the price of a pontoon boat is whether it’s brand new or used. I’d highly recommend purchasing a used boat, this will allow you to get the best bang for your buck. However, if you plan to purchase a used boat, you’ll have to make sure you can identify problems and defects with a boat as not all sellers will be 100% honest.

If you’re planning to purchase a brand-new pontoon boat, I’d highly recommend that you shop around in smaller stores. These small businesses are likely to offer lower prices for the same boats as they must have competitive prices to compete with larger shops. These smaller businesses also attempt to build relationships by giving you good prices, this helps them as they can make you a long-term buyer.

The brand of the boat that you’re trying to buy will influence the price. Many boats you may end up paying more for simply because it’s a well-known brand. This is a common trend as large brands can charge more for similar products as consumers will always prefer to purchase from a well-known brand opposed to a lesser known, small business. Though some pontoon boats may have slightly different features, they’re all very similar. This means you don’t need to purchase a more expensive pontoon boat from a big brand if you can get a very similar one from a smaller brand. I’m not saying that you should avoid big brands at all costs, but ensure that you do your research and double-check that what you’re purchasing is worth it’s price tag.

From my experience, I’ve found that the best deals on pontoon boats are those that are about a year or 2 old. These boats are often in a more than acceptable condition if used lightly, and very cheap compared to a new boat. It may be difficult to fight pontoon boats in this sweet spot however if you do enough shopping around, you should eventually find a good deal.

Another reason buying a pontoon boat in this ‘sweet spot’ of 1-2 years is because by this point, the boat has already depreciated a lot in price. From this point on, the boat will only depreciate slowly.

For example, if the boat had cost $20,000 brand new. You could probably purchase it 1-2 years later for $15,000. Afterwards the boat would probably only loose $500 per year until it’s rendered useless or suffers significant damage.

Taxes When Buying a Boat in the U.S

Woman paying her boat taxes

Boats often go in the same category with other types of vehicles. However, taxes are different. The best part? Boat taxes often go for things you love – facilities, services, and maintenance. The worst part? You are responsible for those taxes.

When it comes to boat taxes, there are two things you need to consider. First, double-check the laws and regulations where you buy the boat from – the state. Second, you need to know the taxes associated with the state where you keep and cruise the boat.

Understanding the sales tax

The sales tax is the first expense hitting you – apart from the actual price of the boat. You will most likely have to pay this tax when you purchase the boat. Each state has a different rate for the tax – believe it or not, differences can be quite high.

Given these swings, most people will look for boats in particular states. Sometimes, the savings can cover the money needed to bring the boat home, whether you choose to transport it yourself or hire a specialized service.

Some states do not even require a sales tax. Some others require a tax for prices exceeding a particular level. There are also states with caps. All in all, there are lots of varieties in terms of sales taxes, so do your homework.

Becoming familiar with the use of tax

It makes no difference where you get the boat from – you pay the sales tax in the respective state only. Where you use it will require a different tax – the use tax. Basically, you do not need to pay the sales tax in two states.

These two taxes cancel each other. Avoid paying a sales tax in the buying state, and you will pay a use tax where you keep and use the boat. Again, you must research your options. What is the use tax in your state?

If it is too high, it pays off buying the boat from a state with a small and insignificant sales tax.

Assessing the yearly personal property tax

No matter how you play around with the sales and use taxes, you will also need to consider the personal property tax. Once you own that boat, you will end up paying this tax. It applies on a yearly basis and may change.

This tax is like other taxes you pay for movable assets – such as a camper van, a recreational vehicle, or a helicopter. Just like for any other tax, it pays off becoming familiar with the rules in each state out there.

Some states encourage boat ownership and will reduce or even eliminate other personal property taxes. Sure, you are less likely to move from one state to another. But then, if you live close to a border, check the laws in the nearest states – it might pay off keeping your boat somewhere else.

Bottom line, boat taxes can be tricky, but there is lots of room to play around and find the best deal.


I hope that you’ve found what you were looking for. I’ll be updating this article in-case I find anymore relevant information related to the pricing of a pontoon boat. Though, if you’re interested in knowing how much boat ownership costs, I have a guide on how much owning a boat costs. If you have any questions which you’d like me to answer, leave me a comment below.

If you’re interested in purchasing a used pontoon boat then I’d highly recommend you checkout my article on Questions To Ask When Buying a Pontoon Boat.

Comments 1

  1. Do you think it’s worth buying a pontoon with high mileage if it seems that it’s been well looked after and kept in great condition?

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