A pontoon boat is a unique boat that has enough buoyancy to float with a heavy load. They are normally flattish shaped and relies on a pontoon to float. Pontoons are called tubes and contain some buoyancy which allows a designer to create a huge deck with all types of accommodations like lounge areas, sun pads, and stand-up bars. Over the year’s better tube designs has allowed boat builders to put more horsepower on the stern.
The average pontoon boat is called a catamaran which is a fixed platform on 2 tubes. The pontoon is usually made from barrels or pipes made from metal. A pontoon boat draft can be in shallow water that is 8 inches or higher. This reduces the overall risk from running aground or even having underwater damage.
Pontoon boats are great for leisurely fishing or pleasure boating which is often low cost due to their capacity and they are much cheaper to purchase insurance for, even when they have large engines.
There are even inflatable pontoon boats that are for one to two people. They are often made from nylon and PVC with aluminum frames. You power them by paddling, or with a trolling motor that uses deep cycle batteries. They often come with motor mounts, fishing rod holders, canopy, small anchor and other types of fishing gear as well as a place to store batteries. However, they are quite light and can tip over due to waves or windy conditions. These types of inflatable pontoons are best for ponds, rivers, and lakes.
Another use for a pontoon boat is as a small vehicle ferry to cross lakes, and rivers in most parts of the world, especially over in Africa. A pontoon ferry may be powered by another boat, pulled by cables or motorized. The cable ferry is a pontoon that is pulled by cables across the river using human power or motors which also helps to guide the pontoon.
The invention of the pontoon in 1952 in the United States that came with a motor has been credited to a famer who lived near Horseshoe Chain of Lakes which is close to Richmond, Minnesota. The farmer, Ambrose Weeres, used columns of steel barrels welded together and placed a wooden platform across the two columns, which created a very sturdy deck that is much more stable than a regular boat in a lake. He believed that this great idea could be marketed. The first boat called the Empress, was many that would be sold over the years. He began to build more pontoons and with the help of many boat dealers, he began to get more orders than he could handle. Mr. Weeres then created Weeres Industries to help with the unexpected demand. Eventually, Ambrose Weeres would earn the name Mr. Pontoon and was eventually elected to be in the Marina Hall of Fame in Minnesota. (pontoon rentals)