Media and Blog

5 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Pontoon

1. Know what you will be using your boat for

Buying a boat is an important decision for you and your family. When looking for a boat, you’ll find there are many layouts when it comes to furniture arrangements and options that are available. Before buying, you need to know what you’ll be doing with your boat—Will you be parked at the sandbar all day relaxing with friends? Maybe you like cruising around the lake at decent speed. Perhaps you want to fish and cruise? These are all things to take into consideration when beginning the process of purchasing your pontoon boat. Knowing these things will help you find the right floor plan, know what length of pontoon you might need, and whether or not the tri-toon or pontoon is the right fit for you (See our last blog about Pontoons and Tri-toons below).

2. Will you need more than a boat? Dock and lift? Trailer? Winter Storage?

When you buy a boat there are other logistical and practical matters you will need to consider. If you have lake front property, do you need to buy a dock? And how many feet do you need to be able to adequately park your boat. You may or may not need a hoist/lift, depending how big or deep your lake is. Maybe you don’t live on the water and don’t have deeded lake access, in this case you’ll probably need a trailer to launch your boat upon each use. For the winter season, it’s important to make sure you have someone local to winterize and properly store your boat.

3. Will your boat hold resale value?

Boats are a lot like other vehicles, however, pontoon boats tend to hold a better resale value than others. Of course, it depends on if you have a pontoon or a tri-toon as well as the size of your engine and horsepower. Most importantly, you should keep up on maintenance and taking care of your boat, which includes properly storing your boat in the off seasons.

4. Is a warranty included?

Typically boats have some kind of manufacturer’s warranty included. We are a pontoon dealer, and most of our brands have lifetime warranty on the decking structure of the boat, as well as 5 to 10 year warranties on other aspects of the boat like furniture and carpet.

5. Know state and local laws regarding lakes, boating, and fishing

Depending where you boat and/or fish, there may be state and local laws which you should be aware of. These laws may vary from lake to lake, depending on whether or not you are on a private access lake or a public lake. Laws are always evolving, as trailering boats from lake to another can transfer characteristics of one lake to others. Some lakes do not allow wake, and some private lakes may have other restrictions on motors all together. It’s important to know what the laws are in your area before purchasing so you don’t end up with a boat that you can’t use in your backyard. When it comes to fishing, you may only be allowed to keep fish over a certain length, and keep up to only so many fish at a time. You can find many of the state’s rules and regulations on fishing and boating on the DNR’s website.

Should I buy a Pontoon or a Tri-toon?


One common question we see as a boat dealer in Northern Michigan is “Should I buy a tri-toon or pontoon?” We like our customers to think about what they will be wanting to do with their boat -- Skiing? Tubing? Cruising? Fishing? Putzing? Boating on the Great Lakes? All of the above? These are things that you will need to know when buying a pontoon boat. 


If you know you are looking for performance and speed, you should definitely go for the tri-toon. Most pontoons do not go more than 20-30 MPH, but plenty of tri-toons can. Many of the triple tube pontoon boats can reach speeds over 50 MPH, depending on the engine applications and other features. The center tube in a tri-toon, particularly Manitou Pontoon’s patented V-toon Technology, helps with handling– allowing the pontoon boat to effectively operate like a speedboat.  Manitou hulls are designed to heel.  So when the speed increases, this ensures that the ride will be comfortable and safe.


Another reason some of our customers are opting for the triple tube pontoon boat is because it increases the maximum carrying capacity of the boat. You may not care about top speed and performance, but you may want to be able to accomodate more of your family and friends on your boat for summer fun.



When it comes to the Tri-toon, there are other options you should consider as well. There are different versions of lifting strakes, which are additional aluminum welds added onto the tubes to lift the boat up and out of the water for better performance. (Again, think handling and making turns like a speed boat.) Some tri-toons have lifting strakes on the inside of of the outer tubes, some only on the center tube, and some have lifting strakes on the outer tubes as well as the center tube. 

With the Manitou Tri-toon, the VP package will give you lifting strakes on the center tube, and will allow you a max horsepower of 150. The SHP tri-toons, however, will have lifting strakes on each of the three tubes, giving you the ability to maximize your horsepower up to 350 or more, depending on the length and other factors of your boat. With these tri-toon features from Manitou Pontoon Boats, your boat may reach speeds 32 MPH to 57 MPH, depending on your engine application and length of your boat.


Manitou Pontoon Boats are barnone the leading Triple tube/tri-toon Pontoon Boat on the market, with 30 years of manufacturing expertise. The patented V-Toon Technology has changed the game when it comes to pontoon boat performance, so stop by and see the experts at Macon Marine Center in Houghton Lake or Sugar Springs Marine in Gladwin, and check out a Manitou tri-toon for yourself. 

Manitou SHP Hull

Manitou VP Hull