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Pontoon Vs Tritoon: A Proper Comparison Guide for Boaters

Written by Anthony Roberts / Fact checked by Jonathan Larson

pontoon vs tritoon

If someone is looking for a multifunctional boat that can carry numerous passengers yet conquer rough water, he/she can consider both pontoon boats and tritoon boats as top-of-the-list candidates. Thanks to their versatility and sustainability, these two vessels are trusted by a lot of family boaters.

Still, there aren’t many boat experts who understand the difference between pontoon and tritoon boats. Hence, even though the two can be distinguished by color, speed, etc, issues like “Are tritoons better than pontoons?” or “pontoon vs tritoon” are always discussed.

To help you identify the two vessel types, in this post, we will cover all essential knowledge about tritoon vs pontoon boats.

Also, tips on choosing the suitable tritoon or pontoon vessel will be delivered throughout the article, so make sure you stay with us until the end!

The Definition of Pontoon and Tritoon Watercraft


1. What is a pontoon boat?

A pontoon boat is a type of vessel consisting of two air tubes that allow it to hover on the water’s surface. These crafts have a wide range of sizes. They are generally between 16 and 27 feet in length.

A pontoon boat needs at least 25 HP and can carry up to 20 passengers. The boat’s size, the normal weight it can carry, as well as the activities you would be undertaking all influence the velocity and engine.

Since a pontoon vessel has more to maneuver and demands more power for movements due to its design, the boat engine will need to work harder than other boat motors.

For instance, an ideal pontoon vessel will be 18 feet in length and include a 60-HP engine. This type of watercraft will be certainly suitable enough for engaging in activities, such as cruising or fishing on a somewhat quiet lake.

2. What is a tritoon boat?

A tritoon is a tri hull pontoon vessel. Tritoons have three pipes beneath the boats instead of two huge aluminum tubes. These help distribute the weight equally across the surface of water. The vessels themselves range in length from 22 to 30 ft. They can transport 14 to 25 passengers on average.

The boat is also more steady and able to maintain a comfortable ride throughout the rough seas with three tubes.

When a central pipe is included to the structure, it may be positioned somewhat lower or have a bigger size.

A triple toon watercraft can manage more power than a traditional pontoon boat with two hulls. For instance, a motor must have a minimum of 250 horsepower and a maximum of 350 horsepower.

This range is divided because the bigger a vessel and more passengers on board, a more powerful engine is required in order to efficiently operate the craft.

Pontoons Vs Tritoons: Pros and Cons


Both pontoons and tritoons have certain advantages and disadvantages that may affect the boating experience. Hence, it is important to understand the pros and cons of elliptical Tritoon vs Pontoon and be able to deal with difficult situations occurring onboard.

1. About Pontoon

  • One of the most significant benefits of a pontoon is its low cost. Since most pontoons consist of only two tubes, it’s not a component that you’ll have to spend lots of money for.
  • If you sail on a narrow area that is mostly calm and shallow, a pontoon will be suitable.
  • Among the options for a small yet strong horsepower engine, those who fit in pontoon vessels are the modest.
  • In terms of conquering big waves and traveling across, pontoon boats don’t perform really well because of their limitations in horsepower.
  • Pontoons provide less sturdiness in the water, thus you may have less control when mooring. If you plan to dock in rough seas, this is a major problem.
  • Pontoons have less buoyancy, resulting in reduced passenger numbers on the vessel. The boat will also have a relatively small gas tank, as well as less space for in-floor storage.

2. About Tritoons

  • Tritoons can travel across rough water far more stable than pontoons do and help boaters to have a smoother ride.
  • Tritoon will provide you with more engine capacity.
  • An additional toon offers more stability, which provides a larger human capacity and a larger fuel tank.
  • The cost of tritoons is considerably higher than other pontoon boats. The difference is usually $5-$10K, based on the boat’s length and the extra features, such as a pontoon with lifting strakes.
  • Carrying a tritoon boat can be problematic since the third tube will add more weight to the towing vehicle and create instability to the boat trailer.

Factors to Consider When Selecting Pontoon and Tritoon Boats

Now that you have a lot of information about pontoons and tritoons, it’s time to decide what purchase, a pontoon boat or a tritoon vessel.

In this part, we will provide a list of elements that could support you in a decision.

1. Weather and tide conditions

In comparison to a pontoon, a tritoon can readily cut into the water. Still, if you opt to sail on a lake with calm water, the powers of a tritoon might not even be required.

However, the velocity of a tritoon is useful when engaging in water activities. When it comes to situations when tidal waves go stronger and the water gets rough, tritoons will have better performance and stability.

2. Watersports

Despite its powerful capability, a tritoon is not suitable for all watersports. You should think about getting a pontoon with a powerful motor. Then, you’ll realize that a pontoon may be used for water activities.

The large size of a tritoon can have an impact on controlling and steering. It impairs maneuverability, which is vital while participating in watersports. For example, zigzagging in a tritoon will not be as pleasant as in a pontoon.

3. Fishing

If you’re an ardent fisherman who enjoys fishing on a quiet lake on a regular basis, you’re undoubtedly going to select a pontoon.

Meanwhile, tritoons might be ideal for deep-water angling in seas and huge lakes. The tritoons provide more stability while fishing, especially when the vessel is at dock, or when other crafts are passing by, as well as when the wind is blowing.


As now you are very clear about the differences between Pontoon vs Tritoon, it is easier to make a purchasing decision. If you are a person who is fond of calm seas, a pontoon boat will be just fine, but for rough water, a tritoon is better. No matter what you choose, though, please pay attention to the sizes and motors that come along with the craft.

I hope that this post was helpful to your boating experience! Did you enjoy the article? Do you want to add anything else? Please let me know and leave a comment below.

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