Pontoon vs. Bowrider

Do you love boats? Or are you pondering what type to buy next? Either way, you should definitely check out both pontoon and bowrider boats before making any purchase decisions. Both types of boats are popular and are typically used on lakes.

Each boat offers great features and benefits and is excellent for spending time out on the water fishing and engaging in other water activities like water skiing. In this article, we’ll compare the two types of boats and see why you should consider buying either type of boat.

I’ll also share with you how to choose between these two boat types and help you decide which one will work best for you.

FeaturesPontoon BoatsBowriders Boats
SpeedSlow MovingVery fast
Type of EngineInboard or Outboard EngineLarger Sterndrive or Outboard Engines
Fuel EfficiencyInefficientEfficient
Storage SpaceLittle storage capacity, some floor storageTons of Storage Under Seats and floors
Where It Can GoLakes and Calm WaterSeas, Rivers, and Lakes
CostCheaperMore Expensive
MaintenanceLow Maintenance CostsHigher Maintenance Costs

What’s the Difference Between a Pontoon and a Bowrider

A bowrider is ideal for anyone who enjoys quick acceleration and tight turns, such as racing around a lake. This type of boat is best for beginners because it requires less skill to operate.

A pontoon boat is stable, while a bowrider is more maneuverable. You’ll feel safer operating a pontoon boat since it won’t tip over easily. On the other hand, a bowrider is easier to steer and control.

Both boat types can be great options for going out on the water with friends and family. A pontoon boat is good for groups that like being closer together, while a bowrider lets everyone sit where he or she wants in the bow of the boat.

You might think a pontoon boat is better for kids, but a bowrider is safer for young people. Kids tend to lean forward when riding a pontoon boat, putting themselves at risk of injury. In contrast, a bowrider is designed to keep riders upright.

Bowrider Common Features

A bowrider is a type of boat used for fishing and cruising. The seating area at the bow or front of the boat makes a bowrider a bowrider. Bowriders also typically have large storage spaces, as this vessel was designed with water activities like fishing and watersports in mind.

A bowrider is usually between 17 and 35 feet long and is designed to allow anglers to stand up while fishing. They are commonly found in both freshwater and saltwater environments.

Bowriders are fast vessels and are typically maneuverable, making them fun and exciting to operate. On top of this, the boat can withstand some choppy waters, making them suitable for use in the sea.

Pros and Cons of Bowrider Boats

Bowrider boats are similar to pontoon boats in many ways. The biggest difference is that a bowrider has an open seating area in the bow. Bowriders are also relatively fuel-efficient as they move through the water smoother, faster, and easier than pontoons.


  • Adrenaline Rush
  • Fuel-Efficient
  • Large Storage Compartments


  • No Cabin
  • Less Space
  • Can be expensive to buy and maintain
  • Not as safe as pontoon boats in calm waters but safer in rough water

Pontoon Common Features

A pontoon boat is a flat bottom recreational watercraft used primarily for fishing, swimming, sightseeing, and leisurely cruising.

The most common layout for a pontoon boat is one where the hull floats above a deck supported by pontoons. This provides stability and allows the boat to turn without capsizing. Pontoons are typically attached to the underside of the hull by hinges and secured with bolts. However, some models use cleats rather than bolts.

Most pontoon boats have a single cabin located aft of the main deck, with the potential for some additional cabins forward of the main deck. Many also have a small galley area situated at the stern.

There are several types of motors commonly found on pontoon boats. Outboard motors are generally preferred for larger vessels because they provide greater power and better fuel economy than inboard engines. However, some pontoon boats are fitted with inboard engines.

Pros and Cons of Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats are great because they offer a lot of space for people to move around. They are also relatively inexpensive compared to other types of boats. There are several kinds of pontoon boats depending on how much you want to spend. You can choose between a single pontoon boat, a double pontoon boat, or even a triple pontoon boat. Each type offers something unique about it.


  • Plenty of Room
  • Highly Versatile
  • Safe and Sound
  • Affordable compared to bowriders


  • Slow
  • Poor fuel efficiency
  • Can only handle smooth water

The Verdict

Pontoon boats are like floating platforms that you can drive. These boats are affordable, slow-moving but comfortable and safe, and are well suited for spending a lazy day on the water. However, these boats don’t handle rough waters or the sea and are best suited for lake use only.

A bowrider, on the other hand, is a boat with a seating area on the bow. These vessels are typically fast, nimble, and exciting to operate. On top of this, you can bring a bowrider out to sea as they’re a hardy and durable ship.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, Pontoon boats have been around since the early 1900s, but bowriders were only invented in the 1980s. Both types of boats are fun and exciting ways to enjoy water sports, but which one is better?

Well, both types of boats offer their own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Bowriders are faster, more fun, and generally have more storage space than a pontoon. But if you’re looking for a boat that offers the most bang for your buck, go with a pontoon boat. They’re cheaper than bowriders, easier to maintain, and safer.