Pontoon furniture is intended for use on pontoon boats, which are flat-bottom boats with flotation devices known as pontoons affixed to the bottom. These boats are usually used for leisure, and they generally do not move very fast. The pontoon furniture used on the boat should be comfortable and waterproof. In some cases, the furniture is modular, and it will have extra features to enhance the convenience and comfort of the space. The aesthetics of the furniture can vary, and a pontoon owner can buy furniture to match the color and overall aesthetic of the boat.
Seating is the most common type of pontoon furniture, and the seats can vary in design and structure. The pilot or captain of the boat is likely to sit in a swiveling chair, while other passengers are likely to sit on bench seats that line the perimeter of the boat. The swivel chairs allow the pilot of the boat to see in all directions, which is useful when backing the boat away from a dock or out of a crowded slip. The bench seating for passengers maximizes available recreational space on the boat and allows for comfortable seating arrangements. The bench seats often feature cup holders or storage space beneath the seats for added convenience.
Pontoon furniture is usually designed with function in mind. The bench seats, for example, may conceal a cooler beneath the seat bottom in which foods can be stored on day outings. Cocktail tables may have built-in cup holders to prevent spilled drinks during rough waters, and the tables themselves may be foldable or otherwise modular so the passengers can tuck them away when not in use. All pontoon furniture is designed to resist water damage such as mold, mildew, and cracking or splitting, as well as sun damage such as warping or fading.
A captain's console can match the look and feel of the other pontoon furniture on the boat. This console may be fitted with openings for steering mechanisms and other instruments, and it may feature convenience items such as cup holders, radio decks, and so on. This console usually works in conjunction with the captain's swivel seat. Other options for the console may include speakers for a radio, lights, access panels to important instrumentation that is otherwise concealed, and so on. This console must be secured to the deck of the boat, and most of the other furniture is secured to the deck as well for safety.