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What Are the Different Types of Pontoon Furniture?

Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Updated Jan 26, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments

By golf07 — On Feb 17, 2012

We have had our pontoon boat for a long time and it still runs good, but is looking a little tired. The furniture is worn and is starting to looked cracked and isn't as comfortable to sit on.

I have been thinking about buying some replacement furniture for the boat. I am sure this is not going to be cheap, but it would still be cheaper than buying a new boat.

Also, when we are ready to sell this boat, it will be easier to sell if the furniture is in good shape.

How much can I expect to spend on replacement furniture for a smaller pontoon boat? I don't need anything fancy, but want to make sure it is marine grade quality so it will hold up well.

Which pontoon furniture manufacturers are known for having quality, reasonably priced boat furniture?

By SarahSon — On Feb 16, 2012

Cup holders are a "must have" when it comes to our pontoon boat. We have cup holders built in to our benches and also along the console.

The captain would be just as lost without the cup holders as everyone else would be. I have seen some boat accessories that don't seem to be very practical, but having a lot of places to keep your drinks from sliding all over the place is crucial.

I also have a table that I can put up and take down as needed. When we have a crowd of people or want to play cards while relaxing on the pontoon boat, this also comes in very handy.

By LisaLou — On Feb 16, 2012

We spend as much time as we can on our pontoon boat, and being comfortable when you are on the boat is important.

The water and elements can really take a toll on the furniture - even though it is water proof. If our pontoon boat is not going to be used for awhile, I always make sure it is covered.

Even though a quality pontoon boat cover is not usually very cheap, it serves its purpose well. The furniture on our boat looks almost as good as new because I have made sure to keep it protected when not in use.

By honeybees — On Feb 15, 2012

@backdraft - One of the bench seats on our pontoon boat has a built in cooler underneath it.

Even though this cooler isn't usually big enough to hold everything we need, it always gets used. If there are only a few of us on the boat for a night cruise, it is big enough to hold drinks for everybody.

If the whole family is going to be on the lake for the day, I need to bring a bigger cooler along as well.

The other bench seat has storage underneath it where we store the life jackets. Leaving as much room as possible to walk around is really nice when you have a boat full of people.

I think most pontoon boat seats have more than one purpose and have some kind of storage access like this. I wouldn't buy a pontoon boat that didn't have seats with storage underneath them.

By backdraft — On Feb 14, 2012

Most good pontoon boat furniture will also double as storage. Seats should be able to be lifted up to reveal storage chests underneath. This is not only standard but pretty necessary.

If you get a whole family on the water hoping to spend a day sunning and swimming and coving it takes a lot of equipment. You will need to pack food, drinks, clothes, safety equipment, stuff to entertain the kids and on and on and on. Sometimes it can be a real squeeze cramming everything in. Make sure you get a boat that can accommodate your needs.

By summing — On Feb 14, 2012

This might not count as pontoon boat furniture, but I think the most important thing to have on any pontoon boat is a good stereo.

Pontoon boats are about relaxing. They are not fast, they are not great to fish on, but they are great for chilling on the water, kind of like a floating living room. Every good gathering needs tunes.

Most pontoon boats these days have at least a radio built into them and many have CD players with mp3 jacks. But before you buy any pontoon boat both new or used, give the speakers a try. The may be blown out of quieter than you would expect.

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