Can Pontoon Boats Go In The Ocean? Everything You Should Know

When it comes to watercraft for inland water cruising, pontoon boats are an ideal option. But can pontoon boats go in the ocean? 

The answer is yes, it’s possible to have an ocean adventure on a pontoon boat.

Yet, pontoon boats don’t have the specialized design for seafaring. So, you need to choose the safest pontoon boat and have enough knowledge for the trip. 

Today, Windrider of the Rockies will provide more information about the seaworthiness of pontoon boats. Besides, there are some things you should know when using a pontoon boat in the ocean. 

Let’s read on to discover!

Can Pontoon Boats Go In The Ocean

Are the pontoon boats seaworthy?

Can Pontoon Boats Go In The Ocean?

Pontoon boats serve mainly for activities in freshwater areas. But you can make a journey to the big sea on a pontoon boat. The size, construction, and performance of a pontoon boat will determine how seaworthy it is. 

Manufacturers improve pontoon boats every year to meet the demands of customers. Thus, modern pontoon boats have a more suitable design for saltwater use. 

Sturdy pontoon boats can take you to the sea, but not too far. They can handle small and medium waves, but big waves can be a great danger. 

Therefore, if you discover the ocean on a pontoon boat, it’s better to stay near the shore. Besides, you can test your boat in the Intracoastal waters like bays or inlets first. 

Can Pontoon Boats Go In The Ocean

You should test your boat in the Intracoastal waters like bays or inlets first.

What Do You Need To Prepare Before Going In The Ocean On A Pontoon Boat?

If you want to enjoy a trip on the big blue with your pontoon boat, you need to prepare well. Here are some things you should pay attention to before taking your boat to the ocean. 

Choose a safe pontoon boat

The ocean is rough water, so a safe and sturdy pontoon boat is essential for your trip. 

A triple-hull pontoon will provide more stability to deal with big waves. Also, your boat must have 25-inch tubes or larger. 

Besides, it’s better to go on a boat with a bolted deck than a screwed deck. Screws are more prone to corrosion and damage. 

You should also have an engine with a minimum capacity of 150 hp on your pontoon boat. The larger your boat’s engine is, the better you can handle the boat in rough water.

Can Pontoon Boats Go In The Ocean

A triple-hull pontoon will provide more stability to deal with big waves.

Prevent corrosion for your boat

The commonly used material in making pontoon boats is aluminum, and they can get corroded in saltwater. 

You can cover the bottom and the tubes of your boat with anti-fouling aluminum paint to prevent corrosion. 

Remember the pontoon safety rules

Before hitting the water, you should keep the following pontoon safety rules. 

If you add any unrecommended accessories to your pontoon boat, you should remove them. They can be dangerous for you and your boat when traveling in hazardous conditions of the ocean. 

You need to check your boat thoroughly to make sure that it doesn’t have any leaks. You will be in trouble if going into open water with a leak on your boat. 

It’s necessary to read carefully and follow instructions in the manuals. The manufacturer will give you detailed guidelines to use the boat properly and safely. 

Have an experienced sailor in your crew

You will encounter higher waves in open water than inland water. Thus, you need an experienced sailor to handle your pontoon in hazardous conditions. 

You also need to learn to handle your boat and practice in a bay or inlet first. The water in these places will be calmer than in the big sea but also helps you get used to the waves.

Ensure the safety of passengers

Passengers’ safety is the most important thing you have to ensure. Everyone on the boat needs a life jacket that fits them properly. You should also have some life-saving accessories on board for any emergency.

Can Pontoon Boats Go In The Ocean

Everyone on the boat needs a life jacket that fits them properly.

Check the laws of the destination

Each state may have different laws and regulations about cruising. So, you should check the local laws before starting your journey.  

Have some sun protective gear

The sun on the ocean is very intense, and you will have no shade. So, it’s advisable to install a canopy in your pontoon boat. 

Besides, you and your passengers should apply sunscreen with high SPF. Hats and sunglasses are also indispensable to protect you against the sun. 

Be aware of the weather before hitting the water

Your pontoon boat will be at high risk of capsizing in a storm. So, don’t take your boat to the sea if a storm is coming. 

In case you are already in the ocean, it’s necessary to keep yourself vigilant. On the water, no weather forecast is accurate. 

If you notice any signs of bad weather, you should head your boat back to the shore immediately.

Can Pontoon Boats Go In The Ocean 

If you notice any signs of bad weather, you should head your boat back to the shore immediately.

How To Handle Your Pontoon Boat In Rough Water

A pontoon boat has a flat and straight hull design. Thus, it can’t ride the waves as V-shaped hull boats do. But if you know the proper way to handle it, you can keep the boat stable in rough water. 

Below are some things you should do when steering a pontoon boat in case of big waves. 

Distribute the weight evenly

When encountering rough waves, first, you need to distribute the weight on the boat evenly. Keeping the weight on both sides of the watercraft equal will help enhance the balance. 

Keep the boat’s speed

Slowing down your pontoon in big waves will increase the risk of the boat sinking. When you lower the boat speed, the nosecones of your pontoon boat will easily get dipped into the waves. 

You should maintain the boat’s speed or raise it a bit to keep the boat afloat. Trying to elevate the bow above the waterline will help you go over rough water easier. 

Steer the boat in a beneficial course

As the design of a pontoon boat is not suitable for riding way, you should maneuver it properly. Avoid directly heading into the waves and attempt to adjust the boat’s direction at an angle to the waves’ direction. 

In this way, you can keep the boat higher than the water and prevent the waves from crashing over it. You need to define the wave direction and make proper adjustments so that no corner of the boat gets dipped. 

When you encounter lightning

In some cases, you may encounter lightning storms when being on the water. Here are some tips to keep you safe from lightning.

  • If your boat has a cabin or any shelter, get into it. You will easily become the target of lightning when exposing to an open place. 
  • Quickly dry yourself if you get wet. You will be more prone to lightning when getting wet.
  • Stay away from mental objects as they can draw lightning.
  • Hold down all antennas and turn off transmitters.
  • Lie or sit down to make you lower than other targets. 

How To Maintain Your Pontoon Boat After Saltwater Trips

As we mentioned above, pontoon boats are vulnerable to saltwater. So, after you take it to the ocean, you need to maintain it in the right way. 

You can follow the instructions below to keep your pontoon boat durable after saltwater journeys.

  • Rinse your boat with fresh water after each saltwater trip. Freshwater will wash away the salt and prevent rust from forming. 
  • After rinsing, let the boat dry completely before storing or covering it. If there is any water in your pontoon boat, mildew will grow. 
  • Use seat covers or mooring covers to protect your pontoon from the weather and salt.
Can Pontoon Boats Go In The Ocean

You should cover your pontoon boat to protect it from weather or salt.

  • Clean all the saltwater stuck between the bunks of your boat if you trailer it. But you still need to apply anti-fouling paint to prevent corrosion.
  • Wash the motor of your boat according to the instruction manuals.
  • If you detect any scratches or chips of paint on your pontoon boat, you need to get them fixed. Corrosion will occur where scratches expose the metal. 
  • You should have your pontoon boat inspected every year. In this way, you can detect corroded or degraded electrical connections to make timely repairs. 

Related Posts:

Final Words

Pontoon boats are not dedicated watercraft for saltwater voyages. However, taking them to the ocean is possible as long as you are cautious enough. 

You need to have a sturdy pontoon boat and careful preparation to handle rough water. Also, you should not boat too far offshore to avoid unexpected dangers. 

We hope that you will have an exciting ocean adventure on your pontoon boat. Thank you for following this post!

Reference: Are Pontoon Boats Safe In the Ocean?

Rate this post