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Boats: Pontoon vs. Tritoon

Picture yourself on a sunny day, the water glistening and a gentle breeze blowing. It is the perfect day to spend on the water. But which vessel do you choose, a pontoon boat or a tritoon boat? Luckily, understanding their differences is simple, and once you know their distinctions, your choice will come down to preference and lifestyle.  

Graphic showing the difference between pontoon boats and tritoon boats

The Classic Pontoon 

Pontoons are traditionally made on two tubes, also known as toons. They are flat bottomed, relying on the buoyancy of water to float. They have been a staple of leisure boating for years. Some advantages of a pontoon boat are:


Pontoon boats tend to be on the more affordable side. Since pontoons are built with two standard tubes, instead of three, there are no extra costs for additional features. This is more budget friendly than a tritoon. 


If you are boating on shallow, calmer waters, like the Steinhatchee River, a two-tube pontoon boat is perfect. Shallow waters mean you need a boat that doesn’t go deep into the water. This keeps your pontoon from bottoming out.  


A pontoon is often referred to as a “party barge”.  They offer enough space for you to bring your family and friends onboard for an afternoon cruise.  

The Powerful Tritoon 

A tritoon boat is a pontoon boat with three tubes instead of two. This third tube makes a significant difference when added to a standard pontoon boat. It adds the ability for more engine power and performance and changes the overall use of the boat. This feature brings several advantages: 

Speed and Horsepower:

The third tube provides additional buoyancy, allowing tritoons to handle larger, more powerful engines. This makes them faster and more responsive than traditional pontoon boats. The horsepower of these boats makes them great for water sport adventures as well.  

Weight and Capacity:

While not as stable as a standard pontoon, tritoons still provide a stable platform for relaxation and more people. A 23-28ft boat will be able to hold up to 15 people because of the extra tube. The extra tube is also a factor in how the boat is transported. The added weight means that you will need a vehicle that can handle towing it.  

Which Should You Buy? Pontoon or Tritoon? 

When it’s time to decide, it comes down to price, size and use. You should choose a pontoon boat if you prioritize space, a stable ride and a more budget friendly option for leisure cruises. A tritoon boat will be perfect for you if you’re looking for a boat with more speed, capacity and one with the ability to perform well in water sports like tubing, waterskiing or wakeboarding.  

Both pontoons and tritoons offer fantastic ways to enjoy the water and you can rent both from us. Renting from us is easy and convenient. Whether it be comfort and relaxation or speed and activities that you prefer, Steinhatchee Marina offers the best of both worlds. Contact us today to start planning your next boating adventure.