Used Pontoon Boat For Sale’s guide to the:  5 Best Pontoon Boats For Every Budget In 2021

Our expert analysis at work. We gave our Pontoon Boat lovers one job:

Test 5 different Pontoon Boats and write reviews of the best. 

The result is 5 of the best Pontoon Boats on the market today.

Pontoon Boat?

Gone are the days when pontoon boats were seen as the ugly duckling of the boat family. 

Versatile designs, easy to use, and spacious layouts are just a few reasons why the pontoons and tritoons have become wildly popular and have experienced a tremendous increase in sales and demand over the last few years.

 Whether you plan to chill and cruise, or use it for fishing, water sports, social gatherings or just partying on the water, we’ve curated the best pontoon boat options to match your need.

In case you don’t find the one that matches your dreams, you can always customize it for your unique use, or if you’re feeling crafty why not build your own pontoon boat as a DIY project? Otherwise check out these best of models.

In this post, we’ve rounded up the 5 best pontoon boats for every budget in 2021. 

But before you decide on a pontoon boat model, here are a few things to consider:

 And speaking of price, check out our list with the 15 best pontoon boats for every budget.


From 20k – 50k US$

Bentley Navigator

If you’re looking for a pontoon that is simple, practical, and affordable, we present you the Bentley Navigator.

The Bentley Navigator Series offers a traditional center walk through floor plan with dual captain chairs and an extended rear deck. Navigator Models offer performance, enhanced style, and outstanding fit and finish. Navigating fun has never been easier!

The deck is quite spacious and it comes with 25″ Diameter pontoon logs constructed from .080 aluminum sheet are standard.

Its interior space is optimized with plenty of storage room under all lounge. Plus, a standard Bimini top for all-day comfort, a large table, premium furniture bases as well as durable and easy-to-clean plush upholstery.

Another great thing about this boat are the walk-thru gates..

With the Mercury 115 Pro XS outboard, the Bentley Navigator has a top speed of 36 mph.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Beam: 8’6”
  • Dry weight: 1860 lbs
  • Max persons: 14
  • Max capacity: 2380 lbs
  • Overall length: 20’0”
  • Tube diameter: 25”
What we like:
  • Affordable
  • Large and versatile rear lounger with cup holders
  • Built-in quality
What we don’t like:
  • Not a huge amount options
  • Ski tow bar is also not included

Bennington S Model

There’s no better place on earth to make more lasting memories than on the water, and the Bennington S Model is the one to take you there. Our craftsman approach and attention to details ensure quality, performance, and safety to last a lifetime.

It features expansive facing lounges at the bow with an optional removable bow seat, another lounge amidships and abaft, a versatile lounge that can be turned into a large sun pad for beautiful waterfront views.

All the seats were designed with luxury yacht-grade Simtex premium vinyl and abundant stowage can be found below them.

Also, a Bimini top when you feel like hanging out in the shade, a curved boarding ladder for easy access as well as a small zebra wood cocktail table for dining and entertaining.

The new SX dash panel comes with all your standard features and it’s fully customizable, as most pontoon boats are, with your choice of colors and optional steering wheels and depth/fish finders.

Some of the options for this model include a ski tow bar, pop-up cleats, rear safety rail, a changing room, and docking lights.

Rigged with a Yamaha F150 outboard it propels you pretty fast across the water with the top speed approaching 40 mph.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Beam: 8’0”
  • Dry weight: 1761 lbs
  • Max persons: 10
  • Max capacity: 2046 lbs
  • Overall length: 20’0”
  • Tube diameter: 23”
What we like:
  • Featuring double-thick cross-channels, exclusive Thru-Bolt fastener technology, and our continuous box-welded construction
  • Premium grade aluminum side-panels
What we don’t like:
  • Ski tow bar is not included
  • Smaller than other models at a similar price point


Premier 310 Escalante

When it comes to embodying sophistication, versatility, and everything we love about the pontoon lifestyle, the Premier 310 Escalante is in a class of its own.

Laid out to maximize the comfort of you and your 23 guests over two decks, this luxurious model is laden with high-quality features. Tons of seating area with soft-to-the-touch upholstery, teak tables, USB ports between the seats, refrigerated cup-holders, a Yeti cooler that pops up at the push of a button, trash cans, loads of storage space, JL audio with amps and subwoofer, and a hard side changing room/porta potti.

The elevated helm station comes with a wireless phone charger, a Simrad 12” display, a 12V outlet, tilt steering, a refrigerated cup holder among other features.

The stern of the boat is where the party happens. There you’ll find a refrigerator as well as a wine cooler, a sink, a paper towel holder, crystal caddies, and a stereo control for that extra pampering.

Plus, a ski tow bar and a ricochet boarding ladder at the expansive rear deck.

The upper deck comes with its own Bimini top, two couches, speakers, and last but certainly not least a water slide.

The Suzuki 350 Duo Prop outboard gives this boat plenty of power with speeds over 50 mph.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Beam: 10’17”
  • Dry weight: 3900 lbs
  • Max persons: 24
  • Max capacity: 4050 lbs
  • Overall length: 31’4”
  • Tube diameter: 36”
What we like:
  • Excellent performance
  • Very spacious
  • Comfortable and elegant
  • Extended rear deck
  • A wine cooler, a refrigerator, and a water slide are just a few of the many features we love about this pontoon boat
What we don’t like:
  • Very pricey
  • High maintenance costs


Harris Crowne 250

Created for the boater who has arrived, it's an NMMA Innovation Award-winning, expertly designed, exquisitely handcrafted masterpiece that will exceed the most discerning boat owner's expectations for technology, performance, luxury and styling.

The elite Crowne series boasts sleek lines, premium construction, elegant detailing, dramatic power, and agile handling, as well as a magnificent array of standard amenities and modern floorplans for truly inspired onboard entertaining. 

The extended aft deck boasts an in-water seat, a stainless-steel boarding ladder, and a ski pylon.

Another cool feature is the flip-top helm console that gives you access to all the wiring, electronics, and steering components.

And next to the captain’s chair is the entertainment center, which comes with a sink, a flip-up table, and the space for a small refrigerator.

Other features worth mentioning are the long twin lounges at the bow with loads of storage space underneath, a changing room, and a Bimini top providing shade for those in the cockpit

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Beam: 8’6”
  • Dry weight: 4211 lbs
  • Max persons: 14
  • Max capacity: 2969 lbs
  • Overall length: 25’0”
  • Tube diameter: 25”
What we like:
  • Excellent performance
  • Extended aft deck
  • Large and flexible rear lounger that comes with cup holders, a stereo control and a built-in cooler
  • It also comes with a sink
What we don’t like:
  • Extensive and expensive list of options


Barletta Corsa

High-quality amenities and great performance go hand in hand on the Barletta Corsa.

Whether you want to cruise, waterski, entertain or a combination of them all, this versatile and sophisticated pontoon boat got you covered.

Designed to give you and your friends loads of comfort and space, it features a quad layout with two sets of facing lounges both at the bow and the aft sections, a dual captain’s chair, a power Bimini top that goes up and down with a push of a button, a dinette table, a changing room, and lots of storage space both underneath the seats and in some backrests.

The elevated helm station comes with all your standard navigation features as well as plenty of legroom for the captain. But the highlight of this section is definitely the retractable dog dish so your pet doesn’t get left out of the fun.

Additionally, a curved stern with a lot of deck space, a convenient stereo remote, two speakers, a stainless-steel boarding ladder as well as a ski-tow/bumper-holder combo.

Equipped with a Mercury 250 FourStroke outboard this pontoon boat can run at speeds up to 45 mph.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Beam: 8’6”
  • Dry weight: 3593 lbs
  • Max persons: 12
  • Max capacity: 1764 lbs
  • Overall length: 25’6”
  • Tube diameter: 26”
What we like:
  • Expansive curved stern deck
  • Slide-out dog dish
  • Power Bimini top
  • USB port in every bench
What we don’t like:
  • Rails are painted

The Pontoon Boat Buyer’s Guide

Now that you’ve gone through our list of the best pontoon boats money can buy (in 3 price ranges), go deeper into the subject with our guidelines to choosing the right pontoon boat for your needs.

Remember that pontoon boats are also generally easy to maintain, but they require some rinsing down the right kind of boat paint at least every other season. 

1. Main purpose

How do you plan to use your boat most of the time? 

This will help decide which size as well as which layout you should go for. 

As we’ve mentioned above, the possibilities for customization are countless. 

But if fishing is your main priority, you might want to consider getting a pontoon boat designed specifically for that. As they come with rod holders, livewells, and fishing chairs. 

Inflatable pontoon boats are also a great alternative for fishing if you don’t want to spend much and/or only need a small watercraft. 

Likewise, if entertaining is what you want, think about the seating configuration as well as all the amenities you’ll need such as tables, changing rooms, portable toilets, among others. 

Still not sure which layout suits you best? Then check out this video for more information on the 4 most common layout types as well as their advantages.

2. 2 or 3 Pontoon Tubes? 

Once you’ve decided on the main purpose of your boat, it’s time to determine which one is ideal for your needs, twin pontoons or tritoons? 

The former is great for cruising, entertaining, and swimming. But because of its slow power, it’s not ideal for water sports and for those who enjoy zipping through the water. 

So the latter might be your best option. Although they are more expensive, they not only provide you with great speed and stability but also more storage space.

3. Environment 

Pontoon boats were NOT designed to take on big waves and saltwater. Instead, they were made for calm inland bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. 

However, there are a few models on the market that let you bring them into the sea. 

But if you’re not an experienced sailor and/or your boat is not seaworthy, maybe you should stay away from the ocean or this will cost you big time.

Having said that, if you still want to take your pontoon boat into the ocean, here are a couple of things you should know beforehand.

  • Protection

When in contact with seawater, the aluminum which your tubes are made of will corrode quite fast. 

So before going on offshore adventures, make sure the tubes as well as the lower unit are properly protected with anti-fouling and anti-corrosive paint.

And once you’re done for the day, be sure to give your boat a thorough rinse in freshwater. This will help you get rid of the dried salt deposits. 

  • Power

To handle rough waters, you’ll need a triple-hull with tubes that are at least 25 inches in diameter. In addition to a motor with no less than 150 horsepower.

Anything less will not be enough for proper ocean navigation.

4. Price 

Lastly and most important is the price, which will primarily depend on the size, brand, engine, quality of materials, and the extra amenities you eventually add. 

Also, as many great investments in life, they come with a handful of expenses that you need to include in your budget such as fuel, insurance, docking, and maintenance costs. 

Looking to buy a pontoon boat or are you a pontoon boat owner yourself?




What if your boat could fly?

At Used Pontoon Boats For Sale we've work with THOUSANDS of pontoon boat owners, each and every year, that are on the HUNT to buy or sell a pontoon boat! New seats, newer boats, better condition, vinyl decking, better layouts… These are JUST SOME of the reasons our customers tell us they want to buy or sell a boat! 

So, what’s the number #1 reason our customers want upgrade their boat?



Aside from wanting to upgrade to a newer model, many of our customers just aren’t satisfied with how fast their boat is. They were sold a dream of cruising the lake with their family and friends, water skiing, tubing, and even wakeboarding, and the 90, 115, or even 115hp motor just isn't getting it done. 

So, What Are My Options?

Get a bigger motor.

Basically, in order to go faster, you have to upgrade your motor, and many customers are looking to do just that. In recent years, tritoons have gained tons of popularity. With a centertube hull design, these tritoons operate as a trimaran, or tri hull boat. The benefits are increased stability, and better planing. The downside? Increased friction and drag. Tritoons typically start with a 150hp motor package, but can range all the way up to 600hp. The biggest obstacle to this option is the price. Upgrading to a new boat and a motor that's 200hp or better will run you close to $60,000.

Add lifting strakes.

Welding aluminum to aluminum can be challenging, and many people have concerns about accidently burning through their tubes. Not to mention, voiding manufacturers warranties. Without a guarantee on increased performance, this is a scary option. Although, in theory, lifting strakes will increase your ability to get your boat on plane, but it may not be worth the investment. 

What if my boat could fly?

Enter Hydrofin. The winners of this years IBEX, 2021 Innovation award.

So what is a Hydrofin?

Just like wings provide lift to an airplane, Hydrofin wings lift the boat to reduce drag and increase performance. Designed to carry approximately 40% of the total weight of the boat, Hydrofin wings lift the boat an incredible 4-8″. The end result is a much faster and better performing boat that saves fuel since the motor doesn’t have to work as hard.

Where are the wings mounted?

There are four wings safely mounted between the logs of the boat below the water line. The front wings are mounted near the center of gravity and the rear wings are mounted a few inches from the very back of the boat.

What if I hit something with the wings?

Similar to the boat itself, the Hydrofin wings were designed to withstand impact forces that come from normal operational use. Since the main wings are mounted 2/3 the way back on the boat, it is likely the pontoon logs will hit obstructions before hitting the wings. The wings draft only 2-4 inches, so your outboard motor will be much deeper than the wings.

Will this damage my boat?

The system was engineered to distribute the lifting forces so as not to damage your boat.

Will this work with my double pontoon boat?

Yes, the Super Fly” double pontoon system was designed to work on any new or existing double pontoon boat.

Do you have a solution for tritoon boats?

Yes, we have three different foil models. One is made for pontoons and the other two are for tritoons. Check the description of the “Super Ride” and “Super Ride XL” tritoon products to determine which is right for your boat.

Will this work with my trailer?

 Yes, the Hydrofin system can be installed on any trailer except scissor lift trailers (which lifts the boat from the deck). Depending on the style of your trailer, the guide posts (or bunks) may need to be moved forward. This can be done by the installer or you can do this on your own.

Will Hydrofin work with my boat lift?

Similar to trailers, Hydrofin works with most boat lifts. In most cases no modifications will be necessary for your lift. In some cases, simple modifications may be required. Boat lifts that pick up the boat from the deck will be the only lifts that will not work.

Can I still pull my boat
up on the beach?

Yes, owners can still beach their boats. The front Hydrofin wings are installed roughly 2/3 the way back on the boat between the pontoon logs.


Can I install this on my own?

Yes, but please watch our  installation video or review the installation manual before making the decision.  We want our customers to understand the steps before ordering the products to determine if the job is something they feel comfortable with.  The boat must be lifted and balanced to find the center of gravity.  For this reason, the installation process can be dangerous and most people may not have the tools needed to lift the boat.   If you have the means to lift the boat and find the center of gravity, we will provide an installation manual, video, and telephone support so that you understand the steps and are successful.   The installation takes two people around 6 hours to complete.

How does it attach to the boat?

For our “Super Fly” double pontoon system, the main foils mount to the hull of the boat using a structural adhesive and the struts are attached to the bottom of the deck with nuts and bolts. No drilling, welding, or riveting on the pontoon logs is needed. Our “Super Ride” and “Super Ride XL” tritoon models are installed similarly. The plates will be mounted the same way. The only difference is there will be no vertical strut to attach to the deck of the boat. The fins will simply screw into the mounting plates.

Will this work on my boat?

The system is adjustable in several ways and designed to work with just about any pontoon or tritoon boat. We have mounting hardware for 24″, 25″, and 27″ diameter logs which covers most 90’s model and newer boats. The angle of attack of the foils is adjustable which determines the lift needed for different size boat and motor configurations. All of this is determined during the installation process depending on the boat and motor size, weight, and speed ranges.

How can I determine the benefits I will gain using Hydrofin?

Call us… we’d love to hear from you! Buyers can expect between 20-40% top speed improvement and up to 50% fuel savings depending on which Hydrofin product is installed. Check out our videos to see performance gains from various boat size and motor configurations. The best bet is to reach out to us, so we can talk about your boat specifically.



Make Boating Safe & Easy For Your Pup!

Here are some quick tips on how you can make boating safe and easy for your pup!

There’s nothing better than having a good time on your boat on a sunny day. But imagine if you could take your dog with you. This could be even more fun to include him on your boating adventures. I’m sure he will enjoy going out on the water as much as you do. However, you still need to make sure that this activity is safe for your companion!

Getting from the dock onto the boat can be the most dangerous time for your puppy while boating, as the boat may be moving, and your dog may be fearful. Depending on the dog, you may find it is safest to carry your dog on and off a boat, always check-in with them to make sure they want to go for a boat ride and are comfortable with the experience. If your dog is large you'll need to spend some time teaching them how to get on board slowly and safely.

Boating with your canine could be extremely pleasant, but it could also be dangerous. That’s why you should take some precautions to avoid any unnecessary risks. I recently wanted to bring my Labrador on my friend’s boat. Nonetheless, I wasn’t sure if she could keep us company without any experience in this type of watercraft. Therefore, I’ve done some research to understand if boating is safe for dogs!

You can take your dog on a boat without any problem. Nonetheless, it can be dangerous for him to go on boating trips. Training your pooch properly and using the right gear is essential to ensure it’s safe for him. Commands will also help you to keep control over your dog on the boat. Thus, bringing him on the water can be fun and safe!

Before taking your dog on a boat, there are many things you should know. Safety must be your priority number one. Even excellent furry swimmers are at risk of drowning when there’s water around them. However, this shouldn’t restrict you to go out on the sea or the lake with your companion. At the end of your reading, you will know everything you need to take him on a boat!

In general, you can take your companion on a boat safely. However, you should always be aware of the dangers. Drowning is the main risk for canines on the sea or the lake. Hopefully, there are some precautions to take to keep them out of the water. Therefore, you should always take your dog boating if it’s safe and fun for both of you!

Another important factor to avoid unnecessary risk is the level of training. Dogs that aren’t obedient could be tempted to jump in the water when it’s not safe or do other dangerous things. That’s why untrained companions might not be taking on boats. Otherwise, you will have to always keep an eye on him to ensure he’s not in danger!

Besides, you should also ask the boat’s owner if taking your dog with you is OK. That might seem obvious, but many people won’t even think about this detail. Keep in mind that a watercraft is quite expensive and your companion could do an involuntary mess especially without any boating experience. Thus, you should respect the boat owner’s decision even if you don’t necessarily agree with him!

Can You Take Your Puppy On A Boat?

For young dogs, boating is generally more dangerous. Puppies without any experience could be more at risk of falling off the boat and drowning. However, it’s possible to take your pup on a boat. You just need to take more precautions to ensure he’s always safe!

For their first experience on a cruise, you should probably only plan to take care of your puppy. After some short boat rides and training, he will be more comfortable going out on the water with you!

Should You Take Your Dog Boating?

Even if you can go on a boat with your dog, that doesn’t mean you should do it. For example, he could be scared of water or simply don’t enjoy going on the sea or the lake. Therefore, you shouldn’t take your dog boating if he doesn’t have fun doing it. On the other hand, it could also be dangerous for him if he’s not well prepared for this type of outdoor activity. In other words, you should only bring your canine on boat rides if it’s pleasant and safe for him!

How Do You Introduce Your Dog To A Boat?

For inexperienced companions, boating can be very impressive. New environments, sounds, smells or things are always very entertaining for dogs. That’s why it could be an excellent idea to introduce them to the unfamiliar watercraft before going on a cruise with them. Let me share with you what you should do to make your dog comfortable on a boat!

Get Your Dog Familiar With Your Boat!

The first step would be to take your pup on the boat off the water if possible. The goal is mainly to slowly desensitize him to this new environment. Besides, it will be way safer for him to explore the boat without any movement produced by the water. You could also get your dog used to the engine’s sounds and the boating gear with positive reinforcement (treats, praise, etc.)!

Boating Training For Dogs!

The second important step is to train your companion before taking him on a boat. Basic obedience training should be mastered to keep control over him. Your dog needs to understand simple commands such as “Stay”, “Sit”, or “Leave It” to enjoy boating safely. Teaching him the right behavior to have on the boat before going out on the sea or the lake will also make your trips more fun and safe!

Preparation For Boating With Your Dog!

Now, it’s time to get ready for your first boating day with your furry friend. The first thing to think about is the equipment that he will need. You don’t want to forget essential things such as your canine’s life jacket, his leash, his collar or harness, some food, and plenty of fresh drinking water. Besides that, you could also bring some treats or toys to catch his attention more easily!

Things To Teach Your Dog Before Taking Him/Her On A Boat!

Apart from basic obedience training, there are more specific skills that your boating companion should have. The first thing to teach him is getting on and off the boat. For small furballs, you can simply carry them in your hands. For large dogs, you will have to teach them with training. The easiest way to get your dog on or off the boat is by luring him. You can simply guide him with treats on and off the watercraft!

Take Your Dog On The First Boat Ride!

For your pooch’s first real boat ride, you should have someone with you. Maintaining control over him and the boat might not be as easy as you think. If your dog panics or gets too excited when the boat starts moving, you will have to keep him safe. He might try to jump off the boat or have other bad behaviors that you will need to correct. However, make sure to reinforce his good behavior with praise, treats, or toys. After all, don’t forget to have fun with your dog on the boat, it’s the ultimate goal!

Optional Boating Commands For Dogs!

Once your companion is accustomed to boats, you could teach him more advanced commands. You could train him to go on or off the boat on his own with voice cues such as “Boat” or “Off”. Another interesting thing to teach your dog for boating is the command “Place”. It simply consists of telling your dog to go settle on his mat or anywhere else on the boat. If he enjoys swimming, you might want to improve your recall or the command “Come” to keep control over him even when he’s in the water!

Tips To Take Your Dog Boating Safely!

Even if your buddy is well prepared for boating, this sport always has some risks. Fortunately, there are several precautions that you can take to make your boat rides as safe as possible for everyone. Whatever activity you want to do with your dog I highly encourage you to always think safety first. Therefore, here are some tips for taking him on a boat without unnecessary risks!

Don’t Forget Your Dog’s Life Jacket!

Unfortunately, not all canines are great swimmers. Moreover, even excellent swimming dogs can be at risk of drowning especially in the sea or the ocean. Other conditions such as the weather, your companion’s age, or his health conditions could restrict him to swim well. That’s why it’s always recommended for him to wear a life jacket while he’s aboard your boat!

How To Find The Perfect Life Jack For Your Dog?

To ensure the life jacket fits well, you should try it before buying. Besides, the two most important elements to analyze about this gear are its security and comfortability. You should also consider other interesting features such as lifting handles or bright colors!

I’ve found some of this information about life jackets for dogs in this article from the Discover Boating website! [Link Open In a New Tab]

Put Some Sunscreen On!

Sunny days are ideal to enjoy time on your boat. Nonetheless, sunburns can be quite uncomfortable both for humans and dogs. Yes, your pooch could need sunscreen especially if his coat is short and light. Therefore, don’t forget to put some under his ears, on his nose, and anywhere else you can see his skin. Besides, make sure to use sunscreen made especially for pets because zinc oxide is toxic to dogs!

Don’t Tie Your Dog To Something On The Boat!

You might think that keeping your dog leashed to something on the boat is an excellent idea. Nonetheless, this could be extremely dangerous for him if he decides to jump in the water. The rope could hang your companion if it’s tied to something on the boat. You should either keep the leash in your hands or let him off-leash on the boat with his life jacket!

Bring Plenty Of Fresh Drinking Water!

You should always take a lot of fresh drinking water with you for your boat rides. This precaution will allow you to keep everybody (including your dog) hydrated on your cruise. Otherwise, your companion could be tempted to drink directly from the lake or sea. Unfortunately, lakes are usually contaminated by humans, so don’t let him drink directly from there. For seawater, drinking too much of it can also be harmful to dogs!

#1 PRO TIP? Get A Solstice Inflatable Pup Plank Pet Ramp Series for Pets

This Non-Slip Deck, Claw Friendly ramp is made of Military-Grade Materials. The Pup Plank makes getting in and out of the water easy for your furry friends. Its weighted mesh sinks below water-level to create an effortless entry-point for swimming pets. Perfect for all swimming environments including off the boat, the dock, or in the pool. Use its built in D-Rings & two 8-foot tie-ropes to secure your pup plank anywhere you go. Incredibly easy to inflate, deflate, fold, and store back in the included bag - perfect for tight storage spaces. Also incredibly light at 12 pounds, making it super portable. Features dropstitch construction creating a rigid feel when inflated for unmatched stability. Built on EVA traction pad serves as a comfortable launch pad.

There are many things you should know to take your dog on a boat safely. However, that’s not a reason not to enjoy boat rides together. Once you take the necessary precautions, it’s time to enjoy the time you spend with your buddy on the water. Playing with toys, fishing, swimming, or water sports will certainly keep you both busy all day long!

Last Thoughts About Boating With Dogs!

Finally, taking your companion on a boat is probably more complicated than you thought. However, I’m sure that all the preparation will be worth the fun time spent together on cruises. Every dog owner should have the opportunity to try boating with his buddy. If you have that chance, make the most of it without any hesitation! 

With all the information on this article, you have everything you need to take your dog on a boat. Let’s be honest, he will be way happier with you on the water than alone at home. The most important thing to remember is simply to use common sense to make your outdoor adventures safe and pleasant. I would love to see you having fun with your companion on a boat!



Do you know the #1 reason/why MOLD GROWS ON YOUR BOAT SEATS?

Mildew is one of the most common problems with vinyl boat seats. It often grows on seats when boats are covered because it thrives in warm, dark, damp places. Mildew ends up smelling and looking bad, and it can eventually break down the vinyl your seats are made of.  It’s best to take measures to prevent it whenever possible and clean it up quickly once you realize it’s become a problem.

Mold, mildew and the odor can create a huge problem even on boats that appear to be clean and well ventilated. This is because, apart from the visible areas in a boat’s cabin, there are many areas that offer the dark, moist environment that these fungi crave. Think under boat seats, ski lockers, boat covers, hanging lockers, lazarettes, under cockpit seats, chain lockers, and a host of other hidden areas, many of which are barely accessible, if at all.

So, now we know “where mold grows and why” but how do we prevent and protect our boats so mold can’t grow? Is there anything I can spray on boat seats to stop mold from growing?

Keeping mold and mildew at bay on a boat is a never-ending battle. Once mold spores land on a moist surface that offers some nutrients, they can begin to colonize. By the time mildew is visible, it can produce enough spores to spread throughout your boat. Preventative measures are the best course of action.

This year we traveled to IBEX 2021 in Tampa, Florida on the hunt to find the most amazing products that we thought would bring value to the Used Pontoon Boats For Sale Community.

What we found was Xanigo. These guys are passionate! And they are on a mission to solve one of the biggest, never-ending battles of owning a boat! Here’s what we learned, and now we can pass the news on to you! Quick tip: Preventing Mold is the Best Defense.

We tested 14 other mold and mildew cleaners, and two household products stood out: the super-chlorinated Klean-Strip Mildew Stain Remover and Spray Nine, a chlorine-free household cleaner. After that test, several readers asked about products to prevent mold. One product in particular, Concrobium Mold Control, was repeatedly suggested for testing.

We found Concrobium at Home Depot, and to make things interesting, we included two other mildew preventers that readers suggested: 3M Marine Mildew Block, a treatment formulated to follow the 3M Mildew Cleaner tested in January, and Mold Off, a product billed as an eco-friendly commercial-grade cleaner and protectant at around 30 days..

The final test was Xanigo. Hands down, wow. What if a non-evasive, 90 day re-application process with the top spray atomizer on the market for even spray and easy-to-apply process, was enough to keep your boat looking new and mold free forever. 

How We Tested

Rarely does a boater start to aggressively attack mold or mildew until it becomes a problem. For this reason, we decided to conduct a real-world test on materials that had already been contaminated with mold or mildew. First, the two products that were advertised as both protectants and mildew cleaning agents-Concrobium and Mold Off-were used to clean sections of a mildew-stained life jacket. Cleaning ability was compared to that of Klean Strip Mildew Stain Remover, which was also used on the jacket.

Next, each product was tested for its ability to keep mold from returning. Each product was applied to taped-off sections on two life jackets and three padded, vinyl berth cushions, for a total of five test panels for each product. All surfaces were cleaned and prepared as directed, and the prep and application process was repeated three times over the course of five months. For control purposes, sections were left untreated on each of the test items.

One PFD was stored in a dry locker on our test powerboat, the other in the typically damp underseat locker of a Bennington Pontoon Boat. The vinyl cushions were kept in the humid cabin of our test powerboat. Temperatures during the test period ranged from 30 to 80 degrees, and humidity was usually above the threshold for mold growth (about 60 percent). The life jackets were not used during the test.


The system consists of a highly effective, anti-microbial that remains on the surface and active for 90 days stopping single cell organisms cold in their tracks. Along with a powerful applicator that makes short time of the task to protect your marine materials from mold and mildew which plaques boat owners. The system is proven and the anti-microbial is highly recognized by the boating industry's #1 Pontoon Boating Community, Used Pontoon Boats For Sale. 


Literally a 5 - 10 minute job a few times a season saves hours of scrubbing seat vinyl, life jackets, Bimini tops or any area where mold and mildew tends to grow on your boat. 

Keep your boat's resale value intact by not allowing your interior to fall victim to mold and mildew. Also, save significant costs in time or money by eliminating heavy cleaning or detailing. 

Xanigo is an effective and ready-to-use disinfectant. Hypochlorous Acid HOCl) is a naturally occurring ingredient known for its powerful yet cleaning properties. HOCl has been shown to clean without the harmful effects. Our hospital grade 200 ppm all purpose cleaner is proven to have the longest shelf life of its kind and is Made in the USA.


Left to right: 3M Marine Mildew Block; Mold Off; Klean Strip Mildew Stain Remover; Concrobrium Mold Control

Concrobium Mold Control

The Concrobium purportedly works by forming a physical barrier over the mold, which crushes the mold spores and kills them. This also forms a protective layer to which mold cannot attach and grow. It can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including fabrics and wood, without staining, although the maker advises testing on a small area first.

To apply inside a large boat being put into storage, a fogger is the most effective means of application. Foggers can be rented at Home Depot stores for $25 per day. The fogger applies the Concrobium in a fine mist that penetrates hard-to-reach areas. The Concrobium must dry in order to work properly. Pre-cleaning with bleach will inhibit performance, so any surfaces that have been cleaned with bleach must be well rinsed and dried before applying Concrobium.

In our testing, the Concrobium was not a great cleaner. Difficult stains will require scrubbing and you must let the Concrobium dry to do its work. We left it on the life jacket overnight before cleaning with a soft brush. It cleaned minor stains with scrubbing, but on tough stains, it did not match the fast-acting cleaning of the Klean Strip.

As a protectant, it was somewhat effective against mildew on all the tested surfaces. The bottle calls for reapplication on a weekly basis, although one of the vinyl panels of our test panels showed no noticeable growth at 30 days. On one cushion that got wet, mold did return, as it did for every protectant on that same cushion, except for Xanigo.

Bottom line: Concrobium could be used as part of a mold-prevention strategy. It is not a cure-all, and will need to be applied regularly to products that see a lot of moisture or abrasion, like seat cushions, and will need to be re-applied regularly. 

Mold Off

Mold Off is advertised as an environmentally friendly commercial cleaner that is available to the public for home use. It is not registered as a fungicide with the EPA. Available in 32-ounce spray bottles or gallon jugs in concentrated form, it can be diluted with water. It contains no chlorine or bleach and has a neutral pH balance.

It is advertised as a mold and mildew stain remover, but it also claims to prevent the recurrence of mold and mildew for several weeks. The maker says it can be safely used on canvas, sails, vinyl seats, carpet, and other materials. For soiled surfaces, the maker advises applying it in the sunlight, allowing it to dry overnight and then wiping off. Another coat is supposed to be applied but not wiped off.

We tested Mold Off full strength and diluted. It worked moderately well as an overnight cleaner, better than the Concrobium, but not nearly as effective as the Klean Strip. It held growth at bay on all surfaces for three weeks, when the Javelin-stored life jacket, and two vinyl panels began to show some mold growing again.

Bottom line: Mold Off protection seemed to wear off faster than Concrobium, and it is more expensive. We plan to do more controlled experiments with the Mold Off on various surfaces.

3M Marine Mildew Block

Designed as the second step of a two-step mildew cleaning and treatment, 3M Marine Mildew Block comes in a 16-ounce spray bottle and is advertised as safe for most marine surfaces. The product is not registered as a fungicide with the EPA. Like most mildew protectants, this product claims to lay down an invisible film to prohibit mold and mildew from growing.

As a protectant, the Mildew Block did well, although the spray applicator dribbled more than the Concrobium or Mold-Off. It did not do as well on the bow-locker-stored life jacket, and one of the vinyl cushion panels began to show mold along one edge after about 10 days. Since this is where the edge of a cushion met a bulkhead, the protective layer may have rubbed off during use.

Bottom line: This product appears to work as directed, but it is expensive compared to Concrobium and has more precautions concerning use.

Xanigo & Goldshield

Goldshield is an anti-microbial that provides long-term protection. Because it's positively charged, it has better adhesion to surfaces and sprays consistently with the Xanigo Atomizer. It is a water-based, ready-to-use, liquid spray that is effective against microbes on virtually any surface and most textiles. One easy application delivers on-going protection for weeks or months. On top of that, the Freedom and Defender, SPEED UP DISINFECTING PROCESS WITH A DISINFECTANT SPRAYER The Xanigo disinfectant atomizers give you the ability to disinfect a boat of any size in a very short period of time. Of course, they help you calculate the most effective time by taking into consideration the amount of flat surfaces and touch points to be covered, square footage of the space, and the dwell time of the disinfectant being utilized. Depending upon these aspects, they will even suggest the right Xanigo atomizer for the job. Available in both a corded and cordless solution!

Bottom line: This product works better than expected! It is expensive compared to the cheaper solutions but the protection lasts much longer! In some of our tests, mold was prevented for up to 90 days! Easy to use, and no need to reapply often!.


Our field test approach introduced some uncontrolled variables, but we found this approach to be helpful in determining how these products would perform when used in the field.

Because the tests used multiple panels and were repeated three times, we are confident in making a recommendation. It was interesting to note that even the untreated panels of the locker-stored life jacket stayed clean, suggesting that these sprays offer no advantage if preventative measures are taken.

As protectants, all of the products worked as advertised, but the Xanigo was the most consistent. All of the products seemed to be easily rubbed or washed away by use, so life jackets and cushions would likely need frequent treatment.

Ultimately, Xanigo is a safe, economical spray for protecting a boat or equipment that is in storage. On problem boats, one might consider fogging the boat interior prior to winter storage. We still regard active prevention-keeping the boat dry and well-ventilated-as cornerstones of any anti-mildew strategy.





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