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Ashley Lizzi

By: Ashley Lizzi on March 3rd, 2021

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Pontoon Boat VS Swimming Pool (Which is Right for You?)

Spring is upon us, which means warmer weather for everyone.  If you live closer to the equator and its boat season year-round, consider yourself extremely lucky.

For the rest of us buried in the snow, dreaming of summer days is how we typically spend our winter.  For me, I keep a countdown until the sun is supposed to return, and that seems to help the winter blues.


If you’re looking forward to the summer days ahead and are wondering how you and the family should spend them, you may be contemplating a few different options.


Are dreading being stuck inside with the chill of air conditioning?  Are you looking for a way to bring your family and friends together?  Let’s talk about two options that could take your summer to the next level.


What do a swimming pool and a pontoon boat have in common?  They are both your ticket to summer freedom.  


As an owner of these two great choices, I know that they are rewarding in their own way.  I’m going to compare the two in an effort to help you decide.


Pontoon Boats

I know the value of jumping on the pontoon boat after a long day at work in the middle of summer.  As a Barletta pontoon owner and team member, I’ve got a good idea of what makes this a great summer escape.  


Pontoon boats have evolved in the last ten years, turning them into performance boats and changing the game of the entire boating industry.


Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of owning a pontoon boat as they directly compare to swimming pools.  You might be surprised to find that a pontoon boat is for you

Advantages of a Pontoon Boat

As pontoon boats continue to evolve, they’re no longer yesterday’s putt-around boats.  There are a plethora of different makes, models, horsepower choices, and price points to choose from.


If you have an adventurous spirit and are looking for the ultimate “staycation” a pontoon boat is for you.  There is floorplan for just about any type of boater and engines that will run with the big boys.


Today’s performance pontoons are considered the SUV of the water.  That’s because they’re multifunctional and are accessible for just about anyone, no matter the age.  They’re sturdy in the water and make boarding easier than the typical v hull boat.


If you find that you’ve outgrown your current vessel, or are looking to downsize after the kids head to college, trading in the boat is easy.  Your dealer will work with you to find the next type of boat that will meet your needs.


The maintenance required for a pontoon boat is typically simple.  That’s because outboard engines require light maintenance once to twice a year, depending on how often you use the boat.  


In the same sense, the pontoon boat itself is easy to maintain.  Usually, mild soap and water are all you need to wipe away any dirt or debris on the interior and exterior.  A scrub brush will help keep your toons free of marine growth and buildup. 


If you’re near a body of water and are ready for the ultimate adventure, a pontoon could be the answer to your summer prayers.  There are so many different types of pontoon boats you are sure to find one that meets all of your needs.  


Disadvantages of a Pontoon Boat 

Let’s talk about the not-so-great aspects of owning a pontoon boat.  If you’re unfamiliar with boating, you may not be aware of everything it takes to be on the water.  Some may find the effort behind boating is not worth it for their summer fun goals.  


Like anything man-made, you should expect common issues to arise.  The simple nature of a pontoon boat makes service work fairly easy for your dealer to accommodate.  This makes it imperative to build a relationship with your pontoon dealer.  


If you live far from the water, boating will be a challenge.  If this is the case, you will have to purchase a pontoon trailer and become familiar with towing the boat yourself.


Pulling the boat to water and launching it for a day is a big undertaking.  You should be fully invested in boating if you’re going to take on this type of effort just for a day on the water.


On that same note, if something goes wrong and the engine fails while you’re cruising the lake, you can become stranded.  I recommend having a lifeline, someone you can count on to tow you back to the boat launch if this happens.  


Like with any boat, you are capped on the person capacity.  This means you can only bring as many people on board as the boat allows.


Every boat should have a safety sticker that’s easy to find that will tell you the person capacity.  It’s critical to not overload the boat even if there is extra space on board.


Once boat season is over, it’s time to pull the boat out, winterize, and store it.  You may have it set up with your dealer that they handle this entire process.


You may have to do this yourself, however.  It can be difficult to find storage that’s large enough to fit the pontoon boat as they sit high up on a trailer and are long and narrow.  Make sure to measure the boat on the trailer before finding a storage unit.


If the thought of jumping in the lake scares you and you’re not ready to take on the leg work of owning a boat, this choice may not be for you.  The best way to figure it out would be to jump aboard a friend’s boat and see if you enjoy it.  


Swimming Pools

When I was growing up in the suburbs, the kid with the swimming pool was your best friend once summer hit.  What is more rewarding than jumping in the pool after sweating in the heat all day?


Owning a pool can take your summer to the next level and give you that release you’re looking for when it’s too hot to do anything else.  Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning this backyard oasis.  

Advantages of a Pool

Who doesn’t love cooling off and enjoying family and friends right in your own backyard?  A pool is great for homebodies and those who live far from any body of water.


If you’re looking to entertain, a pool is the ultimate at-home activity.  Kids, adults, and everyone in between can enjoy swimming, floating, diving, and cannonballing.  You will be the hit of the neighborhood.


A pool will allow you to invite a lot of people to come together at once.  Even if it’s a small pool, you decide the number of people that will be joining you, there’s no set cap.  


Ease of use is another aspect that makes swimming pools appealing.  You can walk out of your home at any time, day or night, and the pool is there for you to use.


That said, adding a pool to your home is typically seen as an investment.  This feature will stay with the home and add value if you plan to sell in the future. 


Depending on the type of pool you choose, you can start swimming at a very low price.  A small above-ground pool can be a budget-friendly way to cool down this coming summer.  You can find this type of pool starting at just under $1,000.


Putting a pool in at your home can turn your summers around and become an enjoyable activity for the whole family.  Once the pool is there, the hard part is over and you’ve got years of enjoyment to come.  

Disadvantages of a Pool

Although a backyard oasis is appealing for many reasons, there is some downside to putting a pool in at your home.  Here are some less favorable attributes of a pool.


Although pool maintenance can be done easily, the upkeep is constant.  Water testing, adding chemicals, and multiple trips to the pool store are imperative to keeping the water clean all summer long.


In many cases, you can hire a pool attendant to do this for you which is great if you’re willing to invest in the upkeep of the water.  Daily cleaning is also recommended, so if you’re up for constant maintenance, then this purchase may be worth your while.


Something to keep in mind is that a pool cannot easily be upgraded.  In most cases, a pool is a permanent fixture so if you want a larger size or higher-end finish, you’re looking at a big project.


In the same sense, you can’t sell your existing pool in an effort to downgrade if you need a smaller size or a different type.  If it’s inground, that pool is there to stay.


If you go through all the work of renovating your entire yard, re-landscaping and adding extras like a deck or hardscape, you better like the pool.


After all the effort and money you’ve spent, if you’re looking to trade out, you will have to either spend a lot of money filling it in or just sell your home.    


Even with the upside of diving into clean, cool water in the middle of the summer heat, a pool is a large investment of time and money.  Do your research and make sure you’re ready to take on this project before jumping in with boat feet.  

Compare the Two

Now that I have laid out some of the main points of owning a pontoon boat and a pool, both good and bad, I hope you have some clarity on these options.


Both choices will make your summer more enjoyable and help you cool off after a long hot day.  They’re sure to bring the family together and make everyone happy when it’s hot out.  


That said, both choices are time-consuming and you may have a lot to learn depending on which you choose.  I recommend doing extensive research on both before making the plunge.  


As far as price points go, an inground pool and a pontoon boat are very similar depending on the type you buy.  They both fit in a ballpark range of $20k-$100,000k. 


Of course, if you’re looking for the mac daddy of either choice, you can spend far more than $100K.  However, you should be able to find something that meets your needs between that wide range in both categories.  

What Will Your Summer Entail?

If you’re ready to take the next step in your shopping journey and are leaning towards a pontoon boat, we can help.  I recommend learning more about the shopping process by building a few different models online.




About Ashley Lizzi

Barletta Content Manager, 7+ years Manufacturer Marketing, Brand Management, Content Marketing, Customer Experience Bristol, IN