Best Pontoon Boats of 2023

Pontoon boats are among the most popular boats for sale on the market right now. They started gaining popularity in the Midwest, and over time have become a coast-to-coast success because of their diverse range of options, uses, and features. With the latest selection of new pontoon boats available for 2023, boaters will find everything from serious fishing vessels to luxury pleasure craft with ample deck space for large families and more. Regardless of what your intentions are on the water, here is a round up of what we think are some of the best boats to look at this year.

best pontoon boats 2023
Check out these top picks for the best pontoon boats of 2023. Above photos by manufacturers as indicated below.

2023 Avalon Venture Quad Lounger

Avalon gave the Venture series a refresh for the 2023 model year, and the Quad Lounger brings maximized seating into the mix. With four center-facing couches (two forward and two aft) plus helm and passenger’s seating, there’s room a dozen-plus people to kick back in comfort. These are highly customizable pontoons, with items like RGB lighting, twin or triple tubes, in-tube storage, bowdeck extensions, and multiple canvass and top options left up to the choice of the buyer. You can also choose from power packages ranging from 9.9 all the way up to 400 horsepower. Pricing starts comparatively low and builds only as you add the features you, personally, want to. Added bonus: unlike most pontoons the Venture features aluminum seat frames.

avalon venture quad lounger
The Avalon Venture Quad Lounger delivers just what the name suggests: four full-sized couches. Photo via Avalon.

See Avalon Venture Quad Lounger pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Avalon for more information.

2023 Bennington 30QX

The Bennington 30QX features single or twin engine options that can propel it to speeds of over 60 mph, along with over 30 feet of boat available in up to 20,000 different color combinations. It’s packed full of standard equipment with plenty of upgrades to choose from. While we’ve been wowed by the Bennington’s QX models in the past, beginning last year standard-beam twin engine models became an option. Plus, today there’s SX Pillowtop furniture with thicker foam, and cup and phone holder console pockets. Fastback pods have also been updated to include black mesh and a stainless-steel bevel. This boat is completely customizable and pricing is going to vary significantly based on configuration, but however it’s outfitted the 30QX is one thrilling pontoon boat.

bennington pontoon boat running
Running the Bennington 30QX would get any pontoon boat enthusiast excited. Photo by Bennington.

View Bennington pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Bennington for more information.

2023 Harris Grand Mariner 250

The Harris Grand Mariner line was given a completely new look for the 2022 model year, and for 2023 the Grand Mariner 250 remains a favorite. It now features sweeping lines, a sleek electric tower with some very cool lighting to jazz up your evening cruises, and an interior complemented by luxurious soft-touch vinyl. This pontoon boat has 27’11” length overall and a trailerable 8’6″ beam, and can be had in multiple performance configurations including twin or triple tubes, 37 or 63 gallon fuel capacity, and 200 or 400 maximum horsepower packages.

harris grand mariner 250 pontoon boat
The 2022 Harris Grand Mariner has a whole new look and feel. Photo by Harris Boats.

View Harris Grand Mariner 250 pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Harris Boats for more information.

2023 Lowe SF212

For the 2023 model year Lowe rolls out not just a new pontoon boat, but an entire new series. The SF series has 19′ to 23′ models, with three different layouts: Four-Point Fishing, Forward Walk Through, and Rear Walk Through. We’ll focus on the 212SF here, because it sits right in the middle of the range and is likely to hold the most appeal to the widest range of pontoon boaters. It has two forward pedestal seats in the bow, a hallmark of pontoons designed to be fisherman-friendly, plus a bow fishing station with a 23-gallon livewell. Then in the stern there’s a huge L-lounge aft of the helm, which is split for a center walkthrough to the swim platform. The layout is ideal for mixed fishing/watersports use, which is bound to make the SF212 a winner with families that enjoy multiple forms of waterborne activities.

lowe sf212 pontoon boat
The Lowe SF212 will be a great choice when some of the kids love fishing, and others are into watersports. Photo via The Sports Center.

View Lowe SF212 pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Lowe Boats for more information.

2023 Manitou Explore

In the most heralded model year introduction for 2023 pontoons, Manitou rolled out not just a new boat but also one with a completely new power system – one which won a National Marine Manufacturer’s Innovation Award – with the Explore. The Explore is billed as Manitou’s next generation of pontoons, and features a sporty new look topsides plus furniture that looks more modern than any we’ve seen to date. The real eye-catcher, however, is the huge swim platform on the stern where an outboard would normally be. Housed inside that “Max Deck” platform there’s a Rotax Stealth 150-hp engine that delivers speeds up into the mid-30s. With a powerhead oriented horizontally as opposed to the usual vertical outboard orientation, the engine itself sits below deck level and is encased in a waterproof housing.

rotax stealth
The Rotax Stealth is a completely new type of power system. Photo via Mies Outland of St. Cloud.

From above it looks like an inboard or stern drive boat, while from below it looks like an outboard. Should you decide not to be an early adopter, the Explore is available with a regular outboard, too.

manitou explore
The Manitou Explore can be had with an outboard, but the new Rotax Stealth delivers an awesome swim platform and excellent performance. Photo via Elk Rapids Marina.

See Manitou Explore pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Manitou Pontoon Boats for more information.

2023 Nepallo 24QL ST

Nepallo is a new brand first announced in 2022 by Forrest River, the company that builds Berkshire, South Bay, and Trifeca pontoon boats. The 25-foot, five-inch 24 QL ST is their largest offerings, and it comes rigged with a Suzuki outboard, an electric Bimini top, and a Boss bluetooth stereo system. The “ST” model designation means this is a “Sport Toon,” which gets you big-ticket performance features like a third center log, a full aluminum skin under the deck, and lifting strakes. Despite having such features and performance-enhancing attributes the Nepallo carries a price tag that’s surprisingly low compared to many other pontoons of the same size and nature.

nepallo 24 ql st
Nepallo is an all-new brand, and the 24 QL ST sits at the top of their model line. Photo via Nepallo Boats

View Nepallo 24 QL ST pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Nepallo Boats for more information.

2023 Premier 330 Escalante

The Premier Escalante is ideal for big families who want to enjoy big fun at the lake. For 2023 the 330 is the one model in this line and it sits at the top of the pontoon boat heap. This is a double-decker boat with a 16-foot upper deck with extra seating, a Bimini top, and a water slide – yes, a water slide! – so it makes the ultimate party barge when you want premium entertainment on the water. Plus, Premier’s PTX package includes pontoons with a 0.125″ rough water nose cone, hydraulic steering, lifting strakes, performance sheeting, and a ski locker. Wait a sec, did we mention that the 330 Escalante has a water slide?!

premier escalante 310 pontoon boat
You want to plaster a perpetual smile on your kid’s faces? What could possibly work better than a pontoon boat with an upper deck and a water slide? Photo via St. Augustine Boat Sales

View Premier 330 Escalante pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Premier Marine for more information.

2023 Princecraft Brio 2.0

Princecraft already held the distinction of building some of the first electric pontoons on the market, in 2022 they rejuvenated the Brio line and renamed it Brio 2.0, and for the 2023 model year these remain one of the few production-built pontoons offered purely with electric propulsion. Available in 17′, 19′, and 21′ models, the Brio 2.0 is propelled by Torqeedo electric motors (producing about five to 20 horsepower) and offers an optional solar panel array. The boats also been modified for additional battery bank capacity and can handle both 24- and 48-volt power systems. Version 2.0 models have six inches of additional beam as compared to previous ones, and also enjoy a new rotomolded console and new upholstery.

princecraft brio 2.0 electric pontoon boat
The Brio 2.0 is a new electric pontoon boat offering from Princecraft. Photo by Princecraft.

View Princecraft Brio 2.0 pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Princecraft for more information.

2023 Sea-Doo Switch Compact

Sea-Doo literally rocked the pontoon boat world with the introduction of its Switch last year, and while there haven’t been any major changes (aside from pricing) for the 2023 model year, the Switch remains a seriously disruptive force in the world of pontoon boats. This is the only pontoon boat around that’s propelled by jet power and rides atop three of Sea-Doo’s Polytec tubes. The driver gets a handlebar control very similar to the handlebars on a PWC, as well as jet power perks like Intelligent Brake and Reverse and cruise control. Another way the Switch sets itself far apart from the crowd is its deck design. Accessories and furniture locks into a modular tile system, allowing you to customize the layout on a moment’s notice. Even at its base price of $21,799 MSRP for the smallest Switch, the Compact, (a pocket-sized 13-footer), the package includes a trailer and virtually everything you’ll need to launch the boat and start having fun on day one.

sea doo switch
The Sea-Doo Switch Compact redefines what a pontoon boat can be. Photo by Sea-Doo.

View Sea-Doo Switch Compact pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Sea-Doo for more information.

2023 Sun Tracker Sportfish 24 XP3

Last year we had a Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge in this mix but for 2023 Sun Tracker decided to shuffle the deck a bit. Now the biggest Barge is a 22 and the 24 has become the Sportfish 24 XP3, a tri-toon model with fishing features like a 7’6″ rodbox, a 16-gallon livewell, rod and tool holders, and fishing chairs. Serious anglers will probably opt for the Fishing Package, which adds a 24-volt electric trolling motor and a Lowrance Hook Reveal 5x fishfinder and Split Shot transducer. This isn’t just a large fishing pontoon, it’s also a sporty one. The stock 150-hp motor will get you speeds in the mid-30s, and you can hang up to 250 horses on the motor pod.

sun tracker 24 xp3
The Sun Tracker Sportfish 24 XP3 is a big, bodacious fishing pontoon. Photo via Conrad Brothers Marine.

View Sun Tracker Sportfish 24 XP3 pontoon boats for sale on Boat Trader.

Visit Sun Tracker Boats for more information.

The 2023 model year is an exciting one for pontoon boat fans, and these models are some of the prime reasons why. As you look for your own personal pick of the best pontoon boats of 2023 be sure to check out these top picks.

For more information on how to buy a pontoon boat – or how to buy any boat, for that matter – see How to Buy a Boat: The Ultimate Buying Guide.

Written by: Lenny Rudow

With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld,, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.


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