How to Drive a Pontoon Boat

June 29, 2021 9:05 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Renting a pontoon to spend a day on the ocean is one of the best decisions you can make. Not only will you get to soak up the sun and splash in the water, but you’ll also make lasting memories with your friends and family.

But if you’re the one doing the driving during your pontoon rental, you’ll need to keep reading. This post will cover everything you need to know to safely operate the pontoon boat.

Safety check

Safety is your top priority when you’re behind the wheel of a pontoon boat. Before you head out, check to make sure everyone has a life vest, that the radio is working and that there’s a fire extinguisher on the vessel.

When you rent a pontoon boat from a reputable company, you can rest easy knowing that this step should already be taken care of for you.

Starting the engine

Now that the safety check is complete and everyone is on board, it’s time to get started! Double-check that the battery is turned on and the engine is at a proper level depending on how deep the water is (this is also known as the boat’s trim level).

Just like a car, a pontoon engine is started by turning a key. Before you head out, though, let the pontoon idle in neutral for a few minutes to warm up the engine.

Leaving the dock

Getting off the dock can be tricky for some people who are doing a pontoon rental for the first time. But it’s nothing to be afraid of—simply push the throttle ahead to go forward and pull it back to go in reverse. Just take it slow and remember that a pontoon carries a lot of momentum because it’s so heavy.

Steering two-tube vs. three-tube pontoons

There are two types of pontoon boats: those supported by two tubes and those supported by three. Two-tube pontoons tend to have trouble making 90- and 180-degree turns, and they may skid while turning. Be aware of those downfalls when you’re steering to avoid any accidents.

The middle tube on a three-tube pontoon helps address a two-tube pontoon’s lack of agility. However, they’re still not the best at making turns. Again, giving yourself extra time to turn is the best way to avoid a collision.


Docking can be tricky, but it’s not impossible—especially if you have some help. Approach very slowly when you’re heading back to the dock and put the engine in neutral when you’re about 15 yards away. The boat’s momentum will carry you to the dock, so all you need to do is keep your hands on the wheel and steer the boat in.

Rent your pontoon from Cool Breeze Boats & Jet Ski Rentals

If you’re interested in pontoon rental, then be sure to contact our team at Cool Breeze Boats & Jet Ski Rentals. We have 22-foot and 25-foot pontoon options to fit up to 14 of your closest friends and family. Better still, we have some of the most competitive rates in the area. Reach out today to book your trip!

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