If you follow boating trends, you know that pontoon boats are hot. The advances in design, functionality and performance of pontoon boats have led to pontoons and tritoons becoming quite popular in recent years. Because performance and capability is at the core of the pontoon category renaissance, it’s no wonder that the tritoon boat is a popular option. In this article, we’ll look at why you might consider a pontoon or tritoon boat, the pros and cons of going with the tritoon and finally, some specific tritoon boats for sale that you might consider.
Pontoon and tritoon boats, while often labeled as “party barges” or “floating living rooms” in the past, have become much more all-in-one boats for families looking for a variety of boating activities. Whether you’re looking to do some cruising, fishing or watersports, all can be accomplished on a spacious and versatile pontoon or tritoon boat.
So what is a pontoon boat or a tritoon boat? Let’s start with the basics. These boats typically have a large, flat deck that is mounted atop metal tubes called pontoons. Boats that have three pontoons underneath are commonly referred to as tritoons. While in the past the pontoon design simply allowed excellent buoyancy which enabled boat builders to have impressive seating and lounging capacity, advances in pontoon design have led to a performance boom in this category. The performance gains mean more water activities (as as well general speed gains) are possible.
If you’re looking at tritoon boats for sale, capacity is likely a major factor in your boating needs. Pontoon and tritoon boats have superior capacity and seating arrangements compared to most other options. While perhaps traditionally not as sleek as say a runabout, newer pontoons are looking better than ever while still offering tremendous guest capacity and spaciousness.
Another major advantage of the pontoon and tritoon is the ease of loading in and out. While hopping into a runabout often requires a step up higher and then sometimes stepping down onto seating or cushions, the pontoon usually has a doorway entry that is level with the dock. This is obviously quite useful for elderly, handicapped guests or children, but the ease of use is important to consider for any boater. Additionally, pontoons typically have great seating with the ability to get a number of guests - sometimes all of your guests - in the shade and out of the sun. If you’re browsing tritoon boats for sale, make sure to inquire or research the shade options.
Pontoons and tritoons are very popular options for new boaters. For the most part, pontoon boats are quite easy to own and operate. Whether it’s the ease of docking, the ease of getting on and off, the ease of driving the boat, boating enthusiasts praise the ease of ownership of pontoons.
In terms of boat capabilities and performance, there is no downside to going with a tritoon over a pontoon. Overall, tritoons typically will cost more and weigh more (which can potentially impact trailering). If you can handle the additional cost and the weight isn’t an issue, then definitely go with a tritoon. The performance upgrades are absolutely worth it.
The tritoon has a third tube which adds to the strength of the boat, distributes weight better and enables more powerful engines. A dual tube (pontoon) boat is going to sit lower in the water, and as you’d expect a tritoon will sit higher in the water. Sitting higher in the water reduces drag and improves performance. A tritoon will have superior acceleration and top speed which means watersports are much easier with a tritoon. The more robust and stable frame means the tritoon can handle larger engines as well.
The third tube of a tritoon plus other pontoon advancements has helped narrow the performance and handling gap between the pontoon category and the deck boat category. The third tube helps the boat handle better enabling sharper turns more similar to a V-hull deck boat. Lifting strakes on the tubes help get the pontoon further out of the water which improves handling. While a gap still exists between tritoon boats and V-hull deck boats and bow riders, the gap has been narrowed and many boaters opt for the tritoon due to the narrowed performance gap and other benefits of the pontoon category.
Pontoon boats - and even more so, tritoon boats - can handle mild conditions of waves of 2 feet or so typically as good or better than V-hulls due to the wider stance of the pontoon boat. The pontoon boat doesn’t rock as much especially during slower speed operation. However, with rougher conditions, the V-hull boats will outperform pontoon or tritoon boat. When conditions are good in a more protected saltwater bay or inlet, the pontoon or tritoon can be a very comfortable ride.
Any time you’re dealing with saltwater, corrosion is an important consideration. While aluminum tubes can typically handle saltwater environments, it’s important to research thoroughly whether the bolts, wiring and other metal components on board are resistant to saltwater corrosion. Unless the pontoon or tritoon is specifically fitted with some sort of saltwater protection system, it’s unlikely that it’s ready for regular saltwater use. Crest, for instance, offers “Salt Shield” protection as part of its saltwater package. When browsing tritoon boats for sale, talk to your sales person or broker about saltwater protection.
If you’re searching for pontoon boats or tritoon boats for sale, be sure to include Crest as part of your buying process. From the build quality and construction to the design and amenities, Crest boats are some of the best pontoon and tritoons on the market. What makes a Crest pontoon and tritoon so fabulous? Let’s look at some particulars.
The build quality of the heavy-duty framing, gates and hinges on the Crest is apparent immediately with use. Whether you’re opening storage, opening or closing the gate, everything feels strong and of the utmost quality. If browsing for a new pontoon or tritoon, be sure to open and close the gate a few times. Get a feel for the build quality.
The framing and rails on Crest pontoons and tritoons are also powder coated meaning that the boat is still going to look fabulous after years of use in the elements.
Decking, seating and other on-board amenities are simply top notch meaning your guests are comfortable all day on the water. Crest pontoons offer a number of different seating arrangements so you can find a model and package that perfectly suits you and your family.
Let's look at some Crest models currently on the market.
Here are some specific tritoon boats for sale and in stock at Tom George Yacht Group. Please contact us at any time should you have questions about any model or other pontoon boat options.
The 250 Continental is available as the SLS, the CS and the SLR2. The overall length is 25’ 8” and has a 8’ 6” beam. Performance tops out at an impressive 400hp. The Continental 250 has capacity for up to 13. Click here to learn more about the Crest 250 Continental.
Like the Continental, the Savannah is available in three seating options: the SLS, the SLR2 and the SLRC. Length overall is 26’ 6” with a 8’ 6” beam. Maximum horsepower is 400hp and it has capacity for up to 13. Click here to learn more about the Crest Savannah 250.
The Crest II has a number of seating configurations available. The length overall is 23’ 8” with a 8’ 6” beam. Maximum horsepower is either 150hp or 250hp depending on optional features, and as a tritoon, it has capacity for up to 14. Click here to read more about the Crest II 220.
The Crest Classic 250 has multiple seating layouts to consider. This versatile tritoon has an overall length of 25’ 8”, a 8’ 6” beam and capacity up to 13. Click here to read more about the Crest Classic 250.
Click here to browse all Crest models available.