Pontoon Boat Safety Tips

pontoon boat

Pontoon boats are known for providing just about as much fun as you can have on the water, but just because you’re having fun doesn’t mean you should drop your guard. As with any other type of boat, pontoon boats contain many potential hazards that you’ll want to avoid. The difference with a pontoon boat is that they can hold more people than many other type of boat, so the potential danger is magnified. Here at Water Werks Marine Group, we care deeply about the safety of our customers. That’s why we’ve designed this brief guide. If you need any parts or services for your pontoon boat, stop by our dealership and service center in Country Club Hills, Illinois. And hopefully you’ll remember a few tips from our guide the next time you’re out on the water.

Keep the party in check

Pontoon boats are often associated with partying because let’s face it: they’re perfect for them. They have a lot of deck space to move around on, and they can take the party anywhere the waterline allows. But the problems start when the party gets out of control. Out on the water, your party might attract the attention of other boaters who want to come join. But be careful not to let too many people aboard. Pontoon boats can quickly get overloaded, and in some extreme circumstances this can lead to the boat capsizing.

Pontoon boats are common locations for hosting college spring breakers and bachelor parties. But when the drinking gets out of control, accidents can happen. Drinking can impair a person’s motor skills to a dangerous point where even treading water becomes impossible. Drunken boaters are a major safety risk. Obviously, the captain should never drink and boat. Not only is this illegal, it can lead to horrible accidents.


Before you head out on the water, make sure you’re totally prepared. Get all your safety equipment together and test what you can to make sure it works properly. Every pontoon should have at least one and preferably two fire extinguishers that are regularly serviced. An electrical fire or gas fire can spread much more quickly than you might imagine for a vehicle sitting in the water. Next, make sure you have a full set of emergency supplies. This should include—but isn’t limited to—flares, a GPS beacon, a first aid kit, fresh water, and a space blanket. By law, you also need at least one lifejacket for every person on the boat. People might be tempted not to wear them, but these are very important, especially for anyone who’s not a strong swimmer.

Make sure to tell someone on the mainland about your plans, too. If anything happens, this will allow them to point emergency services in the right direction.

Stay in Smooth Water

Always ask, “what will the weather be like?” Not only will rain showers ruin your trip, bad weather can lead to some scary situations. Imagine being caught under a lightning storm, or next to a waterspout. You’ll want to head back to the shore, but the weather might make that a tricky proposition.

At the end of the day, pontoon boats are made for smooth waters. Choppy waters in a storm can prove very dangerous, but larger swells on the open ocean can lead to a capsize before you know it. The design of a pontoon boat hull is designed to handle warm afternoons on lakes and rivers, not the treacherous waters of the open ocean.

Don’t risk your safety and the safety of your passengers by ignoring pontoon boat safety. Make sure to pack your life jackets and emergency supplies, check the weather, and tell someone your travel plans. If you follow these rules, you’ll be in good shape to have a safe and fun boating experience. Need more supplies or service for your pontoon boat? Water Werks Marine Group has just what you need. Our location in Country Club Hills, Illinois can help you get everything you need. We proudly serve the areas of Chicago and Waukegan, Illinois, as well as Gary, Michigan City, Valparaiso, Indiana, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.