Pontoon boats are one of the fastest growing segments of boating, and for good reason — boaters are still looking for space and stability while they spend a day on the water. However, pontoon boats today are so much more than a giant flotation device. Many pontoons have features that make them versatile for cruising, enjoying the water, fishing or even watersports. Today, we’ll compare some of the top names in boats to find the best boat for cruising Lake Coeur d’Alene — or any other North Idaho waterway.
Which Pontoon Has Better Space?
During the past several decades, Harris has developed a sleek, elegant look that fits in at the yatch club and on the water. It has an open floor plan with parallel lounges, with plenty of room to stretch out. There’s also plenty of storage, with space below the seating for gear. Harris boats easily take the cake in this category.
If you’re looking for a social boat, these may not be for you. Much of the seating is forward facing in many Bennington models, which creates a sectioned-off feeling. While there is ample storage, this isn’t the floating party barge that many people want when searching for a pontoon.
Winner?: Harris Pontoons
Which Boat Has Better Accessibility?
Getting on and off your boat is important, and Harris boats have this covered. At the aft of the boat, there’s a swim platform with lounge seating that can be easily converted into a 4-foot-square sunbed. The interior is surrounded with fencing and safety railing to keep kids safe, as well as retractable side ladders, and dash features are easy to use.
The engine is easy to access on many Bennington models, so if you plan to service your vessel yourself, that is a bonus. However, many people in North Idaho have their boats professionally serviced to ensure quality and performance. However, the easy access swim ladder is a pro for everyone, because it’s easily accessible and easy to use.
Do Harris Pontoons or Bennington Perform Better?
Like we mentioned, pontoons aren’t just for floating anymore. Now, designers are creating vessels that can multitask, and Harris is one of those forward-thinking designers. Their boats are noticeably more maneuverable than pontoons have been in the past, with speed and agility, thanks to twin engine and joystick control in many boats.
This boat does make up for some lost points with good engine performance, including high speeds. Modern Bennington pontoons can get from zero-to-30-mph in less than five seconds.
Winner?: Harris Pontoons
So Should You Buy a Harris or Bennington Pontoon?
The title of best pontoon boat isn’t really a hard choice for us: Harris pontoons wins by leaps and bounds. With an open floorplan, this boat is versatile, perfect for families or large group events. The maneuverability is perfect for docking or navigating a river.
Hagadone Marine Center has a great selection of new and pre-owned boats available at our Coeur d’Alene warehouse, including a vast selection of Harris pontoon boats. Give us a call to set up an appointment to test drive one today.