Known for their large lounge areas and affordability, pontoon boats are a very popular boat of choice. While pontoon boats are certainly a great boat for cruising and socializing with friends, you might be wondering if they are able to tow a water skier. I will explain the answer to that question, as well as give my recommendation for the best pontoon boats for water skiing.
Can you water ski behind a pontoon boat?
Yes, a pontoon boat can pull a water skier. However, not all pontoon boats are capable of this.
In order for a pontoon boat to pull a water skier, it generally needs to have at least a 90 horsepower engine. The pontoon boat must also be able to reach a speed of at least 25 miles per hour.
If your pontoon boat is not powerful enough, it won’t generate enough thrust on the rope to keep the water skier above water. When looking at engines for your pontoon boat, you should try to get a Mercury or Yamaha, as these tend to be the most powerful engines.
Along with power, you will also need a pontoon boat that has a tow bar. Luckily, most modern pontoon boats will have this already installed. It’s usually located right above the engine, and this allows you to connect the water ski rope to the boat.
Now let’s get into some of the best pontoon boats for towing a water skier.
Best pontoon boats for water skiing
The best pontoon boats for water skiing are the Bennington 22 SSRX, the Godfrey Xperience Cruise, and the Cyprus Cay Seabreeze.
Bennington 22 SSRX
This is a great recreational pontoon boat that is perfect for towing a water skier. It has a tow bar located on the back of the boat, as well as a ladder that makes it very easy to get out of the water.
The interior of the pontoon is made from a quality fabric that stays cool in the sun and doesn’t get sticky or moldy.
There are couches in the front and back, along with two seats in the middle. I really like this boat because the center has a clear walk through that makes it easy to go between the front and back of the boat.
The only downside about this boat is that it is a bit on the luxury side. At the time of this writing, the 2023 model is retailing at $65,000. That being said, there are a bunch of used models on the market that are much more affordable.
For example, you can find a 2020 model for under $30,000.
If this is a little out of your price range, you can also check out the best jet skis for water skiing.
Godfrey Xperience Cruise Pontoon boat
Another good pontoon boat for water skiing is the Godfrey Xperience Cruise. Godfrey is on of the most popular pontoon boat manufacturers, and they have a wide range of pontoon models.
One of my absolute favorites is the Xperience Cruise. As the name suggests, this model has a solid frame that allows it to effortlessly cruise through the water. The best part about this model is its affordability. Currently, the 2023 model only costs $30,315, making it one of the most affordable pontoon boats on the market.
While there is a huge seating area, there is plenty of room around the boat’s edges. There is also a lot of storage below the seats that you can use for water skiing equipment. This boat also features a tow bar as well as a ladder.
If you are interested in purchasing this pontoon boat, you can check it out here.
Cyprus Cay Seabreeze
The Cyprus Cay Seabreeze is a stylish pontoon boat that also works great for water skiing. There is couch seating at both the front and back of the boat, which makes it a great option if you want to fit a lot of people. There is also a small deck area in the back of the boat which comes in handy for tow sports. It features a tow bar as well as a ladder. The boat has a max horsepower of 150, which is more than enough to pull a water skier.
The boat has a really nice sound system featuring four speakers with a Bluetooth and USB input to connect your phone. If you like to do some fishing, there is also a version of this model that features a table in the back of the boat that can be used for cleaning fish or for dinner.
Currently, you can choose between a 21 foot, 23 foot, and 25 foot model. The 21 foot model currently costs $46,000.
I hope this article helped explain everything you need to know when it comes to water skiing with a pontoon boat. If you have a powerful enough engine, a pontoon boat can easily pull a water skier or tubes.
That being said, most pontoon boats are good for recreational water skiing, but aren’t great for competitive levels. This is because pontoon boats don’t generate a huge wake which competitive skiers need to get airtime.
Pontoon boats also aren’t as nimble as power boats, so they can’t turn as quickly from side to side. This means it will be a little hard to generate a lot of speed on the water skis when turning from left to right.
However, as long as you don’t plan on getting a lot of airtime and doing tricks, a pontoon boat is a great boat for towing a water skier.