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A pontoon on its own is a pretty fantastic thing to have. Once you have all the essentials on board, a pontoon boat is the perfect spot for family days out, parties with friends, and lazy summer afternoons. What could possibly make that better?
Although a pontoon doesn’t need much improvement, a few extra accessories can make you the envy of every boat on the water. From the almost essentials, to the total indulgences, the right accessories turn an ordinary pontoon into the life of the party.
Spending a day on your pontoon is about creating memories. With these accessories, you can have summer after summer packed full of fun. There’s so much room on a pontoon that the frivolous and the functional can sit right alongside each other.
So, read this list of the best pontoon boat accessories (see also 'The 6 Best Trolling Motors For Pontoon Boats'), and treat yourself to a lifetime of fun.
The bungee dock line is the easiest way to attach your pontoon to the deck, and a useful accessory to have on hand. Which makes bungee dock line an important must-have for any pontoon owner.
Bungee dock lines stretch, unlike traditional rope ties. As the currents ebb and flow around the pontoon, the elastic allows it to move alongside. Safer than a standard tie, the stretch makes it easier for passengers to board and disembark the boat.
Bungee cords come in several lengths, and are able to stretch and extend. Look for ones with foam floats positioned along the cord to prevent chafing, and reduce slide. An adjustable tube at either end allows you to dock the pontoon securely.
The bungee cord has multiple uses, and can be used to connect towable tubes and other flotation devices. The stretch fabric, combined with the internal cord, ensures whoever might be floating behind is having fun and staying safe.
A bungee dock line might not be the most exciting of pontoon accessories, but it’s one you don’t want to do without.
A day on the pontoon is a chance to get back to nature, really let go of your troubles, and immerse yourself in an incredible environment. And let’s be honest, we want to capture those moments on camera.
If you don’t have a cell phone dry case, then you know the stress of trying to prevent your beloved phone from coming into contact with the water. On a pontoon, that task is already pretty difficult. Spend some time on an inflatable, and it becomes impossible.
The cell phone dry case wraps your phone up in a protective layer, so it can be literally submerged in water, and come out safe on the other side.
With an adjustable lanyard keeping your phone secure around your neck, the dry case is an essential for anyone who likes to commemorate a day with lots of photos.
Look for cell phone dry bags that are suitable for all phones, and triple protected against water. They should be sensitive enough for touchscreen technology to still work, so you can use your phone exactly as you normally would.
3. Key Floats
When you’re out on your pontoon, the last thing you want to do is keep a constant eye on where your keys are. But sometimes, you have to keep a closer eye on them than you might hope. Many of us have learned that lesson the hard way.
A careless turn, a sudden movement, a couple of beers, and your keys have gone flying over the edge.
Key floats are essentially key rings. They attach to your key, and keep it afloat when an accidental tumble happens.
High quality key floats are able to hold up to six keys (and possibly more, if you have light keys). With a durable material, the float can spend a long time in saltwater before suffering any damage. Most are also brightly colored, so you can easily pick out your keys in even murky waters.
Don’t leave it until the worst has happened. Buy a key float immediately, and give yourself that security.
All parts of the pontoon are important, but the console is probably the most important. At least, this is where all the delicate – and expensive – instruments are. The console needs that extra bit of care, to keep everything running properly.
A simple cover can protect the console from all the elements. Sun, cold, rain, and wind are all kept out by a basic, yet durable, cover.
Console covers can be kept on the pontoon when it’s in storage, and during transport. The main focus should be the material, which must be waterproof, and UV resistant. Look for strong seams as well — the seams can be the weak point of the cover. Don’t forget to check the sizing, because the cover should be snug.
Whilst you’re at it, make sure to buy a full pontoon cover as well. Just make sure you get the right size for your pontoon.
A flashlight provides extra light when you need to dock in the dark. Docking lights are good, but they don’t always provide the brightness we need. A good, powerful spotlight adds safety to a difficult procedure.
Strong spotlights are always a useful item to have on hand. If you find the sun has gone down quicker than expected, a flashlight means you don’t have to start panicking. And when you’re trying to find your way off the pontoon in low light, the flashlight stops you from slipping on damp steps.
Anywhere from 2000 lumens up is a good amount of brightness for your flashlight. Avoid anything under 2000, which might not have enough power in the night. Some flashlights come with different settings, to dim the lights when you’re trying to enjoy the sunset.
Battery powered flashlights are good, but rechargeable ones are best. These often use a USB port, which makes them easy to charge during the day.
6. Boat anchor
The worst fear of any pontoon owner is watching as their boat floats away. Okay, maybe not the worst fear — but it’s definitely near the top of the list.
So you never have that moment of panic when your boat starts to drift, you need an anchor. A sand anchor is your best choice, as it allows you to dock anywhere.
Auger drills are able to power into the sand, which then fills up thanks to the pressure from the water. Then the anchor (see also 'Best Types Of Boat Anchors') simply needs to be secured to the boat, and you won’t have to worry about drift.
Sand anchors are cheap and easy to use. Good brands will include a carry case, for easy storage. Look for strong materials, to ensure your pontoon boat is secured tight.
Pontoons sit pretty high in the water, which you’ve probably already noticed by now. Rather than helplessly clambering up onto your pontoon, you want to invest in a good ladder.
We like heavy-duty ladders, with wide steps and tall handles. Heavy-duty is always good for a pontoon, because it can handle the weight of anyone who might want to board, and you can carry up any accessories. If you like to travel with a cooler full of beers and burgers, you need a ladder that can handle the weight of the cooler, the contents, and the person holding it.
The wide steps are helpful for children and anyone slightly less than sure-footed, and the tall handles improve ease of movement.
Your pontoon might already come with a ladder, in which case you only need a new one if the included ladder isn’t up to standard.
8. Cup holders
Any pontoon needs a cup holder, and clip-on cup holders guarantee your drink is always to hand — and always facing the right way up.
Cup holders are able to clip on to the railings of the pontoon, and keep your drinks safe even on choppy seas (or around excitable children).
Slightly less secure cup holders will simply loop over the railing. Although these don’t have the firm grip of the clip-on cup holder, they’re much easier to move when you want to carry your cup about.
Individual, floating cup holders are useful if you spend a lot of time in an inflatable. (This is also a fantastic way to keep your drinks cool).
No pontoon is complete without a cup holder, and you can’t really have too many. An absolute must-have for any lazy day.
9. LED lighting
Not all pontoons have to be party boats, but all pontoons can be party boats, especially when you add these LED lighting to the interior. Adding an atmosphere with a mixture of colors and patterns, LED lighting keeps the part going as the sun goes down.
Look for LED lighting that can be controlled via your phone, or that moves in time with music (see also 'The Best Sailing Songs To Inspire Your Life On The Water'). The aura these lights give off immediately build a mood, especially if they react to the bass from your favorite playlist.
Don’t just stick any LEDs on to your boat. Make sure they’re waterproof, and won’t get damaged by any splash.
Lights can also be used to decorate the side of the boat, although you must make sure they won’t impact your view when docking at the end of the day.
Many LED lights can be plugged in, or it’s possible to get them wired into the pontoon itself.
10. Dog ladder
Trying to teach a dog to climb a ladder is a master class in patience, and in learning when to give up. For many pontoon owners, the best option is just to lift the dog onto the boat.
With a dog ladder, you never have to struggle with an armful of wiggling pup again (at least, not on the boat). By using a curved shape designed specifically for doggy legs, your pooch can join you on the pontoon hassle-free.
If you have a dog that particularly enjoys swimming, leave the ladder out while you’re on the water, so they can dip in and out whenever the mood strikes.
For dogs who like to spend a lot of time in the water, a loading platform is a fantastic choice. It provides the dog with a sturdy base that they can use as a launching pad, and a simple step to climb back up when they’re thoroughly soaked.
There comes a time on the pontoon when you would like a little privacy. Whether that’s because nature has called, or you want to change out of some damp clothes, it happens to all of us.
Unfortunately, a pontoon on a busy lake isn’t exactly the most private of places. Which is when you need a pop-up tent.
A pop-up tent folds outwards to provide room for you to move about it. Particularly tall people might find the space a little cramped, but the rest of us will have no trouble standing up.
When the privacy tent is finished with, it can be folded down and packed away. They’re lightweight accessories that are useful to have on the boat, even if you don’t mind who sees you.
A pop-up tent can be used for camping and road trips, as well as beach days.
Does it feel as though the limits of the pontoon are starting to constrain the party? If so, you need a floating lake pad. Simply tether it to the back of your boat, and instantly extend the space.
A full-sized lake pad can hold up to 8 adults. Bring your portable speaker, a floating drinks cooler, and add new life to the party. There’s plenty of room to stretch out and soak up the atmosphere (and the sun).
Built using strong, durable fabrics, the floating pad can withstand the wear and tear of salt water. A simple D-ring is often all you need to tether the floating lake pad to the pontoon (using the bungee cord you already bought).
Use the floating lake pad as a place to hang out and lie back, to rest between dives, or even try some on-water yoga. Dogs are also welcome, although keep an eye on their teeth and claws. Floating lake pads might be strong, but they’re no match for a determined pooch.
13. Boat mounts
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Staying on the pontoon can be a fantastic way to enjoy a summer day (especially with all these accessories to keep you busy). But sometimes you want to spend a little more time in the water.
Boat mounts are used to store equipment whenever it’s not needed, so you aren’t stuck navigating a bulky paddleboard while you try and enjoy your beer.
If you want to try your hand at SUP – that’s Stand Up Paddleboarding – then the boat mount racks make it easier than ever. They simply clip on to the pontoon rails, and keep your paddleboard out of the way.
Owning a pontoon is the perfect opportunity to try some water sports (see also 'Jet Ski Prices (Complete Guide)'), but navigating the equipment and your boat can be a hassle. Storage solutions like boat mounts make the job that much easier, so you can spend more time having fun.
14. Speaker system
Even if you don’t want to transform your pontoon into a party boat, a decent pair of speakers is still a must-have. Any lazy day spent on the boat is immediately improved by adding some music.
Some pontoons do already come with a quality sound system installed, but often older models are lacking this necessary feature. A sound system can be wired directly into the pontoon, to bring you crisp and clear music.
Look for Bluetooth controls, and USB plugs, for a versatile way to listen to your favorite tunes.
If you fancy spending time off the pontoon, look for a portable and waterproof mini speaker. Keep this on hand for when you head out on the kayak, or want to spend some time on the floating pad.
Look for a speaker system with a heavy bass, to show off your LED lighting, and don’t forget the portable speaker. That way, the party reaches every part of the pontoon.
15. Yeti Cooler
Even if you don’t have a pontoon, you need to buy yourself a Yeti Tundra cooler. These hard shell coolers are the ultimate accessory for any lover of the outdoors, thanks to the size, strength, and incredible cooling ability. If you’ve grown tired of seeing your ice melt before midday, then you have to invest in a Yeti.
On a pontoon, the Yeti Tundra 35 is the perfect size and shape. Large enough to hold all the food and drinks, it isn’t so big you’ll be tripping over it constantly. It also provides a handy extra seating space.
Every pontoon needs a cooler. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. And there are no coolers better than the Yeti Tundra. It consistently outperforms all coolers on the market, with an innovative structure that really does keep everything icy cold. Surprisingly portable, you’ll soon find yourself bringing your Yeti on every day out.
16. Boat bar
It might sound like the ultimate level of laziness, but sometimes you just don’t want to walk over to the cooler. You’ve got yourself nice and comfortable enjoying some snacks, when you decide what you need is a cool drink to wash it all down. Only the coolers on the other side of the pontoon.
Suddenly, the boat seems to be miles wide.
The boat bar takes away the inconvenience, and lets you really sit back and enjoy your pontoon. Fixing into the standard sized rod holder, it provides a handy storage place for as many drinks and accessories as you need.
A boat bar can also double up as a table, and provide a helpful place to store the bits and pieces you like to keep on hand. Although, the most important things are probably the beers, the chips, and whatever the kids might want.
It might seem like an indulgence, but once you own it, you’ll wonder how you ever did without.
Kids and adults will all be clamoring for a go on your pontoon slide. It’s fun, and fun is what the pontoon is about. Just strap the waterslide to the side of your pontoon, and find yourself lost in hours of slipping and sliding.
Slides aren’t the cheapest attachment for your pontoon, but you earn every cent back in happiness. Nothing quite beats whooshing into the water on a slide.
Made from strong materials, a slide can provide you with years of fun. You’ll quickly find that as soon as the first hints of summer are in the air, you’ll be planning your next chance to break out the slide.
Before buying your slide, check to see if it comes with a pump, or if you need to purchase one separately. Inflatables are always a good choice for pontoon accessories, so having a pump to hand is often useful anyway.
The choice between “do I stay in the water” and “do I go and get a drink”, has never been simpler. An inflatable ice chest means you can do both!.
If you plan on spending time on your floating lake pad, the inflatable cooler is a must-have. Able to hold more than enough food and drinks for everyone enjoying the pad, you won’t know how you ever lived without it.
When space is limited on the pontoon itself, use the floating ice chest to store everything you don’t need right away. It can stay securely anchored to the boat, and you can enjoy not tripping over coolers every five minutes.
Smaller floating bars and coolers are handy for when you want some alone time. But if you plan on a quick nap on an inflatable, consider strapping yourself, and your ice chest, to the pontoon.
19. Pontoon grill
The pontoon portable grill is designed specifically for use on a boat, clipping onto the rails, so you can grill up a feast on a summer afternoon.
Grilled meats, lazy summer days, and pontoons are a match made in heaven. Look for options with plenty of grilling space that can hold plenty of burgers, hot dogs, or whatever you might be cooking. Try grilling some pineapple for a fun summer snack.
If you like to mix things up when you grill, maybe infuse your meat with a deep smoky flavor, then consider a small smoker box. These are easy to use, fit inside your grill, and can make you the most popular pontoon on the lake.
Smokers are surprisingly adaptable, and can add that delicious richness to meat, cheese, tofu, and even fish.
Having fun on a pontoon isn’t hard, especially not when you have a floating volleyball game to keep you occupied.
Fully inflated in just minutes, use anchor weights to keep the net in place, and then get the game started. Two on two is the best way to play, but if you aren’t too bothered by the rules, you can definitely expand.
Kits often come with a ball included, but get yourself an extra set to start a tournament. Extra balls are also useful if a particularly enthusiastic volley lands the ball out of immediate reach (but be sure to retrieve it later). And pick up a puncture repair kit for when play gets rough.
Inflatables can often be an expensive addition to a pontoon, but the floating volleyball net is easily affordable. Keep one tucked away in storage, and bring it out when the mood strikes.
21. Towable tubes
Pontoons aren’t exactly the most powerful boat on the water, but they can still do the job of pulling a single or double towable tube along. Meanwhile, everyone can take turns sitting in the tube, and feeling the thrill of the water rushing past.
Towable tubes come in multiple sizes, but for a pontoon, we recommend a single rider. Because a pontoon lacks the speed of sport boats, too many riders might find they just aren’t going anywhere.
Tubes make a fantastic sitting place when you want to get away from it all, and some designs even include a cup holder. Tether yourself to the back of the pontoon, and enjoy some alone time.
22. Diving ladder
The diving ladder has a different configuration to the standard ladder, with a central pole rather than two side rails. This makes it easier to launch off, and comfortable to clamber back on to.
For diving enthusiasts, the specialized ladder is a fantastic purchase. The easy-to-navigate central bar and wide spaced steps remove any obstacles that might get in your way. The grip on the steps prevents slipping, so you can ascend and descend with grace.
Dive ladders also work as regular ladders, so you can use them to get on the pontoon, and into the water. So, if you’re someone who does enjoy a trip into the depths, it’s worth getting a diving ladder.
If you haven’t tried diving, but you’re curious to give it a go, consider adding the diving ladder to your pontoon boat. Diving off a regular ladder can be intimidating, but entering the waves from this smart design feels natural.
23. Shade cover
When the sun is shining, a day out on your pontoon boat seems the natural course of action. There’s no better place to soak up the sunshine than the deck of a pontoon, with cool water to dip into when the rays get too hot.
If you live with that mindset, then you’ve probably come home from more than one day trip looking a little like a lobster. Red skin, shiny patches, and a tendency to snap. Sunburn makes us all a bit crabby.
A simple shade cover is necessary to protect you from the worst of the heat. Either attach it to your pontoon, or use it to extend the shade you already have.
Shade covers are a safety feature first, but the cool space they provide is a welcome retreat on a hot day. And also the best place to keep the cooler!
Shade cover even provide a touch of privacy.
24. Captain’s seat
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We all want to be seen as the captain of the boat, so you need the right seat to ensure everyone knows who’s in charge.
Captain’s seats use padding and a stable back to make the long hours spent sitting even more comfortable. Whether you’re navigating the ocean, or enjoying a beer in the sunshine, the captain needs a seat that can provide support.
Comfort needs to be combined with the right material, so make sure your captain’s seat is protected against moisture and UV.
Still struggling to be recognized as the captain? We recommend looking for a captain’s hat, or maybe even a compass.
If that doesn’t work, just sit back on the most comfortable chair around, and let someone else take charge.
25. Boat trash bag
It’s not exactly the first thing you want to think about when heading out on your pontoon, but you also don’t want it to be the thing you forget. A simple boat trash bag makes cleaning up so much quicker, and means you don’t have to ruin a perfect day searching the deck for lost beer cans.
The strong funnel opening and soft body makes a boat trash bag light to carry when empty, and less likely to spill when full. Attach the trash bag to your pontoon rails, and direct any empty cans in its direction.
Unfortunately, pontoon boat accessories can’t all be waterslides and LED lights. The boat trash bag is a necessity, to keep both your pontoon, and the water, free of rubbish.
While you’re shopping, maybe pick out a deck brush as well. It won’t exactly make cleaning fun, but it will make it easier. And don’t forget the mop!
Once you’ve stocked your pontoon with the essentials, you can begin to think about what might take your boat to the next level. That might be a family slide, party lights, or even a seat that keeps you comfortable for hours.
As you spend time on your pontoon boat, you’ll learn what kinds of accessories can be used to create memories with your loved ones. Pontoons are so spacious and comfortable, that there’s almost no limit to what they can handle.
But don’t get so caught up in the add-ons you forget about the essentials. No one gets excited over a boat trash bag (at least, we don’t think they do), but it’s definitely something you’ll regret not having.
Don’t forget, the best thing to have on your pontoon is family and friends!