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Pontoon Boat Buying Guide

Tags:  pontoon boat | power boat | crestliner pontoon boat | bennington pontoon boat | pontoon trailerWrite a guide!

Know what to look for when you shop for a pontoon boat.

Pick Out a Pontoon Boat

Pick Out a Pontoon Boat

When looking at pontoon boats, consider the maximum number of people you'll usually have along. You don’t want to exceed a boat’s rated capacity, but you do want comfortable seating for everyone. Smaller pontoons, like an 18-footer, will usually carry around eight passengers. A 22-footer will have a capacity of about 12 folks, and the larger models like 26-footers and more can usually carry 16 passengers or more.

Pontoons: Two to tow inflatables, three to go skiing

Choosing a pontoon boat with two tubes or with three tubes depends on how fast you want to go and what your budget will afford. If you need more speed for activities like skiing, then go with three tubes; more floatation means you can get up on plane, and can obtain speeds from 30 mph to more than 50 mph. If leisurely cruising is your thing, two tubes are adequate for the job and will cost less.

Pontoon boat power

For your guests' comfort you want a pontoon boat with an engine that’s quiet and doesn’t put out a lot of smoke, so 4-strokes or the newer direct-injected 2-strokes are definitely the way to go if you choose an outboard. Inboard/outboards (I/Os) are also a good choice and provide plenty of guest-friendly power. Smaller pontoons can do just fine with as little as a 25-hp engine, while mid-sized boats do well with 75- to 115-hp models, but for pontoons more than 24 feet long, nothing beats a V6 outboard or powerful I/O powerplant, especially if you have a three-tube model and want more speed.

Pontoon boat extras

Make sure your pontoon boat is rigged for all the activities you like to do. If you like to fish, look for a boat with a livewell, rod holders and fishing seats. If you go skiing, you need plenty of power, a ski tow bar or eye, and a stern ladder and rear entrance. For cruisers, you want a large fuel tank, dry storage and a camper enclosure.

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Find a Pontoon Boat on eBay Motors

Find a Pontoon Boat on eBay Motors

Once you know what pontoon boat  make and model you want, go to eBay Motors, click the Boats link under Other Vehicles, and start shopping on eBay!

  • Categories: Select the type of boat you want from the list of Categories. You can choose from Fishing Boats, Powerboats & Motorboats, Sailboats, and more. Subsequent Categories lists on the left side of listings pages will help you narrow your options further.

  • Product Finder: Drop-down menus on the Power & Fishing Boats Finder and Sailboats Finder, found on the left navigation bar, allow you to narrow listings by boat type and length.

  • Search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words by entering keyword terms into eBay's Search box or use the Advanced Search feature on eBay Motors. The search items by eBay Motors Category option allows you to specify item location by distance in miles or ZIP code.

  • Compare: Mark the checkbox next to each boat item listing that interests you. Click the Compare button to view listing and product details side-by-side.

If you can't find exactly what you want, try shopping eBay Stores, tell the eBay Community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a match becomes available.

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Buy Pontoon Boats With Confidence

Buy Pontoon Boats With Confidence

Hundreds of pontoon boats on eBay Motors will likely interest you. When trying to select the right boat, get to know exactly what you're buying, research the seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your purchase

Many sellers put a lot of time into creating their listings, making an effort to ensure they include all the information buyers need. Carefully read the details in listings for the boat(s) you consider buying and carefully review available photos. Before placing a bid or buying an item, be sure to:

  • Have all your questions answered. If you still have questions after reading the listing and reviewing the photos, contact the seller using the Ask seller a question link in the “Seller information” box in the top right corner of every boat listing. Also request additional photos if you want to see the boat from a particular angle that isn’t shown in the photos included in the listing. If you have more questions than you can address in email, get the seller’s phone number and give him/her a call. Some boat sellers even include their phone number so you can call them directly. Just remember that you need to actually bid and buy on eBay in order to be covered by eBay and PayPal protection programs (see "Buyer protection" below for more details).

  • Get delivery details. Calculate and include delivery costs into your final price. This may simply be the cost of driving across the city or state if the boat is close-by or it may mean working with a shipping company that can transport the boat from anywhere in the country. To learn more about shipping costs, ask the seller or contact DAS, an eBay Motors-approved vehicle shipping service.

  • Complete your transaction on eBay. Always complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay and PayPal protection programs (see "Buyer protection" below for more details).

  • Know your payment options. Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know. Instead, pay with PayPal for amounts less than $2,000 (including deposits), a money order, or direct bank-to-bank fund transfer.

  • Track items with eBay Toolbar. Use the free eBay Toolbar to track items you bid on and watch. It includes Account Guard, a feature that indicates when you're visiting a verified eBay or PayPal website and warns you when you enter your eBay password into an unverified site, even if it looks like eBay or PayPal.

Know your seller

Just as important as researching your boat purchase is getting to know the seller. Take time to research the seller so that you can feel positive and secure about every transaction. Key things to look for when evaluating a seller are:

  • Positive Feedback. What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed? What percentage of positive responses do they have? What do buyers and sellers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?

  • Sales history. Find out how long the seller has been a registered eBay user and look at the types of items a seller typically sells. It’s okay to buy a boat from a seller who hasn’t sold one before — many of the boat listings on eBay are from individuals selling their own boat. If the seller’s feedback seems low, take the time to look at the Feedback details; sometimes a seller's Feedback looks low until you realize that they’re a boat dealer and their Feedback count comes entirely from boat sales.

  • Terms and conditions. What are the terms and conditions of the sale? Are the terms agreeable to you? Sellers typically set terms and conditions, but you should make sure you agree with them. If not, find another seller/boat or contact the seller to find out if he/she is open to your suggestions.

  • Good communication. Once you’ve initiated communications with the seller, how is he/she communicating with you? Is the seller courteous and professional? Is the seller responsive? Once you bid on a big-ticket item such as a boat, communicate with the seller through My Messages in My eBay. All legitimate Second Chance Offer messages will come through My Messages and not to your email address alone. Always contact the seller before accepting a Second Chance Offer, and never respond to any request to send money via Western Union or other instant cash transfer service.

eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection

Vehicles purchased through eBay may be covered against fraud and material misrepresentation with eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection. For more details, please check the terms and conditions here.

Introduction and "Pick Out a Pontoon Boat" were provided by Boating World. © 2006 Trans World Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

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