Tritoon vs. Pontoon – What’s the Difference?

Pontoon boats have evolved over time to become a serious choice for people in the market for a powerboat. The various styles, models, and constructions available today offer versatility to match the needs of any recreational boater.

Besides the size of the boat itself, one of the biggest differentiators for today’s pontoons is the number of tubes making up the boat’s hull. So, are you wanting a pontoon or a tritoon?

Manitou Aurora Pontoon and Manitou X-Plode Tritoon
Featured: Manitou Aurora pontoon and Manitou X-Plode tritoon

What is a tritoon?

A tritoon is a triple-hull pontoon boat. Instead of having two large aluminum tubes beneath the deck, a tritoon has a third tube in the center that distributes weight even more evenly over the water. This added stability and structure also means the boat can handle more horsepower than a typical double-hull pontoon boat. [Read about our patented V-Toon technology.]

What Are You Looking For in a Boat?

If you’re trying to decide between purchasing a pontoon or a tritoon, how and where you plan to use the boat will help you decide which will be a better fit.

Desired Activity

Many consumers will want a multipurpose boat that can match a variety of lifestyles.

If all you want from a boat is a relaxing cruise on a calm lake, a twin-tube might be all you need. If you’re looking for a stylish and stable fishing boat, both pontoons and tritoons can be optimally outfitted for anglers of all ages and levels.

If you want to reach more thrilling max speeds, or your time on the water will include pulling skiers or tubers, the choice is pretty clear. A two-tube pontoon can handle some horsepower, but adding a third tube allows for more engine, higher speeds, and more exciting options for activity on the water.

Budget vs. Desired Experience

Anyone who has experienced the difference will tell you that cost is really the only reason to go with two tubes over three. Three-tube models will come with a greater price tag, but along with that comes more stability, a smoother ride, higher cruising speeds when you want them – all underscoring a more delightful experience for everyone on board.

If you are looking for a boat to use primarily on very small bodies of water, you may not see the benefit of owning a tritoon. However, in any situation where you might contend with wind, rough water, and wakes, consider the value of the tritoon’s enhanced ride.

Think of it this way: The third tube gives you better control on the water. Instead of the water being in charge with a twin-tube pontoon, the captain is in charge on a tritoon.

For the boater who does a little of everything, a performance tritoon is well worth the investment.

Review our pontoon and tritoon models to compare the differences for yourself, or see what you can create by building your own Manitou!