How To Plan A Family Fun Day On A Pontoon Boat

Pontoon boats are great at bringing families together, a near-perfect vehicle to make precious memories that you’ll revisit for years to come.

Looking for ideas to make the most out of your next day on the water? Here are some of our favorite ways to make lasting #ManitouMoments with family and friends.


Make A Plan

What’s the next best thing to spending the day on your Manitou pontoon boat? The anticipation that comes with thinking about all the things you want to do the next time you get out on the water.

Gather your family together and share what each of you loves most about being out on your pontoon, then put together a flexible plan that takes a little of everything into consideration. Don’t be afraid to make modifications en route. Some of the best memories happen spur of the moment so be ready to take full advantage should an opportunity arise.

Know Before You Go

You can maximize your time on the water and eliminate any potential stress by taking care of the safety essentials beforehand.

Life jackets, sunscreen, and plenty of drinks and snacks are a must for family time, along with towels, a dry change of clothes, hats and sunglasses.

As for the boat itself, make sure that you’re topped off with fuel, you have both key and engine safety cutoff switch at the ready, and your dock lines and fenders are easily accessible.


Mix Things Up

The best days on a pontoon boat are often a mix of time spent cruising the open water and time spent lounging at the sandbar, enjoying all of the amenities your pontoon boat has to offer.

Start the day with a cruise to a new area, favorite beach or sandbar. Don’t be afraid to occasionally pin that throttle en route. Kids young and old will enjoy the wind in their hair and the thrilling banked turns that a boat with Manitou’s V-Toon® technology can provide. Later, anchor, float or nose into a beach for some swimming and exploration.

Tip: Bring along a waterproof camera and a set or two of masks, snorkels, and fins. The kids will have a great time capturing the fun above and below the waves.


Waterside Restaurant…Or Private Pontoon Picnic?

As lunchtime nears, consider checking out a cool waterside restaurant. Many restaurants can be found on larger lakes, in towns and cities along rivers, or in coastal regions along the Intracoastal Waterway.

Or, have your own picnic on the boat or beach. Carry-on coolers are a great way for bringing supplies on and off the boat. Removable pedestal or side-mount tables also quickly provide space to set out food and drinks aboard.


Relax…Like Only A Pontoon Can

Anyone who’s spent a day in the sun knows that the post-lunch hour is often followed by the desire to kick back and relax. Forward couches that pack in the passengers are also great for stretching out solo. Multi-position rear lounges also easily transform into recliners or massive sunbeds.

Or maybe some of your crew just wants to sit on the swim platform, relax and kick their feet in the water.

Don’t forget to cue up the tunes. Bluetooth sound systems allow any passenger to easily select their favorite playlist.


Ramp up the Fun

Ready to kick things up a notch? If your family is the type that likes to socialize, “rafting up” — or tying your pontoon alongside a friend’s pontoon in a picturesque cove or hot spot — is sure to be a hit. Sandbars are also popular spots for boaters to gather together.

If your family is more the active type, watersports are the ideal choice. Teach young children to get up on skis for that very first time, cheer on teens as they fly across the water on an inflatable, or maybe show those kids that Mom and Dad still “got it.”

It’s all good.

Good: Having a Campfire.

Better: Roasting Marshmallows at the Sandbar.

 As evening inevitably nears, don’t just run back to the dock, instead wind down your day in style.

The classic pontoon escape is the slow-rolling sunset cruise. Put out some refreshments and maybe a few hors d’oeuvres and enjoy the colors as day turns to night. A sandbar campfire is also sure to make lasting memories. Grab the marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate and make s’mores on the sand.

Or, turn that sunset cruise into an after-dark excursion to gaze up at the stars, take in the brightly lit waterside homes dotting the shoreline, or maybe just recall everyone’s favorite parts of the day as you snuggle up in the evening chill and head back to the dock.


Bonus: You Get To Do It All Again

Perhaps the best part about owning a Manitou pontoon boat? These moments don’t just take place on a once-a-year vacation, but they happen again and again every time you and your family take your boat out on the water. Don’t forget to share your #ManitouMoments!



  • Pontoon Boat Safety Checklist

    Pontoon Boat Safety Checklist

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