Why do pontoon boat sink?

Why do pontoon boat sink?

pontoon boat on water - why do pontoon boat sink

Love boating?

Then a pontoon boat can be the ideal vessel for you. Not only are they great recreational boats, but they also bring you the chance to go fishing and cruising in style.

But people have one fear – why do pontoon boats sink? in fact, the question is – Do pontoon boats sink?

Let me get straight to the point for you.

Pontoons are difficult to sink, but not completely impossible.

When it happens, it’s usually a combination of multiple problems, including human errors. It is possible to prevent a pontoon from sinking – if you know what can cause it in the first place and take necessary precautions.

In short, pontoon boats are renowned as safe and unsinkable boats.

But unlike what most people think, they are not completely unsinkable, though it is difficult to sink your pontoon boat. Pontoons can flip or capsize, too.

First, let’s understand why these boats don’t sink easily, and why such sturdy and stable boats sink.

Why Pontoon Boats are Difficult to Sink

Pontoon boats are baffled into air-tight chambers by the manufacturers to ensure that they have excellent buoyancy. 1

Then, they are sealed so that the boat won’t sink unless you rupture the pontoons. Besides, with two pontoons in one boat, one pontoon should take the weight and keep a boat afloat.

So you see, pontoon boats are not easy to sink.

When a pontoon boat gets injured, you’ll usually see the boat listing on that side.

If you follow the directions given by the manufacturer of your boat, it’s unlikely that the boat will sink – unless all its tubes are completely destroyed, though such severe damage is rare.

But do Pontoon Boats Capsize?   

Because of its design, a pontoon boat does not get submerged completely. At least, not easily.

Capsizing, or in simple words, flipping, is a more likely scenario for this kind of boat. This can happen in rough waters due to bad weather and if you are a beginner.

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All that said, flipping is also an unlikely scenario for a pontoon boat.

Your boat can tip over usually if it gets hit by a vast cresting wave in the choppy water from a bad angle. But you also need to be careful about the improper distribution of the weight of cargo and passengers.

So, make sure to distribute weight evenly. 

Why Do Pontoon Boat Sink?

By now, we have understood that pontoon boats are difficult to sink because of their well-thought design.

But you must have also realised that they are not entirely unsinkable, even though it takes extreme conditions and carelessness for that to happen.

But let’s take a look at what can cause it to sink.

a) Water in Tubes

A pontoon boat sits on tubes called pontoons, which is how they get their name.

There are two of these hollow tubes that keep the boat afloat. But if they take in water over time, it can cause the boat to sink a little lower in the water, causing it to plough.

This prevents the boat from going on plane easily.

This problem can be avoided by draining the pontoon tubes by removing the drain plugs and pouring out all the water inside.

You also have to remember to put the plugs back on properly. You should also keep checking the pontoon logs and drain plugs regularly for damage, especially if they are in the back.

b) Incorrect Speed

Pontoon boats can go up to a speed of 25 mph.

But that’s not the reason for you to drive the boat at top speed at all times.

Boats can sink when you try to handle waves in choppy waters at high speed, especially without taking proper precautions.

So, you need to be careful about the speed of the boat.

You also need to look out for the wakes of larger vessels. Slow down your pontoon boat and take it at an angle of around 45 degrees.

You should also know how to raise the bow by working the throttle when the first wave comes along. In both situations, speeding through will leave you with water in the boat.  

c) Severe Conditions

You have to remember that while pontoon boats are designed not to sink or overturn easily, they still aren’t meant for harsh conditions.

It’s a good idea to only take your boat out on sunny days when the water is calm. Turbulent water or harsh weather can make your pontoon boat struggle and sink.

After all, a pontoon boat is designed for shallow waters.

Trying to use pontoon boats to battle rain and storm is not a good idea. You should also stop trying to take up the challenge of confronting choppy waters with it.

Even if you want to take it out into the ocean, you shouldn’t go far away from the shore.  

d) Weight on the Boat

If your pontoon boat is overloaded, it can be one of the biggest reasons for the boat to sink.

You need to be particularly careful as the boat has a large deck and it’s hard to judge whether you’re overloading the boat just by looking at it. It’s only when you start to move that you realize the boat is about to sink.

So, the only way to avoid overloading is by following the guidelines and sticking to the weight capacity.

You should also ensure that the weight on the boat is evenly distributed. When too much weight sits on one side of the boat, the vehicle will plough and sink, especially if you use your boat in choppy waters. 

Note: If you are going to hunt from the pontoon boat, check out these safety precautions to take.

e) Incorrect Motor

The horsepower of the motor mounted on a pontoon boat is extremely important in keeping the boat afloat and preventing it from sinking.

The energy level of the engine needs to be somewhere between the maximum and minimum levels of the pontoon boat. Wrong motor power can cause the boat to sink.

If the motor power is too low, the boat will be incapable of getting on plane as the front of the vehicle will not lift easily.

On the other hand, if the engine is too large for the boat, your vehicle can go too fast, causing it to capsize. Going too fast can also ruin the boat’s bottom, and eventually, the boat might sink.  

You can check more reasons here.

Final Words on why pontoon boats sink

It takes a lot for a pontoon boat to sink, but in most cases, it is a series of human mistakes that can cause it.

If you are careful enough to follow the guidelines set by the manufacturer and avoid taking the boat out to face harsh weather and water conditions, you will enjoy a safe ride.