Best Pontoon Boat Rentals

Aqua Toys Rentals is the best overall pontoon boat rental on Lake of the Ozarks

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A pontoon boat on Philpott Lake, near Roanoke, Virginia USA.


Blaine Harrington III / Getty Images

Picture this: summer sunshine bouncing off blue water, the peal of children’s laughter (or your favorite beats on the sound system), and a cooler full of chilled beers. That’s the pontoon boat life, and the great news is that you don’t have to own your own ’toon to live it. Pontoon boat rentals give you all of the fun with none of the expense and maintenance worries of boat ownership. Here we rounded up the best rental companies.

The Rundown

Best on Lake of the Ozarks: Aqua Toys Rentals

Aqua Toys Rentals

Aqua Toys Rentals

Why We Chose It: We chose Aqua Toys Rentals because of its high-quality pontoon boats and lowest price guarantee.

Pros
  • Excellent reputation established over three decades

  • All pontoon boats are new or late models

  • Guaranteed lowest rates on the lake

Cons
  • Pontoon boats may only be operated during daylight hours

  • Late returns are charged at $5 per minute

  • Renter is responsible for any damages incurred

If pontoon boating is synonymous with partying in your thesaurus, then Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks (and especially the infamous Party Cove) is the place to be. Over the last 30 years, family-owned company Aqua Toys Rentals has established its reputation as the premier pontoon boat rental company, with the lowest prices on the lake and a fleet of new and late model vessels in three sizes. Choose between 24-, 28-, and 32-foot boats, all with three tubes. 

Rentals are available for four or eight hours, although full-day rentals are compulsory on Saturdays and holidays during peak season. Four-hour rates range from about $225 to $300 depending on the pontoon boat you pick; eight-hour rates range from roughly $350 to $500. It is also possible to book multi-day rentals; however, pontoon boats may only be operated during daylight hours.

Best on Lake Cumberland: Conley Bottom Resort

Conley Bottom Resort Pontoon Boat

Conley Bottom Resort Pontoon Boat

Why We Chose It: Conley Bottom Resort stood out for its large selection of vessels and excellent reputation for customer service.

Pros
  • Family friendly, easily accessible marina

  • Five different types of pontoon boat to choose from

  • Overnight stays are permitted for multi-day bookings

Cons
  • Hourly rentals are only bookable on a walk-in basis

  • Models are not as luxurious as some of the others on this list

  • Refunds due to weather conditions are not permitted

Located in south-central Kentucky, vast Lake Cumberland has plenty of space for pontoon boat parties and fun-filled family vacations alike. Conley Bottom Resort is renowned for its friendly atmosphere and excellent service, and it has a pontoon boat fleet with five choices, ranging in size from 16 feet (suitable for two people) to 30 feet (for up to 12 people). 

All pontoons include a marine radio and CD player, a gas grill, and a cooler. The largest pontoon is also equipped with a waterslide. Rentals are charged at an hourly rate (from about $25) or a daily rate (from roughly $100 during the week and $140 on weekends), with a two-hour minimum for all models. If you book for two consecutive days or more, you are permitted to keep the pontoon out on the lake overnight.

Best on Lake Tahoe: Tahoe Blue Boat Rentals

Tahoe Blue Boat Rentals

Tahoe Blue Boat Rentals

Why We Chose It: We chose Tahoe Blue Boat Rentals because of its price-match guarantee and satisfied user reviews.

Pros
  • Three different luxury pontoon boats offered

  • Multi-day rentals offered at a discounted rate

  • Company will price match any licensed competitor’s rate

Cons
  • Expensive rates in comparison to other locations

  • No option for rental periods shorter than six hours

  • Delivery to other piers costs $99 each way

Straddling the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and a popular pontoon boating destination on account of its spectacular scenery. Rentals are notoriously expensive here; however, Tahoe Blue Boat Rentals promises to price match competitors’ rates. Located on the northern shore at Incline Village, the company delivers boats to Sand Harbor State Park for free, and to other piers for a fee. 

There are three luxury pontoon boats to choose from, ranging from the 19-foot Colt (up to five passengers) to the 25-foot South Bay Entertainer tritoon (up to 10 passengers). Rental periods are for six or eight hours, with rates starting from around $1,199. Book a multi-day rental of three days or more to receive significant discounts. Note: Rates include fuel and safety gear, a stereo with an aux cord, and a cooler with complimentary ice and water.

Best on Lake Okeechobee: Jolly Roger Marina

Jolly Roger Marina

Jolly Roger Marina

Why We Chose It: Jolly Roger Marina stood out for its long-standing reputation, affordable rates, and optional guided fishing trips.

Pros
  • Respected marina with 60 years of experience

  • Affordable set rates apply to both boat sizes

  • Professional fishing guides available for hire

Cons
  • Pontoon boats lack luxury amenities

  • No option for overnight or multi-day rentals

  • Largest pontoon boat is just 21 feet long

Trophy largemouth bass and perennially perfect weather make Lake Okeechobee one of Florida’s most popular options for pontoon boating. Established during the 1960s, Jolly Roger Marina is one of the lake’s oldest and most popular marinas with a fleet of 18- and 21-foot pontoon boats available for rent. Both sizes have Bimini tops, and either a 40 or 60 HP engine. Intended primarily for fishing, the boats are not as luxuriously equipped as others on this list. 

Choose between a half-day rental (from daylight until 11:30 a.m.) or a full-day rental (from daylight until 4:30 p.m.). Rates are exceptionally affordable compared to most other pontoon boat rental companies, with half-day rentals costing about $120 and full-day rentals priced at roughly $160, regardless of which pontoon boat you book. If you don’t want to helm the boat yourself, consider joining a professionally guided fishing trip instead.

Best on Lake Norman: Lake Effects Boat Rentals

Lake Effects Boat Rentals

Lake Effects Boat Rentals

Why We Chose It: Lake Effects Boat Rentals made our list because of its competitive rates, luxury models, and included extras for multi-day rentals.

Pros
  • Luxury vessels with powerful engines

  • Discounts available for multi-day rentals

  • Water sports equipment included in rentals of three days or more

Cons
  • Only two options to choose from

  • Daily rates increase during holiday periods

  • Water sports equipment costs extra for daily rentals

One-time holder of the record for the most boat tie-ups, Lake Norman is the largest man-made freshwater lake in North Carolina. Lake Effects Boat Rentals offers two luxurious rental options: a South Bay pontoon with a 115 HP engine and a maximum capacity of 10 people, and a Barletta tritoon with a 150 HP engine and space for up to 12 people. Both are luxuriously built for relaxation, while the Barletta is the best choice for water sports. 

Both the pontoon and tritoon come with a Bluetooth stereo and a large, shade-giving Bimini top. You can choose to rent yours on a daily basis (with prices starting from about $389) or for five days (from roughly $1,900, including free delivery), and you only pay for the gas you use. Pets are welcome as well. Daily rates are subject to increases on holidays, and towables are an optional extra.

Best on Lake Huron: Portside Pontoon Rentals

Portside Pontoon Rentals

Portside Pontoon Rentals

Why We Chose It: We chose Portside Pontoon Rentals because of its ideal location on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay and its well-priced yet luxurious fleet.

Pros
  • Luxury pontoon boat models

  • Affordable half-day and full-day rates

  • No cancellation fee in the event of unsafe weather conditions

Cons
  • Towing, smoking, and barbecuing are not permitted on board

  • Only two models to choose from

  • No option for multi-day or overnight rentals

Located on the Ontario-Michigan border, Lake Huron is the second-largest lake in the United States and provides endless opportunities for exploration by pontoon boat. Portside Pontoon Rentals is located on the shores of Saginaw Bay and offers half-day, full-day, and weekly pontoon boat rentals. Choose between a 20-foot Bentley Cruise pontoon or a 24-foot Manitou Oasis, both of which are licensed for up to 10 passengers. 

All pontoon boats are equipped with a clean and quiet 50 HP four-stroke motor, a marine radio, and all required USCG safety equipment. Rates are the same for both models, and cost about $235 for a half-day rental (from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., or 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and around $385 for a full-day rental. Portside Pontoon Rentals does have stricter safety rules than most companies, including a ban on towing, smoking, and barbecuing onboard.

Best on Lake Placid: Captain Marney’s Boat Rental

Captain Marney’s Boat Rental

Captain Marney’s Boat Rental

Why We Chose It: A family- and pet-friendly atmosphere, generous inclusions, and flexible rental periods make Captain Marney’s Boat Rental our top pick on Lake Placid.

Pros
  • Gas included for rentals under four hours

  • Discounted rates for multi-day rentals

  • Dogs are welcome on all pontoon boats

Cons
  • Open from mid-May to October only

  • Advance reservations only accepted for multi-day rentals

  • Two-hour minimum rental period for all vessels

The area around Lake Placid in New York may be most famous for winter sports, but the lake itself is also a prime pontoon boating venue in summer. Captain Marney’s Boat Rental operates from mid-May to October and prides itself on its customer service. Pontoon boats cost about $350 to $400 for a two-hour rental and $600 to $700 for a four-hour rental, depending on the model. A two-hour minimum rental period applies for all motorized crafts. And, if you rent for four hours or less, your gas is included.

Discounts apply for multi-day and weekly rates, and if you make a booking for five days or longer, you can request to have your pontoon boat delivered within 60 miles of Lake Placid village. Reservations are accepted for multi-day rentals, while hourly rentals are booked on a walk-in basis only.

Even better? Dogs are welcome on every Captain Marney’s pontoon boat.

Best on Lake Martin: Russell Marine

Russell Marine

Russell Marine

Why We Chose It: Russell Marine stood out because of its multiple locations and the high level of maintenance carried out on all boats.

Pros
  • Four locations around Lake Martin

  • Discounted rates for multi-day and weekly rentals

  • Wide variety of water sport accessories available to rent

Cons
  • Only one model offered to renters

  • Limited specifications available online

  • Rates increase from Thursday to Sunday

Alabama’s Lake Martin offers 750 miles of wooded shoreline to explore at your own leisure, and it's infinitely more enjoyable on one of the luxury pontoon boats available for rent (and sale) from Russell Marine. The pontoon boat dealership operates out of four separate Lake Martin marinas including The Ridge Marina, River North Marina, Kowaliga Marina, and Real Island Marina. Each venue has just one model on offer: a triple-tube pontoon big enough for the whole family. 

Rentals cost about $375 per day from Monday to Wednesday, and roughly $420 per day from Thursday to Sunday. Book multiple days to receive about a 15% discount on the daily rate, or opt for a weekly rental for a total cost of approximately $2,205 (25% off). Russell Marine also offers one of the largest varieties of optional add-ons on this list, with rentable water toys including wakeboards, SUP boards, combo skis, and multiple-rider tubes.

Final Verdict

There are very few, if any, pontoon boat rental companies that operate on a nationwide basis. Therefore, the best pontoon boat rental company depends primarily on where you want to go boating. If you're looking to go to the North, Lake Placid in New York and Lake Huron in Michigan are great options. Interested in a Midwest trek? Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and Lake Tahoe in Nevada are great picks. If the South is more your style, consider visiting Lake Cumberland in Kentucky, Lake Martin in Alabama, Lake Okeechobee in Florida, or Lake Norman in North Carolina. No matter where you end up, you'll need to decide on the right houseboat for you based on your budget, how many people will be joining you, and the rental period that fits your needs.

Compare the Best Pontoon Boat Rentals

Company Locations Rental Periods Pontoon Boat Capacity Cost Renter Requirement
Aqua Toys Rentals
Best on the Lake of the Ozarks
Osage Beach, MO 4 or 8 hours 10 to 12 people depending on model From $225 for four hours 18+, valid driver’s license, photo ID, and a Boating Safety Identification Card
Conley Bottom Resort
Best on Lake Cumberland
Monticello, KY Hourly, Monday to Thursday, or Friday to Sunday 2 to 12 people depending on model  From $25 per hour Valid driver’s license, rental agreement and waiver
Tahoe Blue Boat Rentals
Best on Lake Tahoe
Incline Village, NV 6 or 8 hours, multi-day rentals available 5 to 12 people depending on model From $1,199 for six hours Boating Safety Identification Card
Jolly Roger Marina
Best on Lake Okeechobee
Clewiston, FL Half day or full day Not stipulated From $120 for a half day Not stipulated
Lake Effects Boat Rentals
Best on Lake Norman
Terrell, NC Daily or for five days 10 to 12 people depending on model From $389 daily 21+, Boating Safety Education Card, valid driver’s license
Portside Pontoon Rentals
Best on Lake Huron
Sand Point, MI Half day, full day, or weekly 10 people From $235 for a half day 25+, valid driver’s license
Captain Marney’s Boat Rental
Best on Lake Placid 
Lake Placid, NY Hourly (two-hour minimum), half day, multi-day, or weekly 10 people From $350 for two hours Not stipulated
Russell Marine
Best on Lake Martin
Alexander City, AL and Equality, AL Monday to Wednesday, Thursday to Sunday, multi-day, or weekly Not stipulated From $375 from Monday to Wednesday Not stipulated 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Pontoon Boat Rentals Work?

For pontoon boat rentals, you pay a rental fee and security deposit, and then get to take out a pontoon boat for as long as your rental period lasts. Usually, you will skipper the boat yourself. 

How Much Do Pontoon Boats Cost to Rent?

The cost of renting a pontoon boat varies greatly depending on the company you choose, your location, the type of pontoon boat you rent, the duration of the rental period, and the season. Using the companies on this list as a guideline, you can expect to pay anything from about $120 upwards for a half-day rental. 

How Long Can You Rent a Pontoon Boat For?

Most pontoon boat rental companies offer rental periods lasting from two hours to a week. The most common rental periods are a half-day or full-day. 

What Do You Need to Rent a Pontoon Boat?

Most rental companies have a minimum age limit of either 18 or 21. You will need a valid driver’s license, and in some states, you may also need a Boater Safety Identification Card. You can get one by taking a free online boater safety course. A credit card for paying your security deposit is also usually required. 

How We Chose the Best Pontoon Boat Rentals

To select the top pontoon boat rentals, we gained insight from multiple round-ups published by pontoon boating magazines and manufacturers. Next, we explored the rental companies available for each destination and compared the available models they had on offer, prices, and ratings on user review platforms like Google Reviews and TripAdvisor. Some potential candidates (like Sunnyside Boat Rentals on Lake Tahoe) were eliminated because they had a lower customer rating than our winning choices; others (like Roland Martin Marina on Okeechobee) could not compete in terms of fleet variety and price.

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