A dream comes true, our first Pontoon Boat!

A dream comes true, our first Pontoon Boat!

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Bass Buggy 18 DLX
Sun Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX

For several years we have discussed renting or even owning a pontoon boat. We did rent one on Mother’s Day several years ago and cruised Crystal River and King’s Bay with Mom, then in her 90’s. Now, at 100, Mom is enthused about returning to the water and we are all happy to say we will be doing that on our new Star Tracker Bass Buggy 18 DLX pontoon boat!

While our boat is ordered, we are taking this time to research accessories, must-haves, and tips others have found helpful in their experiences owning a pontoon boat. It has been enlightening and an adventure all on its own to read all the advice out there on what is needed, ie the tools, safety equipment, toys, etc., not to mention insurance, and the many ‘how-tos” on driving, trailering, loading, etc. There are several great resource sites on the web and this site, Florida Pontoon Notes, is not intended to replace them but to point you to them as we chronicle our research as new pontoon boat owners.

What I did find missing in my online research were details about pontooning in Florida. Yes, there are the light reads on trip advisor on pontoon tours, the best lakes, and a few trips taken on a pontoon to the beach or an island, but I am looking for the details. Where does one launch, what type of launch, how deep is the waterway, what to look out for, etc? As a newbie pontoon owner, when I head out on the Ocklawaha River, I want to have some knowledge of what to expect on a pontoon boat. I have paddled so many of these waterways over the years in Stumpknocker and documented these adventures in Florida Paddle Notes, however, gliding over the surface in a kayak with a few inches of draft is much different than boating the same waterway in a pontoon boat with over a foot of draft.