Jo Trizila
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The pontoon boat has been universally cherished for more than a decade by people from a variety of backgrounds, ages and ethnicities. Now they are taking on a new generation of boaters.

“Recreational boating is more popular than ever,” said Bron Beal, executive director of the DFW Boat Expo, coming to Dallas’ Market Hall in July. “Included in that, we have seen a huge increase in sales of pontoon boats in recent years. They are such a big bang for the buck.”

Pontoon boats have led the recovery of the recreational boating industry since the economic downturn in 2008. At one point, they accounted for one in every three new boats sold. Pontoons have come a long way since their first appearance in 1952 and even since their increasing popularity 10 years ago. The upswing of pontoon sales is predicted to last for a while, as there are a number of lifelong boaters looking for a pontoon product. But there is also growth in the type of buyer – people in their 20s and 30s with families are interested in pontoons. The wide range of prospective buyers suggests that pontoons are not only here, they’re here to stay.

Pontoons used to be viewed as somewhat conventional vessels with nice-looking amenities. Their popularity has been propelled since outboard engines have become quieter, increased in power and the boats have become faster. The versatility and affordability of these boats also helps the upward trend.

There are three types of pontoon boat buyers: those who already owned a pontoon, those who defected from another type of boat and people who are new to boating. All three types have seen growth, increasing the number of pontoon sales. Each type of buyer contributes to pontoon sales growth equally, demonstrating that pontoon boats have become more popular among a variety of consumers.

Today’s pontoons come with coordinated graphics, a choice of rail skin colors, high-quality vinyl seats and tough marine-grade carpet. Every inch of these boats are made for maximum seating and storage, leading some folks to see them as a bit utilitarian. Even with a full load of people, pontoon boats are designed to plane easily with less horsepower. Stable platforms are easy to master when it comes to launching, retrieving and cruising on the water.


          Thursday, July 20, 3-8 p.m. (Free admission)

          Friday, July 21, 3-8 p.m. (Free admission)

          Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

          Sunday, July 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


Where: Dallas Market Hall

2200 Stemmons Freeway

Dallas, TX 75207


Cost & Ticket Information:

          $12 Adults

          $6 Children (ages 5-13)

          Free (Children under 5)

Tickets for the show are only available at the door

Parking is free of charge


Boating Brands Represented:

Bennington, Regal, Yamaha, South Bay, Four Winns, Triton, Glastron, Blue Wave, Berkshire Pontoons, Xpress Boats, Sea Hunt, Xcursion, Cobalt Boats, Starcraft, Supra, Moomba, Chaparral, Cruisers Yachts, G3 Boats, Southwind, Nautic Star, Rinker, Hurricane, Sweetwater/Godfrey, Aqua Patio, San Pan, Polar Craft, Malibu, Axis, Correct Craft/Nautique, Legend Boats, Sportsman, Sun Chaser, Avalon, Caravelle, Epic, Clearwater, Veranda, Skeeter, Supreme, Sylvan, Monterey, Crest, Sea Fox, Sea Ray, Boston Whaler, Harris Flote Bote, Bayliner, Meridian, Grady White and more

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