How to Buy a Pontoon Boat

How to Buy a Pontoon Boat

Top Notch Marine is a South Bay dealer selling pontoon boats for over 31 years. We are because we believe the South Bay company and their team are the very best. How do we know this? Because Warren Buffet only owns the best… South Bay is a Forest River company. Forest River is a company who is owned by the Berkshire Hathaway company who is owned by Warren Buffet. When it comes to integrity, quality and consistency in a business, Warren Buffet sets the standard. For more information click here.

We encourage competitive comparison. Compare South Bay to Bennington pontoons and see why we have the best pontoon boat for families. South Bay  wins against Bennington in most categories including design, overall quality and warranty. Most importantly South Bay is BUILT for SALT WATER USE!



25 Sport CD9 DC 3.0+ 25 Sport CD9 DC 3.0+    Black/Black/Black Flagstone Interior

At first glance, pontoon boats can appear quite complicated with hundreds of possible model and floor plan options, engine choices and more! Don’t despair, below I have broken the process of “How to Buy a Pontoon Boat” down to 4 simple steps. Check it out and please know we are always here to help you buy the right boat for your needs and budget. We deliver worldwide and have over 31 years experience with pontoon boats. We know what you need and how to make the process simple and fun. Bet you can’t wait until you hit the water on your awesome new pontoon boat! Thanks for reading. ~Jim Sabia

…you basically have 3 choices to make in order to determine the best balance of performance, affordability and durability for you.

  • How FAST?

    • The speed of the boat is determined by the hull configuration and the power of the engine. You basically have 3 speed ranges to choose from…
      • 0 to 23 mph – 2.0 Package and up to 150 hp.
      • 0 to 37 mph – 2.75 Performance Package and up to 200 hp.
        • Aluminum Underdeck Performance Skin, Lifting Strakes on Inside of Outer Tubes, Seastar® Hydraulic Steering, 27 Gallon Fuel Tank
      • 0 to 50 mph – 3.0 Performance Package and up to 400 hp. (500 Series 250 hp max)
        • Aluminum Underdeck Performance Skin, Lifting Strakes on the Center Tube and Inside of Outer Tubes, Seastar® Hydraulic Steering, Full Center Tube (25″), 37 Gallon Fuel Tank.
      • 0 to 75+ mph – 3.0+ Performance Package and up to 800 hp.
        • Aluminum Underdeck Performance Skin, Lifting Strakes on the Center Tube and Inside of Outer Tubes, Seastar® Hydraulic Steering, Full Center Tube (25″), Sport Ski Tow, “Pad” Running Surface, Power Assist Steering Pump, 47 Gallon Fuel Tank

Performance Done Right

At South Bay we didn’t invent precision, we didn’t invent power and we didn’t invent performance. We just put them together better than anyone else.

South Bay Superior Construction


1) SPLASH FINS Heavy-duty and welded.Image result for south bay pontoons

2) SPRAY RAIL They’re longer and stronger

3) PERFORMANCE SKIN Roll formed for better water and air flow to maximize performance and efficiency.

4) BULK HEAD Strategically placed bulkheads at vital points in the pontoon provide superior structural integrity.

5) PAD RUNNING SURFACE There’s more. On purpose!

6) LIFTING STRAKE Quicker planing for additional maneuverability and smooth ride.

7) PRESSURIZED PONTOON TUBES More strength, holds shape for quieter and smoother ride.

8) NOSE CONE 52″ nose cone rather than 48″ industry standard increases speed and reduces fuel consumption.

  • How FANCY?boat

    • The look, feel and appointments of your boat are determined by our trim levels.
      • 200 Series – “Great Value”
      • 500 Series – “Affordable Luxury”
      • 700 Series – “A Step Up”
      • Sport Series – “Performance Oriented Style and Ultimate Luxury”

Related imageSport Series RS9-DC at dusk

  • How DURABLE?

    • South Bay sets the standard for quality and durability in saltwater… Our saltwater package includes the same protection features as many yachts 10 times the price of a South Bay pontoon boat! Compare and see why we are the best choice for saltwater use!

Compare Our Quality


SO LET’S GET STARTED… You’re just 4 easy steps from FUN!

Step 1. Choose your trim level.

Models available consist of 4 levels of appointments and finishes. They are the 200, 500, 700 and Sport Series models. They all offer distinct differences designed to fit anyone’s level of desired affordability, comfort, features and performance…

South Bay 200 Series

The South Bay “200 Series” represents the best in affordable pontoon boats.  Packed with the features and conveniences all boaters love at a great value price means you can have the best of all possible worlds.


200 Series boat model 217 is available with 2.0 and 2.75 pontoon options.


200 Series boat models 220, 222, 224 are available with 2.0, 2.75 and 3.0 performance pontoon options.



South Bay 500 Series

The “500 Series” is a step up in luxury, floor plan options and features.

With amazing floor plans including fishing, entertaining and cruising models, the 500’s are sure to fit the bill.

Be sure to checkout the 525E (bar model)… it’s our most popular model!

All 500 models are available with 2.0, 2.75, 3.0 and 3.0+ performance pontoon options. Sizes range from 19 to 27 feet and there are over 38 floor plans! You’re sure to find a 500 Series that fits your fun like a glove!



South Bay 700 Series


The 700 Series sharpens the focus on luxury and performance. Sizes start at 23 feet and include 25 and 27 foot models.

All 700 models are available with 2.0, 2.75, 3.0 and 3.0+ performance pontoon options.

With the 700 series you can choose your style, comfort and speed!



South Bay Sport Series


The Sport Series takes luxury pontooning to an extreme.

All models are exclusively available with the 3.0+ performance system. They are also available in single and twin engine configurations. Image your most comfy living room chair ripping across the water at 75 mph!

If only the BEST will do… the Sport Series is it!

South Bay Sport Series Pontoon Boat

Step 2: Choose your floor plan.

View or Print 200 Series Floor Plans

View or Print 500 Series Floor Plans

View or Print 700 Series Floor Plans

View or Print Sport Floor Plans


Step 3: Choose your colors.


Step 4: Choose your power.

You can power your new South Bay with Yamaha, Honda, Mercury or Suzuki Outboards. When choosing your power always be sure to compare…

  • Warranty Coverage
  • Efficiency
  • Power in Reverse (important on a pontoon boat)
  • Retail Financing Offerings
  • Reputation
  • Simplicity
  • Connectivity (NMEA connection to GPS Screen)

Boat Engines for Sale

Image result for honda marine logo

Browse Our Entire Online InventoryImage result for inventory button

South Bay Quote Form