Pontoon Boat
Boating, On the Water

Why are Pontoon Boats Called Party Barges?

What’s better than getting out on the lake with a cold beverage and an afternoon of having nothing else to do but float? Doing it with all of your friends! There’s nothing like motoring around the lake on a party barge. But what is a party barge?

A party barge is a nickname for a pontoon boat, but why? Hit the water with us, and we will explain what makes a pontoon boat the perfect vessel for your next adventure.

The Design

Pontoon boats look much different than fishing boats or watersport boats. This is because pontoon boats have a large platform on two to three aluminum tubes. The aluminum tubes are called the pontoons, hence the name pontoon boat. This design allows for more space for people and stability on the water.

Early versions of the pontoon boat allowed owners to take more of their friends and family out on the water than the smaller fishing or watersport boats; however, the attached engine did not provide much power making the boats slow. When you put your friends and family (a party) on a slow-moving, flat platformed boat (a barge), you get a party barge.


Modern versions of the pontoon boat still have room for your friends and family, but they have placed more powerful motors on the back to increase speed. Lounging around and sharing food and drinks with friends is still an activity you can do, but there are many more options to use your pontoon boat.


Increased speed provided by the more powerful motor means you can use your boat for watersports. Pontoon boats have the option to add an arch, making it an excellent choice for pulling people through the water. From tubing to water skiing, pontoon boats have many engine choices to fit your needs. They also provide a lot of storage on the boat to ensure you have all the equipment ready for fun in the sun!


Fishing is one of many available activities on a pontoon boat. You can go trolling on the lake, float down the river, or go offshore in the ocean. Pontoon boats might not be able to get into the smallest fishing holes compared to traditional fishing boats, but they offer a lot more space to have more lines in the water. When your kids inevitably get bored, they also have more freedom to run around on the boat, which means everyone can enjoy their time on the water.


Pontoon boats are great for some overnight fun on the water, thanks to their large platforms. Companies make accessories for your pontoon boat to use as a tent on the water. You can use the comfortable couch seats to sleep on or store a blow-up air mattress to use when you are ready to sleep. If you don’t want to purchase the accessories, you can always lay underneath the stars.

Final thoughts

You can use your party barge for more than what we have listed above. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact us, and we would be more than happy to help you.

If you feel ready to purchase a pontoon boat, we have many options to choose from. As the East Texas Boat Dealer, we get new and pre-owned boats all of the time. If we do not have what you are looking for, we can do our best to find it!

One thought on “Why are Pontoon Boats Called Party Barges?

  1. I love Pontoon boats roaming around in the ocean with friends. It really relieves stress and you can spend time to enjoy yourself. Thanks for sharing.

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