Pontoon boats are some of the most impressive vessels on the market. Not the best vessels — that’s a matter of taste — but definitely not the worst. But they are interesting. That much cannot be denied. They work differently than more traditional boats. They are safer in some aspects because they always stay afloat as long as they are not damaged thanks to their buoyancy. They can’t take on water, the concept behind their design does not allow that sort of thing to happen as long as the boat is intact.
However, the best of pontoon boats are too big and too expensive. They are designed for several people, two at least. But if you are a guy who just likes fishing in silence, a two-seat pontoon boat is too extravagant for you. A one-man boat is precisely the thing you need for that.
A pontoon boat has a deck mounted on pontoons, which are typically made from metal. As a rule, that’s an aluminum alloy or similarly light and durable metal. But I’ve also seen the growth of boat with inflatable pontoons in recent years, and let’s be honest, they make perfect one-man boats.
What does it mean to choose “the right boat”? After all, it is individual to everyone, isn’t it? It is! But such thing as finding a balance between the essential characteristics is what makes the right choice in either case, depending on what of the features are the most important for you. You can’t improve performance in every way. Improving one aspect may affect others adversely. Let’s consider the diameter of the pontoons as an example: an increase in the size of the floats will also improve the buoyancy and carrying capacity, its stability, but the windage will increase as well, and the available room inside the vessel. That said, it’s not a big problem for a one-man boat.
The importance of these features is not the same for everyone. The available room is one such example. Some people need a boat for fishing, some for leisure swims, some like working the oars, and many prefer powered boats, some have a very tight budget, and others are ready to spend hundreds. And the colors, of course, are essential to some people while others couldn’t care less.
There are more factors to choosing a one-man pontoon boat than just room, the size of the pontoons and the color. I won’t make a choice for you, but I will offer you the best to choose from. In my Buyer’s Guide, you can refer to the other essential factors.
Top 5 Best One-man Pontoon Boats
1Hydrobikes Explorer — Best Pontoon Boat with Pedal Propulsion
This pontoon boat is more similar to a hydro bike in appearance. That explains the name. But it’s not a jet ski, it’s a pontoon boat all right.
It is designed as a one-man vessel, but it can hold 400 pounds, more than one man would ever need. The Explorer will carry you and all of your fish with no problems whatsoever. After all, that’s the idea behind its design.
Safe and stable, it is rigged for high performance and balance. The Hydrobike is buoyant, stable, and highly maneuverable, There is no way to deny that. And it’s not suitable just for lakes and rivers, it is the best thing in its class that you can get for an ocean trip as well.
It’s not a powered vessel, you will be the only source this Hydrobike will ever have. On the other hand, as long as you have at least some strength left, you can always propel it forwards.
It doesn’t have an engine, but it does have pedals that you can use to move it. It’s more like a bicycle than a motorcycle, but it is easy to ride, just like any bicycle, and it doesn’t resist you at all when you’re riding it.
On top of all that, it is a low maintenance vessel.
To sum it all up, it is a great one person vessel. It does not require fuel or high maintenance, and it is perfect for casual cruising and some fishing. However, it is far from the best pontoon boat for fishing.
- Can hold 400 pounds
- Safe and stable
- Buoyant and highly maneuverable
- Does not require fuel or high maintenance
- Far from the best pontoon boat for fishing
2Classic Accessories Colorado XT — Best Transom-Mount One-man Pontoon Boat
When you need more maneuverability, you have to abandon pedals for good old oars. Although not as comfortable, they surely ensure more power and more precise movements. And you want, even more, you’re welcome to mount a transom trolling motor for extra speed and power.
But what’s even more important, they are what makes the Colorado XT an actual pontoon boat rather than a bike on pontoons. A practical load capacity combined with hydrodynamic hull makes for a perfectly engineered fishing and cruising pontoon boat. The durable and robust PVC bottom will protect your boat from abrasion and minor obstructions.
It can only fit one person, but, given the name of the review, that is hardly a disadvantage. After all, that’s the only reason this boat is even on this review.
Unlike the Hydrobike, the Colorado XT has a few accommodations explicitly designed for anglers. It comes with a couple of fishing rod holders, a fish ruler integrated into the boat itself and a couple of cargo pockets.
The pontoons are inflatable, which is a standard design solution with contemporary one-man pontoon boats. Still, since the floats are inflatable, they can potentially be damaged and lose buoyancy.
It also includes a very high seat that is comfortable and handy for just about anyone, from professional anglers who can enjoy a better position to a casual boater who wants to stay dry no matter what.
- Practical load capacity
- Hydrodynamic hull
- Perfectly engineered fishing and cruising pontoon boat
- Durable and robust PVC bottom
- Has a few accommodations explicitly designed for anglers
- Since the floats are inflatable, they can potentially be damaged and lose buoyancy
3Classic Accessories Cumberland — Best Pontoon Boat Both for Hunting and Fishing
If the Colorado XT wasn’t enough of a proof of inflatable pontoons feasibility, here comes another great product from Classic Accessories. The Cumberland is very unlike the XT even at first glance. It’s much bulkier, but that does not stop it from making it look more elegant… somehow. It is the epitome of a one-man pontoon boat. It is super short, or rather, even clipped. It seems like it can topple over on even a slight wave, but don’t let yourself be fooled: it is very stable and robust. It would take more than a single roller or even a gust of wind to make it turn upside down. Suffice to say, this boat meets all safety standards, and it’s perfectly stable and reliable.
It will provide a hunter or fisher lots of cool features few other boats could.
First of all, when it comes to storage space, this boat is a Caesar among peasants. It has 20 pockets, that’s right, twenty. That alone is a very huge number, but I’m not finished yet. The Colorado XT also has removable gear bags and a mesh bag for your game.
Let’s not forget about the rod holder, which this boat features as well. Rod holders make fishing much simpler and more enjoyable. What can be better than simply watch the float without having to hold the rod that seems to be getting heavier with every passing second? That’s right, nothing, and you take that rod holder to mount it in six different positions if you wish.
Unfortunately, the motor is not included, but that’s reasonable, considering the price. But you will find a couple of beautiful aluminum oars included in the bundle.
All in all, when it comes to fishing, this pontoon boat beats even the Colorado XT.
- Stable and robust
- Removable gear bags and
- Mesh bag for your game and trophy fish
- Rod holder
- Motor is not included
4Dave Scadden Zonke — Best “Frameless” Pontoon Boat
Unlike the Classic Accessories boats and the Hydrobike is something that can be called a “frameless” pontoon boat. Meaning, it’s basically a typical inflatable boat with an elevated deck – or rather, a seat, because there’s no deck to speak of.
Is it any good for fishing? Well, yes, but it is not the best option you can get. The Zonker boat is not particularly popular with fishers, but it’s a pontoon boat, and it’s more or less suitable for fishing on lakes and rivers.
It doesn’t mean it has no advantages of its own. First of all, this pontoon boat is a low profile. That is something very few pontoons boats can boast. Typically, pontoon boats have high windage, and it’s a disadvantage that is pointless to bring up. Any pontoon boat comes with this disadvantage, they’re a package deal.
Well, not the Zonker. It is not the best fishing pontoon boat, but it won’t drift away too far while you’re fishing. You don’t have to work the oars just to stay in the same place unless you manage to set up your fishing place just above a particularly strong current.
The boat is portable and weighs only 25 pounds. You can fit it in your backpack, and if you want to transport it without deflating, then even the smallest SUV will be suitable for that.
- Low profile
- Low draft. The boat won’t drift away too far while you’re fishing
- Portable. You can fit it in your backpack
- No deck to speak of
- Not particularly popular with fishers
5ONDATRA Inflatable Pontoon Boat — Most Compact and Lightweight Boat
This pontoon boat is even more lightweight than the Zonker, even though it comes with a metal frame. It only weighs 27 pounds at most.
The ONDATRA boat is designed to meet the needs of anglers. It is a Russian-made boat but it pretty good looking anyway. And, just like most Russian-made things, it is quite robust, durable, and fool-proof. Exactly what you need for fishing.
It’s the most compact boat on my list, and it comes with a motor mount and pump.
Everything you need for fishing, you got it. You’ll get a soft trunk, a seat, and a standing shelf, to say nothing of the possibility of installing rod holders.
The ONDATRA is highly maneuverable and allows pulling the big fish as close as possible.
All in all, it’s a pretty decent one-man pontoon boat for fishing, robust and lightweight.
- Comes with a metal frame
- Robust, durable, and fool-proof
- Comes with a motor mount and pump
- Highly maneuverable
- The most compact boat
- Russian-made. Not too bad of a disadvantage, but you have the right to know