Can You Sleep On A Pontoon Boat?

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: November 21, 2022
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You can sleep on a pontoon boat as long as there is enough space and the boat is in good shape, then you can enjoy your sleep on water overnight. The popularity of hybrid pontoon has been increasing, as many night paddlers prefer using it because of the warm bed for a good night’s sleep.

Key Takeaways

  • You can sleep on a pontoon boat when camping or sailing long distances
  • Many pontoon boats have been made specifically for camping purposes and these pontoon boats are more expensive than other types of pontoon boats
  • If you like pontoon boat camping then you should opt for a pontoon boat enclosure because it will protect you from weather elements like wind, rain, and sunshine
  • If you are planning to camp in the water then you have to make sure that your pontoon boat will not drift off at night

Requirements For Pontoon Boat Camping 

Requirements For Pontoon Boat Camping 

Yes, you can sleep or camp on a pontoon boat, but you must be careful. You must fulfill specific requirements if you want comfort throughout the night. It would be best to carry some essentials for your comfort and security. Let us look at some of them.

1. Tent 

Some pontoon boats have been made specifically for camping purposes with a deck with enough sleeping space for around 2-4 people. However, these pontoon boats are more expensive than those for other leisure activities like fishing. You do not need a tent if you can afford or have such a boat. A tent would be essential if you can only afford a regular pontoon boat. When bringing a tent, you should ensure that it will fit on your deck, or else, don’t bring it at all.

2. Pontoon Boat Enclosure

If you like pontoon boat camping so much that you do it often, we suggest that you invest in a pontoon boat enclosure. A full pontoon boat closure will cover the whole boat and more easily protect you from weather elements like wind, rain, and sunshine. It will also give you more space and protect you from mosquitoes. A pontoon boat enclosure is better than a tent, but you should consider how deep you are willing to dig into your pocket.

3. Sleeping Bag

You don’t want your camping trip, which should be enjoyable to feel like a punishment, so you should carry a sleeping that will make you more comfortable. A good sleeping bag is lightweight, portable, and comfortable to sleep in. you should look for a big bag to accommodate your size and leave you some room to stay comfortable. A good sleeping bag is made of cotton and filled with cotton for ultimate warmth. You also have another option of using a camp pad. A good camp pad is comfortable and a good choice also. However, it would help if you did your research to get a high-quality one since many low-quality ones are in the market.

4. Food And Drink

Food and drink come first in any journey or camping, for you cannot do without them. You could keep your meals as simple as preparing sandwiches before the trip and keeping them in Ziploc bags, or you could double the fun by grilling your meat in the evening. If you enjoy barbequing, you could look for a good pontoon boat grill for such adventures. Depending on how long you will be gone, you could carry some beer and plenty of water for drinks. It would help keep your drinks in a cooler to ensure they are cold and enjoyable for good drinking. 

5. Heat And Lighting

You need to keep warm throughout the night. For ground camping, you may get designated bonfire pits. However, since you’ll be camping on your pontoon boat, you need an alternative. It will help if you are looking for a good pontoon boat fire pit that will keep you warm. For a fire pit on your boat, you need to be careful and take precautions like having an extinguisher. An accident is the last thing you want in the middle of the night and water. 

You could also use a heater as a heat source if you don’t want to risk having a campfire or being on a budget. The feeling is different because a heater cannot be compared with a campfire. 

You should have lights to use at night when it gets dark. You should have safety lights and a torch or headlamp to supplement them. 

Choosing A Campsite For Pontoon Boat Camping

1. Selecting A Location.

When you want to sleep or camp in your pontoon boat, you must select a perfect place for such an activity. You can’t just go blindly to a location and stay there overnight. For perfect incident-free camping, you should:

2. Laws And Regulations

In the process of looking for a perfect spot for your camping, you should consider the laws and regulations of the water body. Some lakes and rivers do not allow overnight stays under any circumstances. However, some lakes and rivers allow overnight stays, but a permit is needed, and you will have to pay for it. If you are found in such a place without a permit, you will get yourself on the wrong side of the law, which is nothing anyone wants. Some lakes and rivers allow overnight stays without any conditioning. Before you settle on which lake or river you will go to, you have to do your research well. You don’t want to go there and end up disappointed for not getting allowed to camp.

3. Onshore Or Offshore Camping

You can decide to camp in the water or on the beach or park. Before you decide, you have to be sure that you have the permits if they are a requirement. You can tie your pontoon boat to a tree or something permanent for added security. 

If you decide to camp in the water, you need to ensure that your pontoon boat will not drift off at night. It would help if you carried an extra anchor for security. It would be best if you also looked for a calm spot to avoid drifting off during the night. But just for better confidence, you should have a GPS anchor application that will warn you when you start drifting away.

4. Look At The Weather 

Like any camping activity, you have to keep an eye on the weather. A camp night should be one without any rough weather. It should be calm, and you should at least enjoy gazing at the stars if you want. Avoid going out when it might rain, because what’s the point of camping and staying in tents the whole time? 

How To Keep Clean When Camping

If you are contemplating whether or not you can camp in your pontoon boat because of cleanliness issues, worry not. There are ways that you will still manage to stay clean even when camping in your pontoon boat. Let us look at some of them.

1. Showering 

Some people do not shower when on their camping trips. However, you have the option of showering if you want to. You can carry with you an outdoor shower powered by solar. Such a shower has an on/off shower head and a place where your dirt and soap will go. You can research camping showers to get yourself a good deal.

2. Relieving Yourself 

When the call of nature comes, you can’t resist; you have to answer. It would help if you had a quick way to answer this call or not like it. If you can afford it, some portable toilets are made specifically for pontoon boats. You could invest in such an excellent portable toilet or carry a shovel for when you need to relieve yourself if you can’t afford it. If you choose the shovel way, you should ensure that you leave the place clean and well-covered.

3. Trash

You should ensure that your trash is well-disposed. Carry a trash bag so that you put your garbage in one place. You should avoid leaving trash in your pontoon boat because I will start harboring rodents, something you don’t want. You should look for a campsite and dispose of your garbage there as most of them have dustbins. 

Take Away

Sleeping in your pontoon boat is possible, and you will make memories that will live with you forever. You will have a good time with your friends and get to enjoy camping in a different style. Camping in your pontoon boat offers both fun and adventure without being too expensive. You shouldn’t be afraid to try a different path as long as you take the necessary precautions and abide by laws and regulations that have been put in place.


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