pontoon boat gas tank

How Big is a Pontoon Boat Gas Tank?

Pontoon boats are very adaptable, which is possibly one of the reasons they are so well-liked for both freshwater and saltwater activities nationwide. But in order to be sure that you can enjoy the activity you want on your boat, you need to know how much gas a pontoon boat can hold.

A fuel tank on a pontoon boat might hold 24 gallons, whereas another one might only hold 6 gallons. It’s also typical to have two 6-gallon tanks.

What you need to know about pontoon boat gas tank sizes, how much fuel you’ll likely need for your planned activity, and options for boosting your fuel capacity are provided below.

How Big is a Pontoon Boat Gas Tank?

A pontoon gas tank’s size can vary greatly. Depending on the size of the boat, expect a fuel capacity of between 12 and 50 gallons. Sometimes, very large pontoon boats have even larger fuel tanks.

When not driven at high speeds or equipped with very high horsepower motors, pontoon boats typically use their gas fairly efficiently. Despite this, many owners of pontoon boats desire to carry more gas.

Fortunately, there are ways to use more fuel on your pontoon boat.

How Much Gas Do You Need for Your Pontoon Boat?

An engine with about 100 horsepower is typically included in the standard pontoon boat. When the boat is traveling at its top cruising speed, an engine of this size typically consumes between 5 and 6 gallons of fuel per hour.

When engaging in sports like water skiing or tubing, your gas tank will empty quickly. A 12-gallon fuel tank might not bother you if all you want to do is launch your boat, anchor off of a beach or island, and return home.

You will likely need more gas if you want to use your pontoon boat to tow objects behind the boat, troll for fish, or travel over any distance.

So for a pontoon boat of about 20 feet, the majority of people who want to use it for various purposes will select between 30 and 50 gallons. It’s probably time to upgrade your fuel tank if you frequently have to consider how much fuel you’re using or stop to refuel in the middle of a trip.

pontoon boat gas tank

Solutions for Insufficient Fuel Capacity

So what do you do if you want to use your pontoon boat for activities that require a lot more gas than the tank it has can hold but it only holds a small amount of fuel? Actually, there are only two straightforward solutions, which I will discuss now.

Carry Gas Cans

Some captains of pontoon boats decide to just bring extra gas cans and refuel while they’re on the water. It’s possible that this is the most simple and budget-friendly option. Bring a few extra cans on your next trip if you discover you don’t have enough gas.

However, there are some very important issues with carrying extra gas cans:

  • Risk in carrying gas. If you want to use the grill or have smokers on board, carrying gas cans may put your boat at risk. The gas can is susceptible to leaking or exploding even when it’s not moving or when it’s in extremely hot weather.
  • Risk in refilling. The risks of adding gas to a rocking pontoon boat are fairly obvious. While pontoon boats are frequently more stable than many other boats of similar size, you might discover that they are not stable enough to refuel while moving.
  • problems with refilling. Even if you have enough fuel on board to keep your boat running at full throttle for several hours, the trip will probably be annoying if you have to stop frequently to refuel.

Replace the Existing Small Tank With a Bigger One

Simply replacing your tank will solve the issue of insufficient fuel storage. I would seriously consider replacing your tank unless it is a sizeable one, such as 13+ gallons. The less expensive alternative, rather than completely replacing the gas tank with a bigger one, is to simply add another smaller one.

Add An Additional Tank

There are many different types and sizes of pontoon boat accessories, but few people consider adding an additional tank to their vessel—a feature that, in my opinion, is crucial if you want to get the most out of your boat, particularly if you enjoy attending pontoon boat parties.

Many newer pontoon boats as well as many older ones will have two tanks installed in place of one. Although most owners of pontoon boats now prefer this configuration, not every boat has two tanks. The tanks on a surprising number of pontoon boats, in my opinion, are also too small for the boat.

Some boats have easily removable, portable tanks with a capacity of six gallons each on the tubes. If your pontoon boat has dual tanks, you can extend your time on the water by simply replacing one or both of them with larger tanks.

pontoon boat gas tank

Why Do So Many Pontoon Boats Come With Too Small of a Gas Tank?

You might be disappointed to learn how frequently the tanks are small if you’re looking for your first pontoon boat. A 20-foot boat typically has two 6-gallon tanks, which is not enough to travel far.

The answer is that pontoon boats are frequently thought of as party or casual cruising boats, for which they don’t use a lot of gas.

Because pontoon boats are so frequently used in lakes and calm water that are close to a marina or dock, it may be assumed that the pontoon boat can be easily filled when necessary.

Consider buying a used pontoon boat as a potential solution. Some of the most common pontoon boat add-ons include adding a new fuel tank to expand capacity or an additional fuel tank.

Therefore, there is a decent chance that a used boat you purchase will already have a bigger gas tank that will more likely suit your needs.

Where is the Gas Tank on a Pontoon Boat?

Depending on the manufacturer, the location of the gas tank will vary from boat to boat. The left side of the stern of the majority of pontoon boats is where the tanks are factory installed.

The gas cap should be located; it is typically a silver or black cover that snaps shut on the side of the boat. The tank might be beneath the transom, close to the back of the deck.

Conclusion: Have Enough Fuel to Do What You Want to Do

Gas tanks on pontoon boats come in a variety of sizes. The majority of brand-new pontoon boats will be able to hold 20 to 35 gallons of fuel. Except when the tanks have been upgraded by the owner, most used pontoon boats won’t have the same capacity.

It’s fun to take your pontoon boat out on the water, but you need to be sure you have enough fuel to do everything you want to. Pick a fuel tank for your pontoon boat after carefully considering the activities you want to participate in.

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