Legend Boats Blog

History of the Pontoon

Do you know how Pontoon boats came to exist?

The 1952 invention of the pontoon motorboat in the USA is credited to a farmer who lived on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes, near Richmond, Minnesota. Even though he wasn’t the first to fasten logs to a platform, Ambrose Weeres is credited with the invention of the modern-day pontoon. Ambrose Weeres put a wooden platform on two columns of steel barrels welded together end-to-end, creating a sturdy deck that would be more stable on a lake than a conventional boat. Living in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," Weeres thought this idea might be marketed. The first boat was "The Empress". He built a few boats and sold them with the help of dealers. He started Weeres Industries to meet unexpected demand. Weeres, later called "Mr. Pontoon", was elected to the Minnesota Marina Hall of Fame.

A small outboard provided the power, but creating the steering system was the big challenge. What he came up with was a vertical stick at the forward railing connected by two lines to the engine. The idea was to move the stick to the left to turn left, center the stick for straight ahead, and lean the stick right for a right turn.

Unlike the small, narrow-beam, tippy fishing boats that people were used to seeing around the lakes, Weeres’ pontoon boat was wide, stable, and with the deck that sat considerably higher on the water than a traditional craft. This made it so taking on water was no longer a concern. Without a doubt, the pontoon boat was a completely new kind of boating experience.

Little did he realize just how popular these boats would become just a few short decades later.

Everyone knows someone who thinks of a pontoon boat as nothing more than a floating barge. They don’t realize the sacrifice and dedication people of past generations have put in to an industry that is now a mainstay of the boating community. Today’s pontoon boats can be anything from super-simple to extremely high-end, depending on your style and budget. Powered with a high-horsepower outboard, pulling skiers and pushing 60 mph on the open water are well within the capabilities of the modern Pontoon.

Source - Wikipedia


Bayshore Lounger-3

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