The smaller pontoon boats are popular with anglers and families just getting into boating.  They make a good first boat for the “barge crowd.”

Larger pontoons tend to get the press but the small ones seem to sell better according to some industry insiders.  Perhaps it is the smaller sticker price.  Perhaps it is the trailerability.  Perhaps it is the handling features of the smaller craft.  Perhaps it is all of the above and more.

Take for example, the 18-foot models from Missouri based G3. (Website at  The Sun Catcher pontoon boats can be purchased in a cruise (18c) and a fishing (18f) package.  Looking them over, there are advantages to both packages and what is lacking in one may be available in the other.  The choice becomes the customer’s.

The purchaser of a pontoon boat needs to first determine just what he/she plans to do with the craft once they get it home.  For instance, the fishing seats and larger livewells on the fishing pontoon boat are better for the angler.  Perhaps the angler has small children or an unsteady elderly fishing partner.  Then he might prefer the higher railings and ladder attached to stern so that anyone falling into the water can more easily get back onto the deck.

Both craft are 18-foot by 8’5″ in size on the deck.  Both have 18-foot pontoons that are 23″ X 25″ with closed cell flotation foam.  The maximum horsepower rating is 75.  It fits nicely into the all aluminum motor pod.  The cruise model has a large fuel tank with 30 gallon capacity over the fishing model’s 23 gallon.  The livewell on the cruise model is 9 gallons compared to the 12 gallon one in the fishing models.

In addition to these small differences, the two models have more significant differences above deck.  The basic difference is in the deck arrangement.  The forward seating on the cruise model is more of a furniture arrangement.  The wrap-around forward couch is a design tailored to pleasure boating.  The fishing model has a lounge style couch and pedestal table as well as the captains seat that provide comfort.

Fishing models have two additional pedestal seats forward and aft  for anglers to enjoy comfort while fishing off the roomy deck.  Next to the lockable seven and a half foot rod locker, is positioned the console contains full instrumentation, rod holders and the aerated livewll.  Seated in the captains seat is located so that if affords full 360-degree view for safe handling whether docking or cruising.

Both models contain AM/FM/CD/stereo sound systems by Sony.  The standard 9-foot Bimini top allows one to fish in shaded comfort on the hottest days of summer.

Both models have 12-volt electrical systems.  The fishing model also has a 12-volt motor wiring and outlet for the trolling motor.  The entire electrical system is on breakers as opposed to fuses.   There are no docking lights but they could be added as an after market item.  There are navigational lights in the standard packages for both craft.  The floor level courtesy lights are a nice addition and helpful in locating tackle while night fishing or in low light conditions.

The comfort of the 18-foot aluminum Sun Catchers provides the angler and family with an opportunity for a quality outdoor experience at a minimal price range.  It is an excellent entry craft into the sports of fishing and recreational boating.



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  1. It was Jeremy Wade gives me the idea what these shorter pontoon boats do on the episodes of “River Monster” and I have to say it’s quite a bit of trendy yet efficient and that what matters most.

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