Most pontoon boats will have one 12-volt outlet, often called a cigarette lighter plug.
This plug is most often near the helm (driver’s seat) or near the passenger’s seat next to the driver.
This outlet will be the same as you have in your car, it’s the round outlet, and you will need a charger made for your phone if you need to keep your phone charged. It is becoming more common for modern boats to have a USB-A plug or even USB-C plug next to the 12-volt outlet to charge your phone.
Boat accessories, like tube inflators (ad), use this 12V power outlet to inflate or deflate tubes, so it’s quite handy to have.
110V Is Not Common
It’s not common for a pontoon boat to have a house-hold 110 volt outlet.
There are a few models that may have them, but they’re low wattage and can’t run anything too demanding.
These 110V outlets are more often found on houseboats and large cruisers. Most of your needs for the average pontoon boat can be filled with the 12-volt outlet found in many pontoons.
110V Plugs Can Be Added
You can, but should you, is the better question when it comes to adding a 110V outlet to your pontoon.
They make marine 110V outlets with inverters, as you’ll need one because the DC power needs to be changed to AC.
The 12-volt outlet on most pontoon boats is more than fine, you just need an adaptor for some of the things. You can charge your phone, computer, inflate tubes and so much more! They even make 12-volt fridges and stoves if that is what you’re trying to do.
You just need to be careful about over-loading your boat battery and should strongly consider a dual battery setup if you intend to use a lot of power, especially with the engine off.
Adding More 12-Volt Plugs
If your pontoon boat does not have a 12-volt outlet, you can add them.
It’s not hard, but I do suggest getting one with an in-line fuse to protect your devices and boat.
Here is a video showing you how to install a 12-volt outlet on a boat:
Can A 12-Volt Outlet Drain Your Boat’s Battery?
If your 12-volt outlet is installed by the factory, then it most often only runs when the battery switch is set to on.
Though, it’s not uncommon for boat manufacturers to set the radio and 12-volt outlet to have constant power even when the battery switch is set to off. It’s even more common if you had your 12-volt outlet added by the previous owner or yourself to bypass the switch and connect right to the battery.
The 12-volt outlet can drain your battery, and it’s important to keep an eye on your battery to make sure you have enough power to start your boat.
Other Power Options For Pontoons
If you don’t have a power outlet for your pontoon or don’t have enough, there are other options you can use.
Consider using battery powered items or even having large power packs.
You can get a simple power bank like this one (ad) to keep your phone charged while on the water.
You can also get a portable power station like this one here (ad) to power even more things. Power stations come in many sizes and load options, just make sure to keep them dry!