Small aluminum pontoon boats are used for fishing, as a platform for bird hunting and for just cruising on a quiet lake. They are lightweight, have a shallow draft and can usually launch from shore if the terrain is gently sloped.
Aluminum pontoon boats are flat with a rectangular shape and have no distinct bow or stern. Instead, they look like floating rafts. The pontoons are long, slim sealed containers mounted lengthwise. The air inside the pontoons keeps the boat afloat. An outboard motor, usually electric, provides the power.
While the basic design is the same, some of the more elaborate pontoon boats have awnings and built-in seating. The ones designed for duck hunters are usually painted dark green and have optional camouflage duck blind kits. The smallest boats can usually handle two or three adults with folding chairs, fishing gear and an ice chest or two. Since these boats are so stable in the water, it's easy to fish standing up.
Small aluminum pontoon boats are lightweight and easy to tow on specially designed trailers. They launch equally well from a boat launch, a sandy beach with enough clearance or a dock. Some cottage owners tow their boats up for the summer and leave them tied up at their private docks for the season. Even while docked, the flat-decked boats may be used for sunbathing or a as platform for swimming.