We've rented from Pontunes on three occasions and all three days out on the water were good to great! One of the occasions (January 2012) was a father/son outing in the back country in one of the open boats...admittedly, the boat was "well weathered" from lots of use and the cumulative effects of the hot Florida sun -- but the engine ran fine and the overall day was exactly as we'd hoped for. Long run down to Buttonwood Sound and back, spent a few hours catching mangrove snappers along Dusenberry Creek, and most importantly enjoyed some quality time with my dad and brother in this sliver of paradise called Key Largo.
The other two more recent rentals occurred in December 2012 and January 2013 and were on the bigger pontoon boats. They were newer boats and in great condition. One day spent in similar back country fishing, with a short excursion out to the Ocean just to say we did it. The other day was spent primarily in a back country run to view the diverse bird assemblages and enjoy the overall mangrove and tidal creek habitats associated with Blackwater and Buttonwood Sounds. We carried the boat's full capacity on this latter date, and the boat/engine served our needs perfectly. No complaints from this quarter.
The future renter should of course be forewarned to be a cautious boater in these shallow waters. If you are not familiar with the area, it would behoove you to stay in the channels so you don't have an unfortunate "prop to bottom" encounter. Rely on the GPS units to help in navigation within sufficiently deep waters, and enjoy the onboard stereo system if you wish to provide some additional atmosphere. The awnings provide some much needed relief from direct sun exposure, and the standard safety features provided with the boats are there to provide sufficient peace of mind for safe operations.
Bottom line -- plan your days out on the water, and with some help from the Pontunes folks and their equipment, great days can be had. We're looking forward to returning to Key Largo and again expanding our list of Great Days Out on the Water. Hope your experiences are as good or better than ours (so far)!
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