Hurricane Fun Deck 196

Barry 2018-07-19

Looking for a party boat that’s also versatile enough to tow watertoys and fish from, then you need to check out the Hurricane Fun Deck 196, the newest deck boat brand to come down under. Barry Thompson went to the Gold Coast to check out the first arrival. 

When you talk to a Kiwi about a pontoon boat, they will immediately conjure up images of a typical aluminium boat with tube-shaped sides and a layout and cabin design not much different to a flat sided competitor. However, if you talk to an American, they will think of a flat deck mounted on top of two or three alloy tubes with a point on the bow and loads of seating and entertaining areas right through to the transom.

Niche Market

Today's deck boats are designed similarly to other fibreglass runabouts, but with the bow section carried as far forward as possible to accommodate more folks in the forward seating area. You'll see coordinated upholstery accents, bimini tops and carpet, and the exterior graphics tend to be a little bolder. Many deck boats also have integrated wake tower options, which adds a distinct water sports profile.

 Australia has had a niche deck boat building industry for some years and there are some exceptional local examples as well as a myriad of imports. So why would someone want a deck boat anyway? Perhaps the most significant thing a deck boat offers is unprecedented space and versatility that is unmatched by other boating styles.

One of those brands, Hurricane, reputed to be the world's #1 selling pontoon boat arrived on the Australia New Zealand market earlier this year and had its first public showing at the recent SCIBS. According to importer Brett Flanagan, the response was terrific, with boats sold and lots of enquiry for models that they did not have on display.

"We have four grandkids and between them, our daughters and son, with their partners and the dogs we need something big and spacious with the area to take them all out boating safely around the Gold Coast and the deck boat is ideally suited.

"Hurricane produces over 22,000 boats a year, with dozens of models up to 24ft, so we can just about cater for everyone's deck boat needs. They are ideally suited to the boating around the Gold Coast, but we have also had a lot of interest from right down the East Coast and also New Zealand", says Flanagan.

The Fun Deck 196 is designed as an all rounder, ready to fish, to entertain or to cruise. It is one of eleven models in the Fun Deck range which is split between cruising versions and ones a little more angled towards fishing. The main difference is the seating arrangement forward. It is characterised by its secure high side rails, plenty of seating and storage and its ease of use. With a draft of only 25cm, the Fun Deck 196 can access very shallow water close to the beach.

For a full review on the Hurricane 196, check out the latest edition (July-Aug) of PPB at your nearest magazine outlet or go to for a digital version. 

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