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The Fun You Can Have on a Pontoon Boat...

The Fun You Can Have on a Pontoon Boat...

By: My West Shore

There’s nothing like a pontoon boat for a fun day on the water! 

A pontoon boat is one of the most versatile water crafts available to all kinds of water enthusiasts. It looks like a large platform with guardrails, canopy, seating, storage and, of course, a motor. In other words, a pontoon boat has space for people to mingle like in a living room. Except it’s on water. And it moves!

Ideas for fun on a pontoon boat

Think that pontoon boats are a retired person’s leisure craft? Think again! Pontoon boats are increasingly popular with people of all ages. Why? Because pontoon boats now come with more amenities and comfort. They’re suited for a variety of activities, making it easy to stay entertained and engaged on short and long excursions.

Here are some ideas to help make your pontoon boat adventure a success:

Make it a party 

The average pontoon boat holds about a dozen people. So, the next time you’re ready to go out on the water, why not invite some friends and have fun on a pontoon boat?

Hosting a birthday, anniversary or engagement party on a pontoon boat is easy. Even the most basic models have ample storage for food and supplies, a sound system for music, plenty of seating, and even room to dance. You can string lights and other decorations — as long as they are secure and don’t interfere with the vehicle’s operation.

If you’re invited to a party on a pontoon boat and aren’t sure what to wear or bring, the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) Discover Boating offers tips on marine manners. 

 Snorkel and swim 

Pontoon boats are perfect for popping in and out of the water. The platform at the back makes it easy to jump in the water, even for kids. And the rails along the side are convenient for holding on to the outside of the boat, if necessary. Following open water swimming safety will help to keep the day fun.

 If you’re in an area with lots of marine life, don’t miss out on seeing them “eye to eye”. Have snorkels and masks on hand for a little underwater sightseeing. 

Of course, ensure the engine of your pontoon boat is off before allowing anyone to swim, snorkel, or go in the water for any reason. 

Pontoon boat as games room 

There will be times when friends and family can’t or won’t want to be in the water. Help them stay entertained and connected by taking along board games and other diversions. Try to avoid games with paper money and other pieces that can blow away. 

Instead, take playing cards, trivia games and social games like Boggle, Cards Against Humanity and travel Scrabble for your guests to play when the mood strikes. 

Fishing 

The platform at the back of a pontoon boat is a perfect place for avid and casual fishermen to cast a line and relax. The ample storage gives you space for gear, bait and ice chests to keep your catch until dinnertime. 

Naturally, be sure all swimmers are out of the water before fishing from your pontoon boat. 

Quiet family time 

Yes, you can invite a lot of people on your pontoon boat. But you don’t have to. Sometimes it’s nice to have a quiet day or afternoon with only your partner or kids. 

Being on a pontoon boat with only a few people gives you the best of both worlds. You can be together for activities but have enough room when people need a nap or a little space from each other. 

Advantages of pontoon boats 

Not sure if a pontoon boat is the right water vehicle for you? Consider these advantages: 

Easy to use

 Learning to drive a pontoon boat is easy. The steering wheel works like it does in your car: turn clockwise to go right and counter-clockwise to go left. 

While contemporary pontoon boats can travel at a good clip, you always want to move at a slow speed when leaving the dock and navigating to open water. The same is true when you’re ready to return. 

Most pontoon boats can move a fairly high speed but are not intended for rapid acceleration. But if you are going to push down on the gas, give your passengers fair warning so they can secure loose items, including themselves! 

Pontoon boats are very stable but they aren’t exactly nimble. Avoid trying to make sharp turns. And, if you do, make sure gear and people are secure before making the turn. 

Easy to maintain 

Pontoon boats sit high on the water. This reduces the chances of denting or otherwise damaging the hull. The same is true if you need to transport it on a boat trailer. It’s good practice to raise up the outboard motor when loading the pontoon boat onto a trailer. But if you forget, it’s usually not a problem because of the high clearance. 

If the hull does get damaged, it is generally faster and less expensive to repair compared to a traditional v-shaped boat hull. 

After use, pontoon boats don’t need to be wiped down the way other gel-coated boats do. So, at the end of a fun day, you can take your pontoon boat out of the water and get on with land-based activities. 

Great for outgoings with kids — including teenagers 

The best feature of a pontoon boat might be its size. With couches, tables, the platform at the back, covered areas and uncovered areas, kids can play on their own yet stay supervised. 

This is especially appreciated for kids who invite friends. They usually want some time away from the adults and room to be active. On smaller boats, everyone is always close together and required to stay seated most, if not all, of the time. 

In other words, on pontoon boats, kids can be more active and independent. This makes the outgoing more fun for them — and the adults! 

Comfort 

It’s more than the size of a pontoon boat that makes it comfortable. It’s also that it’s essentially a floating platform. Higher end pontoon boats may also have an upper deck but generally, they are one level. 

Having lots of open space makes it easy to take in views in all directions, spread out, and be active. Also, the amenities on modern pontoon boats are designed for comfort. Seating is usually upholstered. Tabletops make eating and playing games as comfortable as if you were in your own home. 

No matter your definition of comfort, lots of storage allows you to take along all the food, games, equipment and clothing you need to make your time on the pontoon boat enjoyable. 

Safety

Pontoon boats are by far the safest of multi-person water craft. In 2014, there were one-tenth the number of personal injuries involving pontoon boats, compared to open motor boats. 

The pontoons are what make this water craft stable. The safety of pontoon boats makes them a desirable option for anyone who enjoys being on the water. 

Storage

The storage on pontoon boats is outstanding. Its open design allows for a range of storage options for equipment, food and other supplies. Plus, marine craft manufacturers are continually maximizing the use of space and making improvements to match consumers’ needs. 

Things to keep in mind

There’s no doubt that it’s easy to have fun on a pontoon boat. To help keep the entire adventure safe and fun, also keep a couple of things in mind: 

Turning radius 

The size and shape of a pontoon boat gives it a wide turning radius. This means that tight turns are difficult or impossible. 

When entering shallow areas or areas with many other vessels — especially speed boats and personal watercraft like jet skis — leave yourself enough space to maneuver safely and follow general boating etiquette. 

Rough water

As mentioned, pontoon boats are very stable. However, in very choppy water and during significant storms, they can be dangerous. 

Because of its design, the front of a pontoon boat can easily enter a large wave instead of riding over it. It is also more difficult to navigate in rough water because of its size and structure. 

So, if there’s a forecast for high winds or any kind of storm, the best way to have fun on your pontoon boat is to not take it out on the water that day! 

Conclusion

The versatility, comfort, and safety of pontoon boats make it easy to have fun on the water. Whether you’re looking for the occasional excursion or a floating cottage to use every weekend, you can’t go wrong with a pontoon boat.

If you want to dig a bit deeper and find out some more information come down for a visit as we have a large selection in stock and on sale – pontoon boats in all shapes and sizes.

An End to the Classic Pontoon Flooring Debate: Carpet or Vinyl?

An End to the Classic Pontoon Flooring Debate: Carpet or Vinyl?

I’ve seen a lot of disputes arise when it comes to pontoon flooring.

You have anglers who enjoy the practicalities of vinyl, which is easier to clean, and you have entertainers who wouldn’t dream of anything other than soft carpet beneath bare feet.

Though you’d be hard-pressed to convince them otherwise, I find some boaters’ arguments for carpet are a bit outdated. Today, with modern advances, I find the advantages of vinyl far outweigh those of carpet.

But before I can argue my case with the advances of vinyl, I need to explain the perceived advantages and disadvantages of both materials.

Carpeted Pontoon Flooring

A carpet is an excellent option for those on a budget. If you do decide to go this route, stick with a marine carpet. Marine carpeting is designed to withstand the elements and is significantly more durable than regular carpeting.

You can easily find marine carpets like this marine grade boat carpeting in many sizes on Amazon, which comes in many colors.

Advantages of Carpeted Flooring

Acoustical Properties

I’ve heard some people say that they prefer the acoustical properties carpet seems to have. It’s a softer step and dampens the sounds of feet stomping on deck, especially when you’re waiting ever so patiently for a catch.

Traction

Yes, carpeting does offer traction! You won’t find yourself slipping around on carpeting, even with wet feet.

Now, there was once a time when the only other option for boat flooring aside from carpeting was slick, slippery vinyl, that was the same as that pressed linoleum found on kitchen floors. Fortunately, this isn’t the case today. I’ll go into more details under the vinyl section.

Softer Feel

Like I said, there are certain ‘tooners who love to entertain and wish for their deck to have the softer, at-home feel of a living room.

I can’t argue with this. Who wouldn’t like that? But if this is your only reason for going with carpeting, try to think a bit more on the practical side.

It is, after all, a boat. Unlike your living room floor, it will constantly get wet.

Disadvantages of Carpeted Flooring

Scalding Metal Rivets

In older boat models there are metal rivets and snaps that—if you’re not careful—will completely burn a bare foot if you step on it during a hot day.

Sand, Stains and Fishy Smells

One of the absolute worst things about carpet is its ability to absorb. And I mean absorb anything. Dirt, sand, fish guts—you name it!

Whether you dock near a sandy beach or a lake with earthy shores, the amount of particles that will sink through will astound you. Even when you eat, crumbs drop and spills happen. It’s inevitable!

And if you’re a fisherman, carpet is going to absorb every smelly, slimy thing you don’t first trap in a cooler.

Also, after a while, carpeting has the tendency to become matted.

Underdeck Rotting

Carpeting absorbs water—never quite drying—leading to mold and rot which harms the plywood underneath.

In fact, that may be why you’re here, right? Maybe your deck is feeling a bit creaky like there’s softened wood, and you’re thinking it’s time for a re-decking job so you might as well replace the floor covering too.

Well… if there’s currently carpeting on top, that’s most likely what’s happened. Over time, the carpet will weaken the decking materials, creating an less-than-sturdy floorboard.

Vinyl Pontoon Flooring

I used to think of vinyl floor covering for boats as the same type of vinyl flooring you’d find in homes. Bolt rolls of linoleum that makes your boat floor look just like your kitchen floor. But I’ll tell ya—vinyl has come a long way since then!

Not only is it extremely durable, but it’s also much more aesthetically pleasing.

Advantages of Vinyl Flooring

Cleanliness

Unlike carpet, vinyl is much easier to keep clean. Did your line break after a giant catch and the fish flopped all over deck? Did your kids spill sugary soft drinks all over and you’re afraid it’ll turn sticky? Just give it a gentle wash and it’s good as new.

And especially if you live in a humid environment, mold won’t grow and spread when it’s undercover or in storage.

Easy Maintenance

Vinyl is also much easier to maintain. All you have to do is give it a good hose down, even with a pressure washer, before or after winterization. Just be sure to allow time for it to dry before placing and snapping on the cover.

If you prefer to use a bit of solution, I prefer the you use StarBrite Cleaner and a long brush so you don’t hurt your knees and back.

Acoustics

I notice that a lot of people who prefer carpet do so because of its noise-softening capabilities. But I really find this to be one of those outdated myths I mentioned.

Today, some types of vinyl can be just as quiet. Padding can be added beneath for an acoustical sound barrier and—soft-carpet entertainers are gonna love this!—extra cushion beneath your step.

UV Resistance

If you’re replacing old boat carpeting, take notice of the difference in the carpet’s color. In areas where the sun never touched it—say in a fold or tuck somewhere—the color is much more saturated.

That’s because, after a while, the sun’s UV rays exposed and faded the pigments of the carpet. With modern vinyl flooring, this will never happen because most are UV stabilized.

Better Warranty

Remember what I said about the carpet damaging the deck after long moisture retention? Well, as manufacturers have begun to realize the damage caused, they’re now offering a longer warranty if you install vinyl.

Companies and dealers are so confident in the durability of vinyl, they know the vinyl will make their decking last longer than if it had a carpet covering.

Also, vinyl is typically glued so heavily and securely to the flooring that it creates a waterproof seal all on its own.

Ease of Installation

Vinyl tiles are easier to install, of course. Some come in pre-glued sheets with an adhesive backing you simply peel and press, while others are pieced together by snapping the edges in line.

Another option is vinyl planks, narrow strips about two feet long by a few inches wide. These can also be glued or snapped together.

Disadvantages of Vinyl Flooring

Preventing Slips (Debunked!)

Parents worry about kid safety on board. One of the worst things that could happen is having a child take a nasty fall, or even tumble overboard.

So when kids climb out from the water and stand in a puddle, parents concern themselves over their child slipping. And this is why a lot of boaters prefer the natural traction of carpet.

But there’s a happy medium. Let me introduce you to…

Textured Woven Vinyl

Textured vinyl can prevent kids (or anyone for that matter) from slipping by providing just enough traction underfoot. It’s still breathable and reduces mold like any vinyl would, but adds just the right amount of friction underfoot to create a non-skid surface.

Textured vinyl no longer comes in just tiles or planks. Instead, textured woven vinyl flooring is available for order in a variety of widths, usually around 8 feet, and go anywhere from 10 to 30 feet in length.

It’s also much more aesthetically pleasing. You can find it now comes in a variety of textures and colors. And even more impressively, there are attractive patterns resembling a realistic teak and faux tessellation stonework.

Pontoon-Depot has a variety of colors of luxury woven vinyl in their Seagrass collection. 

Conclusion

Vinyl floor covering is a commonly recommended upgrade for your pontoon. And depending on the quality and ounce weight, it will cost you more, but the expense is something which everyone needs to personally weigh against their budget.

However, I find that the advantages of vinyl far outweigh the advantages of carpet. From the ease of maintenance to lessened worry of underdeck rotting, textured vinyl flooring is a nice addition for a pontoon.

PONTOON BOAT MAINTENANCE TIPS | PONTOON DEPOT

PONTOON BOAT MAINTENANCE TIPS | PONTOON DEPOT

By: Cypress Cay Pontoons

Your pontoon, much like your car or house, is an investment that you can have for years to come with the proper maintenance. To that end there are some very simple steps you can take to keep it in the best shape possible.

WASH YOUR PONTOON

A basic and frequently overlooked step for keeping your pontoon in shape is to wash the exterior on a regular basis. You don’t really need any specialty soaps either; the soap you would wash your car with will work.


Pontoon maintenance tips

MAINTAIN UPHOLSTERY

To keep your pontoon furniture looking new, there are some basic maintenance steps you can take. You’ll want to do a bi-yearly deep cleaning and fairly frequent cleaning of the surface material which we will discuss below.

1) Keep your furniture and flooring as dry as possible by wiping down seats and opening hatches when the boat isn’t in use. Allowing things to dry out prior to covering your pontoon will help to reduce the opportunity for mold and mildew to thrive. 

2) To keep your aluminum panels from streaking be sure to rinse them off with water and a mild detergent on occasion, erasers sponges work as well (always test them in a small corner to make sure they aren’t going to cause any damage to the panel). Always make sure to completely dry the aluminum off when finished cleaning.

3) A mild soap and water solution is all you’ll need for your normal cleaning of the high quality marine-grade vinyl used on Cypress Cay pontoons. Any stubborn stains might require use of a nylon brush or marine vinyl cleaner. You’ll want to test the cleaner in a small inconspicuous location before attempting to clean the entire piece.

4) When it comes to cleaning and maintaining your vinyl furniture, always refer to the Owner’s Manual.

Pontoon Boat Motor Maintenance

MAINTAIN YOUR ENGINE

Let’s face it, without the engine, you have a rowboat! You definitely want to have the engine running like the day you bought it, especially when you’re out on the lake. There are a few simple steps that can be taken to make sure your engine remains in tip-top shape. They are detailed in your Engine’s Owner’s Manual in the Maintenance and Care section.

Keep in mind that your pontoon, much like your car, has a lot of moving parts and those parts need to be maintained. 

These are just the basic steps for keeping your pontoon looking like it’s straight off the show floor. Keep in mind there are extra steps you’ll want to take to winterize your boat and also when getting it ready for its spring re-launch every year. You can find information about this and so much more in your Owner’s Manual or by visiting cypresscaypontoons.com.

Protect Yourself During DIY Boat Maintenance

Protect Yourself During DIY Boat Maintenance

As a boat owner, it’s inevitable that you’ll begin to undertake some of your own boat maintenance and upkeep. With anything from painting to mechanical maintenance, it’s important to protect yourself.

Protect Your Eyes

Regardless of what type of maintenance you’re performing on your boat, you should be wearing safety goggles. And, no, your regular prescription glasses or sunglasses won’t do. Particles can still blow into your eye with a gust of wind and they likely aren’t strong enough to protect your eyes if something were to fly at them, such as a rogue piece of metal. It’s better to be safe than… well… blind.

Protect Your Lungs

Many paints used for boats are polyurethane and that is not something you want to be inhaling. A simple paper mask won’t be good enough. You need a respirator and filter fitting the type of work you are doing. For fumes, use an organic vapor filter and for fine particles (such as sanding fiberglass), use a particle filter. As a general rule, if you can smell the fumes you’re trying to avoid, you need to change the filter in your respirator.

Protect Your Skin

At the very least, cover your hands with surgical gloves (not just regular latex gloves) to keep the chemicals you’re using from contact with your skin and toxic exposure. When sanding fiberglass or using a spray polyurethane paint for the boat, you may want to wear a cover suit to protect every inch of you. If those fine particles of fiberglass touch your skin or even get on your clothes, it can cause severe skin irritations. And the chemicals on your clothes can cause you to inhale the fumes even after you’ve completed the job.

It may not look stylish to wear all of these protective accessories while working on your boat, but it’s worth missing the mark on fashion trends to remain healthy and whole.