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Grilling and Boating. Eating in Pontoon Heaven.

Grilling and Boating. Eating in Pontoon Heaven.

If you've got a pontoon boat, you own the floating embodiment of fun, relaxation and unbridled partying. If you own a grill, you have a fire-breathing, char-broiling pinnacle of summertime cuisine.

When you combine the two, it's too good for this side of heaven.

Grilling on a boat is a pleasure that most people will sadly never experience. But you're not most people. You're a pontoon boat owner.

So, let's start with the hardware. Before you buy your boat grill, research, research, research. This is not a time in your life where you want to feel buyer's remorse.

Owners of the Cuisinart Grill with Arnall’s Brackets, for example, talk about the machine like it's a twin sibling they were reunited with 20 years after being separated at birth. Do your research , some reviewers talk about purchasing a grill model with a lot of remorse.  Take the time to shop around, read reviews and compare features.

Second, if you choose a charcoal boat grill, which most people do, keep your charcoal in a Ziploc-style plastic bag. Wet charcoal doesn't light, and a lack of fire makes for a pretty busted grilling experience.

Next, use ready-to-light charcoal. Spraying lighter fluid out of a squeeze bottle on a rocking boat is a bad idea for several reasons. Mostly, it could lead to you accidentally setting stuff on fire that you didn't mean to.

Finally, follow common sense safety rules. This isn't dry land. On a boat, you can't walk away from a lit grill even for a second. Never grill while you're underway unless you want hot flaming coal missiles to jump out of your grill and hurtle toward you and your children, which we're presuming you don't.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk recipes. Once you pick your grill and learn how to operate it safely, you can, you must, you will start with these choice selections:

Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Garlic & Lemon

Tabasco-Grilled Veggie Skewers

Grilled Bone-In Bison Steaks with Crisped Potatoes


*photo credit to

Boating Season is Safety Season | Pontoon-Depot

Boating Season is Safety Season | Pontoon-Depot

Winter is over, spring is in full effect and summer is almost here.

You know what that means? That means it's boating season.

Unfortunately for far too many people, it also means it's the season of boating accidents, injuries and even deaths.

But it doesn't have to be. Let's make this the safest year yet by following a few basic rules of the road. 

The first one sounds so common-sense obvious that we feel like we shouldn't have to even mention it. But, we do have to mention it. Keep life jackets and floatation devices on board. Four out of five people who die on boats are drowning victims.

Next, if you wouldn't do it in a car, you probably shouldn't do it on a boat. That means don't drink and drive. Drinking and boating is illegal — and for good reason. Alcohol is one of the top causes of accidents, especially fatal accidents, on the water.

Another major hazard is speed. While not as deadly as alcohol, excessive speed causes more accidents than booze.

Keep this safety precaution in mind - education. Its up to you to know and obey all navigation rules. Ignorance is not a defense if you cause an accident.

Finally, use common sense. Watch or listen to weather reports before you head out. Heed weather-related warnings and if clouds start to look ominous, listen to Mother Nature — and your own better judgement. Make sure your passengers are seated and ready before you take off. Know — and never exceed — your boat's capacity, and use an anchor if you want your boat to stay put.

Did we forget something? The best thing about your boating safety knowledge is that as long as you don't keep it to yourself, other people can learn from it. Join us on Facebook and share your best boating safety tips on our page. You might just save a life!

It's not a boat. It floating time machine!

It's not a boat. It floating time machine!

Memory is a weird thing.

I know every single line from "The Shawshank Redemption," but I forget entire vacations I've taken with my family. Some people don't remember anything before they were eight. Others live their entire lives traumatized by the memory of getting stung by a bee on the playground.

One thing, however, is certain. If you have a pontoon boat, memories will be made on deck.

Maybe it's the breeze. Maybe it's the sun. Maybe it's the fact that it's the only time you're surrounded by family and friends without a single person staring at a cell phone.

Any which way you like it, when time — and people — pass on, those left behind will look back at the moments they spent on that boat as the best time of their entire lives.

Whether it's the time you spent when you were a kid, or the time you spent with your kids, there's something about the deck of a boat, the grumbling of the engine, the spray from the water and the sun on your face that just makes memories stick and never let go.

So just know that every time you spend the night before preparing and packing with your family for some time on the water the following day, you're not preparing for a trip on a boat.

You're preparing for a trip on a time machine.

Those memories you make the next day stay forever. And years later, when anyone on board wants to travel back in time, they can access those memories and return to that day — one of their best days ever — which you're about to live tomorrow.

Sounds dramatic, I know. But memories are a dramatic part of life, and you have the power to create and store them just by cranking up your engine and shoving off.

Every Pontoon Boat is a Fishing Boat Just Waiting to be Released

Every Pontoon Boat is a Fishing Boat Just Waiting to be Released

People fall in love with pontoon boats because you can pile everyone you know and their pets onto the deck, shove off and have some fun. They float a ton of people, they're comfortable and cozy, and they just ooze party.

One look at a pontoon boat full of people passing, and your first thought is, "Man, they look like they're having a blast!"

One thing that people tend to forget, however, is that a pontoon can double as a mighty fine little fishing boat — all it takes is a little jazzing up and a some imaginative accessorizing.

You're going to need a fishfinder, like the Lowrance Mark-5X. That little beauty will reveal even the most closely guarded underwater hiding spots.

Then there's music. If you go fishing with purists, they'll sometimes yell at you that the music is scaring the fish. Yeah, well, let them be scared then. This is pontoon boat, for goodness sake, and we need some tunes.

Set yourself up with a Boss receiver and some marine speakers and you'll be good to go — frightened fish and all.

If you're going to be out there chasing fish all day and into the evening, you're going to want some lighting. Whether it's a fold-down light, an LED utility strip, a pole light or a combination sidelight, you'll have the upper hand.

If there's one thing that separates fish from man, it's mechanized illumination. And gills.

Finally, there's flooring.

When you finally haul one in, and he's there flopping around on your already-scummy boat carpeting, that slimy little fish is not going to make that primitive marine flooring any easier to clean.

When you upgrade to MariDeck vinyl flooring, however, that slimy sucker can flip and flop until his little fish heart's content. All it will take is a quick rinse to get right back to brand new.

So, there you have it. You love your pontoon boat because it's a floating getaway and a waterproof party — but don't forget, somewhere inside is a fishing boat just waiting to break free.