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Pontoon Changing Rooms: How to Pick the Best One for You!

Pontoon Changing Rooms: How to Pick the Best One for You!

By: Better Boat

Have you ever been in a situation when you realized you need a pontoon changing room?

How ‘bout the time you tried changing behind two friends, who couldn’t stop giggling because they’d already downed a whole bottle of wine!

How’d that work for you?

You were probably either (A) mortified or (B) didn’t care. (‘Cause you helped them down that bottle of wine!)

Either way, your changing room is meant for privacy, to do anything that requires privacy. The style and size will determine how much privacy is provided and sets the tone for its uses.

This guide can help you find the perfect pontoon boat changing room, discussing reasons to consider and questions to ask yourself before picking your own. Plus, I’ll touch on three different examples.

Reasons to Consider a Pontoon Changing Room

There are many reasons you might want a changing room on your pontoon, some you may not have previously considered:

1. Clothes changing. While you’re on your pontoon, anybody on board might wanna change. It’s nice to know you have a private place to go, instead of hiding behind friends.

2. Portable toilet. A changing room is perfect for housing a portable toilet, which can be a necessity, especially for long outings or if you have small children. It’s always a plus for parties, too; some invited guests may not come if they’re worried there won’t be a bathroom.

3. Diaper Changing Area. For some parents, diaper changing requires privacy; other parents don’t care. But, if a passenger has a baby in diapers, a private changing area is a nice option, especially when it requires more cleaning (or bathing!).

4. Breastfeeding. This is another gray area; some mothers don’t mind breastfeeding in public, but others wouldn’t dare. A changing room is a great place for privacy for both mom and baby.

5. Seasickness. Have you ever gotten sick in front of somebody? Talk about embarrassing! If you have a portable toilet in your changing room, a passenger has a place to go if nausea won’t subside (even after using a seasick remedy) and until you can get back on dry land.

6 Questions to Answer Before Purchasing a Pontoon Changing Room

1. What Size Changing Room Do You Need?

This depends on the size of your pontoon.

Naturally, you might wanna get a huge one, thinking the more space, the better. While that’s probably true, it might not work for your pontoon’s size.

You need to consider the deck size and layout of your pontoon. How can you comfortably fit a changing room into your floor plan without compromising too much space?

Determine the best spot for setting up a changing room, as this will help determine the ideal type.

2. What Will You Use Your Changing Room For?

Will you use the changing room just for changing, or do you plan on adding a convenient portable toilet? Will it be a room to escape a torrential rain? (And if so, how many will need to fit in there?)

Consider all your needs, then determine the type and size you need.

Consider any pontoons accessories you may want to house in your changing room, too.

3. What’s Your Budget?

What can you afford? With endless varieties on the market, you should be able to find one that’s budget-friendly.

And remember: Unless you have a custom changing room built into your pontoon, you can always upgrade later.

4. What Weather Conditions Should You Consider?

You need to consider environmental factors that might affect the sturdiness of a changing room.

Do you live or go boating in an area prone to high winds? If so, you need to consider the durability of your changing room, as well as how it’s installed. You want it to withstand your area’s typical weather conditions.

5. Do You Have Safety Concerns?

If you have young children using your changing room, consider safety precautions before buying. Read labels and packaging thoroughly. Study zippers, hooks and hardware to determine safety. Call the manufacturer to ask questions. Make sure there have been no safety recalls or complaints.

6. Where Is the Best Location?

Another thing to consider is the placement of your changing room. Where will you need to place it, according to your needs and the installation instructions? Then decide if the type you buy provides enough privacy for your needs.

5 Pontoon Changing Room Options

Changing rooms come in all forms, shapes and sizes. You can find them in pop-ups, drop-downs/partitions, privacy screens/dividers, combos, bow-enclosures and even custom built.

Your choice of changing rooms will depend on your budget, your pontoon size and your overall needs, so the ultimate choice is up to you.

Here are five top-notch choices you’ll want to investigate.

1. Collapsible Pop-ups

Pop-up changing rooms are like camping tents; they pop up when you need them and collapse to take up minimal space—perfect for smaller pontoons.

This GigaTent Pop Up Pod (Available on Amazon) is a pretty affordable changing room option.

There’s no installation or mounting involved. None. Just find the best spot and open it where you want it. (Some have no floors, and some have removable mat floors.)

This pop-up pod can be fully enclosed for privacy, accessible by a zippered door.

Made to be taken onshore, this changing room has sand-bag pockets to make the pop-up much sturdier. Alternatively, it has sewn-on loops with stakes. Now, as a warning, the stakes are short so if you plan on taking it onto the beach, I’d highly suggest longer sand stakes (Available on Amazon) to keep it from catching wind.

The downside to certain pop-ups (and this one is the case) is the lack of screen ventilation or windows, so it can get pretty hot in there!

2. Changing Room Combos

These are similar to pop-ups, but contain a little something extra, offering more features and accessories.

There’s a floor mat for showering, should you ever need to rinse off sandy feet or go pontoon camping and sleep multiple nights on your boat. There are even extra storage compartments for keeping toiletries and a hanger for towels and a fresh change of clothes. (Do you know a lady who brings extra clothes? I know I take extra!) Plus, a built-in clothesline is awesome because spilling a drink on your clothes is par for the course on a boat.

This Campla Portable Pop up Dressing/Changing Tent (Available on Amazon) is an affordable pontoon changing room option.

This changing room also comes with a convenient carrying bag!

For taking onshore, there are stakes but I’d recommend getting longer sand stakes to secure it in high winds.

3. Drop-down/Partitions

Drop-down changing rooms are made to attach to your pontoon bimini top. Some boaters feel they look best and provide more privacy.

One such drop-down changing room is the Carver Industries Boat Bimini Top with Adjustable Privacy Curtain (Available on Amazon). This drop-down partition has a universal fit that should work with any bimini top and one-inch polypropylene straps for easy-peasy attachment and installation.

The straps even have quick-release buckles for taking down when storms hit! In fact, this drop-down partition is made of marine-grade polyester (Poly Flex), which makes it durable with high tear strength, allowing it to last for many boating seasons!

4. Pontoon Bow Enclosures

Pontoon enclosures can fit over the lounge area and even across the bow, providing shade and shelter for passengers. But with the variety of pontoon enclosures available, you can also find one that doubles as a changing room!

This Taylor Made Bow Enclosure (Available on Amazon) with a zippered entryway allows passengers some extra privacy. The best part about using this enclosure as a changing room is its overall size and height, meaning you don’t have to shimmy into a swimsuit while performing a balancing act in a 4-foot square box! You can actually rest on the pontoon bench seating.

Like most of these changing rooms, however, they’re not made for long-term use or while underway. While the hardware is permanently mounted, it’s not strong enough for high winds and is safest when removed.

5. Custom Built

If you know a handy carpenter, you can have a changing room specifically designed, built and installed on your pontoon.

Depending on design and installation, it may or may not be permanent.

While they’re often more expensive, they’re also built sturdier and considered more convenient.

The Best Pontoon Changing Room for You

With lots of changing rooms available, you’re sure to find one to suit your needs and budget. But always do your research before buying.

A few more tips before making a final decision: 

  • Check all reviews on as many sites as possible.
  • Ask your boating friends for their opinions.
  • Visit marinas and ask owners who own what you’re interested in.
  • Get current owner contacts from manufacturers.

A little research goes a long way. There’s a changing room for all your pontoon needs. Happy hunting!

For All Your Accessories and/or Vinyl Flooring Visit Pontoon-Depot's Shop Site.  

A Life Vest With Speakers Kickstarter Campaign Underway

A Life Vest With Speakers Kickstarter Campaign Underway

At PDB magazine we sometimes get a sneak peek at boats, products or even breaking news before others. It's just one of the many perks as a member of the boating media. Often we have to wait to share exciting new products with our readers, but this time we're able to let you in on something special. If you love listing to music while wakeboarding, tubing, skiing, etc. then you're going to want a Groove Vest. This is truly a gamechanger for the wakesports industry.


“I wanted to listen to music out on the water and found out that I was not alone,” said Drew Bartek, co-founder and chief financial officer of Groove Watersports. “Our vests are made to bring the best listening experience out on the water without compromising the comfort and range of motion of your vest.”

The Groove Vest combines the enjoyment of listening to music with the safety of an impact vest and was created by riders for riders. The Groove Vest is designed to solve the issue of not being able to listen to music while out on the water. The vest is ideal for individuals looking for a comfortable, high quality, lightweight impact vest that has the added benefit of playing music.

“I’ve always been frustrated when riding behind the boat and never could hear the music clearly.  Then I tried waterproof headphones which just caused more problems,” said Gus Gehlen, co-founder and chief executive officer of Groove Watersports. “I knew there had to be a better way so we have designed our vests to solve this problem through the integration of powerful speakers in the shoulder area of our vest for an easy all in one solution.” 

The Groove vest has 8GB of internal memory so you can ditch your phone, grab your vest, and get in the Groove as you play your tunes for up to 6 hours of continuous playback. You then simply charge your Groove vest with any micro USB charger (provided) and that's it. IP68 is the maximum Ingress Protection rating against solid particles or liquid so your vest can handle just about anything you throw at it. Just remember to spray it down after a saltwater session. 

As your own DJ you can control your music with easy access buttons on the front chest of your vest. There are four buttons to help you get in the Groove: Play/Pause, Volume Up/Down, Skip/Back, Power On. Engineered for the folks who like to “SEND IT!” the vest is designed to withstand high impact crashes.

Electronics:

  • Speaker Type: Portable Waterproof Speaker
  • Connection Type: 8GB Internal Memory (1,000 songs)
  • Impedance: 4±10%ohm
  • Speaker Output: 3 watts
  • Driver Diameter: 40mm
  • SNR/Sound Pressure Level: 87±3dB
  • Weight: approx. 700g
  • Charging: Micro USB
  • Frequency Range: 200Hz-20KHz
  • Battery Capacity: 3,000mAh
  • Charging Voltage: DC 5V
  • Charge Time: approximately 2 Hours
  • Playback Time: approximately 6 hours
  • Housing Material: Polycarbonate

Vest:

  • Material: Jersey Knit Nylon Bonded to Scuba Stretch Neoprene
  • Foam: Closed Cell MLC Foam
  • Zipper: YYK #10 Marine Grade Zipper
  • Pocket Flap: Magnetic Neoprene Flaps 

Groove Vests are available in sizes Small to XL and those interested have the opportunity of pre-ordering on Kickstarter that begins today. The Groove Vest will retail for $299, but during this Kickstarter campaign in August, the vests can be pre-ordered starting at an early bird special of $150. For more information visit GrooveWatersports.com.

For All Your Accessories and/or Vinyl Flooring Visit Pontoon-Depot's Shop Site.  

Discover Boating | Buying A Pontoon Boat | Pontoon-Depot!!

Discover Boating | Buying A Pontoon Boat | Pontoon-Depot!!

By: Discover Boating

The pontoon boat has undergone quite an evolution in the past few decades, and what was once a simple boxy floating platform is now a luxury-laden pleasure-boat that can offer everything from a relaxing day on the lake to invigorating thrill rides. If you haven’t been on a modern pontoon you’ve got to step aboard one to believe just how amazingly advanced—and comfortable—the best pontoon boats have become.

Activities You'll Most Enjoy

Pontoon boats are loved in all corners of the nation because they can be used for so many different activities: watersports, swimming, day cruising, and of course just lounging about. There are fishing pontoon boats, performance pontoons with big outboard engines that will have you blasting across the lake or bay with the wind whipping in your hair, and luxury-oriented pontoons equipped with everything from a blender to a bathroom. There are big pontoon boats and small pontoon boats, you can get a pontoon trailer and explore far-flung waterways, and in all of these cases the options for what to do on your pontoon are essentially unlimited.

Perfect fishing platform

In some areas, you’ll discover that there are more fishing pontoon boats than other types of fishing boats. The reason why is simple: they are amazingly stable and comfortable, they hold large numbers of people, and they make an ideal fishing platform. Added bonus: modern fishing pontoon boats have all the angling accessories you need built right in, ranging from rod holders to aerated livewells to tackle boxes.

Used for skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding

If watersports are your thing, today’s pontoons won’t let you down. The best pontoon boats for skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding have tow-bits, storage lockers large enough to hold water skis or knee-boards, and swim platforms with large, stable ladders for climbing on and off the boat. They also have plenty of power and can give the kids a safe but spectacular thrill-ride. Even small pontoon boats usually have all the basics you need to enjoy watersports on some level. 

”Party barge” to entertain family and friends

There’s a reason pontoon boats are often called party barges, and it’s quite simple: with oodles of deck space, excellent stability, and variable furniture arrangements, you can have a pontoon that’s just as ideal for relaxing as a lake-side patio. The one difference—and what makes a pontoon boat even better—is that you’re afloat instead of on land, and you can take the party wherever you’d like.

Pontoon Boat Brands

Explore brands to find more information on models and pricing.

Pontoon Boat Ownership Costs

Buying a modern pontoon boat can be just as expensive or as economical as you’d like, and there are pontoon boat prices that fit every budget. There are even some mini pontoon boats that cost far less than the most affordable new cars. When you research out the ownership cost of a specific pontoon boat, an important factor to figure in is storage or mooring costs, if you can’t keep it on a pontoon trailer at your house. Visit our Boat Loan Calculator to learn more about what fits with your budget.

Maintenance Costs

You’re not likely to encounter maintenance costs on a new pontoon boat for several years, beyond basic care items like cleaning supplies. Its engine, however, will have a regular required maintenance plan. These vary from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer so to figure out just how much you’ll spend on items like oil and filter changes, you should refer to the manufacturer recommendations. Note that most pontoon boats on the market today and the engines that power them carry substantial warranties that should protect you from unexpected maintenance costs for years to come.

Operation Costs

The main operational cost for a pontoon is fuel. Just how much you burn will depend on the size of the boat and engine, how often you use it, and how far you run it. You may also want to plan in insurance costs (see Insuring Your Boat for more information.

Pontoon Technology/Materials/Features

Of all the different boat types out there, pontoons have seen some of the biggest technological advancements in recent years. Today many boast touch-screens at the helm, and seats with space-age fabrics that are resistant to UV light, mold and mildew, and staining. 

As pontoons have become more advanced they’ve also become better-equipped. You can find models with rather extreme stereo systems, fully-equipped wet bars, and even things like automatic sunshades that rise at the press of a button. In fact, if you look at the list of optional features on a high-end pontoon you’ll see that often goes on for pages and pages.

For All Your Accessories and/or Vinyl Flooring Visit Pontoon-Depot's Shop Site. 

Pros & Cons Of Pontoon Boats – Why Other Boats Don’t Come Close.

Pros & Cons Of Pontoon Boats – Why Other Boats Don’t Come Close.

By: The Ocean Sailing Guide

Today I would like to talk about one of my favorite subjects, the pros, and cons of pontoon boats.

Boating was definitely something that I did not grow up doing. In fact, I grew up in a town that had no lakes or rivers that were big enough for a dingo.

Well, I guess you could use a dingo but you would be doing it at your own risk. River Bosnia, as you guessed it, in Bosnia, was not very friendly for swimmers, let alone boaters. It is filled with underwater plates that create whirlpools and take lives annually.

But my passion for boats, I believe, comes from my genes and ancestors that lived on Croatian coastline and the islands. Also, the fact that I spend every other summer of my life there. Also, the honeymoon.

By the way, if you have not visited Croatia you don’t know what you are missing, the country is amazing. Living there for a few years made me love it even more.

When we moved to the states a couple of decades ago, we came to Boston. And as you may know, Boston has plenty of water.

There are rivers, like Mystic and Charles, countless lakes, and of course the ocean. I know you are not supposed to touch Charles River for its pollution but boating is safe. Right?!

The Beginning

When I started looking at boats I always thought about Croatian coastline and its beauty. Deep blue sea, rocky beaches, and crystal-clear water. I imagined having a small yacht that I could use to take my family out for some island hopping. Enjoy the sunset while sipping a homemade wine and authentic seafood.

But then I woke up and I realize there are no such things here.

Bummer!!

The Atlantic Ocean is not The Adriatic Sea. There are no rocky beaches, crystal-clear water or islands that you could go visit. Well, there are a few but there is nothing exciting about it, nothing that I would want to go see and enjoy.

What you can find here are large waves and the smell of rotten algae during the low tide.

Yummy, right?!

At that point, I decided that the ocean sailing is not something that we would enjoy.

Yet, I did not want to give up on my dream of owning a boat. And I knew how awesome that would be for our daughter and the memories we could create.

So, I kept on researching my options.

Massachusetts has a lot of lakes, and so does New Hampshire, which is only an hour away. So, I figured, why not explore that option.

I’ve talked to friends about their vacation spots and a lot of them mentioned Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Everyone said they loved it.

So, I decided to take my family there on vacation for the firsthand experience.

We loved it!!

There was so much we could do there. There are beaches everywhere and to my surprise, a lot of boats.

The First Encounter

There I saw, for the first time, a pontoon boat.

I must admit I was not overly excited about it. I had this idea in my head that boat should be V-shaped and I was sticking to it. I am not buying that thing on those 2-round things. No Way.

However, it looked very comfortable.

So that night, thanks to Google, I found out what that thing was. It was a pontoon boat.

I have never heard of one before but looking at some pictures it piqued my interest. And the more I was looking at it the more I liked it. And the most important part is, my wife thought it was great. She loved it.

The Decision

Every year Boston hosts many different shows in its Convention Center. Among others, there is a boat show. We usually only see the car show and sometimes the RV show, but this year we decided to check out the boat show. We have decided to buy a boat after all.

I must tell you if I knew the boat show was this great I would have spent my money on this rather than cars. It was amazing. The selection is insane and you can find just about anything that you are interested in.

pontoon boat pros and cons

Walking around we stumbled upon pontoon boat. It was beautiful, shiny, almost glowing in well-lit convention hangar. I wanted to say something to my wife but she was already getting up there and talking to one of the hostesses. (Is that what you call them?)

Anyhow to make the story short, my wife loved it, I had no say in it, and we now own a pontoon boat. Isn’t that a story of us guys?

But here is the thing. I loved it too. I just pretended I was interested in something else while adding extra accessories to this boat. It works every time, you should try it with your significant other.

Here are some pros and cons of pontoon boats that I looked at when making the final decision.

Advantages Of Having A Pontoon Boat

There are so many pros of getting a pontoon boat that I don’t know where to start. I loved my boat from the first day I got it.

The most important advantage of the pontoon boat, for me, is that it is perfect for family and kids. It is safe, spacious, and you can do many things on the pontoon that you can’t do on a regular V-shaped boat. You could install a portable boat toilet or a nice pontoon enclosure to keep you warm and dry.

Great For Fishing And Skiing

I’m not a big fisherman but I like to cast a line from time to time and fishing from a pontoon boat is as good as it gets. Having so much space, and a chair, in the back of the boat makes that even more enjoyable. I don’t think you can get more comfortable than that.

If you get a strong enough engine it is great for watersports like skiing. Yes, you can actually do that with a pontoon boat.

Simple To Use And Maintain

So far I never had any problems maintaining my boat. I was listening to many stories about how it will be hard, but, with a little bit of patience, it is a smooth ride.

If you are boating at a lake or river you can expect that you will have dents and holes sooner or later. Pontoon boats reduce chances of those situations because they sit high in the water, not as deep as V-shaped boats, so damaging your boat is not very common. This also allows you to go into much shallower waters.

Also, the big plus is that fixing of a pontoon boat is cheaper in case it gets damaged.

One more thing that I consider as the big advantage of a pontoon boat is that they are very easy to clean. Now I don’t know how hard it is to clean V-shaped boats but I’ve heard some horror stories.

Pontoon Boat Last Longer

Longevity is one of the main reasons why I bought a pontoon boat. When we are talking about longevity, there is no better boat.

If you own a boat for many years or you bought used pontoon, you might have holes in furniture and carpets may be faded. It is very simple to replace those things in a pontoon boat. Imagine that you have to replace cushions on your ski boat. Good luck with that.

You don’t have to be very handy to renovate your boat. I usually do everything I know, and after that, I just take my boat to a mechanic where professionals finish the rest of the work. Many other boats have problems with getting on and off the boat on a beach. That problem is “v” shaped edge. With pontoon that is not a problem at all.

People who have ski boats are trying to replace it every few years with a new boat. Having a pontoon boat there is no need for that.

Pontoon Boat Is Really Comfortable

Comfort is one more important reason why I choose the pontoon boat. It is spacious and very comfortable. One person can lie down and take the whole couch, while there is enough room for 7 more people. The comfort of the pontoon boat is unbeatable.

It is so comfortable that sometimes we have a problem leaving the boat for the whole day.

pros and cons of pontoon boats

Opportunities are endless on a pontoon boat. You can swim the whole day with your friends, changeup in a little handmade cabin. After that, you can make a barbecue right on the boat. A pontoon boat can really make you feel like a millionaire, without spending a lot of money on a boat.

They are also very comfortable during the ride. If there are no strong winds, the ride will be very smooth.

Pontoon Boat Is Very Safe

Especially for people who have kids, this is a very important segment. Pontoon boats are much safer than others because there are less “don’t go there” parts on the boat. Fence with high rails on a boat reduces chances of falling over into the water.

The weight of pontoon boats makes them extra safe. They are easy to drive, and chances of pontoon boat flipping are not very high.

Since the turning radius is not very tight, and the speed of the pontoon boat is around 30mph you can make full speed turns with ease. You can look this up in US Coast Guard statistics. It shows how pontoon boats are much safer than regular boats.

Perfect For Storage

In case you are a new to the boating world you won’t make a big deal out of this. But if you are more experienced with boats you will know how important this is.

If you have many guests on your boat and everyone brings something like blankets, food, cooler, clothes, on the ordinary boat you wouldn’t have enough space. A good thing about the pontoon boat is that you will have plenty of free space for everyone. That is a great thing, especially if you are staying outside for more than just a day.

Disadvantages Of Having A Pontoon Boat

There are not many disadvantages to pontoon boats in my opinion. Below I have described my biggest issues. If you are first time buyer you have to be unbiased and you got to know what you are looking for.

So here we go.

Speed

I’ve seen some fast pontoon boats, but those are very rare and hard to find. They are also very expensive.

Pontoon boats are great for water sports, but if you want to impress someone with speed, you will not. My boat has a top speed of about 30mph I believe. Typical speed of pontoon boats is around 28-35 mph. As you may notice, they are not speeding devils.

Some of the newest models of pontoon boats have larger engines with three tubes which improves speed.

Pontoon Boat On A Rough Water

The pontoon boat is very safe when the waves are small but when the waves get bigger, watch out. During the storm or heavy rain, pontoon boats are more dangerous than ordinary “V” boats.

Large waves cause problems because pontoon boats are diving into the wave, and not go over them. That can cause capsizing but on very extreme occasions.

The best thing to do during the storm is to get out of the water.

Wake Shape

For me personally, the wake on my boat wasn’t something I was thinking about when I bought it. But, I understand that for some people this is important.

The wake behind pontoons outboard is very similar to ordinary ski boat, but the difference is that pontoons have wake on both side. Which means that pontoon boats wake is much wider than normal boats.

Handling Might Be Challenging

Handling may be tougher than traditional boats. Pontoon is wider and heavier than your typical “V” boat.

My boat turning radius is approximately 25′.

Outboard Engine Noise

If you are buying a pontoon boat for the first time, try to avoid outboard engines. They can be very loud, much louder than inboard engines definitely.

The newer models of outboard engines are improved in that aspect so if you are buying an outboard engine, make sure that you are buying a new model.

Final Word

So there you are. Those are my thought on the pros and cons of pontoon boats. If you agree or disagree with my views make sure to let me know by commenting below. I promise I will take your critique with a smile 🙂

If you want to know how Pontoon stacks against Deck Boat make sure you read Pontoon vs. Deck Boat Comparison.

For All Your Accessories and/or Vinyl Flooring Visit Pontoon-Depot's Shop Site.