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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.  

The Finer Things In Life Qwest LS 820 Lanai Cruise

The Finer Things In Life Qwest LS 820 Lanai Cruise

By: PDBMagazine

We all enjoy the finer things in life—those simple pleasures with a touch of elegance and luxury mixed in. Whether it is a five-star meal or a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, we all enjoy some sophisticated quality in our lives from time to time. Qwest recognized this universal tendency to seek out classy comforts, and it definitely shows when you take a look at their Qwest LS 820 Lanai Cruise.

Qwest Pontoons are known for their high-quality vessels and this high-end, luxury pontoon is the perfect example of what helps their brand stand out. Every boat this manufacturer builds is designed and engineered in-house at their factory in St. Louis, Mich., to ensure their high quality standards which are evident in the fit and finish work.

The PDB staff was lucky enough to test drive the 820 Lanai Cruise recently, and we have to admit, this stunning boat left quite the impression.

Light As A Feather

The 820 Lanai Cruise is not only a luxury model, but a performance model as well. We felt like the Suzuki 150 was a perfect match for this boat, giving it plenty of power to skip across the lake. This boat comes with the option of the Gen II Triple Tube package, allowing for the boat to have that full-length center pontoon. The Gen II Triple tube package not only includes a full-length center tube, but also comes with perks like the hydraulic steering, ski/tow bar, aluminum underskin and rearview mirror.    

The 820 Lanai Cruise also boasts a lightweight design which allows you to achieve better flotation and capacities with smaller diameter pontoons. This makes the boat easier to maneuver whether you’re out on the water or trailering your boat behind the truck.

The triple tubes coupled with the lightweight design and furniture allow the boat to ride impressively high in the water, and the SeaStar hydraulic steering makes turning the boat a pleasure. In addition, it also has a great turning radius. Plain and simple, it’s just an all-around fun boat to drive.

Heavenly Helm

The captain’s area is enough to make any pontoon enthusiast swoon. Stepping up to the helm, the Humminbird Helix 5 Sonar Color Combination GPS/fishfinder is the center focus. It’s situated in the perfect location, always providing necessary information. Then you’ve got your other gauges with rocker switches on either side, along with the Infinity PRV Bluetooth stereo system controls just to the right of the steering wheel with a convenient USB port alongside it. Additionally, the handsome stainless spoke steering wheel offers soft grip and wood-grain accents along with an adjustable tilt steering system.

Having a smaller helm definitely saves some space in the cockpit, but despite its compact size, everything you need is still right in front of you at your fingertips. The helm is an all-fiberglass design with a lovely wood grain dash that also matches your table and some of the other panels. The gauges are all stainless steel, and the Infinity stereo comes standard with four speakers that are ready to get the party started.

The helm offers a personal stainless cupholder for the captain with a dry storage right above it for boat papers or other personal items. The RAM universal cell phone mount is also a convenient feature, giving you easy, hands-free access to your phone. Then don’t forget the PTM Edge rearview mirror. We feel like all pontoons should come standard with a mirror like this because it makes it much easier to keep an eye on things for water sports or even just cruising around.

Definitive Details

Going right down to the very threads of the furniture in the 820 Lanai Cruise, the hand-crafted quality and innovation could not be more apparent. The Ultra Flow seat ventilation encourages optimum air flow inside the seat bases which helps to dry items stored beneath the seats. This prevents mold or mildew from forming and helps keep your boat spick and span. The seat bases are made from proprietary Dura-Lite composite material which keeps the boat lighter and stronger while providing generous amounts of storage space.

Even the mount pedestal for the wood grain table is worth noting for its low profile that stays out of the way when not in use. You’ll never have to worry about stubbing a toe because it’s flush with the floor and it’s even got a nice little rubber cap for when it’s not in use.

Naturally, all of the tables and posts store comfortably under the seats, so everything’s nice and out of the way but still ready to use whenever you want it. The boat also has Diamond Seagrass luxury woven vinyl flooring which is a lovely touch. All of these details make it easy to see why this is part of the Luxury Series from Qwest.

From Front To Back

The 820 Lanai Cruise is packed with tons of great features from bow to stern. The boat is rated for up to 11 passengers which is a fantastic capacity for its size, supplying plenty of comfortable, soft-touch vinyl seating throughout.

At the stern of the boat in the swim deck area, there’s a large bench-seat section with great storage below. As mentioned before, the pontoon comes with a solid ski/tow bar, and our test boat was equipped with a big Suzuki engine that provided the boat its ample power.

It also has a comfortable contoured aluminum rear ladder which has four big steps that swing out. This is actually the same ladder Qwest used for its Avanti model last year. Qwest had such success with this particular ladder they decided to bring it over to the Luxury Series along with the stainless steel corner caps. This ladder has been hailed for the ease that accompanies getting up and down out of the water. This is yet another example of one of the luxury items that became standard in this series.

Stepping Back

Qwest clearly infused its LS 820 Lanai Cruise with comfort, performance and sophistication, never straying from their reputation for quality pontoons. Right down to the details, the boat is peppered with small luxuries that contribute to a fantastic boating experience.

From the lightweight design to the fit and finish, this boat quite simply provides pontooners with some of the finer things in life.

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.  

5 Ways to Safely Boat With Your Children | Pontoon-Depot

5 Ways to Safely Boat With Your Children | Pontoon-Depot

By: Hula Boat Care

I’ve been boating long before I was a Mother, but my experience with kiddos and the lake has given me a leg up when it comes to boating with my own child.  Though we have always considered safety important, it’s now paramount to my own boating experience.  My on the water happiness is directly connected to the situation I create for my son.  Here are a few of my tips for boating with your babies!

  1. Get the expensive life jacket.  The neoprene tends to be softer and the fit is better. They are much more likely to stay content if their life jacket isn’t rubbing their tender skin raw.
  2. Put them in a long sleeve rash guard and hat. If you’ve ever put sunscreen on a squirmy baby that’s more like a bag of snakes than a human, you know how tough it can be to get full coverage. Cover them up!
  3. Create a soft place for them to land on your boat. They will inevitably get sleepy and nap so make sure there is a spot out of the sun that you can put them down.
  4. If anchoring and swimming around is on your usual lake agenda, consider a Maui Mat or Lilly Pad. This doesn’t negate the need for a life jacket, but it does give everyone a way to safely play in and around the water and no one is forced to take turns sitting on the boat to watch baby.
  5. Make sure all the products used on your boat are non toxic. Hula Boat Care is my go to for a few reasons, but the top of my list is that it is marine and kid friendly so I know for sure that my little guy is safe if exposed to treated areas.

There are so many ways that boating with a baby or toddler can be difficult, but with a little preparation, you can share your love for the water with your mini me.

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