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Pontoon Boat: Your Floating Stay-Cation

Pontoon Boat: Your Floating Stay-Cation

You don't have to go too far to get away.

You, after all, are among the elite. You have the hardware required to bring the party wherever you go. You invested in a floating memory-making machine.

You're a pontoon boat owner.

Leave the "all-inclusive" cruises to the schmos who are willing to settle for cramped cabins, crowded dinners and hack entertainment. Let the landlubbers scour Travelocity for the can't-miss, can't-wait deal of the century that comes along every four days. Let the masses pack their SUVs and head to their secret, pristine vacation hideaway that's a secret to everyone except for all the people who have Facebook.

You're a pontoon boat owner. For you, the vacation starts as soon as you shove off from the dock.

On regular boats, kids get bored quickly because they can't move around. Your floating living room, however, gives them all the stay-cation space they need to spread out and have some fun.

What would you do on vacation? Go fishing? Go water skiing?

Check and double check.

Unlike most boats, with their rigid seating structures, pontoon boats are comfy and cozy. Cuddle up and watch the sunset — or sunrise, depending on your stay-cation itinerary. Grab a pair of binoculars and see what kind of birds or other wildlife you can spy from your maritime sanctuary. Explore a channel or tributary you've never cruised before, or cut the engine and just relax, talk and enjoy each other's company — cell phone and iPad free.

The point is, spring is here. The kids will be out of school soon and a vacation doesn't sound like a bad idea. But you don't need to go very far to get away. When you invested in your pontoon boat, you entered an elite fraternity of adventurers and enthusiasts who don't need to travel to find excitement, adventure and relaxation.

You've got a pontoon boat. All of that goes wherever you go.

What are the Materials Best for the Structural Floor | Pontoon-Depot

What are the Materials Best for the Structural Floor | Pontoon-Depot

What are 3 basic types of materials used for the structural floor of a Pontoon Boat:

Composites: In recent years some manufactures have made more composite flooring options available. There's been a effort to meet customer demand for a decay proof deck material without all the structural drawbacks normally associated with aluminum decking. Composites are made largely made of recycled plastic products formed into panels similar in size and thickness of wood. Composites are far superior to aluminum in insulating qualities. Rigidity is generally superior to aluminum but still inferior to wood. Earlier versions did over time suffer from sagging. However the later composites panel decking has fiberglass reinforcement that has corrected these concerns. However this piece of mind does come with a price however, for composites often is a more expensive option if available.

Aluminum: Is available as a deck material from various pontoon boat manufactures. Aluminum is generally offered as an option to ease customer fears of woods potential to decay. And aluminum does offer peace of mind for the customer and has become a major marketing tool for those manufactures that offer it. However when considering some of the desirable characteristics described earlier, aluminum does indeed have some shortcomings to consider as a deck material. Aluminum has poor panel span strength and rigidity. To compensate this most manufactures lay aluminum in sections of pieces six to eight inches wide. While in comparison other materials are generally four foot wide sections. To cut costs many manufactures also use self tapping screws to fasten it in place. All the additional seams also result in an increase of stress and wear on the carpet over time. Aluminum also has poor insulating qualities of both sound and heat. But there are many people who feel that the prospects of no decay over ride all the negative aspects of this material.

Wood is the most traditional of all the decking materials. In almost all the above desirable characteristics it has the most desirable qualities. Wood also has the greatest rigidity and panel strength of all the available materials. Its insulating qualities are as good as the composites. It's also one of the least stressful and maybe best substrates when used with carpet. However wood can, have and does exhibit decay. Like any organic material if it's left untreated it will have poor survivability in a wet marine environment. Therefore you should be certain that a good grade of marine plywood was used in the construction of your boat. If marine grade CCA treated 3/4 in. plywood was used in construction and some general care was taken of the boat, you can rest assured that you'll get many years of relatively carefree service from your pontoon boat purchase before any issues or observation of any decay.

Excerpt taken from a longer article on -

10 Question to Ask When Calling About a Used Boat | Pontoon-Depot

10 Question to Ask When Calling About a Used Boat | Pontoon-Depot

Are you calling a boat owner to inquire about a boat you seen posted for sale? Here's a handy checklist of perspective questions.

  1. What year is the motor, and is there a trailer? You'll need to check this out later but never assume they are the same.

  2. How long have you had or owned the boat? A warning, people who are selling after just a brief ownership may be trying to dump a problem.

  3. Are you the original owner? The value here is if you are dealing with the first owner you can inquire about its entire mechanical history.

  4. Is the boat equipped with an hour meter? If the answer is no then forget about all assurances of low hours, for without a meter there's no way to verify hours.

  5. Why are you selling the boat? If the owner is wanting to buy, or buying a larger boat why isn't he trading it in? Often it's because they have an inflated opinion of the true value of the boat and are unwilling to deal for its real true value.

  6. Will there be a water source accessible if I come to look at your boat? You'll need at least a hose to properly evaluate the motor.

  7. Will there be an opportunity to test the boat? If you can't drive it, you don't really want to buy it.

  8. Would you make sure the batteries are charged when I arrive to look at the boat? Never assume batteries in boat are charged.

  9. Has there ever been any major engine work and when? You'll want to know the history of the motor. If the answer is yes ask when, by whom, and ask about seeing the receipts.

  10. Has the boat ever been wrecked or had any major structural work?Just like autos a rebuilt or re-constructed wreck has a lower resale value than one without a history.

This excerpt was taken from a longer blog post at -