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Pontoon Boat Statistics | Pontoon-Depot

Pontoon Boat Statistics | Pontoon-Depot

By: Pontoon Boat | Discover Boating
  • Freshwater Fishing
  • Watersports
  • Day Cruising
  • Just For Fun
  • Safety/Education
  • Entertainment
  • Spending Time With Family
  • Maintenance/How-To
  • 15 Max
  • 16 - 30 FT
  • Outboard Engine
  • Sterndrive Engine
  • Trailerable

Pontoon boats may still be the ultimate “party barge,” but these versatile craft have grown far beyond the slow-moving vessel you may remember from Grandpa’s cocktail cruise. Yes, the core remains very much the same — stable pontoons below, topped by an abundance of seating above. Today’s craft, however, increasingly feature plusher seats and lounges, entertainment centers and wet bars, and the latest sound and lighting systems. They also perform increasingly like boats with a deeper v-shaped bottom, or “hull”, and include with triple-tube models that carve on a dime and an abundance of horsepower.

Activities You'll Most Enjoy

Pontoon boats are still one of the best options for that cocktail cruise of old, and with innovative seating choices and mood-setting music and lighting, they’re arguably better at it than ever before. Pontoons also make the perfect fishing platform, and many models feature fishing-friendly amenities. Today’s models, however, increasingly rival their fiberglass counterparts for versatility. Lifting strakes and foils, structural features of the boat’s hull bottom, dramatically improve handling; triple pontoon models often drop the center tube lower to mimic the lean-in handling of a V-hull. The end result is exceptional handling and agility. Larger diameter pontoons, or triple tube models, also are capable of handling far more horsepower, meaning a pontoon is also a viable alternative for skiing, tubing, wakeboarding…or just punching the throttle to feel the rush of wind and speed.

Which Engine is Right For Your Boat

Outboard power remains the most popular option for a pontoon. Even a small horsepower engine will propel a pontoon at a stately pace. Higher horsepower models, single or in pairs, can push a pontoon along at thrilling speeds and easily tow a rider on their favorite water toy.

For all your accessories and/or vinyl flooring visit Pontoon Depot's shop site.

The Complete Guide to Pontoon Sea Legs

The Complete Guide to Pontoon Sea Legs

By: BetterBoat.com

What are pontoon sea legs?

Sea legs are basically two portable hydraulic mechanisms that attach to a pontoon boat’s underside, which can lift the boat approximately six feet above water when activated. Even out in the middle of the lake! When you’re ready to head home, you just lower it back down.

Unlike traditional boat lifts or storage systems you normally see on docks, they’re an excellent alternative for pontooners. Because as you’ll soon learn, pontoon sea legs go wherever you and your boat goes.

And you might not even need a boat trailer to haul your pontoon to storage, either.

How Pontoon Sea Legs Work

Attached to the bottom of your pontoon, sea legs are powered by a battery, which lifts the boat up out of the water to a holding position.

Tucked hidden away and installed under a seat compartment, the sea legs’ hydraulic system is activated by a one-horsepower, 12-volt pump.

To work properly, they require at least a 750 cold cranking amp battery, similar to this Optima Deep Cycle Marine (check price on Amazon).

Strong Pontoon Sea Legs Materials

Sea legs are typically constructed of lightweight extruded aluminum alloy tubing, set at an angle to provide the strength for a heavy pontoon boat. The aluminum isn’t bad for erosion prevention, either. At the end of each sea leg is a 48” x 18” pad foot, which supports the structure along the lake bottom.

The four hydraulic cylinders themselves are supported by steel alloy piston rods, which support approximately 6,500 pounds of lift capacity, which should support most heavier pontoons.

Pontoon Sea Leg Manufacturers

Sea legs are currently manufactured by two reputable Minnesota companies. Here’s a brief introduction to each:

Hewitt

Hewitt offers different models for pontoons. One model has a wide base to offer better stability in wind and rough water. But there are also electric and hydraulic sea legversions.

Sea-Legs

Sea-Legs, the brand, has sold more than 10,000 sets throughout the U.S. and Canada. Their product offers 3,000 pounds of extracting and retracting power to keep from getting stuck. This is great if your lake’s sediment has sand, rock and mucky areas that could get the legs stuck.

The Cost of Pontoon Sea Legs

The cost to place sea legs on a pontoon can vary, depending on which brand you go with. But here is a general breakdown:

For a two-tube pontoon boat, sea legs cost approximately $4,300. And that’s just the legs.

Installation cost an additional $700, totaling $5,000.

For a tritoon pontoon boat, sea legs are approximately $6500, plus $1000 for installation, totaling $7500.

If you want the average 26-foot lift canopy, expect to pay around $4500, which doesn’t include setup or installation.

And then there’s the bells and whistles! Want a remote control for your pontoon sea legs? It’ll cost around $300 to $400.

The warranty — With your sea legs, you will find a warranty. But they may be different and vary anywhere from a one-year to two-year warranty. Ask your dealer about specific details of your warranty and read the fine print! Once installed, improper use of your sea legs can void the warranty.

Pontoon Sea Legs vs. Traditional Hydraulic Lifts

Sea legs are different from your traditional hydraulic lifts. The most obvious difference is that sea legs are installed to the bottom of your pontoon. Traditional hydraulic lifts, however, are installed onto docks and within storage facilities.

If you’re considering buying either sea legs or hydraulic lifts, consider their additional advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages of Sea Legs Over Lifts

  • Prevents having to haul your boat to docks/lifts
  • Prevents a pontoon from banging against the dock
  • Activated by the convenient push of a button
  • Protects pontoon tubes from algae and mold buildup
  • Deployed anywhere easily without cables and pulleys
  • Install works on most pontoons
  • Drifting is prevented and without anchors

Disadvantages of Sea Legs Over Lifts

  • Affects your pontoon’s performance and towing capacity, as they add ~350 pounds
  • Only fits pontoons between 18 and 30 feet
  • Pontoon weight affects sea legs. (For maximum performance, the weight cannot exceed 5,800 pounds
  • Sea legs are not on the cheap side

Alternatives to Sea Legs and Lifts

Sea legs aren’t a good fit for all pontoon owners. One major issue is the cost. If you prefer not to spend money on sea legs, lifts or even a dock, you can always go with economical ways to protect and secure your boat.

You have a couple of options:

1) Secure your boat to a dock or deck — For starters, learn some of those handy, Houdini-esque nautical knots.

The downside? This method won’t protect pontoons from mold/algae. It may not prevent damage from banging the dock’s side either. If you go this route, make sure you have a good pontoon cover to protect your boat.

To be fair, you’ll probably want to cover your pontoon when using sea legs, too. It’ll still be exposed to the elements, so a good cover is a good idea, like this Pyle UV protective cover(check price on Amazon) that’s mildew resistant and waterproof.

2) Use a trailer  Load your boat up onto your trailer and haul it to and from the water.

When you can’t currently afford sea legs or own your own dock, these are great options! Sea legs are expensive. So are docks. They don’t always fit our budgets … and some folks are simply more budget-conscious.

How Many Sea Legs Your Pontoon Needs

Your sea leg quantity depends on your pontoon’s overall size in terms of length and weight. Keep in mind, however, if your pontoon’s longer than 30 feet or shorter than 18 feet, it may not be suitable for sea legs at all.

In most cases, however, a pair of sea legs is installed toward each end of the boat. Longer pontoons, obviously, may require more. Check with your dealer and installer to help determine what your pontoon make and model needs.

Sea Leg Safety and Stability

Reports of pontoons tipping over while on sea legs are out there. But don’t let that scare you away. You just have to use them in the right conditions.

Muddy underwater sediment and even high wind affect a sea leg’s stability, so double-check these possible conditions before installing.

They can’t be used in water with rocky bottoms, either. It reduces the safety and stability of the sea legs.

Laws and Permits for Sea Legs

Although sea legs have supported pontoons since 1996, they’re still an up and coming trend and growing steadily.

Check with your state and local authorities to inquire exactly what permits are needed. It’s possible sea legs may not even be permitted where you live. Avoid spending that much money or having to remove them!

As always, it’s always a good idea to double-check. If you’re uncertain where to start, check with the United States Coast Guard to better understand laws and regulations. If you’re still unsure, request a contact in your local area.

Sea Leg Insurance

You need insurance for practically everything these days. And you’ll need insurance to cover your pontoon sea legs, too. Attached to your pontoon’s bottom, they’re not a permanent structure and may require a different type of insurance.

Check on your pontoon coverage, too, while you’re at it. Your current coverage may change with these additions. And your insurance company may need to know how your boat’s being stored.

If you have questions, you can contact the United Marine Underwriters for guidance.

Conclusion

Pontoon sea legs are a promising alternative to traditional lifts, even though they’re unusual and make your pontoon appear as though it could walk on water.

They might not work for every pontoon owner. But if they do, one thing’s for sure: They’ll not only protect your pontoon, but also be a great conversation piece!

For all your accessories and/or vinyl flooring visit Pontoon Depot's shop site.

TOP 5 BEST KENTUCKY LAKES FOR PONTOON BOATING

TOP 5 BEST KENTUCKY LAKES FOR PONTOON BOATING

By: Bennington Marine

There are few things better to do in the great state of Kentucky than head out on the water for a day of fun and relaxation. Looking for the best place to launch your Bennington pontoon boat? Check out our short list of the top lakes for Kentucky boating enthusiasts below!

Top 5 Lakes in Kentucky for Pontoon Boating

Lake Barkley

Created upon the completion of the Barkley Dam, this beautiful lake features more than 100 miles of shoreline. Nestled in a 17,000-acre park that features boating, swimming, fishing, horseback riding, golf and hiking – this is the ultimate destination for a weekend getaway.

Kentucky Lake

One of the largest lakes in the state, Kentucky Lake sits right along the Tennessee River and offers boaters more than 160,700 acres of freshwater to explore. Known for its superb fishing, you’ll find yellow perch, buffalo carp and white bass in these waters.

Buckhorn Lake

If you’re looking for a secluded and magical place to spend a few days out on your Bennington pontoon boat, then this is the spot for you. Tucked back among the Appalachians, Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park has activities for the whole family to enjoy including mini golf, swimming, fishing, and hiking.

Lake Cumberland

This is Kentucky’s largest lake by volume, stretching across 6 counties in total and offering boaters a secluded paradise to explore. Locals visit Lake Cumberland to relax and enjoy everything from kayaking, rafting, swimming, waterboarding, fishing, water skiing and more.

Laurel River Lake

If fantastic natural sights are something you enjoy, then it’s time to make a trip out to Laurel River Lake. Located within the stunning Daniel Boone National Forest, this 5,700-acre lake is a popular destination for boating, scuba diving and swimming. If fishing is your goal for the day, you're sure to find everything from rainbow trout to black bass, catfish and crappie in the waters of the Laurel River Lake.

Explore the Best Waters Kentucky Has to Offer

Ready to get out and discover Kentucky’s best boating spots? With so many stunning natural waters to offer, it’s no wonder boating enthusiasts from around the country love to visit the great state of Kentucky. Before you plan your next big trip, be sure to check out the latest selection of high-performance Bennington Pontoon boats and find your local dealer today.

For all your accessories and/or vinyl flooring visit Pontoon Depot's shop site.

How Water License Laws Differ from The Road!

How Water License Laws Differ from The Road!

By: Amy Cabanas, Pontoon-Depot

 ....and how not to get into trouble this season.

Starting off the new year right is always a good thing. Although I must say I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions. However, I am a HUGE proponent of abiding by all laws and not putting you or anyone else in any danger on the water. Safety first!

Who knew! You actually have to take a class in all states and get certified to operate any boating vessel. Another surprising, yet understandable law, is that you must be at least 12 years old to operate a motorized vessel powered by an engine of 10 horsepower or more. Moreover, you must be at least 16 years old to independently operate a personal watercraft, which isn’t too different from the road. I know in most states to get your drivers license for a car is 16 years old.

As for Game and Fish commission requirements, there are no minimum age requirements to take the online course. Also, you do not have to be a resident of the state you take it in, which is extremely convenient for all of you lucky enough to get some early vacation time.

This is not A Boating Safety License!!

Boating safety education certification is not the same thing as a Boating license. What you really need is a Boating Safety Education Certificate from your state. You can get the state Boating Safety Education Certificate by taking a boat safety course at Boat-Ed.com. Find out if you need the certification. If you do, make sure you always carry it with you and if you lose it, get it replaced asap. These are a few things that can turn your day from fun on the water with your friends to a headache no one wants to deal with.

Kalkomey is the official provider of recreational safety education materials for all 50 states. They provide online boating and hunting, as well as, all other recreational safety education. Their email for more information is info@kalkomey.com

If you are worried about passing this test, as I am sure we all remember the nerves we had when getting ready for our drivers written test, have no fear. There is a study guide on the same site, Boat-Ed.com. Check it out for all your questions and/or concerns.

As I always say, better safe than sorry. Lets all start out the season on the right path. Happy Boating!

For all your accessories and/or vinyl flooring visit Pontoon Depot's shop site.