About this website
Much of the content of this web site was developed as part of sales training for my wholesale business. Twenty years ago when I started Paul’s Marine I handled most of the phone calls. At that time I was a fifteen year veteran of the pontoon industry and there wasn’t much that I didn’t know about pontoon boats. As my business grew I found that I needed knowledgeable people to help sell and explain rebuilding. I tried marine mechanics, or at least men who had knowledge of rebuilding, but they weren’t satisfied with phone representatives wages. I discovered that intelligent young people make the best customer service reps. I hired people who at least knew what a pontoon boat was but knowledge of riding on a pontoon boat wasn’t much help.
There are a lot of people selling pontoon components, but you’d be amazed at the general lack of knowledge. I’ll include new boat builders as well as everyone in the aftermarket in that broad statement. Some of the old-line businesses are operated by the children or grandchildren of the owner. The old man knew everything about pontoons but he’s gone and replaced by others. The aftermarket business is full of sellers who have no idea what they are selling. They import something and assume that the foreign supplier knows what he’s making. We do some importing, but everything we import is to our specifications. We’ve rejected many products that others sell.
As a wholesale distributor we often have to help marine industry professionals figure out what they need and offer suggestions on the best way to do things. In the years we’ve been selling wholesale, nothing was ever the dealer/installers fault. It was always ours, even when it wasn’t. If they didn’t use enough glue or put the carpet down with wrinkles in it, because they didn’t roll it out, it was the fault of the glue or carpet. Because the liability was always ours, we are serious about quality. This long-winded explanation is why much of this material was developed, to help educate our employees on everything there is to know about pontoons. I have been an observed of the pontoon industry over a forty-year period and the History of Pontoons has been a work in progress for years. I’ve shared it with marine dealer friends and they suggested that I publish. But printing is expensive and I’m unsure how a book would get to market or how much interest there might be. A website seems to be the perfect forum. People can read or ignore it but at least some of the story will be presented.
The internet is full of information. I was active in a chat room for a while but I became discouraged by the amount of bad information. There are a lot of opinions out there and the guy whose rebuilt one boat has just as big of a voice as those who have done dozens. But again the internet is full of information, you just need a basis of knowledge to separate the good from the bad. Hopefully the information provided here will help.