Accessories and Inovations
In the History of Pontoons.com I give a more in-depth review of innovations.. Elsewhere I suggest that new boat buyers and rebuilders give some thought as to how they will use a pontoon. Cruising and entertaining. Family fun; swimming and tubing. Fishing, etc. Some people seem to buy pontoons that ultimately don’t fit the way they want to use a boat. These accessories may give you some ideas.
Images from dockandpontoonladders.com
Boarding ladders for pontoons used to be options. Today most new boat come with some type of ladder.
Images from fenceforpontoons.com
Sundecks were introduced in the 1980’s and standard on many new pontoon boats. Their original purpose was to help deaden engine noise from the old two stroke outboards. They are a convenient place to stow gear and ultimately a good place to conceal a gas tank. The name Sundeck infers that you can sun bathe on them and it’s possible but most are only about 3’ wide. Walk on hardtops are sometimes called sundecks.
Stern Entry and Ski Tow Bar.
The stern entry is a fairly new and popular floorplan. Most manufacturers offer new boats in this configuration. The swimmer boards the boat from the stern and the back deck is usually covered with vinyl rather than carpet. You can dry off before entering the upholstery area. The image shows the sundeck area and this one is actually big enough for someone to lay on. Also shown is a ski tow bar. In the past when someone wanted to ski you had practically stand on your head to tie the ski rope to a mooring eye. Many new boats have ski tow bars standard. If you ski, tube or wakeboard you’ll want one.
Stern entry fence packages are available from
Small cuts of vinyl flooring are available from pmimarine.com
Under Deck Lights
Lighting kits available from PMImarine.com
Under Seat Lights
Lighting In the past most pontoons just had required Coast Guard lighting. A stern light and Port and Starboard running lights. Many modern boats have all kinds of lighting. Under seat or deck lighting illuminates the deck area. Under deck lights illuminate the side of the boat. Rebuilders can buy kits while many new pontoons come standard with lighting. Rebuilders, make sure you buy LED.
Aftermarket changing room that attached to a Bimini frame from
Changing Rooms are a popular option for boaters who moor at a marina and come to the boat from work. You can change into a swim suits in privacy. A portapotty can sometimes be adapted depending on the size of the enclosure. Some new boats offer them built into seating or sundecks. They are available as aftermarket items that usually tie into the canopy frame.
Images from Sea-Legs.com
Image of Hewitt Pontoon Legs
Sea Legs is the trade name and name of a company whose product lift a pontoon boat out of the water. “Legs” are fitted between the pontoon tubes. Hydraulics, usually mounted beneath seats lift the pontoon. Other manufacturers have similar products (Hewitt-Pontoon legs, etc) This type of pontoon lift is ideal for the quiet inland (shallow) lakes of the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest. Sea legs are made in Minnesota
Triple Tube Kits
Triple Tube Kits have been around since the mid-1980’s. They have been widely accepted and improved in recent years. Each manufacturer has a unique quality story and features (see Pontoons as Performance Boats). There are two major types of center pontoons. The image top left shows what some manufacturers call a Sport tube. The center tube is simply an additional pontoon tube attached in front of an ordinary transom. The image on the right is a full length center tube and the engine is supported in a pod (transom) incorporated in the center tube.
Some center pontoons are larger than the outside two. Some are flush with the front of the deck while others extend forward of the deck while others may be behind the deck. Some are U shaped or elliptical. Most have some kind of “strakes” on them to help improve cornering. I’ve studied tri tubes and frankly I can not make a recommendation on which is “best”. They all seem to perform beautifully although one might be slightly faster and another might turn in a tighter radius. Almost without exception everyone I’ve talked with loves their triple tube pontoon, no matter what brand it is.
Adding a center tube to a two tube pontoon.
We frequently get requests for pontoon tubes and we’ve never developed a good source. You can find pontoon tubes on ebay. They are generally about $1200+ each. Measure the length of the transom and buy a pontoon of the same diameter, or slightly larger that will run from the front of the transom to near your front deck. Drill a few holes in the cross members and bolt the new tube on. Unfortunately its not quite that simple. We’ve heard from people who have had spray problems from the center tube deflecting water away from the transom.