Pontoons are an essential part of a boat, as they provide the necessary buoyancy and stability required for safe navigation on water. These rectangular-shaped tubes are made of a variety of materials, each possessing different advantages, disadvantages, and costs.
Historically, pontoons were made out of wood. However, with the advent of modern materials and manufacturing processes, they have evolved significantly. Today, most pontoons on the market are made of three primary materials: aluminum, steel, or plastic.
Aluminum is now one of the most popular materials for boat pontoons because of its lightweight and durability. Aluminum pontoons are typically made from marine-grade aluminum, which is highly corrosion resistant and easy to repair. The alloy aluminum used for pontoons contains magnesium to increase corrosion resistance, making it ideal for use in saltwater environments. Additionally, aluminum pontoons are highly cost-effective since they can be easily recycled and reused.
Steel pontoons are the heaviest among the three materials and are typically used in larger boats with high buoyancy requirements. Steel is known for being highly durable, rust-resistant, and able to withstand higher pressures than other materials. Despite these advantages, steel pontoons can be difficult to repair and require extensive maintenance to prevent rust and corrosion.
Plastic pontoons are a recent newcomer to the boating industry, made from a variety of highly durable plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and PVC. These materials are lightweight and can withstand the effects of UV rays, making them ideal for use in hot and sunny climates. Plastic pontoons are highly durable and require minimal maintenance, but they can be pricey compared to the other materials.
Regardless of the material, pontoons are manufactured using a variety of techniques. A common technique involves welding or bonding pieces together to create a hollow tube, which is then filled with expanding foam insulation to reduce noise and vibration. The buoyancy required depends on the size and weight of the boat, and the number of pontoons needed will vary accordingly.
To conclude, boat pontoons are made from a range of materials, each possessing their own unique characteristics, advantages, and prices. Aluminum pontoons are the most common and are highly cost-effective, while steel pontoons are the most durable and require extensive maintenance. Plastic pontoons are the newest arrival and are highly durable but can be expensive. Regardless of the material used, it’s important to ensure your pontoons are always well-maintained to ensure your boat stays safe and functional.