When you bought your pontoon boat, you were probably so excited to just get it out on the water. But maybe now you feel a little neutral about your boat’s appearance or speed. You can do something about this ho-hum boating experience through a pontoon boat makeover. Follow some of our tips below to update your pontoon boat and add some excitement to your water sporting.
Assess Your Pontoon Boat Makeover Needs
Not every pontoon boat makeover requires top-to-float renovation. Many of these boats have perfectly good substructures and pontoons, but just need cosmetic updates for the parts exposed to the most sunlight and wind. Quite often, the seating, canopy, and console wear out before the deck, railings, and perimeter fencing.
Before you start working to update your pontoon boat, go over each of the boat’s parts. Do this to determine where your money will be best spent as part of your pontoon boat makeover. Parts to check include:
- Deck superstructure
- Hydrofoil system
Start with the Foundation
Just like when you are renovating a home, cabin, or any other building, your pontoon boat must have a sound foundation. Otherwise, it is not seaworthy. Go over the base of your pontoon boat and its parts to determine where it needs repairs, replacements, or upgrades.
Obviously, the pontoons are one of the most important parts of your boat. They may require repair or replacement to keep your vessel afloat for years to come. Look for dents, cracks, split seams, leaks, and holes. Repairing pontoons as part of your pontoon boat makeover may require the help of a welder at a local shop or the marina.
After removing your boat’s furniture, carpet, deck wood, and outboard look for signs of wear on the deck superstructure. Pay particular attention to the welding points of the transom and boat deck frame. Also, examine the bolted connections of the outboard. These are high-stress points where the structure typically weakens.
Your pontoon boat makeover is the right time to replace the decking. Use marine plywood or treated A-A plywood.
Anytime you want to replace the carpet on your pontoon boat deck, you should first check the deck’s integrity. Look for signs of wood rot or other wear. Once that is done, it is a great time to install new carpet. Always order a bit more carpet than you think you will need, just in case. Order enough carpet adhesive for your installation. This is an easy process in comparison to other aspects of a pontoon boat makeover. It also provides some quick gratification, when you want to update your pontoon boat.
If you have never done any boat rigging, you likely need a mechanic’s help or oversight to change the gauges, controls, and rigging of your console. A new steering wheel and cable can reduce arm strain and make maneuvering easier. If your console does not have a windscreen, add one to reduce dry eyes and fatigue.
Replacing an old canopy with a new Bimini top is another easy step in your pontoon boat makeover.
Navigation lights and anchor lights are very important for boating safety and required by law, particularly if you enjoy nighttime cruising. While repairing or updating these, consider adding interior mood lights along with the deck and seat bases. Beyond lighting, also consider the value of adding a quality marine stereo to your pontoon boat makeover list.
Check your chairs and loungers for wear to decide whether to update your pontoon boat seating. You can have a local upholstery shop cover your furniture, particularly one that specializes in marine interiors. Newer pontoon boat furniture uses high-grade vinyl and does not have wooden seat bases that rot. Instead, these newer pieces secure to the deck using stainless steel screws.
What pontoon boat captain does not want their craft to go faster for more enjoyable cruising and recreation? By having a hydrofoil system installed as part of your pontoon boat makeover, you increase your boat’s top speeds by up to 40 percent. This also reduces fuel waste by 50 percent, so you can go faster and it costs you less.
To learn about hydrofoil system innovations and how you can include this technology for your pontoon boat makeover, talk to your Hydrofin representative today. Schedule a call with Hydrofin to learn how to update your pontoon boat for speed, fuel economy, and a lot more fun.