Can Pontoon Boats Be Used in Saltwater?

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To answer the question in the simplest of ways, yes, pontoon boats can well be used in saltwater. However, you must keep precautions and safety measures in mind before taking your pontoon boat out in the open seas or oceans, mainly because they are not manufactured to be utilized in the rough waters. Moreover, there are chances of the material corroding when it comes in contact with saline water.

What are pontoon boats?

These are boats that use pontoons to stay afloat. Pontoons are airtight, tubular, and hollow devices capable of making the boats resistant to water and nearly impossible to sink. They are manufactured to be operated in calm waters, preferable freshwaters. Nevertheless, you can use them in saline waters as long as they are confined to bays, backwaters, or relatively close to shores.

What kinds of salt waters are favorable for pontoon boats?

As mentioned above, pontoon boats can be used in saltwater bodies like inlets, backwaters, and bays, where the waters are relatively calm. Similarly, if used in the open seas or oceans, they should be kept as close to the shores as possible. These boats must remain stable even while facing waves that are 1.5ft to 2ft in length. However, enormous waves can cause trouble. You can check the 10 Best Boat Anchors to select an ideal anchor to keep your boat stable.

What are the features that assist a Pontoon boat better in saltwater?

  • Firstly, smaller boats cannot be used. Boats must be larger than 25ft to 30ft.
  • The boat’s base must be made of fiberglass or zinc to ensure that the saline water does not corrode the material.
  • Pontoon boats usually have their tubes welded to the boat’s deck at an equal distance of 12inches. But if they are to be used in saltwater, these tubes must be welded along the entire length of the boat.
  • These boats generally have carpets on the floors. However, if you have plans to use them in salt water, it would be wiser to opt for vinyl floors. Check the 10 Best Boat Carpets review to get your perfect pick!
  • The decks should preferably be bolted down to the boat instead of the regular practice of using screws. Find the best mooring pendant in the 5 Best Mooring Pendants review to keep your pontoon boat at bay.

Ways to prevent corrosion of pontoon boats after using them in saltwater:

Boats with an aluminum base will take time to erode since this material is not reactive to saline water. However, there are a lot of different parts used in a boat. They include wires made of copper, bolts made of stainless steel, and other metal fittings. These parts are likely to be eroded by saltwater. To prevent such damage, you can make sure to wash the boat with a hosepipe of high power to get rid of the remaining saltwater or deposits as such. You can even use zinc anodes and protective paint to protect the lower unit of the boat’s engine from any damage from saline water.

Hence, pontoon boats have to be prepared and modified to be used in saltwater, but the effort is usually worth the experience.