Have you ever taken a pontoon boat out on a warm, sunny day? If not, you’re missing out. Pontoon boats combine practicality and luxury. They’re perfect for any boating enthusiast looking for a medium-sized vessel.
However, how do you take care of a pontoon boat? Are pontoon boat pontoons pressurized or not? If you’re new to all this, you should know the answers to these questions. Taking care of a pontoon boat is directly related to whether or not it’s pressurized.
Luckily, in this article, we’ll go over all the details.
So, let’s dive in.
Are Pontoon Boat Pontoons Pressurized or Not?
What’s the answer? Well, some pontoons are pressurized while others aren’t.
Some pontoon boats run on water displacement rather than air pressure. Many types of boats work on water displacement.
Both methods are about balancing density and weight. However, in the water displacement method, boats maintain stability and draft through their structure. Such boats have ‘V-shaped’ hulls, which cut through the water, giving you as smooth a ride as possible even in rough waters.
Now, pressurized pontoon boats work slightly differently. These boats are either U-shaped or single-chambered.
In either case, their floatation system depends on a pressurized air chamber. Rather than the hull, it’s the air chamber that displaces water. An air chamber is either filled with air or nitrogen.
Through a pressurized air chamber, you can maximize speed and minimize water damage.
What Type of Pontoon Do You Have?
Now, you should know the different types of pontoons. Through this, you can understand how your pontoons are pressurized.
Moreover, you can determine which pontoon type can meet your requirements. For instance, if you live in a seaside area, you need something that can withstand rust. Some pontoons are better options for this than others.
Well, there are three main types of pontoons out there. Two of these three are mentioned above. However, if you’re buying a pontoon boat, you need to know more about each type, including the pros and cons.
So, let’s get to it, folks:
These pontoons have thinner gauge construction, which makes them more lightweight and budget-friendly. In these pontoons, the air chamber is filled with foam logs, which help prevent gas leakage. They usually have plastic construction.
Since u-shaped pontoons are lighter weight than others, they provide more flexibility in drag and speed. However, there are two primary issues with foam-filled pontoons:
- Inefficient fuel economy
The latter occurs when the foam absorbs displaced water.
Single-chambered pontoons have geometrical chambers. They’re typically constructed with aluminum, making them highly durable and wear-resistant. This characteristic is perfect for those near saltwater bodies as the boat rusts at a slower pace.
The chamber has a drain plug, which helps drain logged water. In this way, it’s easier to repair or replace the chamber.
These pontoons are usually nitrogen-based. However, since there’s aluminum construction involved, these boats are more expensive than others.
Such pontoons have three round chambers, each designed to increase efficiency. Since these have a compartmentalized structure, the boat is less likely to lose air pressure.
For example, if water leaks into one chamber, the other two will keep the boat afloat. Therefore, pontoon boats with round pontoons are safer and more reliable.
Round pontoons are either steel, aluminum, or fiberglass. Steel is undesirable because it’s prone to rust and damage. However, aluminum and fiberglass are more robust and longer-lasting.
What’s the catch, though?
Well, the design makes water filtration a long and tiresome process. It’s taxing to maintain and repair round pontoons.
Why are Pontoon Boat Pontoons Pressurized?
Now, the question ‘are pontoon boat pontoons pressurized or not’ cannot be answered without addressing why it’s better to pressurize pontoons. Although not all pontoons are pressurized, nor do all pontoons need air pressure to function, air pressure helps them with two things.
- Firstly, pressurized pontoons improve the efficiency and internal strength of the boat.
- Secondly, air pressure is an excellent indicator of waterlogging and leakage.
If your boat isn’t as efficient as usual, you should check the pontoon chamber.
Having a pressurized pontoon boat doesn’t necessarily affect your boat’s acceleration and buoyancy. However, it decreases water damage, making your boat more durable in harsh weather conditions.
How Do You Re-Pressurize Pontoon Boat Pontoons?
Now, whether you’re a beginner or a boating expert, it’s easy to depressurize your pontoon accidentally. For example, you could lose air when you’re opening the chamber to check for water accumulation.
In such cases, don’t fret. Sometimes pontoon boats can work without a pressurized air chamber. You’ll need to look at the design and/or owner manual. Moreover, if you open the air chamber and air rushes out, that’s a good sign. It means there’s no leakage.
Whether you’ve released air or have a leak, it’s your choice to replace the discharged air. If you’re looking to re-pressurize, the process is pretty straightforward. You just need to follow a few steps:
Step 1: Check the Air Type
Find out whether your pontoons are compatible with air or nitrogen. If you own a pontoon boat, you must already know this. However, if not, check your owner’s manual.
Step 2: Check Air Pressure
Using an air gauge, check the current air pressure in the chamber. Three to six psi is the usual pressure range. This information will tell you you need to know how much air pressure you need to add.
Step 3: Leak or Accidental Release
Is there a leak in the pontoon tube, or did you accidentally release the gas? Once you find this out, you can determine the next step.
Step 4: Take it to Dry Area
If there’s a leak, don’t fret (if not, skip to step eight). Unless there’s a lot of structural damage, it’s unnecessary to replace the air chamber. You should take the pontoon to a dry area.
Step 5: Seal It
Apply a sealing adhesive such as aluminum putty. Make sure the pontoon is completely dry before application.
Step 6: Sand It
Use sandpaper to smooth the surface once it dries. Make sure there are no leftover holes or debris.
Step 7: Waterproofing
Apply a second layer of putty and repeat the process. Afterward, apply a coat of waterproof epoxy sealant to help prevent future leaks.
Step 8: Refill
To refill the chamber, simply use an air or nitrogen tank. However, be mindful; over-pressurizing the chamber leads to structural damage. Keep an eye on the gauge, and don’t add more pressure than necessary.
All in all, whether you own a pontoon boat or are considering buying one, you have to be well-informed. ‘Are pontoon boat pontoons pressurized?’ is an essential question, and with this article, we hope you’ve gotten a comprehensive answer.
As mentioned, pontoon boats are highly efficient for luxury boating vessels. They’re excellent choices for both recreational and professional uses. In both cases, if you’ve done your research, it’s highly unlikely for you to regret such a purchase