Bowriders & Pontoons…A Good Foundation?

Boater's Chat Boat Buying Information Muskoka

Just what is proper or best structural foundation for  a bowrider or a pontoon boat?  I am a fan of Mike Holmes who you see on television trying to “Make It Right” after normally poor or disastrous home renovations.  One of the things I like about Mike is his bluntness about what should be done versus what was done and home owners not doing their homework on contractors and builders…too much blind trust!  Mike Holmes is not a fan of minimum building code and neither am I.  Is a great looking home, bowrider or pontoon boat built to minimum standards a wise investment?

The car companies spend billions of dollars developing and bringing to market automotive chassis.  The structural skeleton of a car is the strength of the beast.  The outer skin of a car or truck is primarily appearance based and this is what the car manufacturer’s use to get you emotionally invested in their products.  For bowrider and pontoon boats..it is that first glance at the lines, colours and graphics that is designed to draw your interest and get an emotional response from you…hopefully good but not always the case.  What is one of the most important differences in chassis structure for a bowrider or pontoon boat?   Yes a bowrider and a pontoon boat can be thought of as having a chassis skeleton.

Just What Does a Skeletal Chassis Do For Me in a Bowrider or Pontoon Boat?

Cities such as Toronto and Sudbury are famous for their potholes!  A pothole places a very sudden deep impact on the wheels and its supporting chassis and sometimes can be felt right into the interior seating as well.  A car is impacting this pothole at speeds up to 120 kilometers per hour on a 400 series highway.  Lots of stress and consider how many of these impacts, speed bumps, curbs or other road obstructions your automobile may have the pleasure of being introduced to in its lifespan.  A cars lifespan is normally considered to be in the area of 10 years maximum depending on mileage and care.   A bowrider or pontoon boat is expected to last in excess of 20 years by most families.

A bowrider or pontoon chassis….just what does it do for me and what do I look for?  It is as simple as you invested in this the boat to comfortable safe secure boating with your family….right?   There are two important factors in your boat chassis and how each will affect your satisfaction with your purchase from a performance and longevity standpoint.   Okay….what is a bowrider or pontoon chassis and how do they affect performance and longevity?

A pontoon or bowrider boat chassis should be thought of as the fiberglass hull itself or the two or three pontoons plus all of the supporting wooden, fiberglass or aluminum members or stringers plus transom structure that makes up the boat.  That goes to the question…are all fiberglass bowrider boat hull and their supporting structure and all pontoon boats and their structure built, designed and delivered to the buyer the same?   The answer to that question is a resounding…no!   How do I a bowrider or pontoon boat buyer recognize a good boat chassis or just what questions should I ask?  I am going to explore the boat chassis with you in separate detail for both the bowrider and pontoon boat in following articles as this will be a long discussion.

The problem boat buyer have is that the inner chassis support system in a bowrider is not really visible!  How may of you asked to have the last car you paid tens of thousands of dollars placed on a hoist before you signed?  Nine out of 10 car buyers do no even open the hood of the car or ask to look at the chassis….basing the purchase on trust in the salesperson, the car company and the dealer!  Remember this…when you go to a car dealership say Nissan…the salesperson has to sell you a Nissan!  Whether that Nissan is best in class or best value for the money versus its competitors….it has to be a Nissan or no commission.