The Pontoon boat provides a comfortable platform to spend leisure time on water. The boats consist of two aluminum, or sometimes composite, pontoons positioned on either side of the boat. The Pontoons must be strong and durable enough to withstand the constant pounding of the water, as well as resist puncturing from debris in the water. Most pontoons use an aluminum frame that has a rigid material attached on the top that is called the Deck.
The decking material that’s used can be manufactured from several different types of materials. Decks now consist mainly of wood, aluminum or composite materials. Wood decks have by far been the most common material used, with aluminum coming in a close second on newer Pontoons. The Pontoon decking is more often than not covered with carpet, with some models (Mainly fishing types) using Vinyl. The Vinyl provides an easy surface for cleaning up. The decking of a pontoon must be rigid enough to attach seats, helms, fencing and controls, so it’s common for the wood to be 3/4″ thick.
Some composite boats also use composite or a wood and composite mixture as decking materials. The composite decking is a strong alternative to solid wood decking and is also much lighter. A disadvantage in a composite deck is that it can become weakened over time, requiring a complete refurbishing of the pontoon decking. It is important that only a marine-grade plywood be used when refurbishing a soft deck due to its ability to resist the damp and wet conditions that pontoon decking is subjected to. Stainless steel screws and fasteners should also be used in any replacement or repair to avoid failure due to rusting.