pontoon boat

  • Even More About Boat Covers

    All boat covers are 10% off all month! Sale ends February 28, 2018. 

    Last year, we talked about covering your boat for long-term storage with shrink wrap or a shrink-it-yourself Transhield cover. But there's much more to cover (sorry). Continue reading

  • How to Build a Pontoon Boat

    We love pontoon boats! They're the perfect platform for fun with family and friends. Sometimes, as we survey our carefully-stacked stock of pontoon logs, we wonder how they're made. Avalon Pontoons has a series of videos showing their manufacturing process, and they're pretty darn cool. All you "How It's Made" junkies out there will love them.

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  • The Poop on Portable Heads

    A modest pleasure boat doesn't usually have all the comforts of home. It's easy enough to add a cooler in lieu of a refrigerator to keep food, drink, and bait chilled, but if a boat isn't equipped with plumbing, installing a head can seem a daunting project. Jumping overboard to answer the call of nature isn't always practical, not to mention responsible, and little boaters' potty needs are unpredictable. Installing a portable head is an investment that will repay you with comfort and peace of mind - and no plumbing required.

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  • 5 Places for Fall Boating

    The days are growing shorter, but the light show of autumn colors is only just beginning. Have you ever taken a boat ride to see the changing leaves? If you're the planning type, check the Fall Foliage Prediction Map to see where color is peaking, or just take the boat out to your favorite lake and see what you can see. Here are five of the Skipper's picks for colorful fall boating.

    Door County, Wisconsin doorcounty

    Fall colors are beautiful all across the upper Midwest, but autumn in Door County is something special. Canoe, kayak, sail, or motor along the rocky shores of this peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. There's much to explore for all ages with color tours and events like the Harvest Festival in Sturgeon Bay and the Fall Harvest Fest at Lautenbach's Orchard Country.


    Damariscotta, Maine IMG_2070

    The hardwood forests of New England become a veritable fireworks show in early October, and the coastal inlets of Maine are wonderful places to explore by boat. Don't miss the world-famous Pumpkinfest and Regatta in Damariscotta. The festival celebrates the beloved round orange squash on the second weekend in October. The regatta pits "squashbucklers" against each other, racing boats made from gigantic pumpkins. Even the buoys are pumpkins!


    Lake Chelan, Washington chelan The Pacific Northwest's scenery is always beautiful, but it becomes extraordinary in the fall. Long, curving Lake Chelan is one of the region's most popular and gorgeous destinations for hikers and boaters alike. The daytime temperatures are comfortably warm well into October, so paddle and fish the clear, cold water in your own boat (or rent one). Just a few hours' scenic drive from Seattle, Lake Chelan stretches across two national forests and promises a magnificent color show each fall.


    Saugatuck, Michigan saugatuck

    Long a destination for artists, the western Michigan town of Saugatuck is rich with galleries, antique shops, and romantic bed-and-breakfast accommodations. Spend the day pontoon boating on Kalamazoo Lake, or take a bigger boat cruising down the Kalamazoo River to Lake Michigan. Explore the Saugatuck Dunes, sip local wine, and take plenty of photos to preserve the memories of Saugatuck's autumn beauty.


    Price Lake, North Carolina price lake

    Along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock is Price Lake. Rent a canoe, kayak, or rowboat and take in the fall colors from this 47-acre lake. Price Lake is well-stocked with fish and is surrounded by hiking trails. Enjoy the mild North Carolina autumn at the foot of Grandfather Mountain.

    As always, wear your life jacket and don't drive drunk. What's your favorite fall boating spot?

  • New Boats: Pontoon Edition

    Spring is here at last! Can Summer be far behind? Sadly, we have to wait a few more weeks for real warm weather here on the Great Lakes. Until then, we’re dreaming of lazy days spent on a true symbol of Summer: the pontoon boat. We love their versatility. The broad, flat deck was made for sunbathing and lounging, and most models can tow skiers and tube-riders, too. Here are three new pontoon boat models from three of the Skipper’s favorite brands. We have parts for all three boat brands in stock right now!

    Bennington Pontoons SX24 Dinette

    Bennington Pontoons SX24 Dinette

    Bennington Pontoons' website has a nice “build-a-boat” tool, allowing you to choose among their many models based on which features you like best. We chose the SX24 Dinette model to show you. As its name suggests, the SX24 is twenty-four feet long, including an aft swim platform with ladder. The SX24 Dinette is designed for on-water entertaining with a corner galley that includes a wine rack and a sink, plus cushy seats placed around an LED-bordered table with three illuminated cup holders.

    Bennington SX24 dinette/bar

    Plush, pillow-top upholstery invites lounging, and there are cup holders throughout the boat to keep your drinks secure. The well-appointed cockpit includes an adjustable captain’s chair and a stainless-steel wheel. Easy-to-read gauges are set in a one-piece fiberglass console with teak trim and a locking storage compartment. You’ll find the stereo here, too, with Bluetooth capability to pump music through the boat’s four speakers. Put up the bimini for shade or rain protection, or leave it down for some serious sun worship.


    Sun Tracker 22 DLX Fishin’ Barge®


    Fishing from a pontoon boat? Yes, please! The Sun Tracker Fishin’ Barge® line adds fancy fishing gear to a roomy pontoon design for a fishing platform everyone can enjoy, and the 22 DLX includes many nice features at an affordable price. Two aerated livewells with rulers built into their lids, removable fishing seats, a trolling motor with foot-pedal control, fishing rod holders, and rod lockers are some of the features available on all 2016 Fishin’ Barges®. We haven’t even mentioned the QuickLift™ bimini top, Bluetooth-compatible stereo system, or comfortable lounge seating. The nonskid swim platform off the stern has a fold-down ladder. You’ll find plenty of cup holders on this boat, too. Here’s the Fishin’ Barge® 22 DLX in action. Doesn’t this look like fun?

    This particular video highlights one thing that a lot of us never have to think about: with their spacious, flat decks and wonderful stability, pontoon boats are much easier for people with disabilities to board and enjoy than other powerboats.


    Avalon Pontoons Windjammer Funship



    We shared the double-decker Windjammer Funship from Avalon Pontoons on our social media earlier in the week. Let’s take a closer look at this ultimate party platform. The standard cockpit, with its wood-grain dash panels and soft-grip steering wheel, is worthy of a high-end yacht; it features a Garmin depthfinder/fishfinder and a Bluetooth-capable stereo system with lighted speakers and USB and auxiliary ports. At the helm of the Funship, you’ll sit in an admiral’s chair with self-leveling arms while your guests relax in the bow lounge or sip wine at the smoked-glass table in the shade of the upper deck. Speaking of which, the upper deck offers stereo speakers, a queen-size lounge, and of course, a waterslide. The pop-up privacy enclosure in the Funship’s stern makes it easy to change into swimsuits or dry clothes. Check out this video by Avalon and spot the Funship at 2:54.

    Options for the Funship include full and half camper covers, a livewell, saltwater anodes, a wine rack, and several different floorings. Also offered is a rub rail lighting package (available at Great Lakes Skipper now for retrofitting) and dozens of other upgrades. The Funship really has something for everyone, of all ages.

    Hurry up, Summer!