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Choosing the right floating pontoon

People choose a pontoon for all sorts of reasons – whether it is for sailing or rowing, business or pleasure, on a lake or by the sea, or for a landscaped or wild bank. Moreover, making the right decision is rarely easy.


People choose a pontoon for all sorts of reasons – whether it is for sailing or rowing, business or pleasure, on a lake or by the sea, or for a landscaped or wild bank. Moreover, making the right decision is rarely easy. With so many options to choose from, each suited to different purposes and environments, it is only natural to wonder how to choose the right pontoon.

In this article, we will explain what factors you should consider when deciding to buy a floating pontoon.

To help you choose, we have answered five common questions that address the situations we come across on a daily basis. For each question, you will find several recommendations and a table summarising the options available to you.

Here are the five questions you should ask before deciding which pontoon to buy:

  1. What do you need your pontoon for?
  2. Where will you be placing your floating structure?
  3. Will your structure be permanent or temporary?
  4. What material best suits your needs?
  5. How much are you looking to spend?

What do you need your pontoon for?

People use pontoons or other floating structures for all sorts of purposes. We have grouped these purposes into four categories:

  1. Pedestrian access and mooring
  2. Gaining space
  3. Bathing/swimming
  4. Technical and professional use

Pedestrian access and mooring

If you want to use your pontoon to moor and access boats, rowing boats or pedalos, you should consider two factors:

  1. The ideal height of your pontoon
  2. The type of boat you want to moor

If you have a motor boat (rigid or semi-rigid hull, outboard motor...) or a sailing boat, you should opt for a “high freeboard” pontoon. If you have a smaller vessel such as a rowing boat, canoe or kayak, you should instead go for a “low freeboard” pontoon closer to water, as this will make it easier to get in and out of your boat.

High Pontoon

Low Pontoon

Pleasure boat, sailing boat, pedalo, etc.

Rowing boat, canoe, kayak, etc.

RotoDock

EasyFloat

SunnyDock

SunnyDock FBB

NBC

Gaining Space

extension de surface

A pontoon is a great way to gain more space and create a floating restaurant terrace, walkway or stage. The options are endless!

For intensive-use purposes such as these, it is important to think about the practical side. You need a pontoon that is easy to clean, hard-wearing and, of course, stable. HDPE pontoons are generally recommended for this type of use because they stand the test of time and are compatible with cleaning products.

If you are planning a temporary floating extension, you should also go for a pontoon that is easy to assemble and dismantle, and that can be securely anchored because those features will save you precious time.

 

Terraces

Fishing

Events

Walkways

RotoDock

RotoDock

RotoDock

RotoDock

NBC

 

 SunnyDock

SunnyDock

 

 

 EasyFloat

NBC

 

Bathing / Swimming

baignade de Paris

Wild swimming is gaining popularity again the world over, with many towns and cities like Paris installing systems that allow people to get safely in and out of lakes and rivers.

New modular floating structures and specially designed accessories such as barriers have become commonplace in recent years, creating areas where families can safely swim and have fun together.

If you are looking to create a floating pool, platform or access point for swimmers, then you will need a modular solution that is easy to install, safe and suited to your environment.

 

Floating pool

Platform

Acces for swimmers

SunnyDock

SunnyDock

SunnyDock

 

EasyFloat

 

 

Technical and professional use

applications professionnelles

Floating structures are not just for pleasure. They are also ideal for professional use – and even for some less well-known applications.

There are lots of options out there, whether you need one to carry out maintenance work, pump water, or shoot a film. These stable, convenient floating structures let you access and work out on the water without worrying about safety.

Professional-use pontoons often have to carry heavy loads such as construction machinery and are typically assembled and dismantled regularly. That is why you will need one that is hard-wearing, easy to assemble, and has plenty of anchoring options to keep it stable.

 

Maintenance

Infrastructure acces

Pumping

Film/TV shoot

RotoDock

RotoDock

RotoDock

RotoDock

SunnyDock

 

SunnyDock

EasyFloat

EasyFloat

 

 

 

 

Where will you be placing your floating structure ?

 environnement

Your choice will be determined by where you intend to install your floating structure. We have grouped environments into five categories:

  1. Sea
  2. Lake or pond
  3. Landscaped bank
  4. Wild bank
  5. Port or marina

To make sure your pontoon is right for your environment, you will need to think not just about how you are going to use it, but also external environmental factors that will affect your new structure.

Solution

Sea

Lake or pond

Landscaped bank

Wild bank

Port or marina

Sunny Dock

SunnyDock

SunnyDock

SunnyDock

RotoDock

 

RotoDock

RotoDock

RotoDock

SunnyDock

 

EasyFloat

EasyFloat

 

 

 

NBC

 

 

 

 

When you are choosing your pontoon, you will need to think carefully about how you are going to anchor it. There are many different anchoring systems, each suited to different environments: sinkers, chains, cables, driven or screwed piles, and more. For more information about anchoring solutions and environments, take a look at our article: “Choosing the right anchoring system for your floating pontoon: tips and advice”.

 

Will your structure be permanent or temporary?

Will you be leaving your floating pontoon in place permanently, or do you intend to assemble and dismantle it on a regular basis?

 permanent ou temporaire ?

If you are looking for a permanent solution, opt for something that is long-lasting, easy to clean and firmly anchored. If, on the other hand, you are after a temporary pontoon, then consider one that is flexible, hard-wearing and lightweight. Modular floating blocks are a great choice if you need to store and transport your pontoon.

 

Permanent

Temporary

RotoDock

SunnyDock

SunnyDock

 

EasyFloat

 

NBC

 

 

 

What material best suits your needs ?

Pontoons typically come in one of two materials: wood and high-density polyethylene (or HDPE).

matériau

  1. Wooden pontoons

As well as being modular and attractive, wooden pontoons are sturdy and kind on the environment. They are ideal for any natural location: sea, lake, pond and river. However, they do not offer quite the same modular flexibility as HDPE systems, especially cubes. That is why they are typically used for permanent rather than temporary structures.

 

  1. HDPE pontoons and floating structures

These structures are particularly hard-wearing, flexible and easy to clean. They are more versatile than wooden pontoons, not least because there are many different ways to anchor them. They are especially well-suited to professional and temporary use, and they are also cheaper than wooden structures.

 

HDPE

Wood

RotoDock

NBC

SunnyDock

 

EasyFloat

 

 

 

How much are you looking to spend ?

Last but not least, it is important to consider how much you want to spend. There are pontoon solutions for every budget, and the price will naturally depend on what features you are looking for. To make things easier, we have grouped them into three price ranges (per square metre):

 

€€

€€€

SunnyDock

RotoDock

NBC

FlexiPort

SunnyDock

 

EasyFLoat

 

 

 

Want to learn more ?

Modern floating pontoons are versatile enough to cater to any requirement, no matter how specific. So, there will always be a solution to suit your demands and your environment. Get in touch to talk to us about your needs.