Pontoons are very useful platforms for launching boats and other watercraft. If you own a body of water such as a river or lake, you may be considering the construction of a pontoon. Below is a guide to two of the factors which you will need to consider when designing, constructing and operating a pontoon.
The type of material you wish to use
The type of material used to construct a pontoon can drastically affect the structure's appearance and its ability to deal with different sizes of sailing vessel and water currents. For example, a wooden pontoon can help to create a rustic look which may blend perfectly on a river in front of a grand old house. However, wood isn't the strongest material, which means it may not be suitable for use if you plan to moor large sailing boats to the pontoon or if the structure will be placed in waters which are subject to very strong currents. The weight of the boat or the movement of the currents could compromise the structural integrity of the pontoon.
Steel is a much stronger and more robust material which is well suited to use in strong currents with larger ships. However, even when painted, steel can create an industrial look which may not be appealing to your eye. If this is the case, concrete may be the solution. This is a substance which can be treated so the surface looks like wood while retaining all of the strength and durability associated with concrete. A professional pontoon design company will be able to help you to choose the right material.
The type of access permitted
When constructing a new jetty, you should also carefully consider the type of access you will permit. If you intend to open the pontoon to the public so pleasure craft and other vessels can make use of the structure, you will need to ensure that the structure has been licensed and inspected by the local authorities. You will also need to take out public liability insurance which will protect you in the event of an accident which involves the pontoon. However, if the pontoon will only be used by private individuals who have your permission to dock at the structure and you display signs to this effect, your liability towards the public is greatly reduced.
If you would like further information and advice about constructing and operating a new pontoon, you should contact a company which specialises in this area.