Economy Top versus Deluxe Pontoon Top
How can you sell the 8’ economy top for $229 when the replacement fabric is $199?
Well, it’s like this, we don’t make much money on the 8’ Economy Package, maybe I shouldn’t say that. But it’s partially true. There are junk pontoon tops commonly available for $179-$199. Ours is a quality economy top (snap together anodized frame, fabric with zippers, etc.) and should be priced about $259. We believe people will pay a little extra for a better economy top ($30) but they might not pay $60. Hence the economy pontoon is priced very competitively yet still slightly higher to try and coax you to buy a good top the first time, even if you're on a low budget.
Will the replacement pontoon top fabric fit my old frame?
We do everything we can to provide you with measurements and diagrams to help you measure whether our universal fit replacement tops will fit your existing frame. But, our return ratio is about 10%. We find that many customers see the word “universal” and just hope that it will fit their old frame. We feel bad when we field phone calls from irate customers because the fabric didn’t fit, and as a courtesy we seldom ask if you measured, knowing that you probably didn’t. PLEASE measure.
Economy Replacement Fabric Deluxe Replacement Fabric
What If the universal fit pontoon top doesn’t fit?
We’ll take it back for a full refund. You’ll have to pay the return shipping but it's usually only about $10. It’s no problem for us, we’ll clean and repack it and resell it. All we’ve lost is the shipping to you. BUT it may be a real problem for you because you still have to replace your top. You can try a custom canvas shop or contact the boat manufacturer. In either case you will probably spend $400+. When the top doesn’t fit we offer our customers the complete frame and hardware for a discounted price of $200. That’s makes your total purchase price equal to that of the 8’ Deluxe package. This is often an easier situation than trying to find a replacement fabric.
Single versus Double Stitching
One of your competitors advertised double stitching, isn’t double better than single?
Sometimes two stitches are better than one, three would be better than two. But, what's the point of two stitches? To reinforce the first, did they have trouble with just one stitch? If stitching fails you’re still going to want warranty replacement even if the second stitch is still holding the pontoon top together. I’d be more concerned about what kind of thread is used. Ours is awning grade polyester that has been treated against ultra violet rays, not to deteriorate in the sun. Two stitches of cheap thread will not be better than our single stitch.
Top for big water
I have a 25’ Crest with a 150HP Engine that I want to take out on Lake Erie, what pontoon top do you suggest?
Lake Erie gets rough and has strong winds, you’ll want the 8’ or 10’ Deluxe Package with heavy duty hardware and aluminum struts front and rear. You may even want to reinforce them with a brace extending the entire height of the fence. Just a piece of aluminum tying the front and rear struts into extra points on the fence will strengthen the pontoon top. You might want to check out our other website, pontoonfence.com for extra fence braces. You’ll get a lot of flexing in rough water, the pontoon top with dual struts should be fine but you might want to reinforce your pontoon fence with additional braces.
High Rise Brackets
The quick release pin is hard to remove from my pontoon top because the back of the furniture interferes with it. What can be done?
You need to replace your existing brackets with our “high rise” brackets. Standard brackets are about 2” off the rail. On an older pontoon if someone replaces the furniture with modern high seats, the seat backs will often interfere with the old 2” brackets. The high rise bracket is 4” off the rail. Most newer pontoons with deluxe seating will have taller brackets. We sell the high rise brackets as a parts item or at a discount with the purchase of a new pontoon top. When you check out after buying a Deluxe Package, you will be given the option to exchange the regular brackets for high rise brackets at about a 50% discount off the parts price.
10’ pontoon top to keep the boat clean
We’re thinking that a 10’ pontoon top would help keep the boat cleaner?
I think you’ll be disappointed with how well any pontoon boat top will perform as far as keeping your boat clean. It will shade the seats but wind will still carry dirt, rain and even spiders. If you’re in Florida there might be some benefit of helping keep the sun off the seats. The only thing that’s
going to keep your boat clean is covers. We’ve kept a boat at a marina in an uncovered slip for over eight years and honestly, the dirt isn’t really a problem. We keep our top folded back in the storage/storm position and when we come to the boat, all we do is wipe the seats down.
Pontoon Top for Enclosure
We’re thinking about an enclosure for our boat, any suggestions?
Don’t do it…(only kidding) the worse night of my life was spent on Kentucky Lake on a 28’ pontoon with an enclosure. It didn’t keep the mosquitoes out and when we had a light rain in the middle of the night, the seams leaked and the entire deck, even inside the enclosure got wet. BUT… If you want to use our 10’ pontoon top, you many want two. You’ll probably need the services of a local canvas shop. Before you order our tops, check with them. They will modify our fabrics and sew zippers for the sides, its sometimes easier for them to just custom sew the top. We’ll still sell you the frames. Plan early and get it ordered before their busy season, March-August. Canvas shops are good customers of pontoonboattops.com because they are often too busy to sew tops in the summer.