Coolest Pontoon Accessories for 2022
October 05, 2022 6 min read
We live in the Golden Age of Pontoons. Pontoons have always been about comfortable space on the water, half the sensible shoes and half the reclining armchair of recreational boating. But at no previous time in human history has man had access to cooler pontoons, or more comfortable pontoons, or better beverage storage options on pontoons. It’s a great time to be alive.
And yet there’s still a next level, even for the ’toons of the 21st century.
Grillin’ and Chillin’
You’ve got a party barge and are expecting guests. A big cooler full of ice-cold beverages is a given. You will need to feed them. The missing link is a grill. One of the coolest additions to a toon is a marine grill. Just add the aroma of sizzling ribeye wafting from a grill to your idea of the perfect day on the water — it’s probably already there, but even in your dreams you’re going back to the dock to get it.
Even a 10-yard-long pontoon will not be as stable as your patio, so simply plopping a car-camping grill on the deck is not the best idea. Marine grills will mount to the boat for use and are fueled by 1-lb. propane canisters or adapt to onboard propane or natural gas systems. Generally, there are two mounting concepts: making use of an empty rod holder or clamping to a handrail. Mounting in a rod holder will be more practical for boats with gunwales (and rod holders). Attaching to a handrail may be the best option for your ’toon.
Magma Grills has an extensive line of popular marine grills finished in mirror-polished 18-8 marine-grade stainless steel. Cuisinart also has models worth a look.
Regarding the cooler, if keeping it in its place on the water or when trailering is a concern, there are solutions for that. Most coolers have a tie-down slot that lets you use straps to secure your cooler to footman loops mounted on the deck, while chocks and brackets are an alternative to footman loops that go a step further in keeping your cooler in one place.
The Versa Chock Removable Cooler Mounting Kit has a clever removable design that allows the chocks to be removed when not in use, eliminating tripping and toe-stubbing hazards.
Winin’ and Dinin’
Burgers are coming off the grill. Or, say, your guests are settling in for a sunset cruise with a glass of chilled Pinot Gris and a lovely relish tray your first mate whipped up once you were underway. Now you need table space.
Pedestal-mount tables are common factory options and aftermarket add-ons or upgrades for pontoons. Most tabletop designs are circular or oval, an efficient use of space with no corners to bump into, and feature drink holders.
Some, like this 22” diameter model made from King Starboard, also feature a retainer lip to help keep items from sliding off the table or keep accessory serving trays in place.
Remember that you can keep your existing pedestal and base and replace an existing table with something. Most aftermarket tables are predrilled to accommodate numerous OEM table base styles.
Fixed tables are a compromise. Folding tables give back their space when not in use. A table such as Boat Outfitters’ Folding Pontoon Table, with models designed for many popular pontoon makes, installs in the side of a lounger arm and easily pops up for use and folds down for storage. Some available folding tables also incorporate a handy storage bin.
The Boat Outfitters Pontoon Folding Table and Drawer Combo adds a latching drawer and fits lounger arms on Veranda, Coach and Xcursion pontoons. Table space is great and turning a table into a serving tray may be even better, especially if you can load it up in the house, carry it to the boat, and sit it securely on a table. The serving tray and table combo by Boat Outfitters is designed for drop-in integration.
It also makes clean-up back at the dock a breeze — just carry it back to the house. Boat Outfitters also has serving trays for folding tables that use the handgrip slot to lock the tray into place and rail-mounted serving trays that clamp onto standard 1.25” square pontoon rails wherever you need them. Back to that glass of wine: where’d ya get that?
For JC, Manitou, Crest and Avalon-Tahoe owners, Boat Outfitters Pontoon Wine Cabinet. With storage for your stemware and wine bottles and chillers, and accessories like corkscrews, one of these will be the cornerstone of your sunset cruises.
Slippin’ and Slidin’
Dad used to have a pickup and a bass boat, but he wasn’t Dad then. Now he has a brood and a pontoon. Fun for the whole family is a factor for many pontoon owners, and a pontoon is basically a mobile platform for fun, your own private water park.
Some sort of towable will almost be a necessity, but for the kiddos it will be hard to beat an inflatable slide. Non-kiddos may also want to give it a whirl (weight limits for inflatable slides typically run up to 200 pounds).
You can even add a diving board to your toon, though none are currently available in Olympic regulation 30-meter heights. You’ll still have to do that at the pool.
Storage for More Stuff
With capacity for a dozen people and upward, you are going to have more stuff aboard — more sunscreen, more bug spray, more ‘is there someplace I can put this?’. Boat Outfitters has drawer units that need as little as 8.75” of available depth for installation.
SIDEBAR: More Ideas for ’Toon Life
- Pontoons are hardly purpose-built fishing machines, but if you like to wet a line now and again, think about adding pontoon-specific vertical rod racks that clamp to rails and keep rods safely out of the way.
- A variety of pop-up changing rooms on the market will give folks privacy for changing in and out of swimwear.
- Deploy fenders effortlessly at your favorite dock-n-dine with pontoon fender clips that slip over 1.25” square rails.
- There’s nothing sexy about trash cans, so not many boats are built with them. Add a dedicated, rail-mounted unit and quit putting your empties back in the cooler!
- No place to install a full-frame folding table? Use a folding table bracket to create a drop-leaf table top.