Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Pontoon Fence?

We are a 25 year-old “brick and mortar” marine supply business (Paul’s Marine/PMI Marine Distributing). We’ve specialized exclusively in pontoon accessories to the wholesale trade. We entered the internet market about five years ago. Our other websites are trailersforpontoons.com, dockandpontoonladders.com, pontoonboattops.com, waterfrontdockproducts.com, jetskifloats.com, and floatingwaterpads.com.

We’ve been selling replacement pontoon fence for many years. We sold complete packages from local boat manufacturers. They were happy to supply us during the winter but when they get busy in spring, getting product for the aftermarket was a problem. New boat builders began using fancier and more expensive fence. Replacing the fence might be the most expensive part of a rebuild. You can often replace the floor on an old boat for under $1000. New furniture and a top might cost $1500. New fence from a boat manufacturer can cost $3000+ and that sometimes kills the value of a rebuild.

Having been in the business for so long, we know fence. As part of our rebuilding supply business we stock the components: braces, hardware, hinges, pinch guards, etc. We’ve sold replacement fence paneling for years. The cost of fabricating and stocking fence is what has generally been a barrier to entry for most competitors. We designed a modular fence that would satisfy the needs of the average rebuilder. We avoided extra embellishments in an effort to keep costs down. If you want a beautiful fence package like that on a new Bennington, their parts department can supply it for $5000+. In 2010 we partnered with a local aluminum fabricator who took our design and made it a reality. We normally have fifty individual pieces of fence components in stock. When you place an order, we don’t manufacturer the fence. We simply slide the color paneling you specify into the frame, crimp it, box, and ship it. Usual turnaround time is less than a week and in the off season we often ship in a day or two. Returns or changes aren’t a problem because we really didn’t “manufacturer” it, we just assembled it. If you need to exchange 24” gates for 28” or 30”, it’s no big deal. We exchange the components and sell them to the next customer.

Because of this we don’t supply “custom” pieces. If you damage a 95” straight panel that’s 28” tall we can’t match it. But our 92” piece, 26” tall might work, if you shim it or make the opening for the gate wider. If you damage a front corner, we usually can’t match it, but by replacing both front corners we can probably get your boat looking good.


Can you get pieces to match damaged railings on my pontoon boat?

NO, the only place you can get perfectly matching pieces of pontoon railing is from the original manufacturer. Some manufacturers will make an individual piece of fence for boats up to 8 years old, although many will only do it for 2-3 year old boats. You will pay a premium ordering a single piece from the original boat manufacturer, if it’s available.


Can you get pieces to replace damaged railings on my pontoon boat?

We are not a custom fabricating shop and do not make pontoon rail or fence to order. However, in many cases we can help. IF your old fence is close to our specifications; 1 1/4”, 26” tall and 18” high to the first rail from the bottom, etc. If your front Port section is damaged, but everything behind the gate is OK, then consider replacing both sides of the fence, in front of the gates. If using our standard sizes we can get close to the length you need to replace, just piece them together. You may end up replacing non damaged fence on one side but ultimately this may be less expensive than buying a single piece from the boat manufacturer.


replace pontoon fence


I have 4’ of deck extending out beyond my old fence. If I buy new fence can I extend the front of the playpen and have more inside the pontoon rail space?

YES, many older pontoon boats left large deck areas open in front. Modern manufacturers extend the fence nearly to the front of the pontoon tubes. There is no reason this space can’t be utilized. For pontoon boats with 19” or smaller diameter pontoons, you may want to limit the seating in the front, (to avoid weight distribution problems) but the fence can extend as far as you like
I’d like to add a sun-deck in the stern.
No problem, use our sun-deck package. Sun-decks became popular about 20 years ago to help quiet outboard engine noise. Today's modern outboards are much quieter but sun-decks are still popular for concealed storage and on occasion we’ve seen people sun bathe on them.
What is the warranty?
The components carry various warranties. The powder cote finish on the rails is five years. The color fastness of the color in the paneling is 50 years. The aluminum is, well it’s aluminum and should last indefinitely. Once the pontoon fence is fastened down to your deck, it should last a lifetime. If you have damage, we carry a touch up for the powder cote finish and the fence panel itself is a standard (very popular) color that should be easy to replace.

How is the pontoon fence treated, will we get black aluminum marks on our hands or clothes?
The pontoon fence is powder coated. Powder cote is the modern method of sealing metals. The raw aluminum is electro statically charged and aluminum colored “powder” adheres to the aluminum. It’s then baked on and the raw aluminum is sealed. Some companies use an anodized finish on pontoon rails and while this is an excellent coating, it scratches easily. We spend extra money to powder cote our pontoon fence because of the numerous handling steps. IF the pontoon rails get scratched we have cans of touch up paint. You will NOT get black aluminum marks on your hands or clothes.
How easy is it to install new fence?
Although this is a frequently asked question, we don’t have a good answer. It all depends on your mechanical skills and attitude when you approach the project. 95% of our fence projects seem to go flawlessly yet we have ongoing difficulties with a small percentage. You’ll need to drill numerous holes through the deck and the fence braces. You’ll need to put screws into the gate hinges. Some customers tell us figuring out the gate latch (it comes with instructions) is the hardest part. In general we believe it isn’t difficult for an individual with an average amount of mechanical skills. The holes to bolt the fence together are pre-drilled and usually line up. Occasionally they don’t line up and you may need to run a 9/16” drill through the holes to ream them out. This can be aggravating and we wish it didn’t happen, but if this type of thing would upset you, maybe you shouldn’t buy our fence. It’s funny, most of our complaints come from marine shops who are being paid to install the fence by our customers, do it yourselfers seem to understand that nothing is perfect but paid installers seem to demand everything perfect.

How do you ship pontoon fence?
In the past we’ve used truck freight, but no amount of padding will protect against fork lift damage. More recently we’ve found Fed Ex Ground to be a better option. Part of the difficulty is that damage is never the shipper’s fault. Its always caused by inferior packaging or so they say. Once we realized that the freight company wasn’t going to pay for damage, we quit complaining and concentrated on developing the best packaging possible. You’ll sometimes find thin pieces of veneer as well as padding of all kinds. We’re at the mercy of the Fed Ex driver. If they toss a piece of fence, it may get damaged. Since we ship from stock, it’s not a problem. We send a new piece usually the same day we’re notified. If you see damage, open the box before reporting it to us. We sometimes get “lucky” and the damage is slight or in a place it doesn't show.
Is this your best price and what about shipping costs?
Fence never goes on sale. This is our best price. A big portion of our business is with insurance companies because we have the best price (they pay the published price). Shipping is never free, although we don’t charge you anything to ship fence to you. Each piece has a few dollars built into the price to cover shipping. The first three years of selling on the internet we charged shipping and found that many customers somehow believe that shipping should be free even though shipping large oversize packages is very expensive. If you’re able to pick up we’ll discount some of that cost to you.

We only ship to Continental US

IMPORTANT STATEMENT
It is the responsibility of the installer to mount and secure replacement pontoon fence in a safe manner that conforms to Coast Guard and local safety standards. Pontoonfence.com supplies only general guidelines as to how replacement fence should be installed. Generally our fence is sold to replace old pontoon fence. If the old fence was installed properly, the new fence should be also. But, it is up to the installer to make certain that it is installed safely, with no loose parts, sharp edges, etc. Safety pinch guards (supplied) must be installed on gates. Pontoonfence.com is not responsible for fence improperly or unsafely installed.