Installation Tips for Replacement Pontoon Fence Paneling

replace pontoon fence

 

When replacing old paneling one of the considerations is the how easy it is to work with the panel material. We sell .030 in a 48” tall roll, but for most applications we recommend the .020 gauge in a 24” tall 60” long roll. The .020 aluminum is of course not quite as strong as .030, but we say that our .020 aluminum pontoon fence paneling is “just right”. Easy to work with but strong enough to stay in the frame and look good for years (we’ve been selling it for 6 years). You don’t need metal working tools to cut it. It’s vastly superior to vinyl paneling whose only benefit is that it’s easy to work with.


Step 1 Select the Color
Most older pontoon fence paneling was Colonial White or Gray. Modern pontoons use Black, Blue or Burgundy as well as a neutral white color. There is no need to stick with your old color, especially if it’s one of the old outdated brown or green shades. If you have a blue carpet or top, step up to a new modern blue fence. If you have a gray fence and mostly gray furniture you may want to stick with gray. Our .020 gray paneling has different shades on each side. The darker gray is very close to the gray used on Tracker brand pontoons. The lighter gray is the shade on most other older gray pontoons.

 

Step 2 Remove the Old Paneling
Some people gently remove the old panel by prying up the lips of the frame and removing pop rivets or screws holding it in place. Others literally kick it out. Either way works. You’ll probably scrap the old pieces of aluminum and drill new holes for sheet metal screws or pop rivets.

Step 3 Measure and Cut the Replacement Pontoon Fence Paneling
Measure the various sizes of aluminum you’ll need (I.E 4 pieces 16” tall by 72” long, 4 pieces 16” tall by 28” long, etc.) Roll out the replacement pontoon fence paneling on a clean flat surface. It’s best not to wrestle with the whole roll. If you need 72” pieces, cut the first length to 144” and set the rest of the big roll aside. Cut the 144” piece into 72” pieces. With a long straight edge (a 2 x 4 works well) cut the 24” height down to 16”. Bend or break along the cut edge as shown below.

 

 cutting pontoon fence panels
 
After measuring and marking the paneling, use a sharp razor knife to score the aluminum. Use a straight edge to help guide the knife. No need to actually cut through the aluminum, just scoring it should weaken it enough to “break” (be sure to use a sharp razor knife). Bend or fold the aluminum replacement pontoon fence paneling along the scored line. If you’ve scored deep enough, it will break in a smooth straight edge.

A WORD OF CAUTION When working with colored paneling (Black, Blue or Burgundy) work on a clean surface. Put down a piece of cardboard to prevent scratching the panel.

Step 4 Installing the Paneling
Prepare the old fence frame to receive the new paneling. If you’ve got scratches or abrasions on the frame do any touch up before installing the paneling. Ordinary aluminum colored spray paint often matches the finish on old frames.
fasten pontoon fence
 
Most manufacturers use a “lip” to secure fence paneling. Some pop rivets or screw it to the frame.
 
vhp tapePontoon Fence with Lips: Using a strong putty knife or wide bladed screw driver pry open the lips. Some people fear breaking them but we’ve never heard of it happening. Open the lips just wide enough to slide the new replacement pontoon fence paneling inside. Fence with radius corners sometimes get difficult and may require two people, one pushing and one pulling. A little WD40 lubricant helps. Once everything is in position, close the aluminum lips. A rubber mallet or a block of wood and a hammer keeps the edge from looking like it was “beaten”. A pop rivet or sheet metal screw in the exposed corners or along that side will help keep the sides flat. Our replacement fence packages have a strip of the double sticky back automotive tape to secure the paneling to the frame.
 
Pontoon Fence Fastened with Hardware: After you’ve removed the old fence paneling, remove any lingering pop rivers or screws. You want the frame smooth. Lay out the replacement fence paneling and fasten it to the pontoon fence frame, starting on the four corners. Use pop rivets, sheet metal screws or automotive strength double sticky back tape. Pay special attention to corners and make sure that they lay flat so as not to have any sharp edges. Some customers like to cover the edges of exposed fence paneling with protective vinyl edging. This vinyl is called Gimp Trim and it was common on older pontoons. If you have it on an old boat it is probably cracked and brittle like hard plastic but when new it is a soft flexible vinyl. It’s widely used in the RV Industry to cover screw heads. We carry it to match our gray and ivory fence.
paint screws
If you are working with colored fence paneling you may want to paint the heads of the pop rivets or sheet metal screws. Locating colored hardware is almost impossible. Buy an ordinary colored spray paint with a shade close to our replacement pontoon fence paneling and paint the heads of the screws or rivets. You don’t need an exact color match. You just want the hardware to coordinate with the paneling so the screw doesn’t stand out.
Stick the points of the screws into the
cardboard or styrofoam and spray paint the heads

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.