Florida pontoon builder debuts with two models at Miami show

Published online: Feb 13, 2014
Viewed 473 time(s)
Web Exclusive

New Florida-based boatbuilder Island Boats is making its debut at the Miami International Boat Show by offering two pontoon models, the Island Boats 180 and 220.

The Vero Beach company is headed by Ralph and Tim Poppell of Float-On Corp.

“Our new Island Boats definitely aren’t your grandfather’s traditional pontoons,” Island Boats CEO Ralph Poppell said in a statement. “These new boats represent cutting-edge pontoon engineering technology, coupled with all the comfort and luxury you’d expect in a higher-end product in this niche … with many surprising design features that set them apart and in a class uniquely their own.”

Island Boats has a patent-pending R&E Slide, a marine engineering innovation that allows the company’s boats to retract or expand their beam on command. The company said the R&E Slide mechanism allows the boats to be stored in a standard garage when locked into retracted position. It also allows for easier hauling with the narrower size.

Once the boats are launched, the floor expands to create what the company said are the most expansive pontoon boats by total square footage in their size and category.

“The 180 offers virtually as much square footage as most 22-foot pontoon boats, while our 22-foot model delivers virtually as much square footage as most 26-foot pontoons. The room and sheer entertaining space is amazing,” Island Boats president Tim Poppell said in a statement.

The series expands more than 27 percent in usable space, Poppell said.

“We believe our boats set a new standard in the industry,” he added. “For the first time in history, boat owners who love the pontoon lifestyle can enjoy all the benefits of a much larger, luxury pontoon while taking advantage of unprecedented small-boat efficiency, improved docking, towing and garage storage capability, all at a highly competitive price.”

The Poppells, who purchased Float-On Corp in 1984, said they have designed, built and supplied thousands of trailers for a mix of consumers, manufacturers and specialty organizations, including the government and military.

They said the concept for Island Boats developed organically after many years of addressing the constant complaints of pontoon owners who sought a better trailering solution to accommodate their boat.

To read more and see some cool pictures, head over to www.islandboats.com.

You May Also Be Interested In...

March 27, 2015

Spring Boat Preparation

Getting the boat ready for the season is a lot like getting the boat ready to sell. You want it to look good and operate without any problems.
March 26, 2015

Rapala's got the hot bait for that cold water

Cold weather got you down? Do you have the urge to go fishing, but afraid that the fish ain't gonna bite? Rapala's got your back.
March 25, 2015

Pelican ProGear: PDB TESTED No. 163

The Sport Wallet from Pelican allows you to keep just the essentials with you when boating.
March 24, 2015

Double Whammy of accolades for BRP and Evinrude

At the 2015 Miami International Boat Show, BRP and Evinrude showcased their alternative fuel biobutanol and were awarded the NMMA 2015 Innovation Award.
March 23, 2015

Mercury Marine Introduces Oil Change Kits

Changing oil in a Mercury outboard is one of the most important steps to keep an engine running at its peak.
March 23, 2015

Island Boats 18-22

Seeing an expandable pontoon that can go from seven and a half feet to 10 feet wide with just a press of a button might have you scratching your head and wondering why you didn’t think of it.
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!