Ah, the pontooning lifestyle. For some boaters it takes years before they finally figure out the versatility of a pontoon boat is unbeatable, while for others it becomes clearer much sooner in their boating life.
So you love your pontoon, but based on the condition of your current model it’s also clear in your mind the time has come to buy a new one. It makes sense, right? After years of proven enjoyment your once-new pontoon is now a little worn, probably severely outdated by today’s standards, and it’s ready to be retired. But what if there was another option that could still get you an updated and new-looking pontoon, but at a fraction of what some of the new models are going for these days? Thanks to Pontoon Restoration Company, the “what if” scenario is no longer a question and is actually a reality and possible alternative.
Located in Northern Indiana, David King started restoring pontoons in 2000 in his backyard on the side, starting with his own as well as some other pontoons for his friends. He was also working as a sales manager of a seating company, but it didn’t take long before he could see the potential of starting a full-time business, and soon Pontoon Restoration Company, LLC was born.
What’s In A Name?
When David was considering going into business for himself, he first decided to name his company Pontoon Doctor with a red “plus” sign. His wife Deanna had a different idea for the name and after some consideration, he ended up changing his mind. He instead went with Pontoon Restoration, while keeping the red plus medical symbol in the logo. He credits the name as one of the reasons people have been able to find him online so easily.
“A lot of people discover us by simply typing in pontoon restoration in the search engine and we of course pop right up,” says David. “I don’t think we would have had nearly as much success early on if we had gone with Pontoon Doctor.”
Today his custom shop—which only focuses on pontoons—restores between 70 to 95 pontoons a year and according to the owner, he can have up to nine boats in his shop at the same time.
“We have restored over 400 pontoons and in 2001, we were licensed by the United States Coast Guard to manufacturer new pontoon boats,” says David. “On a small scale, we’re like a pontoon manufacturer. We offer the best quality you can get in a refurbished model.”
Pontoon Restoration specializes in custom bars and powder-coating, upper deck platforms and new fencing, center pontoon and replacement pontoons logs, custom deluxe fiberglass helms, LED lighting, Infinity woven vinyl flooring and all other pontoon needs. Recently the restoration company began installing LilliPad Diving Boards from LilliPad Marine, which adds a whole new level of enjoyment to the pontoon lifestyle. These pontoon diving boards have become quite popular in the industry and are catching on with remodels too. The sky really is the limit as nothing is too challenging for the Pontoon Restoration Company.
“We did a 9-foot wide remodel with a custom bar in the back, so we really can do about anything the customer wants,” says David.
As a member of the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), as well as receiving an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, Pontoon Restoration has quickly established itself as a solid alternative to buying new.
“‘Why buy new? Restore for a fraction’ is our motto and our sales model is we care more about the quality of the boat than the company’s profit margin,” explains David. “Our promise is quality, friendly customer service and a major savings versus buying new.”
David estimates that a new pontoon costs between $35K to $69K while his average restoration costs between $7K and $14K, with an average savings of around $18K.
Recently a customer called Pontoon Restoration to see if they could extend the stern of a 2005 Starcraft Elite 226 Sport pontoon boat and put a bar on it, which David and his crew were able to do and a whole lot more.
The complete restoration included new custom Whisper Camel seats, new OEM plywood decking, Infinity basket weave vinyl flooring, a complete LED lighting package, a new fiberglass custom helm console, plus a full custom bar with a top-end commercial ice box. The restored pontoon also included a brand-new OptiMax Command Thrust 115hp Mercury engine with an added center ‘toon with transom.
“He ended up paying $39,000 for the restore, which included the price of the Mercury outboard,” says David. “A new pontoon boat with equal amenities would have been double that amount and then some.”
Infinity Luxury Woven Vinyl is just one example of how the restoration company uses the best products available for its projects. Plus the company works directly with many OEM suppliers.
“We have a great relationship with Infinity and we especially love its Seagrass vinyl flooring,” says David. “Plus we’re seeing a lot of manufacturers going to the LED-style cupholders and that’s a popular trend we’re able to incorporate as well.”
The oldest pontoon David has ever restored was a 1971 model and the Warsaw-based company in Indiana has refurbished pontoons from all over the region.
“From Wisconsin to Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan—we get boats from all over,” says David. “A typical restoration takes about 30 days with a guaranteed delivery based upon the contract date.”
Proving you have options, Pontoon Restoration Company will continue to restore life to older pontoon models as an alternative to owners who don’t want to buy new. Could your existing pontoon use a facelift? How about a few more amenities that you wish you would have added when you first bought it like a full center pontoon or an entertainment center? Pontoon Restoration is eager to show pontoon owners with older boats they really do have options.
Pontoon Restoration Company