Are you a Pontoon Boat Pro?

Are you a Pro with a Pontoon Boat?

Pontoon boats are a relaxing way to enjoy boating any season of the year.

It’s Fall, and there are still days when you will wish you could be out on a pontoon boat. It might be a little cooler, but after the hot summer, it will be refreshing.


Pontoon Boats are unique

Pontoon boats have their own style with many amenities available. These boats are different in many ways from a normal powerboat. Handling them is another animal to tackle. Check out this article to get the most use of your pontoon boat.


Docking and Undocking

Pontoon boats leave the dock like any other vessel on the water. Yet, their body shape creates more surface area for the wind to push around. It amounts to a “giant sail.”, the tubes and vertical fences found around the deck act as a sail.

Adding to that difficulty are the boat tubes, which provide your floatation. Large gusts of wind are your mortal enemy. They can knock you off course on the water. The ability to push your pontoon into other boats means you need to know how to handle a pontoon boat. Plus, you must have stellar insurance coverage. SEE

To counter the winds, you have to be aware of them at all times. The pontoon boat’s secret is its exceptional control when used with short bursts of power. Regardless of what type of boat you use, idle the engine and point the motor in the direction you want to go. Then shift into gear. Next, use short bursts of power as you steer the boat. Before you know it, you’ll be out of the dock.

 You’ll use the same understanding of the wind and maneuvers when heading back into the marina. Docking any powerboat (pontoons included) requires a little more side-to-side motion. You can learn more about these actions via this link.


Beaching or mooring your boat to swim is half the fun of boating, no matter what type of vessel you own. People love beaching their boats to explore islands or soak up the sun. Luckily, both are simple processes and the same for every type of powerboat.

Start by traveling slow when you hit shallow waters, so you don’t damage your motor. Beaching requires you to push the front end of your vessel onto land. Do this carefully to prevent damage to the tubes.

Don’t head onto the beach too far; allow enough room to spin the boat around out into the water using the motor. 

For mooring, make sure you have the proper tools to secure your boat via the anchor. Pontoon boats are more buoyant, so use fenders to protect your boat from other vessels.


Turning and Handling

Pontoon boats soar across the water, which makes handling them a ton of fun. Before you lose yourself in the moment, remember that there are no lanes out on the water. Always check your surroundings before making a turn or spinning your boat around.

With that safety tip in mind, you’re ready to tackle the water. Pontoon boats are very stable. You don’t have to worry about flipping or rolling the boat over in normal conditions. 

But rough waves and tight turns mean you can’t rule out the possibility. Still, it isn’t much of a concern for the modern pontoon boat.

You do have to worry about causing the propeller to leave the water when making a tight turn. You can either back off of the turn, deaccelerate or trim the engine downwards to remedy the issue. When making sharp turns, equipment and people on your deck are likely to be tossed to one side depending on the speed. Do they have life preservers?



Once you hit open waters, you’re ready to pick up speed. Don’t treat your pontoon boat like a race car, though. Instead, speed up steadily until you reach your desired speed. Keep in mind that the bow will level out, which means you’ll need to trim the engine if you want more speed.

Your engine might rise too far out of the water as you speed up. That’s normal and easy to fix by trimming the motor. Your boat may slow down, and you’ll hear a howling sound near the propeller. Or, the boat will lose a little stabilization when this happens.

Keep in mind that every boat comes with a manufacturer’s recommendation for top speeds or RPM. Most recommend 75% of fully open throttle. It helps to read up on this statistic before pushing your boat to its limits. Use less throttle for more fuel efficiency.

Keep in mind that more crowded waters demand slower speeds. There are rarely legal speed limits on open water, so be mindful of other boaters in the area. Keep an eye out for swimmers as you approach other boats or the shoreline.


Stability Tips in Rough Waters

A pontoon boat handles well, even in rough water, thanks to its dual or triple hull design. Yet, even with the added help, you need to drive a pontoon boat carefully in these conditions.

Experienced boaters recommended that you keep an even load on board. To do this, you must include both objects and passengers. When rough waters arise, make sure your passengers know to even out their weight on deck and sit down. Don’t forget to make them wear life preservers for their safety. The larger your boat, the easier this is to maintain.

Try to avoid heading straight into giant waves. Excessive splashing could damage the electronics in your boat if they take on water. If you must head nose-first into oncoming waves, trim the engine down to help keep the boat’s nose/bow upward. Otherwise, take the waves at a 30 to 40-degree angle.

Finally, sports handling packages are an enormous benefit here. These include better nosecones, power-assisted steering, and higher horsepower to combat choppy waters. 


Become a Pro

                                Pontoon Boat Lift



That means don’t head out onto the water when you know a storm is on the way. A pontoon boat is an investment you don’t want to risk for a few more minutes of fun. If inclement weather strikes, head back to the dock and put your boat back on your lift.




Where is Pier & Waterfront Solutions?

Located at 7325 St. Hwy 57, it’s 3 miles south of Sturgeon Bay and 1 mile past the intersection of Cty MM (heading north). Look on the right side, one mile north, at the next corner (Idlewild Road and Hwy 57).

For your protection PWS implemented these preventive measures:

1. Conducting as much business as possible by email, text, or phone.

2. Site visits will continue. When in-person contacts are necessary, we will follow “social distancing” guidelines.

3. Our display yard is always open for you to examine at your leisure. All displays have a numbered, red tag on them. If you want more information or pricing, please reference that number.


Thank you for allowing us to work with you.

YES – PWS is OPEN and waiting for you! 

Please call, message, or email PWS with any questions.

Let’s all stay safe!


fantastic workers

Dear Jerry,

You have 2 fantastic workers on your staff!  Ben and Alex were so knowledgeable and hard working.  We cannot be more impressed or pleased.

It just poured down rain on them for the whole time they were here!  Your customers are in good hands with those two!

Cathi & Bob P.

sooo happy with the dock! 

sooo happy with the dock! 

Jerry & Keri:

We are sooo happy with the dock!  The three men who installed it are to be commended.  They are Awesome!

Thank you so much for getting it in.  We will recommend your company to all.  You have been great to us!

Mary and Gary L.              Egg Harbor



Lakeshores are areas of constant dynamic energy. Powerful waves, high water, and ice move soil particles away from shorelines. In more severe cases, small pebbles and eventually rocks begin to wash out. When the water reaches far enough up the shoreline, erosion of lawns and exposing tree roots start. 

We’ll try to answer some of your questions today.


What are the leading causes of shoreline erosion?

On open water like Green Bay, the three leading causes of erosions are:

    1. Wave action;
    2. High water; and 
    3. Ice movement.

The ice on frozen lakes or the Bay can expand towards the shore with a force of many tons per square foot. The ice will destroy most obstacles in its path. Masses of ice put in motion by winds can push trees or buildings over, as exhibited here.


            Ice vs deck erosion

tree roots exposed by water

      Shoreline tree roots exposed


Ice also pushes embankments, uprooting trees and lawns on small inland lakes. No matter how massive a tree is, the ice won’t slow down for it.


Ice Shove uprooting trees

      Ice Shove uprooting trees







In relatively small inland lakes, breaking waves can erode lawns away.  

Headlands (points) usually have relatively high erosion rates. The waves, currents, and the ice will attack from all three sides. These attacks eventually transport the sediments to a new location where they settle in calmer weather.


Erosion is a normal process of nature.

Erosion and the redistribution of sediments is a natural process along shorelines. Typically, natural erosion proceeds very slowly. The plants and animals that live along the shore can adjust to these slow changes. They maintain a stable, healthy, productive ecosystem.  

Accelerated erosion results when natural or human disturbances cause this equilibrium to be upset. Examples of this are higher than normal water levels and intense storms.

Human disturbances include vegetation removal, dredging, filling, or construction near the shoreline.

Another example of natural disturbances is large trees uprooted by a windstorm or a flood. When the soil becomes saturated with water, it weakens the soil around tree roots. The winds may uproot that tree.



These are several signs of severe erosion problems. (Number one and three are significant)

  1. A large area of bare soil on a steep, high shoreline bank;
  2. A measurable change of the shoreline over time;
  3. Leaning or downed trees with exposed roots; and
  4. Large patches of muddy water near a lakeshore during periods of high water or following a rainstorm.



Vegetative/No Mow: This method involves encouraging or planting trees or woody shrubs for the soil binding properties of their root systems. Grass and other plants will protect against raindrop impact and scouring from surface runoff.  

Structural: This includes protective structures. The placement of rock of various sizes (rip-rap) has traditionally been the most effective and least expensive method. 

Other structural methods include bulkheads, gabions (rock-filled baskets), and railroad ties. However, these methods are visually unappealing. They require more heavy equipment and technical expertise. These systems are more prone to failure than simple rip-rap. In addition, the DNR has disapproved of these methods in the past.

Manipulative: Mostly used on streams, this includes:

      1. Removing streamflow obstructions;
      2. Grading shoreline banks, or, in exceptional circumstances;
      3. Rerouting a stream channel.


Are there new techniques developed to prevent erosion?

A new soil preservation method called bioengineering has been proven successful. 

Soil bioengineering combines mechanical, biological, and ecological concepts. These methods arrest and prevent shoreline erosion. An example is planting willows interspersed with rip-rap, where the rock provides immediate resistance to decay. 

As the willows become established, roots invade and permeate the rock and underlying soil. They bind them together into an erosion-resistant mass. The willows also impart a more “natural” look to the shoreline.


Water levels are down; I don’t have to worry – Right??

This year, people do see water levels about 18-24″ less than in 2020. High water levels are the most significant contributing factor to shoreline erosion.  

Will it stay down next year or in the years after? No one knows. In Las Vegas, that’s called a crapshoot.


What other factors affect my shoreline?

The next factor is the intensity of the storms. The Door County Peninsula had numerous high wind storms this year with up to 70 MPH winds.  

A popular Marina in Sturgeon Bay: Skipper Bud’s Harbor Marina, located at the foot of the Michigan St. bridge, was a victim of a recent storm. 

The marina had two of its five floating docks torn loose during a strong storm. Two tub boats quickly moved in place to prevent them from swinging into the bridge.


Are there other contributing factors to shoreline erosion?

You can expect water levels to rise rapidly when winds blow from the NW – NE direction for prolonged periods. This is despite the lower water levels this year. The stronger the winds, the higher the water will go. Waters south of Sturgeon Bay are particularly affected by these winds. In those areas, there are no other large outlets for the water to escape.



Contact Dave@ 920-493-4406 or email at


What comes next?

Next week (on Aug 10, 2021), we will cover:

          1. Planning an erosion control project;
          2. Does erosion hurt my property values?
          3. What to expect for the cost of rip-rap.


Where is Pier & Waterfront Solutions?

Located at 7325 St. Hwy 57, it’s 3 miles south of Sturgeon Bay and 1 mile past the intersection of Cty MM (heading north). Look on the right side, one mile north, at the next corner (Idlewild Road and Hwy 57).



The “Delta” variant is currently surging across the country. 

Pier & Waterfront Solutions remains “open.” We have implemented measures to help protect the safety of our employees and visitors. PWS continues to work to maintain the trusted service that you have come to expect.


PWS implemented these preventive measures:

  1. Conducting as much business as possible by email, text, or phone.
  2. Site visits will continue. 
  3. When in-person contacts are necessary, we follow “social distancing” guidelines.
  4. Our display yard is always open for you to examine at your leisure. 
  5. All displays have a numbered, red tag on them. For more information, please reference that number.


What can YOU do to help us? 

1. Conduct as much business as possible via emails, messaging, and emails.

2. When you see our crews installing equipment, please practice “social distancing.”

Thank you for allowing us to work with you.

 YES – PWS is OPEN and waiting for you! 

Please call, message, or email PWS with any questions.

Let’s all stay safe!