As the owner of a pontoon boat you have options for replacing the seats when they become worn or if you want to upgrade to a more comfortable or better quality. With so many options available it can be difficult to know which are the best choice. We've prepared a useful guide to help you know what to look for before you buy. Here is everything you need to know about choosing new pontoon boat seats.
Size and compatibility
The first consideration is to find the right size and to make sure that the seats you choose are compatible with your pontoon boat. Take measurements of the seat or of the area where you want to mount the new seats. Make sure that the new seats will fit in the boat and that you can secure them safely into place. If you're changing the configurations of the seating, you may need to make alterations that includes installing mounting hardware.
Choosing the best material
The material is one of the most important features of any new or replacement pontoon boat seats. This is where we see the biggest difference in quality and longevity. It's best to choose seats that are made with the strongest and most durable materials to ensure that they will hold up under frequent use as well as exposure to the elements. Some of the less expensive replacement seats are made of cheaper materials that won't hold up as well as some of the more heavy duty fabrics. Marine grade fabrics that are created for strength are better options. When it comes to the frame of the seats, some manufacturers use plastic materials. Although some of the newer plastics are very strong, stainless steel offers extra strength for longer life. Also consider the material that the brackets and mounting hardware are made of. The stronger the better.
Durability is directly tied in with the quality of the materials and the workmanship. Unless you plan on replacing the seats again in a few short years, it's wise to go with the toughest and most durable seats you can find. In addition to choosing the strongest frame and fabrics, but it also means making sure that the workmanship is up to par. The design should feature reinforcement at the seams, stitching instead of gluing, and special treatment to ensure that the materials are resistant to the elements. Look for seats that are resistant to mold, mildew, ultraviolet rays, and the effects of extreme heat and cold, wind, and moisture. They should be waterproof vs. water-resistant. There are varying degrees of water-resistance and you don't want to buy seats that are not moisture resistant because they will easily absorb water and this can deteriorate the cushioning below at a faster rate.
Are the seats comfortable?
Another important consideration is the design and comfort that the seats offer. Some seats are firm and some are softer. This is a matter of preference, but it's important if you plan to spend much time sitting in them. Learn all that you can about the padding that is used and the comfort rating of the seats. For example, high-compression foam padding has a high rating for comfort and durability. You can get the best information by reviewing the manufacturer's information about the cushioning and by combining this with customer reviews to find out what they have to say about the comfort of the seats if you're ordering online.
Reputation of the brand
While you might find a good deal on the cost of off-brand pontoon boat seats, you might end up sacrificing quality, comfort and durability to save money. In the long run, it is likely to cost you more if you need to replace them in a few years. It's a good idea to check out the reputation of the brand including how long it has been in business, consumer ratings, and what kind of reputation that the company has established so far. For example Leader Accessories Pontoon Seats has been in business for three decades and it is known for its huge selection and its use of high-quality vinyl material. Deckmate Pontoon seats maintains a focus on quality and uses premium marine-grade vinyl material. Wise Pontoon Seats has been in business for 50 years and it offers the largest selection of high quality seats.
Compare the cost and the warranty
The final two considerations to make before deciding on the best pontoon boat seats are the cost and the warranty. The most expensive isn't necessarily the best quality seat, nor is the cheapest in cost the best deal. Use the criteria that we've provided to narrow down your choices to the top 5. Then compare the prices of the seats and weigh them against the benefits. Factor in the manufacturer's warranty coverage in the event that there are defects or if the seat does not hold up as promised. If a company doesn't offer a decent warranty of at least 3 years, it's a sign that they don't fully stand behind any claims of durability. Cheaper seats usually come with brief warranty periods because they're not made to hold up.
When looking for the best pontoon boat seats, you can simplify the process by narrowing your search. Determine the best size(s), search for reputable brands and look for those that are made of strong framing and fabrics that are resistant to water, sun, heat, cold, wind, rain, and snow. Make sure that there is ample padding so they will be comfortable. Take the time to check customer reviews to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable brand and a model that has earned high ratings for quality and comfort from other users. Finally, compare the prices for the seats that you're most impressed with. You don't need to buy the most expensive to get the best seats to meet your personal needs, but do make sure that the seats come with a generous warranty. These simple tips can help cut down on the time it takes to find the ideal pontoon boat seats, and to get the right set the first time around.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker