Pontoon Boat Railing: Help Keep Your Passengers Safe Inside
Railings are without doubt one of those things on board a boat that many people don’t think about until they find one missing or want one and can’t find any. With lots of different types of railings available, it is important to know the type of railing you are looking for as well as how to install it properly.
It is also important to note that contrary to popular belief, the types and measurements of rails in a boat are standardized and controlled by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) if you are in America. It does set recommended guidelines that boat builders follow. A case in point, for grab handles and grab rails, in its Standard H-41, the guideline does state that handholds are required on all weather decks or areas that are exposed to weather and crew stand or walk around; that help crew when they are using companionways, stairways and ladders. These are also expected in exterior seating which are used when the vessel is underway.
The guidelines do ahead to specify some details as well. for example, any grab rail must or shall meet a bare minimum height requirement or twenty four (24) inches above the deck. In addition, if your boat only has handholds, then the maximum spacing expected between these handholds should not exceed four (4) feet. These handholds should also be fitted within reach of any present boarding ladders. Further, rails and handholds that are made of tubing or piping –such as those popular in pontoon boats, should have a diameter measuring anything between .75 and 1.5 inches. For non-round holds, the circumference should range between 2.35 and 4.7 inches. The handhold should also be installed in such a way that it is at a 45 degree angle to the deck or boat structure.
Apart from the above mentioned, other factors that one needs to take into consideration include the structural integrity of the railings you need to replace or fit. Always keep in mind that the toughest and sturdiest handholds and rails are usually installed with a backing plate with through bolts made of a variety of materials such as aluminum, composite or wood- so as to help evenly distribute the pull forces. It is also worth noting that many recreational boats such as pontoons tend to have handholds and rails made of stainless steel, aluminum or composite. Ideally, if you intend to use your boat extensively in saltwater, then using marine grade 316L stainless steel is highly recommended.
Contrary to popular belief, not all handholds need to be round, there are also other shapes such as diamond shaped with rounded edges or oval holds are quite comfortable as well. you can also opt to install recessed rail topside in the gunwale, allowing passengers to easily grab to it irrespective of where or how they are lounging or sitting in their forward seats. All in all, when installing any railings, make sure that it’s done as sturdily as possible, keeping in mind the strength and power of wind.
Here are some of the popular pontoon boat railing readily available in the market. They include but are not limited to the following:
1) Product Name: Windline Hand Rail 24 Inches with Studs
Product Price: $ 35.78
Product URL: https://is.gd/0ZQGtZ
Product Details: this piece is made with a 2 by 516 inch studs as well as mounts flush with all the required hardware. The unit is made of tubular stainless steel that’s been buffed so as to prevent any instances of corrosion. Sturdy, beautiful and easy to install: this is an ideal piece that’s bound to complement the overall look of any boat. Sold with a lifetime guarantee.
2) Product Name: Flexible Grab Handle with over molded grip
Product Price: $ 10.44
Product URL: https://is.gd/SWzgSE
Product Details: this unit can easily be mounted onto a variety of irregular surfaces as well as angles such as companionways, cockpits and swim platforms. Constructed from relatively soft polypropylene webbing that’s over a semi-rigid core, this piece is durable. Since they are pliable and soft, they are ideal for use in areas where occupants might come into contact with them.
3) Product Name: Stainless Steel Tube 7/8 and 1 Inch Diameter
Product Price: $ 157.13
Product URL: https://is.gd/FySpwp
Product Details:this stainless steel tube is sold in 20 feet lengths with the metal being readily used for a wide variety of applications such as bimini and bow canvas top frames as well as grab rails. Made of 304 grade stainless steel and is polished finish for the ultimate in appearance and corrosion protection.
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