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A pontoon is a hefty investment that needs to be protected from the impacts of severe weather. Depending on the type of pontoon there are a number of basic checks and maintenance steps that will help ensure the possibility of damage is kept to a minimum. In addition to making sure your own pontoon is secure keep an eye open for the potential that pontoons or other water craft nearby also pose a threat if they were to break loose. 

The following links provide information for each type of pontoon:
Cable pontoons
Strut pontoons
Piled pontoons



Kayaking is a versatile watersport and a great way to spend quality time with friends and family while exploring nature from a new point of view. So Questar has developed several products that aim to make kayaking from your pontoon a lot easier.  

The Questar Kayak Roller makes retreiving your kayak from the water a breeze. Kayak rollers can also be used for Stand Up Paddle Boards and Small Dinghies.

Most pontoons have a 400mm freeboard which makes getting in and out of a Kayak exceedingly difficult. Questar have recently developed a bolt on step that can be adjusted to any required height and requires little maintenance. The frame is constructed from Marine Grade Aluminium and flooring is fitted with fibre composite panels and a rubber fender fitted along the front face to protect your vessel. The frame can be fitted to any style of pontoon and comes with a two-year warranty.  

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting way to enjoy the open water, kayaking just may be the perfect new hobby for you.


Questar is in the process of developing a game changing Personal Water Craft transportation solution. The idea removes the requirement for trailering your Seadoo or Jetski and allows you to load and unload onto the back of your pick-up van or ute. 

The advantages over trailering are numerous such as lower cost and maintenance, no registration required, greater security from theft, easier to launch, no parking issues and the ability to use your PWC in more remote locations. 

Although the product is still in development we'd love to get your feedback to let us know if this is something that interests you. 

Questar have set up a new Facebook Group to promote sharing your Pontoon, Jetty and Jet Ski Dock knowledge as well as buying selling and swapping equipment between local waterfront property owners, with a focus on South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/groups/134607528577911/

What is a concrete pontoon?
Concrete pontoons consist of a reinforced concrete deck with an outer aluminium whaler. The deck sits upon a block of polystyrene foam encapsulated in high density polyethylene. The deck has a series of concrete beams located 300mm from the outer edge, these structural beams help support the pontoon during lifting and from loads exerted upon it during its lifetime mooring vessels. The construction method makes it unsinkable and delivers a long-life span with the heavy weight of the concrete providing a dampening effect from boat wash and waves.

Concrete decks can be manufactured with a ramp leading down to the waters edge to allow dry berthing of small watercraft. Aluminium or stainless-steel roller sets are bolted down to the deck together with hand or electric winches providing easy access to the water for launching and retrieval.

Questar Pontoons construct concrete pontoons ranging in any size from 4.2m to 15m in length and 1m to 3.45m in width. Note - with wider pontoons transport costs become substantially more expensive due to permits and escorts required to get the pontoon to site. 

See an example concrete pontoon in the Questar Gallery

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Severe weather check - Cable pontoons

Cable Pontoon Definition
The gangway is connected centrally to the pontoon, a concrete abutment on land secures the gangway in place. Two concrete cable abutments evenly spaced either side of the gangway abutment hold the pontoon structure under tension with four cables. Two cables cross under the gangway and attach to the rear of the pontoon, the other two cables run directly out to the rear corners of the pontoon.

Cable Pontoon Deterioration
Over time cables that hold the pontoon in tension stretch, this allows the pontoon to move sideways damaging pontoon connection bushes, stainless-steel gangway pins and cable connection points. Sideways movement also puts stress on the concrete abutments and aluminium gangway connection brackets, constant movement can also loosen nuts and shear gangway split pins.

Five point check list
1. Check pontoon cables are under tension reducing sideways movement.
2. Check gangway and cable connection bracket nuts are tight.
3. Check gangway connection pins have split pins and washers in place.
4. Check gangway bushes are in place and not worn out.
5. Check concrete abutments haven’t moved or cracked.

Warning
Do not enter the water during sevear weather events to carry out maintenance work. Do not attampt to carry out maintenance work if the pontoon is unsafe.
Do not carry out maintenance work if the pontoon or gangway is submerged.

Mobirise

Severe weather check -
Strut pontoons

Strut Pontoon Definition -
Concrete abutments on land secure the gangway and strut beam in place. Strut beams are a metal tube that hold one end of the pontoon parallel to the bank. 
The strut beam and gangway are positioned at opposite ends of the pontoon and secured with  aluminium hinged connection brackets. The pontoon structure is held under tension with two cables, the cables make a cross between the gangway and the strut beam stopping the pontoon from moving sideways. The aluminium connection brackets act like a hinge allowing vertical movement for tide changes and wave conditions.

Strut Pontoon Deterioration -

Over time cables that hold the pontoon in tension stretch, this allows the pontoon to move sideways damaging pontoon connection bushes, stainless-steel gangway pins and cable connection points. Sideways movement also puts stress on the concrete abutments and aluminium gangway and strut beam connection brackets, constant movement can also loosen nuts and shear gangway split pins.

Five-point checklist -
1. Check pontoon cables are under tension reducing sideways movement.
2. Check gangway and cable connection bracket nuts are tight.
3. Check gangway connection pins have split pins and washers in place.
4. Check gangway bushes are in place and not worn out.
5. Check concrete abutments have not moved or cracked.

Warning -
Do not enter the water during severe weather events. Do not attempt to carry out maintenance work if the pontoon is unsafe. Seek professional advice before attempting any maintenance work.

Mobirise

Severe weather check -
Piled pontoons

Piled Pontoon Definition -
Piles are driven into the seabed with a piling barge, piles can be constructed from steel with HDPE sleeves, timber, concrete or cast in-situ. The pontoon is connected to the piles with aluminium pile brackets that contain pile guides. Pile brackets come in different shapes and sizes depending on the size of pile and location of the pontoon. Pile guides can be HDPE rollers or HDPE blocks and bolt to the aluminium pile brackets. The pontoon moves freely up and down the piles keeping the pontoon in the same position, the gangway rolls on the pontoon, moving in and out through the tidal range. The gangway can be located anywhere on the pontoon, a concrete abutment on land secures the gangway in place.

Piled Pontoon Deterioration -
Pile bracket guides should have a 5mm gap between the pile and the pile guide.
Over time the pile guides that hold the pontoon in place wear out, this allows the pontoon to move sideways damaging pontoon pile brackets, stainless-steel gangway pins and pile guide holders. Sideways movement also puts stress on the aluminium brackets. The constant banging motion of the loose pile guide puts stress on the aluminium gangway connection brackets and the constant movement can also loosen nuts and shear gangway split pins.

Five-point checklist -
1. Check pontoon guides are a good fit around the pile
2. Check the pile bracket nuts are tight.
3. Check gangway connection pins have split pins and washers in place.
4. Check gangway bushes are in place and not worn out.
5. Check concrete abutments haven’t moved or cracked.

Warning -
Do not enter the water during severe weather events. Do not attempt to carry out maintenance work if the pontoon is unsafe. Seek professional advice before attempting any maintenance work.

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