Marine

Introducing the Poly Custom Pontoon and Houseboat Hull

United Plastic Fabricating (UPF) developed the leading Poly Tank and Poly Body for the fire and trucking industry. Our desire to innovate inspired us to design more solutions across new products such as poly custom pontoons and houseboat hulls. We are committed to providing you with the highest value solution on the market.  

Because our poly custom pontoons and houseboat hulls are durable, flexible, and rust-proof, you will save money down the road. Because biological hazards and barnacles do not attach well to plastic, routine maintenance will reduce. The cleaning process couldn’t be easier. Moreover, it is nearly impossible to puncture your poly houseboat hull or custom pontoon.    

With the proven success of UPF, we will continue to manufacture the highest quality products while still being cost-effective. Our priority is ensuring that all our products fit your specific needs. We gathered a few reasons to show why you should consider using poly instead of aluminum, steel, or iron to build your own pontoon or houseboat. You can continue reading to understand why this is a smart investment.

UPF Poly Custom Pontoon and Houseboat Hulls Benefits: 

Biological Hazards and Barnacles Do Not Attach Well to Plastic.   

Iron and fiberglass suffer from the biological hazards and barnacles that attach to their surfaces. This makes pontoons and houseboat hulls heavy. The extra drag created on pontoons and hulls reduces fuel efficiency. Thus, you will need higher fuel spending. Additionally, your boat will produce more CO2 emissions. But this will not be an issue with a custom pontoon or houseboat hull made out of poly. Biological hazards and barnacles do not attach well to polypropylene plastic.   

Plastic is Rustproof.   

Hulls made of steel or iron will rust easily. Hurricanes, collisions with the docks, air moisture, and prolonged contact with saltwater are the main reasons that contribute to the damage and long-term erosion of aluminum, steel, and iron boats. By using a polypropylene pontoon or hull, you won’t have to worry about the rust on your custom pontoon boat or houseboat. Plastic is a rustproof material. We guarantee that your own poly custom pontoon boats made by UPF will not rust. This will make your boat last longer.   

Poly Custom Pontoons and Houseboat Hulls Are Easier to Clean.  

Cleaning is much easier since rust, biological hazards, and barnacles are not an issue for your poly custom pontoons or houseboat hull. Because barnacles do not attach well to the surface, it is effortless to clean your pontoons or boat hull. To clean your boat properly, you can use a piece of flat plastic or a pressure washer.   

Poly Custom Pontoons and Houseboat Hulls Are Not Prone to Denting.   

Poly custom pontoons and houseboat hulls are tough. Its toughness makes them able to deform without breaking. As a result, custom pontoon boats made out of poly are more flexible and durable. However, aluminum pontoons are softer and prone to denting and cracking. Additionally, scratches and dings aren’t common for pontoon boats made out of Polypropylene plastic.  

Save Money and Time on Maintenance.   

Without rust, biological hazards, and barnacles you will save a ton of money and maintenance time. Also, the cleaning process for your poly custom pontoons or houseboat hull will not be painful. And last (but not least), you won’t have to worry about collisions with docks (or ice) damaging your pontoons. A polypropylene houseboat hull or custom pontoons will save you from this problem.   

More Friendly to the Environment. 

CPF engages in a wide range of green initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to doing business in an environmentally responsible manner. Learn more about our Green Initiatives. 

We Have a Field Service Team for On-Site Repairs. 

Our team of technicians comes directly to you for any repair. Each technician is a full-time CPF employee that receives regular training. Learn more about our field service team. 

Case Studies for Supporting Evidence   

Floating Bungalows Founder Shares the Secrets of Their Success 

Introduction: 

Warren Billings is a “triple threat” when it comes to building America’s finest floating bungalows: He’s entrepreneurial, he’s passionate about perfection, and he thinks outside the box. 

Just before the Covid lockdown, he was ready to fulfill a new avalanche of orders by procuring a spacious, 8,000 square foot manufacturing facility and had hired a dozen more employees. 

Unfortunately, the clients were in the restaurant and hotel industries; they had to regretfully cancel their orders due to the virus decimating their core business. 

Problem: 

Floating bungalows (and houseboat builders) historically have a bad reputation due to cut-rate construction and even worse bases/hulls. Warren freely admits that most builders cut every corner they can to increase short-term profitability, but this eventually hurts their reputation (and the industry as a whole) over the long-term. With his 35 years as one of New England’s premier builders, this frustrates Warren to no end. Worse still, he had relocated to Florida, where the issue is even further exacerbated. 

Depending upon geographic location, floating houseboat builders often make the mistake of using pickle barrels, dock floats, interlocking lumber, or inferior materials such as aluminum, steel, or fiberglass. Warren didn’t want to save a few dollars; he was building his own custom bungalow for him and his family to enjoy living aboard a well-built vessel for a lifetime. 

While Referring Back to Warren’s History with Poly Products

After considering all possibilities, Warren’s background as a firefighter came to his rescue: He remembered watching fire trucks being built using custom-designed plastic water tanks. In addition, he recalled watching the tanks be taken off of transport trucks and moved into position on the fire trucks. They often twisted but never leaked. He theorized that the same plastic would make for an ideal hull; it was flexible, durable, and would never rust! 

This was his “Aha!” moment. Warren immediately sought out a vendor. 

He picked the perfect material but found the worst possible manufacturer. They were a start-up operation, did not commit to quality, and his first two hulls were nowhere near Warren’s standards of excellence. 

This is where luck met preparation:

Andrew Lingel, President of United Plastic Fabricating, noticed a small blurb regarding Warren’s floating bungalow business. Andrew reached out and offered to quote the next hull. Initially, Warren was intrigued but not completely sure.

Two things helped Warren sell himself on United Plastic Fabricating: First, Andrew reminded Warren that UPF built the same water tanks for the fire industry. That was helpful, but it was the invitations to visit any one of UPF’s three U.S. facilities that sealed the deal in Warren’s mind. 

After visiting the Boston facility, Warren was speechless to see the size, scope, high quality, and professionalism displayed as a company. Warren also visited the Ocala location just a couple of hours from his location. 

Solution: 

Warren submitted the specs for his next hull to UPF and then braced himself for the dramatic cost increase as a fair trade for a massive upgrade in quality and service. To his surprise and delight, UPF’s quote was only slightly higher than the previous vendor’s. 

“After the first project, I felt happily married to your product and your company. I’m not going anywhere. It was the highest quality I could ever imagine. I honestly would not use another company. It is one of the huge selling points of our product.” 

United Plastic Fabricating helped Warren decide to double the outer walls’ thickness to dramatically improve durability. Using his own words, Warren says, “This thing is bullet-proof and still only weighs 7,500 pounds!” 

Warren shared with us that he once took a sample of our plastic, put a full-sized jackhammer (with a sharpened point on it), and jammed on it for a full sixty seconds. The result? He said that he could barely put a dent in our material. To this day, Warren proudly displays that plastic piece at his trade show booth to visualize how well his floating bungalows are constructed. 

Outcome: 

Today, Warren is prepping for the end of the virus and is eager to fulfill the pending orders. 

While UPF handles everything below the water’s surface, it’s what Warren builds above the waterline that enables him to sell his bungalows for double or triple that of other houseboat builders. He brought his “built to last forever” mentality and experience down to Florida, and it’s paying off in spades! 

“To say that you are going to have an easy to apply houseboat hull that you are going to put in the water, salt or fresh, and you’re done. You’re not pulling it every three years and painting it, and all the barnacles literally fall off of it. They’ll grow on it, and then the coefficient of expansion is such that when the water temperature changes, the barnacles fall right off. All of the nightmares are gone for that hull.” 

His boat building units are Coast Guard approved and solid; they qualify for hurricane insurance (able to withstand winds over 160 mph)! During our interview, Warren joked that if one of his bungalows got lifted by a tornado and dropped onto a parking lot, the hulls wouldn’t even suffer a scratch.  

“These are completely weatherproof. Our buildings are rated at 165 mph wind storms. Category 5 hurricane. That’s the kind of detail we go into.”  

Warren Billings is professional, smart, driven, and an exceptionally kind person. To that end, we thought we’d close with our favorite quote from him during our conversation…  

“I don’t have enough nice things to say about your company.” – Warren Billings, Founder, and CEO Floating Bungalows. 

Ward Oyster Companies Oyster Harvesting Barge Survives Hurricane!

John Vigliotta, the Ward Oyster Company owner (who has an engineering background), came to us looking for a more durable pontoon material that would never rust. 

The Challenge:  

Ward Oyster Company has been a leader within the seafood industry for more than four decades.  Like their competitors, they were purchasing and employing oyster harvesting barges that were historically made out of aluminum or steel.  Over time, they rusted to the point that they were unusable and needed a replacement.  Inclement weather such as hurricanes, collisions with the docks, the moisture in the air, and prolonged contact with salt water contribute to the damage and long-term erosion of these metals.    

Scratches, dents, and dings are common for boat pontoons that aren’t made out of Polypropylene plastic.  Ward decided to build a new oyster harvesting barge; they wanted to replace traditional aluminum and steel pontoon options.  

A traditional pontoon system will not have the weight capacity as that of a UPF custom plastic pontoon.  Carrying more oyster cages each trip from cages back to shore would clearly save both time and money.  Traditional barges have 6 cage limits, so Ward envisioned one with a 36-cage capacity.  To effectively carry this kind of weight safely, they knew they would need custom pontoons.    

The Solution:  

Our engineers used John’s drawings and collaborated to build two custom Polypropylene plastic pontoons for his new barge.  Together, we designed and manufactured a pontoon kit to increase buoyancy, stabilize the weight distribution, and mitigate damages from any outside forces that could make contact with the bottom or sides of the pontoon.  Our Polypropylene plastic provided John with a more durable solution that he’s still enjoying four years later.    

The Result:  

Ward Oyster Company purchased two 38’ x 4‘x 2’ high Poly pontoons made of 1” thick, smooth black Polypropylene for its new oyster harvesting barge. When asked for comment, John stated, “These new custom pontoons appear like they will outlast the barge. They are durable and have withstood weather, collisions with the dock, and even one hurricane with 5-foot swells, showing no wear!  Should I ever sell my barge, these pontoons will greatly increase my sales price, a fantastic investment. We could not be happier with this purchase and would highly recommend UPF to others within our industry.”  Because of the design and workmanship’s success, John has been looking to add more pontoons to his fleet in the coming years.  After purchasing the initial two pontoons in 2016, John continued with a third pontoon which he positioned in the middle of the other two pontoons.    

The Conclusion:  

In helping John Vigliotta overcome his challenges for his Custom Pontoon Boat, UPF is well on its way to revolutionizing the Boat Building industry.  For entrepreneurs seeking to add life to their fishing boats/barges or manufacturers looking for a competitive edge within their market, UPF will be a great choice as your supplier. Boasting more than three decades of custom plastic manufacturing industry, we dominated the fire truck tank arena, so we’re more than poised to help you with your next product.  

To learn more about UPF products and industries served, check out our recent deliveries by clicking here.

For more information, please contact us online or reach out to Matt Fermon by calling at (617) 962-7179 or email: MFermon@UnitedPlastic.com.