Pontoon Sea Legs – What They Are & Their Benefits

During summer there is no better way than cruising down the lake or river with your friends and family on a Pontoon boat and enjoying the scenic sights and views that can take your breath away!

A pontoon boat comes with a myriad of perks and benefits but they do require a lot of care and maintenance especially the pontoon seal legs. The sea legs are very important as the pontoon boats cannot stay in water for an extended period as they are susceptible to mold, grime, and dirt.

The pontoon sea legs use an exclusive hydraulic technique that is more efficient and effective compared to normal lifts. Not only will the legs enhance the look of your boat but also increase its lifespan.

In this pontoon sea legs review, we are going to delve deeper and discuss everything you need to know about pontoon sea legs. So, read on to know more!

What Are Pontoon Sea Legs?

Pontoon sea legs use a hydraulic mechanism to lift the boats, the portable hydraulic lift is designed with dual lift legs attached on the underside of the boat providing boat owners with an alternative to the classic legs that are mostly used on the docks.

Docking your boat for long periods can lead to wear and tear, by raising the sea legs this will maintain the original look and appearance of your boat as they will be free from dents, scum, and debris.

You might be thinking, why not just use a lift? Well, the answer is quite simple, with the lifts that are mainly attached to the docks and not on your boat. What this means is that you will only get to use the lift while at the docks.

Luckily for you, the pontoon sea legs can be used virtually anywhere, the only catch is the legs must reach the bottom of the river or lake. The sea legs can lift your boat to up to 6 feet which is quite impressive as it allows for the raising and lowering of your boat height.

The pontoon sea legs are accessible and will provide you with a certain degree of flexibility allowing you to have a wonderful time with your boat.

How does the pontoon sea leg work?

The sea legs are normally attached at the base of your boat, the hydraulics lift is powered by a battery that provides the power to raise the boat to six feet. The sea legs are hidden as it’s installed at the bottom of the seat compartment, the legs hydraulics are activated using a 12-volt pump.

Pontoon lift Vs Sealegs

The main reasons why the sea legs are a hit with most boat owners when compared to pontoon lifts is the fact that the sea legs are flexible and can be used anywhere in comparison with pontoon lift that can only be used at the docks.

To give you a clearer picture, we have compiled a list of pros and cons of the pontoon sea legs which will help you decide if purchasing it is worth the investment.

Pros 

  • They can be used anywhere except in deep waters
  • They are user-friendly compared to pontoon lifts
  • They enhance the look of your boat as well as maintain its quality and sell-on value
  • They perfectly fit most of the pontoon boats on the market
  • They don’t use pulleys and lifts
  • Has an adjustable height of up to six feet
  • The sea legs are already installed so they won’t damage your boat unlike pontoon sealift

Cons 

  • The sea legs are a bit heavy so it might affect the performance of your pontoon boat
  • If there is wind or the boat get stuck on mud or debris it can cause stability issues
  • They cannot be used on water bodies with a rocky bottom surface
  • It’s not suitable for deep waters
  • It cannot work with boats that weight over 5800 lbs.
  • Can only fit boats that are between 18-30 feet
  • They are a bit pricy.

How many sea legs will I need on my boat? 

Well, this will be dependent on the size of your boat, anything less than 18 feet or more than 30 feet will not work well with your pontoon sea legs. The seal legs are usually installed at the ends of your boat, thus the larger or longer you boat the more legs you will need. 

It’s always advisable to shop with professionals to find the right sea legs that will fit your boat.

Materials used in pontoon sea legs

The sea legs are usually made of aluminum is they are lightweight and resistant to water erosion. During construction, the aluminum is extruded onto the alloy tubing which is in turn installed at an angle providing support and strength to your heavy pontoon boat.

At the base of the sea legs, a footpad with dimensions of 48” x 18” is placed ensuring that your boat is solidly resting at the bottom of the river or lake. On the legs, four hydraulic cylinders are installed. 

Every leg is reinforced with steel alloy piston rods which have the capacity to hold up to 6500lbs which means that even heavy and bog boats can still use the sea legs.

Will the sea legs impact the performance of my boat?

The sea legs are going to add a bit of weight on your boat, but this is normal in order to provide the necessary strength and stability. The idea is to safely rest or tuck 6 feet on the lake/river bed or dock without any hitches when moving on water, the extra weight will hamper your movement.

One of the first things you’ll notice is the reducing speeds partly due to the additional weight of the pontoon sea legs. But, it’s vital to note that the pontoon boats were not designed for higher speeds, so the decreasing average speeds will not be much of an issue.

With regard to stability, there have been complaints of the whole boat tipping over. But this is not because of the design of the legs but rather lack of proper installation, if you are not keen during installation you might get stuck on a rock or muddy bottom which makes the whole boat and sea legs unstable.

How much does the pontoon seal legs cost?

Currently, on the market, there is a wide range of brands and they all have different pricing. But one thing you can count on is the sea legs are very pricy, the pricing of every unit is as follows:

The average price of a two-tube pontoon sea leg will cost around $4,000-$4,300; the cost of installation is usually around $700 taking the whole cost to around $5,000.

As the size also increases, the price will rise. A three-tube pontoon will cost you $6,500 and an additional installation cost of $1,000. If you decide to go with the 26-foot lift canopy, expect to fork out around $4,500-$5,000 that is minus the installation cost, there is also an additional remote-control package for your sea legs and it will cost you $300-$400.

The good thing with the pontoon sea legs is they come with a warranty but the warranty varies anywhere between one to two years. Its always recommended asking your dealer about the specific details of the warranty as improper use of the sea legs can lead to the voiding of the warranty.

Note that the prices might not represent the true market value, do prior research to know what different brands cost, it might be a bit expensive but at least you’ll have a rough idea of how much they cost enabling you to plan before-hand.

I always advise my readers to buy the seal legs first before purchasing the pontoon boats as buying both at once can be a bit pricy.

The pontoon sea leg insurance

In the modern world, insurance has become vital and your sea legs are no different. Due to the design and construction, the sea legs are regarded as temporary structures which means that your insurance policy will be different from your pontoon boat.

 While looking at your sea legs insurance, it might not hurt to look up the pontoon boat insurance.

Be sure to choose insurance that has wonderful coverage and good rates, also look for insurance that will bundle your deal to save money. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free and reach out to United Marine Underwriters for advice and guidance.  

The benefits of sea legs

Among the key benefits of the pontoon, sea legs are the protection of your boat against corrosion and damage. Not only will it enhance the longevity of your pontoon but also enhance the appearance and look of your boat.

Enhancing the lifespan of your boat is very critical especially for those who are planning on selling their boats in the future. The sea legs will maintain the overall quality and look thus maintaining its value ensuring your payout is significant.

Pontoon sea legs alternatives

The sea legs will improve your boating experience, they might not be ideal for everyone as it will depend on your taste and preference.

The sea legs are a bit expensive and if its price it’s out of your range, there are still some pretty good alternative that will get the job done. One method is using the age-old trick of tying your boat at the docks, the only drawback with this technique is it will not protect your pontoon boat from denting, erosion and mold.

You can also buy a pontoon cover which will provide round the clock protection against these harmful elements. Another ingenious technique is using a pontoon boat trailer, the only downside is this technique can be a bit tedious and exhaustive

There are excellent methods you can give a try if you are skeptical about the sea legs, not only will they save your pocket but also provide you with temporary solutions.

Permits and laws for pontoon sea legs   

The sea legs have been in operation since 1996, though they are still an upcoming trend whose popularity has soared in recent years. Its recommended consulting the local and state authorities if a permit is required.

In some cases, the sea legs are not permitted in some jurisdictions, well I would be a shame spending all that money and having to remove them at the end. It’s always wise to double-check with your local authorities.  

For those who are not sure, you can check on the United States Coast Guard to familiarise yourself with the regulations and laws.

Is it wise to buy the pontoon sea legs?

We all know that keeping your boat above water will maintain the condition of your boat against harmful elements. I mean who doesn’t want a ‘beautiful-looking’ boat that will be the envy of many at the docks.

The sea legs also ensure your boat doesn’t depreciate which will enable you to recoup all your investments when you finally decide to sell your boat. Pontoon sea legs are a worthwhile investment decision and you’ll not regret buying it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need the extra power?

Aside from decreasing speeds, you won’t require any additional battery to power your pontoon sea legs, all you need is a battery with 750 amps.

Optima Batteries 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Battery
  • 12-Volt, 750 Cold Cranking Amps, Size: 10 inches x 6 7/8 inches x 7...
  • Optimal starting power even in bad weather
  • Mountable in virtually any position. Works well as a boat battery or...
  • Fifteen times more resistant to vibration for durability

Where can I buy the sea legs?

There are two main manufacturers of pontoon sea legs, the manufacturers have dealers all over the country who will assist you in installing the sea legs. Note that, attaching the sea legs cannot be done on your own, so it’s better to leave it to professionals.

Conclusion

Pontoon sea legs are an excellent alternative to pontoon lifts, they have a sturdy build and design that will protect your boat against damage. They have their fair share of flaws and they are a bit pricey but installing them on your boat will be worth it. Ciao!

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