Pontoon boat corners are prone to damage, especially because they’re often exposed to the elements. Not to mention the fact that there’s always the risk of having them hit the dock, deck corners can easily sustain all sorts of damage. Fortunately, they’re easily protected with a bunch of corner caps.
Designed to prevent damage to your deck, corner caps are pretty hard to come by since not a lot of retailers offer them. However there are some trusted sources online that sell a sufficient selection for all sorts of pontoon boats. In this guide, we’re talking all about pontoon boat corner caps and where you can buy them online.
What are Pontoon Corner Caps For?
If you take a look at your pontoon, you’ll notice that a few inches of deck jut out and extend from underneath the railings. This extra surface area is typically exposed, and is what usually bumps into the dock and other elements above the surface of the water.
Pontoon corner caps were designed to prevent damage to these outskirts of deck. Made from rubber, aluminum, or various other metals, pontoon corner caps work like bumpers and keep your deck from breaking or fraying due to frequent mechanical damage. Some corner caps with cleat units further extend the purpose of the cap by adding a functional element to its design.
How to Choose the Right Pontoon Corner Caps
The thing about pontoon corner caps is they’re not a one-size-fits-all deal. So before you buy a set for your pontoon, you need to know exactly what kind of corner caps you need.
1. Intended Placement
Some manufacturers design their caps so that they can’t fit the starboard if they’re intended for the port, and they can’t fit the stern if they’re intended for the bow - and vice versa. That means you need to make doubly sure that you’re buying a cap for the specific corner you need to cover.
Another thing about corner caps is that manufacturers will rarely sell a cap that looks exactly like the one pre-installed on your boat. So if only one is damaged, but you don’t want the caps on your boat to look different from one another, then you might want to consider buying a set for all four corners and just replacing even the undamaged ones.
There are lots of different kinds of material used for pontoon boat corner caps. And while all of them offer to protect your deck’s edges, they come with their own benefits and downsides that ultimately determine the satisfaction you get out of each one. The most popular materials used for corner caps are:
Lightweight and easy to install, polished aluminum can be especially resilient against corrosion. But because the material is typically thin, these corner caps are prone to dents and cosmetic damages.
This choice can be particularly cost-effective especially if you want to spend as little as possible on your corner cap replacements. They offer substantial protection because of the slight bounce they produce, but constant exposure to heat and moisture can make them brittle.
Offering the most bounce and protection, rubber corner caps cushion your deck as it hits against the dock, further minimizing the damage on your platform’s edges. On the other hand, rubber isn’t designed to sustain extended exposure to high temperatures and water exposure, so they may break over time.
3. Design and Function
Needless to say, pontoon boat corner caps are available in a wide range of designs, intended to satisfy the widely varying tastes of pontoon owners when it comes to aesthetics. Don’t sweat it though - all of those different shapes and styles hardly affect performance, so it’s really just a matter of what look you like best.
What does make a difference however is any added functionality that a corner cap might offer. Some come with cleats, while others are designed to hold lights or hooks. So if you were hoping to extend the function of your corner caps, it helps to look into the various other elements that manufacturers toss in.
Corner caps come as either rounded (also called radius) or square. The main difference is that the radius corner cap looks more like a semi-circle, covering the corner itself and a few inches of the deck edge on either side. These are great for providing protection to a wider area. Square corner caps on the other hand deliver excellent protection for linear force that hits the corner dead on, preventing the deck material from splicing down the middle.
The Best Pontoon Boat Corner Caps
Designed for extra large pontoon boat corners, the JIF Marine DMH Large Corner Casting is made from aluminum for lasting durability. The simple, rounded design provides maximum coverage to keep your deck’s edges protected from as much mechanical damage as possible.
Also available in designs for the starboard and port sides of your deck, the JIF Marine series of corner casting products are some of the very few choices you’ll find on the Amazon marketplace, since they don’t really offer too many options.
A popular choice from Pontoon Specialists, this choice features a unique ribbed design that adds decorative appeal to an otherwise ignored element of your boat. Made from marine grade plastic, this corner cap touts impressive resilience even when subjected to strong bumps and hits against a solid dock.
This square pontoon corner cap from PontoonStuff features a sturdy, solid silhouette made from aluminum. The durable design provides maximum coverage despite its square shape, and offers substantial protection that prevents your deck from fraying and breaking.
Capping It Off
The pontoon boat corner caps are elusive pontoon boats essential that can be especially tough to find online. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you can’t find one on Amazon, there are lots of pontoon specialty brands online that offer these evasive accessories so you can protect the edges of your deck and keep your pontoon safe from the typical damage done by bumping into a dock.