Home » Recreation and Sports

The Work Horse That Was A Party Pontoon Boat

Jun 6, 2008
If you hear the word pontoon and think party boat puttering on a lake, you lack the experiences of marine construction professionals. These unique vessels have earned a reputation - among those in the know - as some of the most versatile and rugged workboats. Boats that easily adapt to various and sometimes dangerous tasks. Tasks that fulfill the needs of a slew of private and public entities, including fire, recreation and wildlife protection agencies, marinas, fish and game departments, and demolition or construction crews.

Pontoon boats, particularly Chinook Boats from Metalite Industries, have earned respect because their design specifications can be tailored to payload capacity, work environment and weight demands. Width, length and buoyancy can all be modified. And bow and stern shapes can be altered to allow for the best utilization of surface space and work requirements.

In short, each user of pontoon boats begins with a platform that is designed and admired for its durability and flotation stability. But the end product entails the customization of everything from riggings, cleats, tie-downs, steering and enclosures - cabins, tarps or canopies. All based on the simple or complex nature of the enterprise.

The Columbia River snakes through the Pacific Northwest before joining the Pacific Ocean near the Oregon-Washington border. The river's heavy flow and elevation drop make an ideal site for its 14 hydroelectric dams. It is also home to many important fish species, which have played an important role in the local ecology and economy. This complex playing field is one that Dix Corporation knows well.

Project and operations manager, Armin Vogt, said his company purchased its first Chinook Pontoon boat in 2002 after the demise of an lessor pontoon: "It got crunched." he joked. For the past six years the Chinooks have been in use for the remarkable projects on the Columbia, Snake and Deschutes rivers. Dix construction feats include several dam and lock rehabilitation, along with development and construction for a juvenile fish bypass sytem at Rocky Reach Dam.

"We've hauled our pontoons all over the Northwest. We use them as a work platform doing just about everything. And we use them for hauling guys and toolboxes to and from job sites. With the type of work we do, a boat is important and stability is huge. That's one of the things the Chinook Pontoon Boats give us: You can stand on the edge and not rock that boat. You're not tipping at all," he said, adding, the stability of the pontoons has proved popular with divers. "We work a lot with divers. It seems that our boat is the boat everyone uses because it's so easy to get off and on. And, when hauling people back and forth, you can pull up to the dock, keep the engine on idleit's an easy platform for loading."

Dix recently purchased a 30-foot pontoon that is being used to push barges on the Deschutes River. The boat was designed with special push bars on the bow, to which rubber tires have been draped to create a buffer between the pontoon and modular barges.

The barges haul everything from crawler cranes and construction materials to personnel. Although Vogt said the Chinook is being used as a "mini tugboat," the pontoons also provide work platforms for crews that are building a six-story, 80 x 100-foot porous box that will settle 300 feet below the surface of the water - a base structure that will help regulate water temperatures in the river for Bull Trout, an endangered species.

The pontoon boats are lifted into the enormous structure's interior to access work instead of building a dock. Equipment was rigged on the boat to make such aerial lifts possible. Also, the boat was outfitted with auto-engine winches and A-frame gantry cranes to allow the boast to be anchored to rock or concrete faces with mooring lines.

When Dix was contracted to move a bridge in Portland, Oregon using the Chinook was very beneficial. The bridge was loaded onto a barge and moved downstream, to be set on new abutments. The 20-foot Chinook allowed access to the site, providing crew members to set mooring lines and prepare for the workload to follow. This job demanded a reliable water vessel. Since Chinooks are made of 0.125" to 0.188" marine grade aluminum alloy, being filled with Coast Guard certified two-pound density polyurethane.

"We bump into things. But the way the Chinook is built - the pontoon is foam filled - it's durable. Even if you punched a hole in it - no problem. And there's enough payload that the boats can haul a pretty good load, even something as large as a pickup truck, if we wanted to," he said. "Everybody thinks of a pontoon boat as a party boat. That's not it. They cut through the water very well. We move at forty-five miles per hour with our two 150-horse power engines. People don't expect that from a pontoon boat, but we demand it from our Chinook boats-and we're not disappointed."
About the Author
Chinook custom pontoon work boats use the highest quality materials in the industry to insure years of trouble free performance. Chinook Boats have been used for fire boats, cable laying, surveying, hydrology and wildlife management.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 237
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources