Iowa Patent of the Month – July 2021

A pontoon boat uses floats – also called pontoons – to remain buoyant. They typically handle choppy waters better than the average recreational boat and use two hulls to improve stability. When docking the boat, most occupants manually guide it in place, using their hands to prevent it from hitting the sides of the boat lift. Not only is this dangerous for the occupants, it rarely properly aligns the boat on the lift. Midwest Industries, Inc. has decided to solve this problem, with the development of a proper alignment guide for pontoon boat lifts.

Their system uses a pair of laterally spaced rails which are positioned based on the spacing between pontoon floats. The rails are attached to the boat lift using adjustable brackets, making it possible to customize as needed. A stop bar is also positioned just above the bottom of the boat motor and extends beyond the rail extensions. As the pontoon boat moves forward, the alignment guide provides support under the deck of the pontoon boat. Once it reaches the fully forward position, the stop bar contacts the boat motor, preventing it from going too far forward. This successful alignment helps protect both the boat and the occupants – especially when docking in rough waters. 

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