Question: How do the Arch-Makers stay on my pontoon rails?
Answer: The Arch-Makers are designed to slide over your pontoon rail with ease. Sometimes the Arch-Maker channel has to be stretched out a bit to slide comfortably over your rails by applying a little pressure on the Arch-Maker and rocking them back and forth to spread the channel out a little bit. This will ease attaching and removing the Arch-Makers. Once the 3/4″ PVC pipe is slipped over the Arch-Maker, the tension created by the PVC arch will hold the Arch-Maker in place.
Question: How far apart should the arches be from one another?
Answer: We suggest 4′ apart for maximum strength. However, that is not LAW, if your helm or Bimini is in the way of being 4′ away from the other arch, there is no rule that says you can’t extend the connecting PVC rod to 5′. The goal is to connect each arch to the other for maximum support for your pontoon canvas. If you live in an area of heavy snowfall, you might want to purchase additional “extension kits” and shorten the Arch distance to as little as 2′ apart.
Question: Why do the kits come with 4-Way and 5-Way connectors?
Answer: The 4-Way connectors are used on the front and back end of the dome for a finished end. We included two extra 5-Way connectors in case you want to add an extra leg support over your sunbed or if you have a fishing platform in the front of your pontoon. For instance, we have a three-foot fishing platform on the front of our pontoon, and I didn’t want our canvas to sag and pool water on the platform. I added another piece of PVC and two 45-degree connectors to the front 5-Way connector to add another leg. These kits are designed to assist you in making an easy-to-assemble SOLUTION for your pontoon boat. The 4-Way and 5-Way connectors are very hard to find, whereby most standard PVC connectors are readily available at your local hardware store.
Question: Why do you suggest numbering the PVC pieces and the 5-Way connectors?
Answer: In a perfect world, all the PVC pieces would be the same length, but as I explained in question #2, sometimes you have to cut the connecting pieces between two arches a little longer or shorter than the rest. It makes it easier to connect the same pieces every time by simply numbering them to match up to the 5-Way connector.
Question: Won’t the 3/4″ PVC pipes bend into the shape of the arch?
Answer: Yes, and that’s exactly what we want the PVC to do. This will be beneficial to the ease of taking off and putting the dome back together. Again, by marking each piece of PVC against the 5-Way connectors, you’ll be able to slide everything back together easily because the PVC will memorize its shape and placement for the dome.
Question: Your instructions say to cut the PVC pipe that connects into the Arch-Makers at 48″ for an 8′ wide pontoon and cut the PVC pipe at 51″ for an 8′ 6″ wide pontoon. How long do you cut the legs that go between the floor and the bottom of the 5-Way connectors?
Answer: That answer is tough; you’ll want to put your arch together and measure the distance between the floor and the 5-Way. You don’t need it putting pressure against the 5-Way; you just want it stabilizing the 5-Way and keeping everything supported and secure.
Question: I’m from the North part of the country, and my PVC is very rigid and stiff. What do you suggest I do to get it to conform to the arch?
Answer: I would try warming up the PVC with a torch to allow the PVC to bend more easily. This is only needed in the original construction of the dome. Once the PVC has been installed and made into the arch, it should memorize its shape within a few days and be easy to put on and take off again.
Question: The Arch-Makers are made of aluminum and so are my rails, will the Arch-Maker scratch my rails?
Answer: Yes, they could possibly get scratched. We suggest adding a small piece of cloth between the Arch-Makers and the rail.
Question: You are very specific in your instructions on how to construct the arch. Can you explain why?
Answer: Yes, the Arch-Makers are solid aluminum and very strong. The PVC pipes and 5-Ways are plastic. They are strong but can break much easier than the Arch-Maker. You’ll start with putting an Arch-Maker on the starboard side rail and then adding a piece of 48″ PVC to the Arch-Maker. Then you will add a 5-Way connector and then add another 48″ PVC pipe to the opposite side; then, you’ll add the port side Arch-Maker to the PVC and gently side it on the port side rail. This completes your arch. If you try to add both of the Arch-Maker to the rails and try to connect the PVC to the 5-Way in the middle, you will snap the 5-way every time.
Question: Do I still have to secure my canvas to my pontoon boat with straps?
Answer: Yes, unless you have a really tight-fitting canvas, you’ll still want your canvas held down again the dome for maximum protection against the wind, rain, snow, and debris collecting on your canvas. Another great suggestion is attaching “Gator Bites” and eliminating troublesome straps altogether.
Question: Can I trailer my pontoon boat with the canvas on my pontoon boat?
Answer: We highly DO NOT recommend EVER trailering any boat with a canvas. If by fluke that canvas should become loose and fly off the boat and land on someone’s windshield, it could cause a major accident or, worst, kill someone.
If you have any more questions or suggestions, send us an email at PontoonBoatSolutions@gmail.com and let us know. Your question may help us find a SOLUTION to help all of us!