The Difference Between Pontoons And Jetties

Posted on: 26 June 2017

There is often a lot of confusion between what sets pontoons and jetties apart. The truth is that while these waterfront constructions may look the same, there are a few differences that mostly lie beneath the surface of the water. In this article we'll look at the key differences between the two so that you can make an informed decision on which is right to suit your needs. 

What Are Pontoons?

In a nutshell, a pontoon is a floating structure that is fixed in place using one of a number of different methods. These include:

  • Piled pontoons -- these pontoons are typically fitted in place using two piles, but if the pontoon is larger or heavier it may require more piles to be used. 
  • PVC in-situ piles -- this type of pontoon is typically constructed in a number of steps including the jetting down of a hollow PVC pipe which is then fed with concrete from a line pump to secure it in place in the seabed. 
  • Spun concrete piles -- these piles can only be purchased from a handful of manufacturers across the country and are available in a range of different sizes. These piles are stronger than in-situ piles and will usually cost more as a result. 

Pontoons are generally made up of a walkway, a stainless steel cable kit and an aluminium strut arm. The walkway itself is usually fixed to a concrete mooring block on the land side. Pontoons will move when walked on as the walkway itself is not fixed in place. 

What Are Jetties?

Unlike pontoons, jetties are fixed in place and will therefore not float up and down with the current of the water. They are usually built from timber to complement their natural surroundings. However, this can pose a major problem with maintenance. Unfortunately, timber and water do not mix very well; therefore if you have your heart set on a timber jetty you will need to be prepared to put in the time on maintaining your structure. If you are willing to do this then your jetty should give you many years of reliable use. 

Whether you choose a pontoon or jetty, both offer excellent benefits for those who like to enjoy a waterfront lifestyle. From launching a boat or jetski to using it as a platform for fishing or simply watching the waterside world go by, with the right care and maintenance there is no reason why your jetty or pontoon shouldn't serve you well for many years to come. 

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