One thing that never seems to be thrown into the deal when you buy a new boat is a changing room, unless you’re spending big money. Obviously due to the design of pontoons, not many will come with one pre-installed, so instead most owners are left to have to fit them ourselves.
There are a few different options available, and if you scroll a little bit lower down the page you can see the best pontoon boat changing rooms that are available, including the pros and cons to each.
Why Fit a Pontoon Boat Changing Room?
There are a number of reasons, with the main obvious one being privacy. I’ve got young kids and teenagers myself and want them to have somewhere closed off where they can get in and out of swimwear without being in view of other boats.
There’s also the other factor, with the desire a pontoon boat changing potty room. You never know when the call of nature is going to strike, so being able to offer a changing station which doubles-up as a potty room is preferable than the alternative!
I believe that all owners should have a changing station for their pontoon boat, and here’s my list of the most suitable and best ones that money can buy.
Option 1: Pop-Up & Collapsible Potty Rooms
I’ve reviewed 3 of the best previously on Pontoonopedia, and you can see those read those recommendations for a wider selection, but the winning product was the Fotodiox collapsible changing room tent.
It takes away the hassle of having to build your own station, and it ultra-cheap. Let’s face it, the changing room doesn’t need to be permanently erected or hung as a curtain that gets in the way of the other fun stuff you should be doing on your boat, so a pop-up and portable product should be ideal. It’s certainly what I prefer to have on board.
Here’s what you get if you decide to buy this:
- Price Point: Low
- Construction: Made of 100% Polyester with opening in the top to provide air flow during warm days – also comes with a 24-month warranty
- Dimensions: 76 inches tall by 42 inches deep 42 inches and wide
- Colors: Black, but a green model is also available
- Access: Pops open in seconds when privacy is needed
It’s what I personally own, and I love it as it only has to come out once or twice on every boating trip and can be stored away under a seat when not in use.
This one that I recommend has very good reviews, and take it from me, I think it’s great. We have a young family and occasionally elderly relations who come with us, and it’s perfect for everyone.
Option 2: Bimini Drop Down Curtains or Room
Having said that, by far the best-looking pontoon boat changing rooms are the ones that hang down from the Bimini structure. These are ideal for boats which don’t come with a built-in privacy room and tend to be a lot larger and easier to move around in when changing than the collapsible pop-up models.
The one that I have seen in action and recommend is this privacy partition station from Northstar Products. You can view the Amazon prices and reviews on this link. It’s the same height as the pop-up model in option one, but is far sturdier!
I’ve linked you through to the blue model, but there are plenty of other colors to choose from depending on the design of your boat, including black, green, grey, tan, and burgundy.
In terms of what you get, the product specification states:
- Price Point: Very reasonable
- Construction: Velcro to the underside of the Bimini on the middle bows
- Dimensions: 72 inches long by 30 inches wide by 27 inches deep
- Colors: Different color variations available
- Access: Heavy duty zipper with double pull for easy access
Why would you buy this type of changing station?
For me it offers more space and room to get changed in or go to the toilet, has a thicker construction and more privacy, plus is far sturdier – it won’t blow around in the wind as much as the pop-ups do.
Option 3: DIY Pontoon Changing Room Privacy Partition
How handy are you feeling?
If you’re adept with tools, and have a reasonable level of creativity, then there’s no reason why you can’t build your own DIY privacy partition or curtain for your kids and passengers to get changed behind.
The benefits to making your own is that you get choose the color, size, and any additional features yourself. The negatives would be the costs though.
For the cheap prices of pontoon changing room curtains, the trade-off would be that by the time you buy the parts and build it, I think it would make much better sense to just buy a hanging one.
You can see an example above where a pontooner on Facebook had their own built.
They added this hang-up changing room which was made from a waterproof fabric. It is larger than most collapsible models you can buy online, and simply unclips and folds away for storage.
Pontoon Changing Station Buyers Guide
If you still haven’t managed to make your mind up based on the pontoon changing rooms reviewed and rated above, then here is some additional guidance that should help you choose the right curtain or station for you.
#1: What Will You Use Your Pontoon Changing Room Curtain For?
Whether you go for a full enclosure or an actual pontoon boat changing room curtain, think about the main use for it before you buy.
For example, if it’ just going to be used for calls of nature, then a pop-up might not be the best option, and instead you should choose a curtain type that hangs down. It will a lot easier and more private.
If it’s just to be used as a place to get changed into and out of swimwear, then any of the above will be a decent fit, and it might just then come down to quality, size, and price.
#2: What Size Pontoon Boat Changing Room is Best?
Getting in and out of wet clothes is hard enough without having a constrained space in which to do it. That’s why it’s always best to go as large as possible, but at the same time at a size that is going to fit to your deck or under your Bimini.
The majority of pontoon changing rooms with a privacy partition are up to 45 inches in the base, and up to 70 inches in height. That doesn’t give you a lot of room if you’re taller than 5 feet eight. The ones I recommend above are taller than that though to make things easier for you when purchasing.
You also need to consider the practicality of having a structure like this on your boat, as you don’t want it to overwhelm the deck and get in the way.
Because of that, I much prefer curtains that can slide the privacy partition to one side, or pop-up rooms that can be put up and taken down in minutes.
After all, the time spent on your pontoon boat should be fun, and who wants to restrict what room you already have with a pontoon changing room curtain or structure? I know I don’t, so portability and collapsibility are key here.
#3: What Happens on a Windy Day?
I’ve seen some pontoon changing stations lift off, exposing the poor person attending to their business. In some cases, I’ve even seem them tear off the boat and get flung into the water.
Because of this it’s important to understand the design of the changing room on your pontoon boat. If it’s a curtain, then it can blow up, whilst still remaining attached. And with the pop-up collapsible models, I have seen them blow off the boat entirely.
With that in mind, think about how you will be securing them down. Many of the products on offer here do come with systems including stakes to keep them attached and in situ, but you might ned to weigh them down at the base if yours is going to be used on a windy lake.
#4: How Much Should You Spend on a Changing Station for Pontoon Boat?
You honestly don’t have to spend too much, and for less than $80 can get a great product that will work just how you want it to, giving you an excellent privacy partition, curtain, or pop-up room.
As with most things in life though, the best things in life aren’t free, and the more money you spend will typically mean a better product.
That’s very true with pontoon boat changing potty rooms. If you buy something cheap it’s going to blow around, possibly tear, and won’t offer you and your passengers the level of privacy you require.
#5: What Portable Toilet Should You Buy?
If you don’t yet have a toilet then I would recommend that you read this essential guide to pontoon boat bathrooms which contains a selection of 4 of the best that suit this particular boat style.
Installing or fitting a changing room on a pontoon boat is easy as one, two, three.
No matter which option you choose, there’s no reason why you can’t offer your passengers the much-needed privacy they need at the drop of a hat.
You simply need to decide what type you decide to buy, or even whether to build your own DIY construction. I know plenty of pontooners who are more than happy to get their tools and materials out, and take great pride in customizing their boat to an exact spec.
But for me, simplicity and ease if key, which is why I purchased a pop-up model which I bring in and out in seconds whenever it’s needed. That means I don’t have to compromise on space and can spend more time doing the things I want to do on my boat, rather than worrying about more space being taken up.
Having said that, I won’t lie.
The pop-ups aren’t great in the wind, and if you buy one, make sure it’s secure on a windy day. If that could be an issue for you, then the hanging models which almost act like a curtain rail under the Bimini would be a better choice as they definitely offer more stability.
If there’s one last tip I can offer, that’s to measure up the space you have available before you buy. Check to make sure the floor space is available where you plan to put it up, and that you have a place to hang curtains and partitions if you go down that route.