Best Changing Room Solution for Pontoon Boats?

When people take their pontoon boat to water for the first time, there’s an ongoing trend to forget that they can’t simply swim in their street attire, nor can they simply change clothes in plain sight. Of course, some people simply don’t care and just do whatever needs to be done, but this is not an option for the shy and the fair sex. What’s more, sometimes it’s not only the sea that calls you but also an entirely different side of nature. Under such circumstances as well, men have the edge, in particular, if they’re out at sea and nobody is around to cast a disapproving eye. However, regardless of your biological makeup, you can’t just evacuate the byproducts of your body in the middle of a busy harbor. In this type of situation and much more, there’s only one way to get away unseen: a changing room.

Just as its name says, this thing is made to hide you while you switch from smart casual to smart fishing. It’s not the only thing you can use it, though. As stated above, it’s also ideal to remove you from public sight should nature run its course while you’re nowhere near a toilet. You can also use it as a provisional refuge if the sun and the wind are too much for you, as well as for many other kinds of… activities. At any rate, here are a couple of ways you could go around getting a changing room for your pontoon boat.

1. Do It Yourself

Well, it’s not exactly a simple build, nor is it particularly cheap to get the materials. On the other hand, if you’re the kind of guy that fixes everything around the house and you also like a bit of a challenge, this is definitely the thing you want. It’s not rocket science either and you can even find tutorials on YouTube and such. What’s more, there’s an unquestionable advantage to a custom-made changing room: it will look exactly as you want it. Be it size, color, position, or whatever accessories you may want to add, everything will be perfectly suited to your taste.

If you want something custom, but you also want to be spared the trouble of building it yourself, eBay offers a good number of alternatives. While some of these may be a bit expensive, you can at least save a considerable amount of time as you only need to install a couple of ready-made parts.

2. Collapsible Pop-up Changing Room

Originally, this type of changing room was used by photographers and such in order to have models change quickly for outdoor shots, as well as other places with no rooms available, basically replacing the folding paravan.

There are two big advantages to this setup. First, you can easily put it in place anywhere, wherever you have a bit of spare room on your boat. Secondly, it’s really cheap. You can get, for instance, the Fotodiox Collapsible Room on Amazon, and it has some very good reviews. On the other hand, be aware that this kind of changing room isn’t really a World Wonder when it comes to size.

Here are a couple of other alternatives you can check out:

#1 GigaTent Pop-Up Pod Changing Room

Sale
GigaTent Pop Up Pod Changing Room Privacy Tent – Instant Portable Outdoor...
  • INNOVATIVE POP-UP TENT: The Gigatent 6 foot instant privacy tent offers you instant private space for camping bathroom & potty use, outdoor...
  • INSTANT INSTALLATION: Designed for utmost convenience our instant popup tents can be set up instantly and are equally easy to fold back into...
  • HEAVY DUTY MATERIAL: Pop-up Pod from GigaTent is very easy to use. Made with high-quality polyester taffeta 190 T water-resistant coating....

This pop-up cabin doesn’t even require side poles for setup. All it requires is a base and a couple of skilled movements – and it will transform into the perfect changing room for your pontoon in no time. The base measures 3 sq ft and the length is 69”. It can also be tucked neatly into a bag and taken with you anywhere – be it on your pontoon, to the beach, or out camping.

#2 Pop-Up Room in a Bag

Pop-Up Room in a Bag Instant Portable Changing Room with Dura-light Steel Frame...
  • Opens in seconds for privacy anywhere. Works as a changing room, potty room or shower room
  • Durable steel frame design with weather-resistant material
  • Built in bags for weight and includes stakes for windy conditions

Here’s another alternative for a collapsible changing room this one is a bit more expensive, but comes with steel side poles and stakes for more stability. If you tend to keep your ‘toon in really wind areas, you’d betted opt for this model – just to make sure it doesn’t fly away when you least expect it – with or without someone in it. Besides that, the unit is pretty similar anything else – weather-resistant material, standard one-person capacity, bag for easy carrying, and a really tacky neon color. But who cares when you can put it away any time after your family is done changing?

#3 WolfWise Pop-up Shower Tent

WolfWise Pop-up Shower Tent
  • SPACIOUS SPACE - The tent is 47.2" L x 47.2" W x 74.8" H providing a spacious interior shelter that comfortably fits a tall man without...
  • VENTILATION & VERSATILITY - The mesh top design and zipper window with large entrance deliver 360-degree ventilation for better dissipation...
  • UPF 30+ & WATER REPELLENT - The water repellent polyester with taped seams keeps the inner shelter dry, which blocks 60% harmful UV rays...

If you like to go high-end even with such things like collapsible changing rooms, here’s the perfect one for you – the WolfWise Pop-up Shower Tent This one is significantly bigger than the other two, measuring 47 sq feet at the base and 75 inches in length. It’s also made of a better quality material – waterproof taffeta, which allows the air to circulate. Might not seem like much of an advantage until you realize that you can hang clothes or towels to dry inside the tent without worrying about them catching weird smells. There’s also a pouch for keys, phones, and other small things that youк family might want to keep away from the water. It’s also available in a wide variety of colors (which are not as tacky as the typical collapsible ones) and has a heavy duty zipper. It’s also available in a wide variety of colors (which are not as tacky as the typical collapsible ones) and has a heavy duty zipper.

3. Drop-down Changing Rooms

If your pontoon has a Bimini top, we wholeheartedly recommend a drop-down changing room. While we admit that it’s not as easy to install and remove as its collapsible counterpart, many pontoon boat owners agree that they are an excellent middle ground between the portable, collapsible changing room and the expensive, custom-built one.

#1 Privacy Station

Privacy Station - Drop Down for Bimini Top (Blue)
  • velcro to the underside of the bimini on the middle bows
  • 72" long by 30" wide by 27" deep
  • mulitple colors available

As far as costs go, it’s not much more expensive than a collapsible room. In fact, you can find a so-called Privacy Station, which even comes in different colors. Another good point is that it’s fairly spacious, or at least much more so than the pop-up one. Last, but definitely not least, as the description of the Privacy Station says, it gives you enough privacy for “whatever you need”.

#2 Carver Industries Universal Bimini Top

However, if you’re looking for something less expensive but just as good for your Bimini rails, check out the Carver Industries Universal Bimini Top. It is perfect for boats with taller rooms, as it connects to the rains using buckle straps. Their length can be adjusted to suit higher or lower roofs as needed, up to 60”. The material is marine-grade polyester made in the US.

When shopping for the perfect changing room for your pontoon, you’ll need to figure out the answers to the following questions first:

#1 What do you plan to use the changing room for? 
Although the name implies that it is a room for changing, the options are not limited to that, you can get at least one more use out of them – and that’s to hide the potty area for those moments when nature calls. If you’re planning to get a changing room for the very purpose of changing your clothes, you’re pretty much good to go with any of the three types we mentioned above. However, if you’re planning to hide your potty, a pop-up changing room is out of the question. If you have a Bimini top, go for Bimini changing rooms, and if you don’t have them, you’ll have to get creative.

#2 What size do I need? 
Again, for literal changing rooms, most of them range between 35” and 45” in the base and around 60” to 70” in length. Any of them will fit a typical adult, and you won’t have to worry about it too much. However, bigger is always better – you don’t want your family or guests to feel crammed inside the popup changing room on your pontoon of all places.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to size is the size of your pontoon itself. You don’t want to overwhelm it with a huge changing room in the very center of the room, so plan accordingly. Generally, if you don’t have Bimini rails and your pontoon is rather small, you’d better opt for a collapsible changing room, as you can tuck it away anytime and save space.

#3 Do I keep my pontoon in a windy area? 
If you do, please go for a sturdier unit with a steel carcass of some sorts. We’ve heard countless stories about changing rooms being blown away along the beach, or even word, off boats, usually with some kind of valuables inside them. For extra security, get one with stakes or a couple of weights to go on the base, especially if it’s one of these units with a pocket for valuables.

#4 What is your budget? 
Generally, any kind of boat changing room will cost between $25 and $60. We’re talking about pop-up ones and Bimini ones, as DIY projects can cost you more or less depending on the fabric and tools you use. In any case, something you can be sure of is that this project won’t cost you a fortune.

Last update on 2020-07-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jerry Brookes
 

Hi I'm Jerry, founder of PontoonHelper.com. I've been pontooning for over 30 years believe it or not and have learned a thing or two about pontoons. As my passion project Pontoon Helper is aimed at educating any reader on all the different things you need to know before pontooning. I consider myself somewhat of an expert in this industry as it has become my life since retirement. Feel free to submit a comment or question on the website and I'll try to get back to you.

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Avatar for Jason
Jason

If you have a Bimini rail it doesn’t get better than the privacy station. I saw a couple guys getting all fancy custom-made changing rooms for Bimini that ended up costing hundreds of bucks and there no better than the privacy station.

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    Avatar for Phil
    Phil

    I disagree man, the privacy station is not long enough for most Bimini tops, and I prefer to have some allowance when it comes to the length of my changing room. That’s why I went with the Carver Industries one and would recommend it to anyone over the privacy station.

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