USA New Island Boats launches 2 revolutionary pontoons

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A new boat manufacturing company, Island Boats, Inc. of Vero Beach, FL, with veteran industry insiders Ralph and Tim Poppell of Float-On Corp. at the helm, is making its worldwide debut at the Miami International Boat Show by offering two new, totally innovative pontoon models – the Island Boats 180 and 220. Both models are expected to create major buzz due to their revolutionary, patent-pending design that is unlike anything the industry has seen.

“Our new Island Boats definitely aren’t your grandfather’s traditional pontoons,” said Island Boats CEO Ralph Poppell. “These new boats represent cutting-edge pontoon engineering technology coupled with all the comfort and luxury you’d expect in a higher end product in this niche … with many surprising design features that set them apart and in a class uniquely their own.”

Specifically, Island Boats features its patent-pending R & E Slide, a marine engineering marvel that allows the boat to retract or expand its beam on command. The R & E Slide mechanism allows the boat owner to enjoy many unique distinctions. For one, both pontoon storage and trailering becomes a breeze! When locked into its retracted position, the boat and custom Float-On monohull trailer stores in a standard garage, plus transports easily without the extra wide girth and visibility challenges typically associated with hauling pontoons. Once launched or at the dock, the floor expands in one easy, seamless motion, creating the most expansive pontoon boats by total square footage in their size class and category!

“Our Island Boats series expand more than 27 percent in usable luxury space,” said Island Boats President Tim Poppell. “The 180 offers virtually as much square footage as most 22’ pontoon boats, while our 22’ model delivers virtually as much square footage as most 26’ pontoons. The room and sheer entertaining space is amazing!”

“We believe our boats set a new standard in the industry,” he added. “For the first time in history, boat owners who love the pontoon lifestyle can enjoy all the benefits of a much larger, luxury pontoon while taking advantage of unprecedented small boat efficiency, improved docking, towing and garage storage capability, all at a highly competitive price.”

The Poppells, who purchased Float-On Corp in 1984, have designed, built and supplied thousands of trailers for a mix of consumers, manufacturers and specialty organizations including the government and military. The concept for Island Boats developed organically after many years of addressing the constant complaints of pontoon boat owners who sought a better trailering solution to accommodate their craft.

“After yet another request last year from a pontoon owner to build a trailer that would provide enhanced visibility and storage, Ralph had a vision about building a better and more functional pontoon boat,” said Tim. “We brainstormed together and further developed the concept. Once we had fully fleshed out the idea, we brought in renowned naval architect and marine engineer Jeff Seyler who has been an integral player in the launch of more than 100 new boats to help us. And now, here we are!”

The Poppells researched and tested a variety of name brands for their new boat manufacturing company and new series, but chose Island Boats because it best captured the essence of their new product.

“People who prefer pontoons enjoy a relaxed, recreational lifestyle,” said Ralph. “Their idea of fun is pulling up to a sandy beach and enjoying an afternoon in the sun with friends and family, as well as island hopping. We chose Island Boats because it perfectly conveys what our boats do best, while reflecting the laid back boating lifestyle we deliver.”

The Poppells say the Miami launch of Island Boats represents the start of an exciting new venture. “We have several ideas already in the works to expand and continually enhance this new product offering,” said Tim. “We look forward to serving the needs of boaters, and to be at the forefront of bringing innovation and winning new concepts to the industry.”

The Island Boats 180 and 220 are displayed in Booth 3398 at the Miami International Boat Show. For more information, visit


Miami Press Event and Product Unveiling/Meet the Visionaries Behind Island Boats – Thursday, February 13, 1:30 – 2 pm, Booth 3398; contact – Wanda Kenton Smith/Kenton Smith Marketing –

Post-Miami Show/Coordinate Media Boat Testing – Tim Wilson –

1925 98th Ave. Vero Beach, FL 32966
Telephone: (772) 562-3224  FAX: (772) 562-3441

The new Island Boats aren’t your grandfather’s pontoons … Island Boats represent the newest pontoon engineering technology, today’s best overall luxury and value in class, with the most flexible and dynamic pontoon design in the marketplace!


Island Boats, Inc. is a privately held boat manufacturing company established in 2014 in the state of Florida, based in Vero Beach.

Island Boats was launched by Ralph and Tim Poppell whose combined marine industry experience tops 50 years

Ralph Poppell serves as CEO

Tim  Poppell serves as President

Background: Ralph and Tim Poppell are a father-son team involved in an ownership and executive management capacity with Float-On Corp., manufactures of Float-On Boat Trailers, since 1984. Begun in 1968, Float On Corporation is a highly successful manufacturing company based in Vero Beach, FL and is the industry innovator of aluminum I-beam, saltwater trailers. It is also the only boat trailer company to pioneer and use torsion suspension exclusively for 46 years.


Besides serving as CEO of Island Boats and CEO of Float-On Corp., Ralph Poppell also served in the Florida House of Representatives for eight years. He was elected to represent District 29 from 2002 – 2010. Ralph has long been actively engaged in the region in which he lives, serving in various senior leadership capacities with multiple organizations including the Florida Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau, several area chambers of commerce, Florida Citrus Mutual and Florida Citrus Production Managers Association, among others. He is also a member of the Marine Industry Association of South Florida as well as the National Marine Manufacturers Association.


Tim Poppell grew up in the family-owned, agricultural citrus business and transitioned into the family-owned Float-On boat trailer business in 1991. Working in manufacturing and sales for the trailer manufacturing business, Tim helped to develop and increase not only the recreational business, but also government and military sectors. He serves as president of both Float-On Corp. and Island Boats.


As manufacturers of saltwater boat trailers in Florida, Ralph Poppell purchased Float-On Corp. in 1984 and since that time, he and Tim have built a mix of standard and custom trailers for boat owners, manufacturers and specialized groups for multiple product types. Over the years, the popular pontoon boat with its extra girth and bulky design has proven challenging for trailerable hauling/towing.

In 2013, a vision was born as the Poppell executives who serve as hands-on product developers for Float On were once again seeking to assist pontoon owners with their trailering/hauling challenges. The twosome went totally “blue sky” and instead of trying to once again work magic on a wide berth with all of its related visibility and bulk problems, they instead envisioned a totally new and revolutionary pontoon boat DESIGN. Ralph had the original vision for Island Boats; Tim contributed greatly to further development and functionality for the new boat design.

Continuing their legacy of innovation which has been a hallmark in their trailer business, the Poppell’s all-new boat concept incorporates a truly revolutionary floor design that RETRACTS and EXPANDS on command, dubbed the “R & E Slide.” This patent-pending and totally unique concept allows the pontoons to retract to a narrower towing position, allowing it to be transported on a standard monohull-style trailer. However, when it’s time to entertain or get underway, the floor expands in one easy, seamless motion, creating the most expansive pontoon boats by total square footage in their size class and category!

Ralph and Tim developed this concept and then retained an experienced 40-year naval architect and marine engineer, Jeff Seyler, to further refine their vision. Seyler has been involved in the launch of 100 boats in his career. As the engineering development and patent-pending design emerged, Ralph and Tim researched and chose a brand name that they believe reflects the leisure and fun pontoon lifestyle and captures its usage perfectly: Island Boats!


During the 2014 Miami International Boat Show, Island Boats will feature the launch of two totally revolutionary pontoon boats that both feature the highly innovative,

patent-pending R & E Slide.

Island Boats 180

Island Boats 220

Watch in awe as each of these pontoon boat models expand more than 27 percent in usable luxury space! In the expanded position, the Island Boats 180 offers virtually as much square footage as most 22’ pontoon boats, while the Island Boats 220 delivers virtually as much square footage as most 26’ pontoons.

In addition, in its narrower, retracted position, the 180 has the capability to tuck right in and store in a standard garage!  For the first time in history, boat owners now have the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of the larger luxury pontoon lifestyle, coupled with unprecedented small boat efficiency, docking/towing capability and storage, all at a highly competitive price.

Don’t miss the worldwide launch of ISLAND BOATS at the Miami International Boat Show featuring the debut of two brand new boats – 18′ and 22′ – sporting the patent pending R & E Slide!

Thursday, February 13, 2014
1:30 – 2 pm
Booth #3398
Miami Beach Convention Center

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 February 2014 )






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