About Us

Leadership Team

Island Boats, Inc. was officially established in January, 2014 in Vero Beach, FL, though the company owners have been in the marine industry for more than 50 years combined.

Ralph Poppell is the CEO of Island Boats, while son Tim Poppell serves as president. This father-son team is also involved in an ownership and executive management capacity with Float-On Corp., manufacturers of Float-On Boat Trailers, since 1984. Float-on Begun in 1968, float-onFloat 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.

Innovator of the Year!

The Poppell family receives one of 13 coveted industry Innovation Awards for the new Island Boats series, presented at the Miami International Boat Show. Chief Judge Zuzana Prochazka with Tim, Tamra and Ralph Poppell.

They went on to win an innovation award from Pontoon and Deck Boat magazine as well as Innovator of the year!

Our Story

We have manufactured custom Float-On brand trailers since 1984. 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.  Instead of approaching the trailering challenge from a trailer point of view, the twosome envisioned a totally new and revolutionary pontoon boat DESIGN. 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 patented 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 patented 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!

Company History

As manufacturers of Float-On saltwater boat trailers in Florida, Ralph Poppell purchased Float-On Corp. in 1984 and since that time, he and son Tim Poppell 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 has proven challenging for boat owners in the area of trailering/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.

Island BoatsContinuing 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 patented and totally unique concept allows the pontoons to retract to a narrower towing position, allowing it to be transported on a more standard 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!

The Poppells 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 patented 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!

Island Boats was launched at the Miami International Boat Show in February 2014 including the Island Boats 18/22 and Island Boats 22/26 models.

Meet the Visionaries

The Poppells are recognized as industry innovators and have continued to refine the design of their aluminum I-beam, saltwater trailers. That same solutions-based mentality and ability to develop innovative ideas and concepts that improve the boating experience has been a hallmark of their business and operations. It’s the same approach they brought to the design and development of Island Boats.

Doing business with the Poppells is a personal experience. Boat buyers will appreciate the high level of customer care and concern, coupled with the superior level of professionalism you can expect throughout the organization.

Ralph Poppell
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 National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Tim Poppell
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.

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