- Steel pontoons suffer from corrosion and need to be dry-docked every couple of years for cleaning, inspection, and painting.
- Aluminium frame and deck pontoons are only adequate for light duties, and in remote locations thieves may target the aluminium frame and the wood deck boards.
- Lightweight pontoons made from GRP or wood are unsuited for commercial use and may be unstable.
- Lightly reinforced concrete float pontoons are not adequately robust for heavy commercial use, and they are known to fail under wave action.
The pontoons must provide sureness underfoot. People must be able to walk on the pontoons in normal shoes without fear of slipping or tripping. The surface must be slip-resistant even when wet.
The pontoons should provide a long service life with minimal maintenance expenses and be able to survive continuous wave action.