Q: How quickly do floats ship? How does shipping work?
A: To cover our tails, we say that turn-around time is typically 1-3 weeks, but we often have inventory to fill small to medium size orders quickly. If you absolutely need floats to ship now, please be prepared to place the order with us as soon as you get our answer concerning inventory.
Our floats ship from our partnering factory in northeast AR. All of our pipe floats are large enough that we only ship via truck freight (tractor trailer on skids or loosly packed if requiring a full truck or shipping container load). Local pick-up is available for those close enough to visit the plastics facility in AR. Prior arrangements are required, and due to an on-going shipping schedule, 2-3 business days are required to have orders prepared for in-person pick-up. Purchases are not able to be made at the factory, and customers are not allowed to enter the manufacturing floor. Customers who arrive at the plastics facility without prior arrangements will be turned away.
INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS: We ship via truck freight to Canada and Mexico, but if you're located outside of North America, we only ship via ocean freight. We can ship internationally, but typically only have the ability to ship to ports that receive container ships. When shipping via sea freight, the cost that you pay through us is ONLY the cost to get the freight onto the boat and physically to the local dock. Your local port WILL have additional fees on top of our freight charge, and you WILL be responsible for your local importation taxes and fees before the freight is handed over at the final destination. We simply don't have a way to calculate or collect these fees, so we strongly recommend doing your own research concerning the local fees you will encounter when importing our products. Also, you will have to work with a customs broker to file customs documents prior to floats leaving the US. We do not include this service and you will be responsible for making such arrangements. International orders are subject to minimum order requirements.
The cost of shipping varies enough from one location to another that we are not able to provide an automated shipping calculator on our site. SHIPPING IS NOT INCLUDED IN OUR PRICING. If shipping is required, contact us with your COMPLETE shipping address before making your purchase; we are not able to quote freight with just a zip code. We work with multiple freight companies and always shop for the best rate for you. A fair amount of work can go into obtaining freight quotes, especially for international customers, so please be reasonable with your requests. As the costs of shipping is constantly fluctuating, shipping quotes are typically only valid for a few days and extended shipping quotes are not available.
Q: How thick is the plastic on the floats? Precisely what is the material?
A: All of our pipe floats have HDPE (high-density polyethylene) outer shell walls that range from 1/4" to 3/8" thick, with the thickest portions being at the corners of the floats and bolt flanges. The HDPE shell is the same material that truck bed liners and snowmobile skis are made from, and each float has a closed-cell urethane foam filling for safety and structural rigidity. The HDPE shell is a super tough material that will take a beating and the foam filling stops your float from sinking if you manage to puncture one. The exact materials and their data sheets are listed below.
HDPE plastic shell: ExxonMobil HD 8660 HDPE granules
Urethane foam filling: Foam Supplies, Inc ecoFoam
Q: What is the warranty on these floats?
A: Our floats have a 1-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects. This period starts the day that the floats leave the factory. This is a 365 day period and the warranty covers the cost of freight for customers in the contiguous US (Alaska and Hawaii are not included), but not the cost of installation. For non-US customers, replacement parts themselves are covered under warranty, but the cost of freight is not included. If you receive a float and find a defect, please contact us as soon as possible and we will replace the part or parts after clear pictures of the defect or defects are received. Crash damage, misuse (including full submersion due to over-loading), and abuse are not covered under warranty. Warranty coverage is 100% at the discretion of Tiny Pontoon Boats and Silver Lake Fabrication LLC.
Q: What happens if one breaks?
A: These floats have been in production for over 30 years, and they really are tough as nails, but things can happen in an industrial setting. If you manage to crack one of your floats, assuming that you didn't crush it completely with an excavator or squish it into a pancake between two giant barges (both have happened), the outer shell can be repaired. First, pull the float out of the water, let any moisture drain from within, and use a HDPE plastic welding kit (often advertised as a kayak repair kit - they use the same material). This is a kit that comes with a special electric soldering iron-type tool and some plastic welding rod. People who kayak use this type of kit to repair their boats after rock damage. These kits are obtainable for about $60 on eBay or Amazon.
HDPE welding kit search on Amazon
Q: How do your floats hold up if the water freezes? Will the ice break them?
A: This question comes up a lot when speaking with customers in colder climates, but it's more common for customers using our plastic pontoons to build boats. We have a few Canadian customers that have informed us that they've built floating rafts and work barges with our plastic pontoons, which are made from the same materials as our pipe floats, and they keep them in the water when it freezes. We have not received any reports of failure, but we also frozen one of our small rafts in the ice every winter since November 2019 and that raft has survived every winter in the ice since. We'll continue to test that ice raft year after year, but the short of it is that we do not have experience with our pipe floats in the ice. Being as beefy as the rest of our rotomolded float line, we have to imagine that our pipe floats would survive as well. If your question is about a couple inches of ice, you don't have to worry about it. If you're concernin is feet of ice, we really can't recommend it, but they would likely survive. Please bear in mind that ice damage is not covered under warranty.
Q: How is payment accepted?
A: For domestic orders totaling up to $7000, we are able to accept payment via credit card, check, or electronic bank transfer. Payment for orders totaling over $7000 must be in the form of an electronic bank transfer, company check, or certified bank check. We do not accept foreign checks, credit cards from outside North America, or physical personal checks for orders totaling over $7000. Payment is due at the time the order is placed, and no order will be placed into our production queue before payment is received. "Net" payment terms are not offered by Silver Lake Fabrication LLC. This is a steadfast company policy. All prices shown are in USD and are subject to change without prior public notice.
Q: How do returns and cancellations work?
A: Simply put, they do not work. We DO NOT accept returns and we WILL NOT cancel an order. We work hard to get orders out the door as quickly as possible and provide the best service that we can. This means that when you commit to a purchase, we have committed to fill the order in a timely manner. Once an order is placed, the money you've paid goes into materials and labor specifically for your order, and we don't get that back, even if you change your mind. We repeat, WE DO NOT ACCEPT RETURNS AND WE WILL NOT CANCEL ORDERS.