Protecting Your Benny From the Elements

The easiest method of protecting your pontoon boat over the winter is to take it from the water and use measures to prevent damage from rain, frost, high winds, snow, and dampness. However, most of us spend the spring repairing all the things which went awry during the off-season. Therefore, what else might need some attention?

Preventing Chafe

It actually is possible to do more harm than good trying to protect your pontoon boat over the winter. While using the typical blue tarp for a wintertime cover, if you do not place some type of padding (like a blanket or sheet) over the outboard's cowl, and the tarp touches it, you are in for trouble. Tarps are abrasive, and as they billow out or shift in wind, they will rub the gloss finish off the outboard. While you can avoid damage if you secure your tarp well enough so that it does not move, this is nearly impossible to do in anything above 20 knots. Either generously pad the cowl, or get the boat shrink-wrapped rather than covering it using a tarp. Note: this exact same kind of problem may arise if the tarp touches a shiny gel coat, and rubs the fiberglass the incorrect way.

Sinking on The Slip

Many boaters already understand that most sinkings happen in the slip. What you may not know is that nearly 10% of these sinkings arise because water flowed inside through a fitting which was above the waterline. How can water potentially come in from a fitting that isn't underwater? The culprit is usually a blocked cockpit drain or snow. Trapped water or snow adds weight and pushes the boat deeper into the water until it sinks.

The key to avoiding a sunk-in-the-slip disaster is to frequently visit the boat, particularly after snow falls or rainfall. You should also be certain that it has an abundance of power either from well-charged batteries or shore-power, so that pumps keep running if water starts seeping in.

Collapsing Cover Syndrome

There are several kinds of boat covers still being used -- and unless you own a wooden boat -- nearly any method of boat protection from the elements is better than merely leaving the decks exposed to weather and the wind. But, even shrink wrap sometimes can succumb to the weight of standing water, snow, leaves and wind's battering effects. If the cover collapses, the boat will become exposed. Once again, the primary way to defend against this problem is to frequently visit the yard and be certain everything is ship-shape. Collapsing covers may not always be preventable, but finding what has gone awry in a matter of days rather than weeks, might minimize your damage and allow for repairs.

For more information contact Bennington Pontoon Boats today!

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