Winterization: Preparing to store your pontoon boat for winter
Winter is fast approaching and for those pontoon boat owners living in the north, that means cold weather, and yes, snow is on the way. During the cold months it is extremely important to protect your investment from winter’s harsh elements and to ensure that your luxury pontoon boat is ready for use in the spring.
For those that are unfamiliar with the process of winterizing your pontoon boat, it is wise to consult or hire a professional to assist you or even store your pontoon. Many Bennington Pontoon dealers offer these services and all can help you find someone that does in your area. Simply locate a dealer near you and inquire about this service.
For those DIY-ers that are looking to winterize their own pontoon boats this year, here are a few tips to help you keep your pontoon boat in top condition during the off-season.
Remove objects and gear from the boat
Your first step should be to remove loose objects from your boat. This includes water toys, fishing gear, electronics and anything else you can easily remove from the boat. This will prevent any chance of water, mildew, or cold temperature damage to the equipment. It also protects against theft.
Clean your boat before your winterize it
Clean the outside of your pontoon boat, removing grime and any other items that may be clinging to the body. When cleaning the interior be sure to wash all surfaces and allow to fully dry to avoid mildew.
Protect your engine
When storing your engine you should consult your engine’s owner’s manual for specific instructions. Each engine has different instructions for safe keeping, feel free to contact your boat dealer for tips and advice.
Cover your pontoon boat
Pontoon boat owners should cover their boats during the winter/off-season. Rain, ice and snow can build up on the cover so you must secure the cover tightly with supports to prevent pooling and direct water away from the boat.
When covering or wrapping your pontoon boat, it is wise to consult or hire a professional to ensure that your boat is safe, secure and ready for the snow.
Also consider mildew protection products. Your local dealer can give you recommendations to insure your seats, carpets, and canvas are clean and mildew free in the spring.
Storing the battery
For pontoon boat owners that intend on storing their boat in the water during the off-season, the battery should be kept on board and charged regularly so that the bilge pump is able to run if it is needed.
If you plan on removing your boat from the water, the battery should be removed and kept in a cool indoor space like a garage or basement. The space should be one that can be accessed during the off-season as you’ll want to top off the charge on occasion while the battery is not in use. Many options are available for trickle chargers that can be left connected to your batteries and keep them charged and protected for the winter.