Getting Your Pontoon Boat Ready for Storage: 5 Steps to Prevent Damage

It’s that time of year that pontoon boat lovers in certain parts of the country hate: the end of warm weather and time to prepare their boat for winter storage. Though it may not be a fun process, it’s essential to properly prepare your boat for storage to prevent damage and decay and make sure it’s ready to go for next boating season. Here are the five steps you need to take to prepare your boat for seasonal dry storage.

1. Move Your Boat Out of the Water

Load your boat onto a trailer and haul it to its winter home. Many people rent a storage space for their boat over the winter if they don’t have garage space large enough at home. Though it’s idea to store your boat indoors, you can store it outside as long as you take the proper precautions.

2. Fill the fuel tank.

To force air out of the tank, you should fill it to within one inch of the tank filler hose. If you don’t force the air out, it will turn into condensation when the cold weather hits and cause the inside of the gas tank to rust and could damage your engine.

3. Prepare the boat.

After filling the gas tank, you should empty the old oil from the engine, then remove spark-plug wires and plugs. Through the holes of the engine, spray it down with fogging oil, then install new spark plugs and fill the engine with fresh oil. To finish, replace coolant in the engine and disconnect the battery cables.

4. Clean the boat.

You need to clean your pontoon boat thoroughly to ensure it will weather the season without deterioration. Wipe algae off the pontoons, and remove dust and debris from the deck. Make sure to clean anything that might attract insects or rodents, such as food or drink spills. Finally, put rodent poison on the deck to further deter critters and protect your upholstery.

5. Put boat on blocks and cover.

Keeping the hulls of your boat off the ground prevents corrosion, so you should store it on blocks. Covering the boat is important whether it is inside or outside, but it is especially vital if you don’t have indoor storage space. Make sure your outdoor boat is covered in a way to shed water, ice, and snow, especially over the playpen area.

When you store your boat properly for winter, you will keep it safe from damage and deterioration and be ready to go when next boating season arrives. If you would like more information on pontoon boats, please check out our website!