Winter brings temperature changes, along with the need to winterize your pontoon boat. While it can be an annoying item on your to-do list, it’s an important part of owning your boat.
Remove the Equipment
You want to remove anything of value from your pontoon and keep it in a safe place. Removing the equipment not only makes the cleaning process more manageable but it also protects the equipment from being stolen or damaged.
Thoroughly Clean the Pontoon
Once you have removed the equipment then you need to make sure you are getting your boat as clean as possible It’s actually going to be easier to clean it now instead of after the winter. Pay special attention to any carpeting in the boat. During winter, the air under your cover can be a great place for mildew and mold to form. Cleaning will be your best defense against this. Once you are done cleaning make sure you polish with a protective polish.
Winterize Your Boat Motor
Damage to the motor can be very expensive so it’ s necessary to pay close attention to make sure you are winterizing your motor correctly. There are different processes for an outboard and inboard motor. You want to make sure that there is no lingering water in the engine, which will result in damage. You will likely need to drain all water, as well as the coolant, and replace it with antifreeze.
Winterize the Battery
There are two ways you can winterize your pontoon boat battery. If you remove the battery then you need to keep it indoors. It needs to be kept in a place where the temperatures aren’t going to go below freezing. Extra space in the home or the garage would be ideal. You can also leave the battery onboard, especially if you are leaving the boat in the water, but you will need to prepare for this. Use a trickle charger and charge the battery before you store it.
The Gas Tank
In order to winterize the gas tank, you need to fuel the tank until it is about three-quarters of the capacity. This will be the right amount for reducing condensation levels. Add fuel stabilizer and seal exhaust ports. This is an important step in order to prevent corrosion to the fuel tank.
Storing Your Pontoon
You want to get a quality cover before you put your boat in storage, whether you are storing it inside or outside. The right cover can be designed to handle the extreme changes in temperature and last through the winter. It should fit your boat snugly and should be able to contract and expand slightly in order to avoid being damaged from any temperature changes. Spray the cover with insect and rodent repellent in order to prevent chewing. Mice like to make nests out of the cushions and can cause damage. It’s best to check to make sure there isn’t pooling on your cover throughout the winter and try to remove any buildup. This is especially important if you are storing your boat outside. The cover will need to support the weight of any snow or rain.
What Happens If You Don’t Winterize Your Pontoon Boat?
If you don’t winterize your boat correctly then water can get into hidden areas. When the water freezes then it expands and the area won’t be able to handle the expansion and break. This can be very damaging if it’s the engine, but any area can cost you a lot of money to repair.
By taking the proper steps to winterize your boat, you can keep it in shape for many years to come and enjoy a hassle-free spring.