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Getting Your Pontoon Ready for Spring: Essential Checks After Winter Storage in the Midwest

Updated: Feb 23

Logo for Macatawa Marine Group in Holland MI a boat sales dealer
Macatawa Marine Group Boat Sales

As winter starts to fade and the promise of warmer weather beckons, pontoon boat owners are eager for the upcoming boating season. Before you set sail on your first spring adventure, it's important to ensure that your watercraft is in top-notch condition, especially if it has been stored outside. Here is a guide for what you should check on your pontoon as spring approaches. Contact your local dealership for assistance.

1. Hull Inspection

Start by looking at the hull for any signs of damage, such as cracks, dents, or scratches. Check for any signs of water intrusion, freezing temperatures can exacerbate existing issues. Inspect areas where water could seep in, such as fittings, through-hull fittings, and the transom. Repair any damage promptly to prevent further issues.

2. Pontoons

Inspect the pontoon logs for dents, dings, or punctures that may have occurred during storage or due to freezing temperatures. Look for signs of corrosion or rust on metal components. If you notice any damage or leaks, they must be addressed quickly to maintain buoyancy and structural integrity.

3. Electrical Systems

Test all electrical systems, including docking, navigation and anchor lights, horn, and bilge pump (applies if you have an in floor storage compartment), to make sure they are functioning. Check wiring and connections for any signs of corrosion or damage caused by moisture or rodents during storage. Replace any stressed components to ensure proper conductivity.  Test your battery and replace it if needed.

4. Engine & Fuel System

Inspect the engine, fuel lines, and fuel tanks for any signs of damage, leaks, or corrosion. Check fluid levels, including engine oil, coolant, and hydraulic fluid. If the pontoon was winterized, follow the appropriate steps to de-winterize the engine, including flushing the cooling system and refilling it with fresh coolant. Test the engine to ensure it starts smoothly and runs efficiently.

5. Propeller

Inspect the propeller for damage, such as bent blades or nicks. Check the propeller shaft and bearings for any signs of wear or corrosion. Lubricate moving parts as necessary to prevent friction and ensure smooth operation.

6. Interior & Upholstery

Inspect the interior of the pontoon for any signs of water damage, mold, or mildew. Check upholstery for tears, fading, or other damage caused by exposure to sunlight or moisture. Clean and condition upholstery to protect it from further issues and so it maintains its appearance. Clean compartments and storage areas before spring so your boat is ready to go.  Apply UV protectant to reduce sun fading and overall wear.

7. Safety Equipment

Check safety equipment, including life jackets, fire extinguishers, flares, and first aid kits, to ensure they are in good condition and up to date. Replace any expired or damaged items and restock supplies as needed. 

By following the above checks, you can ensure that your pontoon is ready for spring and enjoy a safe and enjoyable boating season ahead. Taking the time to inspect and maintain your pontoon now will help prevent costly repairs and ensure peace of mind on the water. So, as the ice thaws and the days grow longer, get ready to embark on new adventures aboard your pontoon boat on our Michigan Lakes!

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to reach out.

Macatawa Marine Group

483 Douglas Ave Ste 20

Holland, MI 49424

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