It is mid September in the Midwest and the inevitable is approaching…fall. Summer is always too short and no one enjoys pulling their boat from the water but it is important you properly winterize your watercraft so that you are set up for success when the warm Spring weather comes back around!
Winterizing your pontoon boat or any watercraft is important to protect it from the cold weather and prevent damage caused by freezing and fluctuating temperatures. Reach out to your local professional. Most dealerships and repair shops will be able to facilitate this entire process and provide storage options. Winterize your boat!!
1. Thoroughly clean the pontoon boat to remove dirt, grime, food and any debris. Clean the interior, carpets, and upholstery, and make sure the boat is dry before winterizing it. Store your gear in a dry place - Life Jackets, Cushions, Towels, etc
2. Your gas tank should not be stored with a full tank. Fuel stabilizer is used to prevent fuel from deteriorating over the winter months and is highly recommended.
3. Change the oil and oil filter and change gearcase oil.
4. Freshwater systems should be drained and flushed thoroughly. This includes draining the water tanks, pipes, and any water-related components to prevent freezing and potential damage.
5. Disconnect the boat battery and remove it from the boat. Store it in a cool, dry place and consider using a “trickle charge” battery maintainer to keep it charged over the winter.
6. If your pontoon boat has an outboard motor, lower it to its lowest position. This helps drain any water from the motor's cooling system and prevents ice damage.
7. Invest in a good-quality boat cover or shrink wrap to protect your pontoon from the elements. Make sure the cover is well-secured to prevent wind or snow from getting underneath.
8. Store your pontoon boat in a secure and dry location, such as a garage, boat storage facility, or covered area. If you must keep it outdoors, make sure it's properly covered and protected from the elements and animals.
9. Even during the winter months, you should periodically check on your boat to ensure the cover is secure and that no water or snow accumulation is causing issues.
Consult your boat's owner's manual and consider professional help if you're not comfortable performing these maintenance tasks. Winterizing techniques can vary based on the make and model of your pontoon and its engine.
By following these steps, you'll help ensure that your pontoon boat remains in good condition and is ready for the water when our warmer weather returns!