Do you know how to winterize a pontoon boat? This process is essential for preserving its structural integrity and safeguarding it against potential damage that can occur when stored in cold environments. Overlooking the vital winterizing process can result in costly repairs after the brutal winter season passes.
If you’re looking to properly prepare your pontoon boat for long-term safekeeping during these colder months, then read on! In this comprehensive guide, Scott Ewart will walk you step-by-step through how to winterize your pontoon boat. Besides, we also mention to how much does it cost to winterize a pontoon boat? At the end of the post, you can be confident to winterize your boat easily!
How to winterize a pontoon boat
Prepare tools and materials
- Antifreeze solution
- A hose, rags
- Towels and cleaning supplies (soft cloths, sponges, and soap)
- Fogging oil
- Grease and lubricate
- A boat cover and shrink wrapping
Step 1: Take the ship out of the water
For many, a boat trailer is an essential item for taking their pontoon out of the water when temperatures drop. However, those in milder climates may choose to keep their vessel on a lift throughout the winter months.
Step 2: Clean the boat’s exterior
It’s important to remove any dirt, debris, and salt water from the boat’s exterior before winterizing. Cleaning supplies like soft cloths, sponges, and soap will help you get a thorough clean and prepare your pontoon for the cold weather ahead. At the end of this process, you should finish with a nice polish to protect the boat’s paint job. Inside, it’s important to completely clear out any personal items and clean the area thoroughly.
Step 3: Clean the boat’s interior
Once the exterior is prepped, you can begin cleaning the interior. Vacuum any dirt or debris, and then use a mild cleaner to remove salt water and other contaminants that may have accumulated over time. Make sure every part of the boat is completely dry to avoid mold.
Step 4: Uninstall and store apparatus
Now that the whole boat is clean, you can begin removing and storing any accessories. They can include ladders or lights, flotation devices, towels, and fishing equipment,… It’s important to keep these items away from moisture when storing any accessories. It’s important to keep these items away from mold or theft.
Step 5: Winterize boat’s engine
The most important step in this process is winterizing your pontoon’s engine. To ensure your cooling system operates properly, drain the existing coolant and then refill it with fresh antifreeze. You should drain the coolant, then add antifreeze (a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water is effective up to -30f)
This inhibits the growth of rust and hard water deposits.
Engine used outboard
Before beginning any repairs or maintenance on an outboard motor, it is critical to start by disconnecting the battery. Then bring your engine down to a lower altitude, ensuring that no precipitation can enter and potentially damage its parts.
Most manufacturers, no matter the type of engine, tend to suggest fogging as a solution for lubricating. This can keep the interior parts running smoothly.
Engine used inboard
As directed by the boat’s maker, drain the engine block. Again, fogging applies to these engines as well. Learn more about fogging oil for the inboard engine.
Give your inboard or outboard engine the best by draining out its coolant. Then you replace it with non-toxic propylene glycol antifreeze. Propylene is what engine makers recommend for optimal performance.
Antifreeze is used as an engine coolant in cars, trucks, boats, and buses. The main ingredient of antifreeze is usually ethylene glycol, an odorless
Make use of grease and lubricate
Lubricating the engine and other components with a light grease will help ensure maximum performance. It’s also important to oil all moving parts, such as rudder gear boxes, to protect them from damage due to freezing temperatures.
To ensure optimal performance, find the grease fittings on your pontoon boat. Usually, they are found in the steering mechanism. Once you identify them, apply a premium marine lubricant to keep everything running smoothly. To avoid rusting and oxidation, lubricate all fittings according to the manual instructions. This will keep them in proper working order and functioning optimally.
Step 6: Filter replacement and engine oil change
It is essential to use model- and brand-specific winterization for pontoon boat engines due to their sensitive nature. Make sure to disconnect the outboard engine battery. Also, you empty the inboard and outboard engine blocks by the manufacturer’s recommendations. Doing this will ensure your pontoon boat motor stays safe during the colder months!
Ensure the port is securely closed and lubricate all motor blocks. Furthermore, for winter storage, it’s essential to replace your old oil filter with a new one, as the muck may freeze inside an older filter. Having a fresh oil filter on your pontoon before storing it away will help keep everything in top condition!
Step 7: Remove or take out the batteries from the pontoon boat
To help preserve the life of your pontoon’s battery, it’s best to disconnect and remove it before winterizing. If you decide to leave the battery in place, choose a location where the temperature is above freezing.
If you want to leave the battery on the boat, you must disconnect it from the boat’s electrical system. To ensure your battery does not run out of power, give it a trickle charge.
Before placing it in the garage, a heated outbuilding, or basement, make sure to charge the battery fully if you decide to take it out. Furthermore, be certain to recharge it throughout the winter for optimal performance.
Step 8: Store your pontoon boat
Option 1: Use a boat’s cover
You can easily cover and protect your pontoon boat from winter weather with a quality marine cover. Make sure you use boat covers or tarps properly. The cover’s main purpose is to keep moisture and dirt out of the boat. Fitted covers are best for outdoor storage.
Option 2: Use a shrink-wrap
Protecting your boat with shrink-wrap ensures the tightest, most reliable protection against moisture. You can be sure that there will be no drooping or blowing off the cover when you use this method. Shrink-wrapping is a superior protective measure for any watercraft!
Shrink-wrapping a boat can help guard against harsh weather conditions such as snow and rain. While this is something you could do yourself, it’s likely better to hire an expert who has the necessary tools and experience for the job.
Shrinkwrap does a great job keeping boats clean and protected but it also is a single use plastic
Step 9: Protect your boat from theft when winterizing
How much is a pontoon boat? One fact that is a pontoon is very valuable. Therefore, properly securing your boat is essential to reducing the risk of theft when winterizing. Any potential thief will go for your electronics first if you haven’t taken steps to protect them in advance. It’s a quick and easy task for someone to snatch them out of your boat without much effort.
If you have to store your pontoon on land, put the trailer on blocks and take the tires off. Investing in a tongue lock for the trailer is another way to keep it from being stolen.
Basic property coverage policies for boats are only meant to cover theft of the boat and its major components, like fuel tanks and motor engines. Other accessories or small items will not be covered by these insurance plans. Ask for more information from the boat insurance company to determine the kind of coverage you need. So, how much is insurance on a pontoon boat? Read here to know more the fully information!
In short, that is some 9 steps to help you how do you winterize a pontoon boat easily. You can follow these steps to winterize your boat quickly and effectively!
How much does it cost to winterize a pontoon boat?
The cost to winterize pontoon boat can vary based on the size and model of the boat, as well as the services that are needed. Generally speaking, you should expect to pay $250 if you take matters into your own hands. This price covers the expense of cleaning your boat from stem to stern, inside and out, as well as winterizing the engine and other components.
However, if you choose to have the maintenance done at a boatyard, be prepared to spend $500 or more. Are pontoon boats safe in the ocean? Or are pontoon boats safe in the ocean? The answer is yes. So, you can add extra services, such as shrink-wrapping the boat for storage to protect the boat’s overall in the best way. Overall, you should plan on spending a few hundred dollars for a basic winterization of your pontoon boat prior to the cold season.
FAQs How to winterize a pontoon boat?
Is winterizing a pontoon boat necessary?
To protect your investment and make sure your pontoon boat is in great shape and ready to use in the spring, you must get it ready for winter.
Should I keep my boat with a full tank of gasoline for the winter?
Marine engine manufacturers and technicians advise storing any boat with the fuel tank almost full. You should leave just a little space so that the fuel can expand if the temperature goes up.
Is gasoline still good after two years?
Depending on the type of gas and how it is stored, gasoline has a shelf life of three months to three years. It’s important to remember that not all gases are the same, even though they all break down over time when exposed to oxygen (also known as oxidation).
Does a boat motor need to be fogged?
Fogging your boat engine is a cheap and effective way to keep it safe when it’s not being used. Although adding a stabilizer to gas can help reduce long-term storage problems, this is not always the case. Therefore, fogging oil is still recommended as an optimal safeguard for your vessel’s motor.
How to winterize a pontoon boat? Winterizing your pontoon boat is an essential part of keeping it in great condition and helping it last longer. Taking the time to properly prepare your boat for winter will save you both time and money down the road. Be sure to also thoroughly clean every part of your pontoon before covering and storing it away until springtime. Following this guide from justaddwaterbda.com should be useful in making sure your pontoon boat is fully prepared for winter. Therefore, you don’t miss out! Thank you for reading our post!