It’s been a good summer and autumn boating season, but it’s getting toward that time when father winter starts to awaken. It’s Minnesota, you’ve seen how intense winter can be around here. As much as it bums us to acknowledge that the boating season has ended, it’s time to get your pontoon boats ready for winter.
Increasing in popularity, the National Marine Manufacturers Association has predicted a 5% to 6% increase in new boat sales through the end of 2018. With that surge, new boat owners need to understand that properly winterizing their boats will keep them well-maintained and increase their longevity. Used pontoons or new pontoons for sale, good winter care will assure they’re around for years to come.
The water you take your pontoon boats on over the summer is loaded with all kinds of unnoticeable grossness. Over the winter, if allowed to stay, that errant grossness and moisture can cause internal and external damage. Give the inside and outside of your pontoon boats a thorough cleaning. Remove anything that isn’t attached to the boat itself, keep an eye out for mold, standing water, mildew, and other moisture borne growths.
Similarly, the exterior of your boat isn’t invincible. Look out for invasive marine species like zebra mussels who’ve attached themselves to your hull. Give your exterior a good cleaning and, when it’s dry, you might consider coating it in a polish before covering it to keep rust at bay.
You definitely don’t want your pontoon boats to suffer engine damage whilst being stored for the winter. Once out of the water, flush the engine and replace it with an antifreeze solution to protect the innards while the temperatures drop. It’s also important to lubricate and oil any moving parts so freezing temperatures don’t cause any issues. Finally, keep some gasoline in the tank over the winter to make sure it’ll start again once you’re ready to get back on the water.
Wrap it up
A lot of people store their pontoon boats outdoors at home during the winter. A good cover is essential. Well, any cover, even something as simple as a tarp, will keep moisture out of your boat while it’s being stored. Whatever cover you do opt for, make sure it’s not damaged and, if it is, invest in a new one. Pontoon boats often come with covers tailored to the dimension of the craft, which is a worthy investment.
Pontoon boats are pretty easy to winterize. Clean them inside and out, prepare the engine, and cover it well. That’s all there is to it. Used boats or new, good winter prep will keep you floating on your party boat for seasons to come.