De-Winterize Your Pontoon Boat

As summer quickly approaches, it’s finally time to pull your pontoon boat out of storage! But before you start packing up your coolers and gathering friends for a lazy day on the water, there are a few things you need to do to make sure your pontoon boat is in tip top shape.

Check and Clean the Hull and Interior

After you’ve removed the cover, inspect the hull and underneath your boat to make sure there are no cracks or dents. Once you’ve inspected the hull, use a hose or power washer to clean off any dirt that accumulated during storage, then wax the exterior of the boat. Protect all plastic and vinyl finishes on the exterior and interior with a UV protectant spray such as this one, and spray WD-40 on your motor and any metal surfaces.

Charge the Battery

Cold weather can be hard on your boat’s battery, so make sure to check it before heading out on the water. Before you test the battery, double check the acid levels and fill them up with distilled water if they are low. Use a battery tester to make sure your battery is charged. If everything looks good, make sure to clean off any corrosion and install it in your boat. If your battery is dead, charge it overnight to make sure it gets a full charge.

Perform Engine Maintenance

One of the most important parts to check before you take your boat out on the water is the engine. After sitting in storage for several months, the engine could need quite a bit of maintenance before your boat is safe to run. First, check the spark plugs and replace them if necessary. Keep a spare set of spark plugs on board your boat as a backup for when you’re out on the water.

Change the fuel filter at the beginning of each season to prolong the life of your boat’s motor. Examine the fuel line to make sure it hasn’t cracked in the cold weather. A good fuel line will be pliable but firm when it’s moved, it shouldn’t be too soft or too brittle.

Motor oil can get gunky during the winter, so be sure to change it before you take your boat out on the water. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual to change the oil. While you’re at it, check the levels on the gear case oil, antifreeze, and power steering. Go over any exposed fuel components to make sure nothing has rotted.

Restock Safety Equipment

After you’ve checked over your boat’s mechanicals, make sure you have everything you need stocked up for a safe day out on the water. Pull out all of your life jackets and examine them for any holes or tears. Be sure you have enough jackets for everyone, and a variety of sizes for both children and adults (and pets) if necessary. Go through your first aid kit to ensure it is fully stocked. Replace any expired medicine, and refill it as necessary. Also be sure you have a working fire extinguisher on board.

Examine and Repair Trailer

If you will be transporting your pontoon boat with a trailer, make sure your trailer is in good working condition. Replace any damaged parts or frayed wires, check the tire pressure, and grease parts and gears with WD-40 as needed. Get a friend to help you check the lights to make sure they’re working as well.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll have your pontoon boat ready for the water in no time! Check out for a wide variety of Boat Ramps, Covers, Dollies, and More!