3 Ways To Prepare Your Pontoon For Storage
Pontoon boats require maintenance before you store them for any length of time. The process of preparing your pontoon boat for storage is also a great way to inspect the vessel for problems. Here are tips to get your pontoon ready to "sit a spell" on dry land.
Unload the Extras
If an item isn't bolted to the pontoon, take it out of your boat now. Remove all electronics and other valuable boat accessories to protect them from theft. Take batteries out of depth finders and other boating tools before you store them. Use a large waterproof tote to store these items safely at home.
Go through the pontoon with a fine-tooth-comb to find all of the "extra" stuff you've brought along on this year's pontoon outings. Fishing poles, clothes, magazines, makeup and other items should be collected and removed from the boat.
Check the refrigerator and food-storage areas for old groceries that might attract pests and create bad odors. Empty all trash receptacles. Check drawers for valuables and extras before cleaning.
Towels and clothing will attract moisture and mildew while the boat is stored. Life vests can also collect spores from mold and mildew. Remove these items from the boat, too.
Clean It Like You Mean It
Now is a great time to get fierce with the boat-cleaning supplies. Any dirt, debris or mold spores left on your pontoon will damage surfaces if left in place before storage.
Marine surfaces are very durable, but some materials on your pontoon boat may be damaged by strong chemicals. Consult your manufacturer's literature to find out the recommended soaps, detergents, sprays and other cleaning products for your model.
Thoroughly clean boat cushions and seating, railings, cup holders and floor. Scrub the exterior of your boat to loosen crusty barnacles now. If you wait until later, the barnacles and other debris will be harder to remove.
Clean the bimini cover and secure it to the pontoon before you cover it. Some bimini covers must be removed prior to storage. Check the owner’s manual to find out the correct procedure for your pontoon's cover.
Choose a sunny day to clean the pontoon so washed surfaces will dry all the way. You want to have your pontoon as arid as possible before storage.
Protect All of the Boat
After cleaning the boat, protecting it from the ravages of humidity is key. If you don't take a few steps to protect the pontoon now, you could return to a messy, rusted boat that won't run. Protect the surfaces listed below to keep the engine chugging and the boat fresh for many years to come.
Use mold-and-mildew-fighting products approved by your pontoon manufacturer to protect your cushions, counters, console and floor. Even after a heavy cleaning, your pontoon boat can harbor a stray mildew spore that rapidly reproduces in a dark corner of your pontoon.
Some boat owners wipe down or spray cleaned surfaces with an anti-mildew spray. Other owners use polishes to create a barrier against mold and mildew on their boat surfaces.
Follow your owner’s manual to protect the engine during storage. Some steps pontoon owners take include:
- Drain all water and coolant from the engine
- Replace coolant with non-toxic antifreeze/coolant
- Fill gas tank 3/4 full
- Replace and lubricate spark plugs
- Lubricate carburetor
Use an anti-fogging product in the spark plug and carburetor holes to keep condensation from forming. Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank for long-term storage.
Use a wax or other protective product to coat the exterior of the boat. Aluminum and metal surfaces like railings and cleats should be wiped or sprayed with anti-rust products to help these parts resist corrosion.
Cover your pontoon with a custom cover or wrap before storing it. The cover will help keep birds, dust and debris out of the boat. The cover also keeps your pontoon dry, so mold and rust stay away, too.
Trust Delray Storage to keep your pontoon boat safe and secure with our onsite owners and security cameras. We accommodate boats up to 65-ft. long and also offer cleaning and drying services for busy boaters.