Pontoon Preparation for Winter Storage 

   - cleaning and boat winterizing tips


Many pontoon owners and enthusiasts  have to unfortunately call it a season as our weather starts to cool in many areas of the country.  It's always a painful task of pulling your boat out of the water for the year and preparing it for a long rest in storage.  But with the right attitude and already looking forward to next season you can take heart and enjoy preparing your pontoon the correct way by following these tips in getting your boat ready for winter.

Pontoon Cleaning Tips

Before doing any of the winterizing steps, your pontoon boat should be thoroughly cleaned. This includes all canvas covers, bimini tops, deck carpeting, seats, rails and even the pontoons.   There's a old saying that when one cleans,  one inspects.  The best way to inspect all areas of your pontoon boat for signs of damage or missing items is a good thorough cleaning.

To do a good job cleaning your pontoon boat thoroughly you need the right cleaning materials and cleaners.  Make sure you use  cleaners that are safe for your canvas tops, covers, seats and carpets to materials from becoming discolored or damaged. Cleaning your pontoon boat is the first step in getting it ready for winter storage. 

First things first - get rid of the loose dirt, debris,  leaves any miscellaneous items on board and in the pontoon storage areas.  Use a garage style dry vac if possible to vacuum up loose dirt in the carpet or in the pontoon seat storage areas or the utility or under deck storage compartments. 

Next thoroughly hose down your pontoon inside and out to clean off any stains and dirt thats deep in the carpeting, canvas tops or covers or in the seat covers.  Use an appropriate cleaning product for your pontoon carpet, canvas items , your consoles and panels and for your aluminum tubes.  Clean aluminum rails and trim with a safe aluminum cleaner with a rag or soft bristle brush.  Never use any cleaners with bleach.  Also, never use any abrasive cleaners, abrasive polishes or abrasive brushes like steel wool, wire brushes, wire wheels etc.   This will remove the anodized coating on your aluminum parts which can lead to surface pitting.   Alway's use soft rags or soft bristle brushes for cleaning.  And always use an approved cleaning product for your marine items.   


And as your vacuuming, scrubbing and cleaning take a close look at all hinges, screws, fasteners for signs of wear, tear and inspect your electrical and mechanical connections in and around your console for your GPS navigation system or fishfinder and under the seats or deck for loose connections, loose adjustments or for parts missing that may have come loose and fallen off.    Take notes of what items you need to replace and you can pick them up when you buy your materials when you run to your local pontoon marine store for your winterizing items.

Allow to dry and you'll be ready to get started on pontoon winterizing steps.

Pontoon Winterizing

The main items involved in pontoon winterizing are the battery, motor and outdrive.  If you have I/O, then you have a bilge area to drain.    Key items involved are adding fuel stabilizer, draining the cooling system and adding antifreeze, fogging the cylinders, draining the outdrive and removing and storing the battery. 

See our section on boat winterizing for more details. Just click on the link below.

Boat Winterizing