How to De-Winterize Your Pontoon Boat
With the warm weather here, if you haven’t taken your pontoon boat out of storage yet, you’ve still got plenty of summers left to spend a few more weekends on the water! But before you can do that, you’re going to need to get your pontoon ready for riding again. Since it sat in storage for several months, whether or not you winterized it, it needs some basic inspection and maintenance in order to run properly. Thankfully, it doesn’t take a professional to do these inspections, so with this guide from Water Werks Marine Group, we’ll tell you what you can do by yourself to get your boat ready for this summer of riding. Of course, if you find any significant damage and need more complicated repairs, feel free to come to visit our service department in Country Club Hills, serving the areas of Chicago and Waukegan, IL. We’re also available to customers from Gary, Michigan City, and Valparaiso, IN, as well as Milwaukee, WI.
As soon as you take your pontoon boat out of storage, the first thing you’ll need to do is give it a good once over. There shouldn’t be any new damage to your craft, but in case you missed it, it’s never bad to give it another look. Also, you can keep an eye out for any leaks, cracks, or other damage that might have gotten worse. If water somehow got into those fissures and froze, it could have caused them to expand. In this case, you should get the pontoon boat into our service department right away for repairs.
You can start by reconnecting the spark plug wires into your pontoon boat. Make sure you do this while the battery’s still on the tender because you don’t want to mess around with the spark plugs when they have a charge running through them. Also, flush the antifreeze and replace it with a 50/50 water/coolant mixture. Then look at the propeller and pay careful attention to any new damage. Once everything with the engine is done, you can finally take the battery off the tender and re-install it into your pontoon boat.
Obviously, you won’t be floating on the water very well if the pontoons aren’t in good shape. Give these a good inspection by checking for dents, punctures, or bends that might compromise their functionality on the water. Just like tires keep your car stable, the pontoons keep your pontoon boat floating evenly, so make sure these will do their job properly before you try getting on the water with them.
You might have kept your canvas in the pontoon boat over the winter, and if this is the case, you need to look for holes or other damage that might have happened. It’s also good to check out the interior, such as the seats, floor, and cushions. Keep an eye out for critters or nests that might have been built, and make sure all of this is cleaned up as you’re de-winterizing your pontoon boat.
The last step is to give your pontoon boat a thorough cleaning. Nobody likes taking a dirty craft out on the water, and along with that, washing away the grime and dust can help prevent exterior corrosion. At the very least, give it a light rinse, but it never hurts to use a light detergent to get some of those tough spots cleaned off.
De-winterizing a pontoon boat is all part of the summer experience. With just a couple hours of your time, you can get your craft in great condition to get back on the water, and you won’t have to worry about unidentified issues. You’ll pick up on a lot of damage before it becomes a serious problem, so if and when you do, feel free to bring it into Water Werks Marine Group for maintenance. We’re in Country Club Hills, and we proudly serve customers from Chicago and Waukegan, IL; Araty, Michigan City, and Valparaiso, IN; and Milwaukee, WI.