How To Winterize Pontoon Boat? (Here’s What You Need To Do)

Winter is right around the corner and if you own a pontoon boat, you know that it needs to be properly winterized in order to ensure it lasts through the cold months.

Knowing how to winterize your pontoon boat correctly can save you time and money in the long run.

In this article, we’ll cover the steps you need to take to winterize your pontoon boat, including draining the cooling system, draining the fuel system, cleaning the exterior surfaces, applying a protective coat of wax, covering the pontoon boat, removing the battery, and lubricating all moving parts.

Read on to learn more!.

Short Answer


Remove the boat from the water and store it in a covered area, such as a garage or carport.


Drain all the water from the pontoon boat, including the bilge and engine, and remove any items that are not necessary for winterizing.


Clean and wax the pontoon boat to protect it from the elements.


Apply a coat of lubricant to the motor and other exposed metal parts to protect them from corrosion.

Draining the Cooling System

Draining the cooling system of a pontoon boat is an important step in the winterizing process, as leaving water in the system can cause it to freeze and potentially cause damage.

To properly drain the cooling system, start by disconnecting the water intake hose from the engine, then disconnect the exhaust hose from the cooling system.

Next, remove the drain plugs from the bottom of the engine and the lower unit and allow the water to drain out.

Once the water has drained out, replace the drain plugs, reconnect the hoses, and pour a mixture of antifreeze and water in the system to provide additional protection against freezing temperatures.

Finally, run the engine to ensure the antifreeze mixture has circulated throughout the system.

Draining the Fuel System

When winterizing a pontoon boat, it is essential to properly drain the fuel system before storing it away for the season.

To do this, you will need to start by disconnecting the fuel line leading to the engine and draining the fuel tank.

Once the fuel tank is empty, you can then refill it with a fuel stabilizer to help prevent any fuel from deteriorating over the winter months.

Additionally, you should check all of the fuel lines for any cracks or leaks and replace them if necessary.

This will help to ensure that the fuel system is functioning properly and safely once the boat is ready for use again in the spring.

Cleaning the Exterior Surfaces

When winterizing your pontoon boat, it is important to take the time to properly clean the exterior surfaces.

This includes cleaning the hull, decks, and any other surfaces.

Start by giving the entire boat a thorough wash with a mild detergent and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth.

Be sure to rinse the boat off with plenty of clean water to remove any soap residue.

Once the boat is clean, you can apply a protective coat of wax to the exterior surfaces.

This will help protect the boat from any moisture or debris that can cause damage in the winter months.

Waxing your pontoon boat will also make it easier to keep clean during the winter months, as dirt and grime will not stick as easily to the waxed surface.

When applying the wax, use a clean, soft cloth and be sure to cover all exterior surfaces.

Allow the wax to dry before storing the pontoon boat away for the winter.

Applying a Protective Coat of Wax

When winterizing your pontoon boat, it is important to apply a protective coat of wax.

This will help protect your investment from the harsh winter elements and keep the exterior of the pontoon looking its best.

To apply a protective coat of wax, you will need a quality wax specifically designed for marine use, a microfiber cloth, and a foam applicator.

Start by washing the pontoon with a mild soap and water to remove any dirt and debris.

Once the pontoon is dry, apply a small amount of wax to the applicator.

Then, apply the wax to the pontoon in a circular motion to ensure even coverage.

Allow the wax to sit for a few minutes before buffing with the microfiber cloth.

This will help the wax penetrate the surface and provide maximum protection.

For best results, it is important to apply a fresh coat of wax every six months.

This will help keep your pontoon boat looking its best and protect it from the harsh winter elements.

Additionally, be sure to check the instructions on the wax to ensure it is appropriate for the type of pontoon boat you have.

This will help ensure you are using the right product for your pontoon boat.

Covering the Pontoon Boat

Covering your pontoon boat is an essential part of the winterization process.

Not only will the cover help protect your pontoon boat from the elements, but it will also keep debris from getting inside and settling on the interior surfaces.

The best type of cover to use for winterizing your pontoon boat is a heavy-duty, waterproof cover that fits snugly over the boat.

Make sure to measure your pontoon boat before purchasing a cover to ensure that you get the right size.

When you install the cover, it’s important to secure it firmly so that it does not blow off or let in water.

Make sure to use the provided grommets and straps to tie the cover down, and use a tarp or canvas to reinforce the cover if necessary.

You may also want to use a plastic tarp underneath the cover to provide an extra layer of protection.

Finally, if your pontoon boat has a bimini top, be sure to collapse it and tie it down securely before covering the boat.

This will help keep the cover in place and prevent it from tearing.

Following these steps will ensure that your pontoon boat is properly covered and protected during the winter months.

Removing the Battery

Removing the battery is an important step in winterizing a pontoon boat.

Not only does it reduce the risk of battery damage due to freezing temperatures, but it also helps to protect the boats electrical system.

Before removing the battery, make sure to disconnect the negative cable first.

Once the battery is disconnected, its important to store it in a cool, dry place.

To further protect the battery, its best to remove it from the boat and store it at home.

If you do choose to store the battery on the boat, make sure to remove it from any direct sunlight.

Additionally, its important to check the batterys charge level before storing it for the winter.

If the battery is low on charge, make sure to charge it up before storing it away.

Storing the battery in a fully charged state will help to ensure it will last for years to come.

Lubricating All Moving Parts

When winterizing a pontoon boat, it is important to lubricate all of the moving parts.

This includes the cables and any other components that move, such as the steering wheel, throttles, and gear shift.

If left unchecked, these parts can become corroded and seize up, leading to costly repairs.

It is best to use a marine-grade lubricant that is designed to stand up to the harsh conditions of a marine environment.

Before applying the lubricant, it is important to thoroughly clean the parts to ensure that the lubricant is able to penetrate properly.

This will help ensure that the parts remain operational in the winter months.

Final Thoughts

Winterizing your pontoon boat is an essential step to keeping it in top condition.

By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure your pontoon boat is ready for the winter season.

Don’t forget to cover your pontoon boat, remove the battery, and lubricate all of the moving parts before storing it away.

Taking the time to winterize your pontoon boat now will save you time and money in the future.

So what are you waiting for? Get started winterizing your pontoon boat today!.

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

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