Summer is about to end and after all the fun you are wondering what you will do with your boat once the temperatures drop. If you are unable to hire a professional 'winterizer', work with this checklist and you are well.
In areas prone to snow, it is better to dry-dock. This is because ice can easily crack the hull of the pontoon and leave you with a bad experience. These recommendations, however, apply to all regions. This process consumes a lot of time, but the reward is a smoother launch next season when getting back out on water. Either way, investing in storage saves you on repair costs and increases the life of your pontoon.
Fill the fuel tank until it's almost full and replace the oil filters. In addition, clear any stagnant water in the engine and then replace the spark plugs making sure the wires are not connected.
Remove and fully charge the battery before storing it in a cool, dry place. To prevent it from running down, use a trickle charger every so often.
Remove all accessories, fishing and electrical equipment from the boat to reduce the moisture build-up offseason as well as theft or unexpected damage.
Once this is done, starting from the inside going out, clean the boat before applying rust and mildew protection.
Finally, cover the boat regardless of the storage space-inside or outside. The cover should keep the moisture out but also be able to expand and contract as well with the changing temperatures.
In cases where the storage space allows for rainwater to reach the cover, the cover should be able to hold the weight of snow, ice or rain. The pool that forms after accumulation can damage the boat's railings.
Rodents have the tendency to chew covers since most of them are made of canvas. Therefore, rodent repellent is a good detractor.
If the weather allows for all-year boating, acquire a good lift and an enclosure that will simply keep it from harsh elements – wind and rain which could damage furniture and equipment.
A combination of high winds and low temperatures may shred the fabric used in making covers. Considering the storage period, invest in a strong cover.
Take care not to wrap the rig too tight because, despite the good intentions, lack of air circulation will lead to the growth of mold and musty smell