Prepare Your Pontoon Boat for First Time Use After Winter Storage
We all get the winter blues – prolonged cold, short daylight hours and overcast days are coming to an end! With daylight savings time, we’re starting to see the thaw and know spring boating is around the corner. Make sure your boat and pontoon are ready to hit the water running!
Taking the extra time now for prep work and preventative pontoon boat maintenance will not only make first time boating on the water easier, but it will prolong the life of your pontoon and pontoon boat parts for a longer life expectancy.
Pontoon Boat Interior
- Remove boating shrink wrap or pontoon weather cover. Check any contact areas with the boat seats, making sure the weather cover did not have extra slack and the opportunity to flap and wear against the marine vinyl.
- Clean – Using dawn dish soap and warm water, scrub your pontoon boat seats softly with a soft bristle brush for general maintenance cleaning. Rinse with clean water. For mold or mildew, use an approved marine vinyl spot cleaner and concentrate on this area, taking care not to use an abrasive cleaner that will remove the protective UV layer of the pontoon seat vinyl.
- Apply Marine UV Protectant – Applying a product like 303 Aerospace Protectant at the beginning, middle and end of the boating season will add additional UV protection to the already inherent UV protection of the boat seat’s marine vinyl.
De-winterize the Boat Engine
- Read the user’s manual for your particular boat engine.
- Check Oil – Replace filter and oil if 4 stroke and add to fill line.
- Check Fuel Line – Carefully look over the fuel lines for any visible or corrosion. Cracked lines or bent lines may need to be changed.
- Flush the Cooling System – Replace antifreeze with the correct ration of water and coolant.
- Check Spark Plugs – Check tips and change if necessary. A low cost maintenance change that is worth changing every year.
- Remove distributor cap and clean out any corrosion.
- Make sure forward, reverse and neutral shifts work properly in the water. These should transition smoothly without any grinding or knocking.
Check Boat or Pontoon Trailer
- Lights – Check brake lights and blinkers, as well as all connecting points for wear.
- Tires – Check tire tread and pressure. Make sure the spare is in good condition as well.
- Condition of carpet pads – To protect your hull or toons, replace any work out carpet.
- Grease any moving joints and wheel bearings.
Before you know it, your pontoon boat will be out on the water, anchored at the sandbar or gliding over the smooth as glass water at sunset.
Follow these few simple preparation steps to make this spring boating season seamless and carefree. Happy boating!