How to Store a Pontoon Boat on Land

by Ryan Hotchkiss
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Dry storage of a pontoon boat prevents the watercraft from deteriorating during the winter or when not in use. Ice cracks hulls; water and sun damage decks and electrical components. Winterizing the engine prevents condensation from damaging the internal components. Properly storing your boat on land extends the life of your boat and reduces the need for mechanical repairs. There are two stages to storing a pontoon boat on land: moving the boat out of the water, and winterizing and covering it.

Step 1

Load the boat on the trailer. First, back the trailer into the water; partially submerge the bed. Then motor the boat half way onto the trailer. Finally, pull the boat the rest of the way onto it with the winch. Pull the trailer forward 15 feet. Strap the pontoon boat to the trailer. Attach caution tape to the back of the pontoons if the boat hangs off the end of the trailer.

Step 2

Fill the fuel tank to within 1 inch of the top of the fuel tank filler hose. This forces the air out of the tank. Air contains humidly which turns to condensation when the temperature drops. Condensation rusts the inside of the gas tank. Rust damages an engine.

Step 3

Empty the season-old oil from the engine. Remove the spark-plug wires. Remove the plugs. Spray the inside of the engine, through the holes, with fogging oil. Replace the spark plugs with new ones. Fill with fresh oil. Replace the old engine coolant. Disconnect the battery cables from the terminals.

Step 4

Clean the boat. Wipe away any algae on the pontoons. Remove dust and debris from the deck, especially anything that might attract rodents and insects. Put rodent poison on the deck to prevent damage to the upholstery on the seats.

Step 5

Put the boat on blocks. Blocks keep the hulls off the ground. This prevents corrosion. Cover the boat with a canvas tarp, especially if the boat is stored outside. Sun and precipitation are the two biggest enemies of the longevity of your pontoon boat.

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