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How to Winterize Pontoon Boat

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Pontoon boats are fantastic choices for enjoying trips on the water during the hot summer months. However, when winter comes, it’s important to take the proper steps to winterize your pontoon boat. Doing so will help extend the life of your boat and keep it in good condition for years to come.

You can always hire a professional to winterize and then store your boat for a fee of at least $300 to more than $400. Therefore, it will save you much if you know how to winterize a pontoon boat by yourself.

What to prepare before winterizing your boat

Before you start, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. Make sure to check the quality and compatibility of these materials to make sure they will not pose any damage to your boat:

  • Antifreeze solution
  • A small pump
  • Rags or towels
  • A brush
  • A clean bucket
  • Water and cleaning products
  • White vinegar
  • Oil for cylinders

Steps to winterize your pontoon boat

Step 1: Clean the Boat

The first step in winterizing your pontoon boat is to give it a good cleaning. This will remove any dirt, grime, or debris that has built up throughout the summer.

Use a mild soap and water solution to wash down the entire exterior of the boat. Be sure to pay special attention to the deck, as this is where most of the dirt and grime will accumulate.

For a fiberglass surface with stubborn grime, you can always use a mixture of vinegar and water to clean it. Rinse it off thoroughly with clean water once you’ve finished washing the boat.

Step 2: Remove All Perishable Foods

Next, remove all perishable foods from your boat. This includes food from the refrigerator, freezer, cupboards, and anywhere else on the boat.

Even non-food items like toothpaste, shampoo, and soap can freeze and expand over the winter months, so it’s best to remove them from the boat as well.

Step 3: Remove any Removable Parts

Next, you’ll need to remove any removable parts from the pontoon boat. This includes items such as Bimini tops, canvas covers, and seats. These items should be stored indoors in a cool, dry place to prevent them from being damaged by the elements.

It’s also a good idea to remove any covers or tarps that you may have on the boat.

Furthermore, if you have any equipment that might get corrosion and mildew, it is better to bring them out of the boat.

Step 4: Disconnect the Battery

Once you’ve taken care of the engine, you’ll need to disconnect the battery. This will prevent the battery from being drained over the winter months. If you’re storing your boat indoors, you can skip this step.

Step 5: Prepare the engine for winter

If your pontoon boat has an engine, it’s important to take the proper steps to prepare it for winter.

  • Start by removing any water from the engine. This can be done by draining the cooling system and removing the spark plugs.
  • Next, add a small amount of oil to the cylinders and replace the spark plugs.
  • Finally, run the engine for a few minutes to distribute the oil throughout the cylinders.

Step 6: Add Antifreeze to The Water System

Once you’ve prepared the engine for winter, you can move on to adding antifreeze to the water system.

Simply add a mixture of 50% water and 50% antifreeze to the clean bucket.

Then, use the pump to circulate the mixture through the water system. Be sure to run the pumps for several minutes to ensure that the entire system is filled with antifreeze.

Step 7: Cover the Boat

Once you’ve added antifreeze to the water system, you can move on to covering the boat. To do this, simply place a tarp or cover over the pontoon boat. Be sure to secure the cover so that it doesn’t blow away in the wind.

You may also want to consider placing a weight on top of the cover to keep it from blowing off.

Step 8: Store The Boat in A Safe Place

Once you’ve covered the boat, it’s important to store it in a safe place. If possible, store the boat indoors in a cool, dry place. This will help protect it from the elements and extend its life.

If you can’t store the boat indoors, be sure to choose a location protected from the wind and sun.

By following these simple steps, you can easily winterize your pontoon boat and keep it in good condition for years to come.

How much to winterize a boat by yourself

how long does it take to winterize a boat

On average, it costs between $300 and $500 to winterize a pontoon boat. This price includes the cost of materials and labor.

Larger boats will require more winterization than smaller boats. A larger boat will cost around $500, while a smaller one like the pontoon boat can cost around $200.

If you’re doing the work yourself, you can expect to pay around $150 for the materials.
There are a few factors to consider when deciding how much to winterize your boat.

How long does it take to winterize a boat?

The amount of time it takes to winterize a pontoon boat depends on the size of the boat and the type of engine.

However, it takes between 1 and 2 hours to complete the job on average. If you’re doing the work yourself, you can spend around 30 minutes on each task.

How often should you winterize a boat?

It’s generally recommended that you winterize your pontoon boat every year. This will help protect it from the cold weather and prevent damage.

If you live in an area with mild winters, you may be able to get away with winterizing every other year.

What happens if you don’t winterize a boat?

If you don’t winterize your pontoon boat, it can be damaged by the cold weather. The engine can freeze and crack, the water system can become corroded, and the hull can develop cracks and leaks.


Winterizing your pontoon boat is essential to keep your boat in good condition for the next summer’s use. You can follow a few simple steps to winterize your boat, including draining the water system, adding antifreeze, and covering the boat. If you live in an area with cold winters, it’s generally recommended to winterize your pontoon boat every year. This will help protect it from the cold weather and prevent damage.

Now that you know how to winterize a pontoon boat, you can protect your investment and enjoy many years of boating fun. Thanks for reading!

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