How To Cover A Pontoon Boat For Winter

Covering a pontoon boat for winter is an important part of keeping it in good condition. It prevents damage from the elements, and can also keep animals from making nests inside your boat. With the right materials, preparation and installation, you can ensure that your boat stays protected during those cold winter months. In this article we’ll talk about the steps you need to take to properly cover your pontoon boat for winter. You’ll learn what materials you need, how to inspect and clean the boat before covering it, what type of cover is best suited for this task and finally how to store it safely afterwards.

Gather the Necessary Materials

You’ll need to assemble the right items in order to ensure that your vessel is protected from the elements during the colder months. A good place to start is by reviewing the materials you have on hand. Check for any signs of wear and tear, or damage caused by exposure to sun, water, and other environmental factors. If anything needs replacing, make sure that you have high-quality products that will provide a secure fit when covering your pontoon boat.

The next step is to purchase a cover designed specifically for pontoon boats. Look for features like heavy-duty fabric construction and waterproofing capabilities. There should also be an adjustable drawstring along with straps and buckles which will keep it securely in place throughout the winter months when temperatures can drop significantly. Be sure to measure your boat accurately before buying a cover so it fits perfectly over your vessel without leaving any gaps or spaces open where moisture can seep in.

Finally, consider adding some additional protection such as fenders or bumper guards around vulnerable areas like railings or seating areas where extra coverage might be needed due to windy conditions or snow buildup. This extra precautionary measure can help prevent any potential damage from occurring while your pontoon boat is tucked away for storage until spring arrives again.

Clean and Inspect the Boat

Get a head start on spring by giving your vessel a thorough cleaning and inspection now! Before you begin, it is important to be well-stocked with the proper cleaning supplies and materials that are necessary for the job. Make sure to have products like a mild detergent, boat wax, soft cloths, scrub brush or sponge, protective gloves and goggles. This will ensure you get the best results when completing preventative maintenance for your pontoon boat.

Start by wiping down all of the surfaces with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust buildup. Once this has been done, use an appropriate cleaner or soap solution in order to clean the areas of your pontoon boat more thoroughly. For extra protection against oxidation, use a high quality carnauba wax product on all metal surfaces such as railings, cleats, steering wheel etc. Also pay attention to smaller details like cup holders and dashboard knobs which will benefit from being wiped down regularly.

Once you’re satisfied with how everything looks after cleaning it’s time to inspect your vessel for any signs of wear and tear that may need repair. Check the upholstery for any rips or tears that may need stitches as well as look over the flooring boards for any loose screws or weak spots due to water damage from prolonged exposure. It’s also important to check all safety equipment such as life jackets and fire extinguishers which should be replaced if expired or damaged in any way. Taking care of these steps now will help keep your pontoon boat in good condition throughout winter storage until next season comes around once again!

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Choose the Right Cover

In order to choose the right cover for your pontoon boat for winter, it is important to measure both the length and width of the boat. This will help you select a cover that fits properly and won’t leave any portions exposed to weather damage. When selecting a cover, make sure it is waterproof so that rain or snow won’t seep through and cause further damage.

Measure the Length and Width

Before you start, it’s essential to accurately measure the dimensions of your vessel – length and width – so you can order the right materials for protection. To do this, you’ll need a tape measure or ruler, and ideally someone to help you take measurements. Start by measuring the length – that is, the distance from bow to stern – along the line of greatest length. Then measure the width at its widest point. Make sure to double check these measurements before ordering your cover materials – an inaccurate measurement could mean extra expense or worse, an ill-fitting cover!

It’s also important to inspect your pontoon boat before winterizing it. Look for any damaged spots on both sides of the decking where water may pool and cause corrosion over time. If necessary, make repairs using marine-grade sealant or epoxy before covering up with a protective tarp or vinyl wrap. Doing this will ensure your pontoon boat is well-protected against moisture and other environmental factors during winter months when usage is low or non-existent.

Select a Waterproof Cover

Now that you’ve taken the necessary measurements, it’s time to select a waterproof cover that will keep your vessel in tip-top condition throughout the winter season. When shopping for a cover, consider how much water resistance you need and what type of material best suits your needs. Many covers are designed with waterproofing tips to protect against moisture, mildew and other outdoor elements. High-quality covers can be equipped with weatherproofing strategies such as air vents and extra tarpaulin layers to ensure your pontoon boat is fully protected from all kinds of weather conditions. Look for features like adjustable straps and reinforced edges for a snug fit over your vessel, as well as UV protection to prevent fading or discoloration over time. Make sure you purchase one that is large enough to cover your entire pontoon boat, including any additional items such as life jackets or marine electronics. Lastly, don’t forget to check the product warranty before making a final decision so that you can have peace of mind when protecting your investment!

Install the Cover

Securing the tarp for your vessel is a crucial step to ensure it remains safe and protected during the colder season. Depending on what type of mooring options you have, you’ll need to decide how best to attach the cover. If your boat is stored in a dry dock, then use straps that run from the bow and stern, around the gunwales, and back up through grommets at each berth. This will allow for an even fit across the length of your boat. If, however, you store your vessel in an outdoor space such as a yard or marina, then you’ll need additional straps that run across either side of the hull below the gunwales to ensure a secure fit.

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Once all straps are securely attached and tightened evenly across both sides of the vessel, it’s time to trim any excess material so that it follows along with its contours. To do this properly use sharp scissors or shears; avoid using dull blades as they may cause fraying or tearing of fabric along cut edges which could lead to water penetration later on down the line. Additionally make sure not to leave any loose straps hanging off as these can flap around in strong winds potentially damaging other parts of your boat or being caught by passing boaters!

Finally inspect all areas thoroughly – check seams and buckles – making sure there are no gaps where rain might be able to penetrate into sensitive areas like outboard engines or electrical components. Make sure everything appears secure before leaving your pontoon boat unattended over winter months – add extra protection if necessary – so when spring arrives again you’re ready for another summer season!

Store the Boat in a Safe Place

After you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your vessel from the elements, it’s time to find a safe spot for storage. Securing a location that is well-ventilated, away from potential damage and out of direct sunlight is essential when it comes to keeping your pontoon boat in good condition during the winter months. If possible, choosing an indoor or covered location will help manage moisture levels and minimize any additional exposure to the weather. Make sure that if you choose an outdoor area, such as a driveway or garage, there is enough space around the pontoon boat so that snow can be quickly removed and no debris will be able to accumulate on its surface.

Additionally, when it comes time to store your pontoon boat for winter make sure you inspect any rope lines or straps used for securing your cover and adjust as needed before moving it into its new area. You may also want to place wooden blocks under each corner of the pontoon boat in order to ensure stability while stored throughout the season. Finally, once everything has been double checked and secured properly take note of where you placed all items prior to covering up your vessel with tarps or other protective materials. This way when it’s time for spring cleaning all parts are easily located and ready for use after uncovering your pontoon boat for a new season!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of cover should I purchase for my pontoon boat?

When choosing a cover for your pontoon boat, it’s important to select one that is waterproof and provides ventilation gaps. Look for fabric that is specifically designed with marine-grade materials such as polyester that will protect from harmful UV rays, mildew and mold. Polycotton blends are also a great choice, as they offer excellent water resistance and breathability to help keep the interior cool during the hot summer months. Make sure the cover is equipped with adjustable straps or buckles so you can securely fasten it down in windy conditions.

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How often should I inspect my pontoon boat before winterizing?

You should inspect your pontoon boat before winterizing to ensure it is protected from harsh weather conditions. This preventative maintenance includes checking for any signs of wear and tear, as well as waterproofing any exposed areas or surfaces. Pay special attention to the coverings and seals around windows, vents, doors, and other openings that may be vulnerable during the colder months. Inspect your pontoon boat at least once a year in order to keep it in good condition throughout the winter season.

Is there a particular temperature I should store my pontoon boat in?

Storing your pontoon boat in the right temperature is key for ensuring it remains in good condition throughout winter. You should look for a secure storage facility that offers climate control to ensure your boat isn’t exposed to any drastic changes in temperature. This will reduce the risk of damage and deterioration caused by extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Make sure you speak with the storage facility and check their climate control measures to guarantee your pontoon boat is stored at an ideal temperature during winter.

What are the best materials to use for winterizing a pontoon boat?

When it comes to winterizing your pontoon boat, the best materials you can use are those that coat and protect your vessel from the elements. Look for a coating material with a protective sealant that is designed to repel water and keep out moisture. This will help ensure your boat stays safe and in good condition during cold weather months. Make sure to choose a product that is specifically made for boats so you know it will work as expected.

How can I ensure a secure fit for my pontoon boat cover?

Ensuring a secure fit for your pontoon boat cover is an essential step in winterizing your boat. Start by measuring the size of your boat and selecting a cover accordingly, as an ill-fitting cover can allow water to seep in, leading to serious damage over time. The fabric should be weatherproof and durable enough to withstand any harsh conditions that may occur throughout the season. Also ensure that the straps are tightly secured around the boat, so they don’t become loose or rip off during high winds or storms. With these simple steps, you can ensure that your pontoon boat is securely covered and protected this winter!


You now know how to cover your pontoon boat for winter. It’s important to make sure you have all the necessary materials before you get started. Once you’ve cleaned and inspected the boat, choose a cover that fits it properly and install it correctly. Finally, make sure the boat is stored in a safe place away from any weather or water damage. With these steps completed, your pontoon boat will be ready for winter storage and protected from the elements.

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