"Starcraft Pontoon Boat"

Prepare Pontoon Boat For Winter

When autumn gets here it is time to winterize the pontoon boat. It’s time to get the pontoon boat ready for winter, wrap it up and protect it from the hazards of the impending cold days and nights, snow and freezing rain and all that yucky weather stuff.

It’s a nice time of year Autumn, too bad it has to be followed by winter. Well there is no sense kidding ourselves, Autumn has arrived. Yup, it’s a cool evening in cottage land, and I suspect there might be a touch of frost around in the morning.

As I write this, (about 10 p.m.) there is a light vapor coming off the lake as the water is obviously a little warmer than the air. The lake is quite high, makes getting the boat out of the water pretty easy, and the wharf will come in quite easy too I hope.

Pontoon Boat

Started winterizing the pontoon boat today. That’s not as much fun as getting it ready to go in the water, but it’s not bad work, I have had worse jobs.

The pontoon boat is up on shore high and dry, in a good place to work on it. One thing about winterizing a boat, the more you do when you are preparing the boat for winter, will reduce what you need to do when it comes time to put the pontoon boat back in the water in the Spring.

Outboard Motor

I removed the spark plugs, they looked to be in pretty good shape, I only put them in this summer, so I sprayed the cylinders with Sea Foam Spray gave the flywheel a few turns to distribute the lubricant and replaced the spark plugs.

Then I greased the fittings, and wiped the outboard motor down before spraying some lubricant over the moving parts. After that I cleaned the outboard motor cowling and the rest of the outboard and shined it up with a coat of wax.

It looks like a new outboard…from a distance. The one thing I didn’t do was drain and replace the oil in the lower unit, mostly because I didn’t think I had enough on hand to replace the old. I will do that in the Spring before I put the boat back in the water.


Following the engine prep I started removing all the “stuff” from inside the pontoon boat. It’s amazing how much “stuff” ends up in boat compartments, under the seats and so forth. Binoculars, tools, various nuts and bolts, pieces of wire, rolls of toilet paper and paper towels, rags, coffee travel mugs, emergency flares, flashlights, rope, safety pins, old fuses, whistles, an air horn…all kinds of stuff.

I gathered it all up in a five gallon bucket and a cardboard box, along with the life jackets and five thousand feet of rope that I seem to think it’s necessary to carry aboard the pontoon boat. That’s all in the shed now waiting for me to go through it, clean it up and get it ready for winter.


Along the way I removed the two batteries and put them away as well. I will put them on charge periodically throughout the winter to keep them up to capacity and ready for the Spring, which is only about 6 months away…Not long to go now.

Wendy’s little garden cart came in handy for lugging the batteries and other assorted “stuff” from the pontoon boat to the shed. Much easier than carrying the stuff, especially those batteries.

Boat Interior Protection

I gave the seats and all the vinyl upholstery a coating of ArmorAll 10345 Ultra Shine Protectant
I also propped all the seats up to let the air circulate into the under seat compartments and dry them out. I hope this will reduce mildew.

I’ll put a couple of mildew boxes inside when I have it all wrapped up. I removed the two front seats and took them into the house for safe keeping. Besides, over the winter I might want to sit on them to remember summer.

Speaking of mildew and moss, I took a wire brush and scrapped any of that green mossy stuff that grows around the edges of pontoon boat carpets etc. Got most of it off, although there is still lots.

Tomorrow I plan to remove the canvas top and pack it away, rolled up. By the way, I understand that you should never fold a boat cover. Boat covers, canopies, etc, should be rolled up. I will likely bring them inside the camp to dry out before I roll them up for storage.

Provided the weather report is correct, we are supposed to have a fairly warm, sunny day tomorrow which will give the pontoon boat a chance to dry up a little before I put the tarpal…tarpaulin….tarpalein….tarpolin….errrr…tarp on it.

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