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10 of the Best Fishing Destinations Around the World

Best River Boating Destinations: Beyond the Mississippi

7 Steps for Getting Your Pontoon Ready for Spring

pontoon boat

Winter’s freezing temperatures may have kept you off the water. However, when the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, you’ll be ready to cruise around on your pontoon boat. Before you do that, you have to take your pontoon out of winter storage and get it ready for your time on the water. To help you out, Boatline has put together seven steps for getting your pontoon ready for spring.

1. Charge and Install the Battery

Many pontoons have two batteries, one for starting the motor and another to run the electrical accessories. However, we’re going to focus on the battery responsible for turning over the engine. 

It’s not uncommon for boaters to be greeted with a dead battery when spring rolls around. Charge your battery overnight to have it at full capacity before you plan on taking the boat out. It’s also a good idea to have someone inspect the status of your battery before you install it into your pontoon if it’s a few years old.

2. Prepare Your Pontoon’s Engine

You should make sure your pontoon’s engine is in good shape for the boating season. Freezing temperatures can cause your engine to crack and leak, so you should perform an inspection at the start of the season. You should also check for any cracks or other damage to the propeller

Reconnect the spark plug wires and flush out the antifreeze from the cooling system. Manufacturers, such as Bennington, provide more specific guidelines on how to maintain the engine after winterization and throughout the year.

3. Inspect Your Pontoon

You should perform a thorough inspection of your pontoon boat when you take it out of storage. Examine the hull for any damage that the storage blocks may have caused. You should also take a close look at the fuel system for any leaks.

Some components will require more attention than others, but you should make sure the following are in good working order.

  • Bilge pump and blower vents
  • Hoses and clamps
  • Controls, gauges, boat systems, and other electrical accessories

While you’re inspecting the entirety of your pontoon, use this time to close any drains and valves that were opened during the winterization process.

4. Clean Your Pontoon

Once the mechanical components of your pontoon are ready, take some time to clean up your boat. A good cover should’ve prevented debris, mildew, and pests from getting inside, but it’s always a safe bet to search your pontoon right down to the crevasses. You should also check the engine and bilge for any signs of nesting animals. The last thing you want is to be on the water and find a mouse nest.

Wash the exterior, furniture, and flooring of your pontoon at the beginning of the spring season. You can clean your pontoon’s hull, vinyl upholstery, windshield, and most flooring, as well as any stainless steel, chrome and aluminum hardware, with mild soap and warm water. If you’re unsure of how to clean certain parts of your pontoon, consult your owner’s manual for details on the proper cleaning agents to use. Make sure that you clean away from any bodies of water to prevent run off from the cleaning materials

5. Perform Annual Maintenance

If you didn’t perform any maintenance on your pontoon during its winter storage, you’ll certainly want to do that before you take your boat out on the water for the first time. You’ll likely need to check and change the fluids for your pontoon’s engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and fuel to ensure that your boat can run optimally.

6. Get the Trailer Ready

It’s not just your pontoon boat you have to prepare for spring. The trailer is essential for getting your boat in and out of both storage and the water. Make sure the trailer tires are in good condition and inflated to the recommended PSI. You should also tighten the trailer winch line to ensure a safe and smooth loading and unloading process.

7. Check for Safety Gear

The last and easiest step for getting your pontoon ready for spring is to make sure you have all the proper safety equipment aboard, including:

  • Life jackets and a throwable personal floatation device
  • Electric distress light or orange distress flag
  • Fire extinguisher

These items, along with the emergency stop switch and navigation lights, should all be in good working order.

In just seven steps, you’ll have your pontoon boat ready to cruise the waterways. If you took the proper steps to winterize your boat, recommissioning your pontoon for spring should be a breeze. Before you know it, you’ll be fishing on the lake or relaxing on your boat’s deck with family and friends.

Shopping for a pontoon boat to take on the water this spring? Browse the nationwide selection of new or used boats for sale at


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Arielle Patterson
Arielle Patterson

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