During the winter, your pontoon can be affected by the cold weather in a multitude of ways. You don’t want to come back to your pontoon when the weather warms up and see that it won’t start or it is seriously damaged. That’s why it is so important to winterize! Some may believe that their pontoon will be able to withstand the cold winter months, but here are many of the dangers that come with not winterizing.
Deck and Hardware Damage
If you don’t winterize and cover up, you leave all that beautiful hardware, seating, and the deck exposed to the harsh winter weather. An uncovered boat during the winter can be filled up with snow and ice, which can lead to plenty of damage. Water will get into tight spaces and if cold enough, will freeze and expand, causing damage to the area around it. The seats can become waterlogged and damaged. The deck can develop cracks due to this and water can enter areas where it’s not supposed to be. No matter how high of quality your pontoon is, it’s never a good idea to leave it exposed and not winterized.
Most pontoons are meant for freshwater, but under some circumstances and precautions, they are great for saltwater. Pontoon engines that have both freshwater and saltwater run through them are at an increased risk during the winter because of the possibility of freezing. When the water freezes, it expands which can lead to the cracking and bursting of important parts like the engine block or heat exchangers. Not winterizing the engine of your pontoon can also lead to corrosion and dirt build-up.
Not properly winterizing your battery will cause its performance and longevity to be drastically affected. Believe us when we say that you don’t want your battery to die on you in the middle of the lake with people on your pontoon. Lead-acid batteries may completely discharge during the winter months due to the colder weather. Freezing can cause internal damage to the battery’s lead plates, which will directly affect the life of the battery. Lithium batteries will also be affected negatively if not winterized. The lifespan will decrease significantly at low temperatures and charging at below freezing can damage the batteries. Whichever battery type you have in your pontoon, you need to make sure to winterize it.
Mold, Dirt, Mildew, and Rodents
As stated earlier, pontoons have plenty of features that are covered in either leather or some other fabric. These materials are prone to mold, mildew, and other unpleasant issues. Moisture can get trapped on your pontoon and if you cover improperly, the moisture can get trapped causing mold and mildew to form during winter. This can damage the affected areas and will leave a bad smell if not attended to quickly. An uncovered pontoon will surely collect dirt in it as well. If your pontoon is around foliage, your boat will be cluttered with dead leaves and stains when you come back in the spring. Even if there is no foliage around, rain and air pollution are sure to leave some unwanted grime on the boat. Rodents are another possibility if you don’t properly store your pontoon. These pesky critters can make your boat their winter home if there is leftover food, drink, or anything they can eat left in the pontoon. This can spell disaster as they can chew holes in your pontoon or even chew wiring.
If you need help winterizing your pontoon, Bretz RV & Marine is here to help! With 2 service stations in both Montana and Idaho, we’re an easy call away. Schedule a winterization appointment soon as we are running out of space in our schedule! You don’t want to end up having any trouble during the winter! Here is a list of the locations:
- Billings, MT ; (406) 248-7481
- Missoula, MT ; (406) 541-4800
- Boise, ID ; (208) 388-4678
- Nampa, ID ; (208) 606-7160