Pontoon Boat Maintenance Checklist | Pontoon Boat Inspection

Pontoon Boat Maintenance: Five Things to Check Before Leaving the Dock

Owning a boat isn't for someone who doesn't want to put significant time, money, and effort into taking care of it. Boats are a labor of love, and there's a reason why the joke goes that "boat" is nothing more than an acronym for "break out another thousand." But like most things, the better care you take of your boat, the less money you'll have to spend on professional repairs – and there's a lot that you can do yourself without the help of a costly professional.

Here we'll cover five pontoon boat maintenance steps to take before leaving the dock to help you save money in the long run. From the experts at Gemlux, here is your official pontoon boat maintenance checklist.

Regularly Clean the Hull

Whether you're on salt or freshwater, you'll want to clean the hull of your pontoon boat. Dirt and debris buildup can fade the paint, and mold and mildew can also grow on the hull if it's not properly cleaned. We suggest cleaning the hull regularly and spraying an applicable protectant to keep it looking great and free of particles or debris. Cleaning the hull can also help improve fuel efficiency.

If you're taking your boat on the ocean, be sure to spray it down after each ride, as salt water tends to be corrosive.

Inspect the Engine

The engine is arguably the most important part of any boat, let alone a pontoon. Unfortunately, the engine also happens to be the most problematic component, which underscores the attention that it regularly needs. Ideally, your pontoon is winterized during the boating offseason. Whether it's your first ride of the summer or the boat is in mid-season shape, you'll want to regularly inspect the engine and make repairs or adjustments when necessary. 

Some components of the engine you'll want to ensure are always in good working order include:

  • Spark plugs
  • Engine oil
  • Steering, gear case oil, and antifreeze levels
  • The fuel filter and fuel system

Clean the Interior

The hull isn't the only part of the boat that should be cleaned regularly. Be sure to also take good care of the interior. Doing so can keep your seats and other accessories looking great and minimize replacements. Additionally, we suggest covering your boat between rides. Not only will this help protect the interior from weather and sun damage, but it can also keep pests and rodents at bay. 

Check Your Batteries

Batteries only tend to last for four or five years, and they must be kept in good working condition and regularly charged. Before that first ride of the season, it's a good idea to give your batteries a full day to recharge. Be sure to also clean up any corrosion around the battery terminals and double-check acid levels before installing. Batteries don't just work to start the boat's engine, but they also help power the electrical components on your boat, so they must function optimally.

Check the Propeller

One of the most important parts of the boat motor is its propeller. If the propeller becomes damaged, it's going to impact your boat's performance. You should always be mindful of the depth of the water you're boating in, as you don't want the propeller to come into contact with the sea or lake floor. Additionally, inspect the propeller regularly before starting up the engine to make sure there's no seaweed or fishing line tangled up in it.

It's also a good idea to regularly lubricate any fasteners, linkages, and panels on the propeller to help stave off rust or corrosion. 

Keep Your Pontoon in Perfect Condition with Gemlux Top-Quality Marine Hardware

Owning a boat is a huge responsibility, but with a little bit of know-how and a commitment to caring for it, you can ensure it spends more time in the water and less time at the mechanic this boating season. For the highest quality marine hardware and carbon fiber fishing gear, choose Gemlux. Our products keep your pontoon in working order with all the creature comforts you deserve.