Pontoon boats are interesting because of their usability and where they can be stored.
Unlike other boats, a pontoon has more options when it comes to storing them, especially over the winter or simply during the summer. Not many people know all the options for storing a pontoon boat, so we’ll cover them here.
1. Store Pontoon Boat On A Trailer
Probably the most common and most obvious is to store your pontoon boat on a trailer.
Not every pontoon boat comes with a trailer, but they’re easy enough to get a hold of one, even used ones.
Make sure to cover your pontoon boat and check on the tires of the trailers, so they don’t go flat or start to dry rot. Some guys even take the tires off their pontoons and put it on cinder blocks, but that is not needed.
Every year or before a long trip, you will need to grease the bearings of your trailer.
As for the cover, get something beyond your mooring covers, as they’re not meant to support the load of snow. Either get it shrink-wrapped, you can reuse them, or a universal cover that you put wood supports in to help with the weight of snow. If you don’t get snow where you live, then no need to adjust for the snow.
2. Leave Your Pontoon In A Slip
A pontoon boat is one of the few boats that do amazing in a slip at a marina. While not ideal, you can leave it in a lake or river, but I would certainly get it out of the water when it comes to the ocean or brackish water.
You can even find marinas that will use a forklift and get your boat in and out of the water. Just call them when you want to get your boat out, and they do all the work for you. Some will even do maintenance and cleanings for you! They either have large racks inside or outside for storing boats. Keeping your pontoon out of the water is the best way to keep damage away, corrosion from happening, and keep the bottom of your boat the most clean.
If your pontoon boat did not come with a trailer, and you live near the water, a local marina is the best option for many, especially if you can’t store a boat at your home.
The downside of a marina is that it will be the most expensive way to store your pontoon boat. Though, if time a precious commodity for you, this is the best option you will find.
3. Rental Storage Units
Not many people know this, but places like storage units, for example U-haul, Public Storage, and so on, have places for people to store pontoon boats.
It’s also not uncommon to have places near boat launches that store boats in a basic field or parking lot. Just ask your local boat dealerships about them as they know the hidden ones or even may offer their own.
The great thing about many of these places is that a lot of them offer covered storage, which is great if it snows where you live. Even if it doesn’t snow, keeping the pontoon out of the sun prolongs it and the cover life!
4. Boat Lift
If you live on the water and have a dock, the best thing you can do is to get a lift for your pontoon.
You want a lift that gets the pontoon out of the water. Some use hoist, some use air drums, but either way, it’s best to get the pontoon out of the water.
If you keep your boat at the marina, many of them even offer pontoon lifts or will allow you to install your own. They’re super easy to work and worth every penny, especially if you’re on saltwater or brackish water.
5. Keep Pontoon In Your Garage
If you have a small pontoon or a large garage, then you can keep your pontoon in your garage.
Some boat trailers have folding tongues to help them fit in a garage, and sometimes you may have to take the pontoon off the trailer for it to fit.
If you got the room, your garage is a great place to store your pontoon boat!
6. Carport, But For Boats!
If you got the room in your garage, then go for it, but if you’re like me and don’t have the room in your garage, you need another solution.
If you got the room on your property, then getting a metal carport is a great option for storing your pontoon boat. You can get large carports made for RV’s and boats to go under, and the price is often not that bad. And if you ever get rid of the boat, you automatically have a second garage that is a bit more open and more places to park things!
If you’re handy, you can build a covered pole barn for your pontoon boat!
7. Gravel Pad
If a covered carport or pole barn is a bit too much, you can always make a simple gravel pad for your pontoon boat if you have the room on your property.
You simply put down gravel and be done with it, or get landscape timbers to box it in and make it look nicer.
8. Keep Pontoon Boat On The Ground?
If you have the room for it, a pontoon boat can go on the ground with the proper padding.
You don’t want to put a pontoon boat directly on the ground due to corrosion, rocks and other debris that can damage your toons.
You need to put pads under your toons, either at the welds or the whole span of the toons. These pads can be as simple as a wood blocks, foam blocks, used tires or anything soft and preferably long.
You can even buy pontoon storage blocks (Amazon Link Ad)!
How To Get A Pontoon Boat Off Your Trailer?
A lot of the storage options require you to get your pontoon boat off your trailer.
The simplest solution is to have a pontoon trailer that raises and lowers, otherwise known as Scissor Lift Pontoon Trailer. A lot of pontoon boat dealerships will use these trailers to move their pontoon on and off the ground for storage. And to be perfectly honest, many of the dealerships only use 4×4 and other wooden blocks to support the toons, so do with that information as you will. Though, a lot of them are moving to the plastic blocks made for this.
Tip: Instead of buying a pontoon trailer or getting a special trailer to get your boat on and off the ground, just ask your local boat dealership what they charge to do it for you. Every pontoon boat dealer will have a scissor lift pontoon trailer, and many of them will even schedule a pickup from the water to take it to your house if you pay them. And if you do this twice a year, it’s going to be cheaper than buying and maintaining a boat trailer.
A Gantry Crane is also used by many dealerships and pontoon boat owners to lift the rear, and the front off the trailer.
Since these things can be hard to get or expensive, not many pontoon boat owners use them.
This article explains a way to get your pontoon of your trailer that most people can follow. It will require significant effort, but it’s the only way you can do it if you don’t have specialty tools and equipment.