4 Common Issues with Pontoon Boats and How to Prevent Them

Pontoon boats are extremely spacious and ideal for fishing, tubing and just enjoying the water. Also, unlike the typical fiberglass runabout, the aluminum construction of the pontoon boat and its long hull form help to set it apart in regard to maintenance and handling on the water. However, there are certain maintenance and safety issues that owners should be aware of to keep their pontoon in top notch working condition.

Avoid "Plowing" Ahead

When seas begin to build, there are many pontoons that tend to "plow" into the waves. This can lead to quite a bit of water going over the deck, which may cause unseen damage if it continues to happen. Also, when seas are rough, pontoons can be challenging to handle. If there is no way to avoid the rough weather, it is best to slow down significantly and trim weight aft.

Keep Out of the "Pits"

If a pontoon log is allowed to sit on the lake bottom in the mud when low water is present, it may become pitted by corrosion. This typically takes place because the mud does not allow the dissolved oxygen in the water to make contact with the boat's aluminum, which relies on a "skin" or oxidized lawyer for protection against corrosion. It is important to move to higher water if the water level is low to prevent this issue.

Damage from Vermin and Critters

Muskrats, raccoons, and other furry animals enjoy chewing up pontoon upholstery and wiring. While there is no simple solution to preventing these critters from getting on the boat, some tips that may help include:

  • Use a quality cover for the pontoon when not in use that snaps or connects to the boat body securely.
  • Reduce food and fish smells by washing the boat down.
  • Use commercial repellants such as fox urine to keep these critters away.

Take Steps to Prevent Galvanic Corrosion

Galvanic Corrosion occurs when dissimilar metals come in contact with salt water (or some other electrolyte). When this occurs, the aluminum on the boat can become corroded. In most cases, insurance will not cover this type of damage. Regardless of the type of water, you will use the boat in – freshwater, brackish or salty – aluminum sacrificial anodes are the best option since they last longer than other alloys. 

Using these four safety and maintenance tips will help you enjoy your pontoon boat and keep it in good, working condition throughout the year.