Protect Your Boat for Repairs and Dry Storage:
Given that we’re right in the middle of winter time, it’s time you got your pontoon boat out of the water if you haven’t already done so. Being sat in the drink for months on end will cause untold damage to your toons, so get it winterized, covered, and in dry storage if possible.
And that brings us nicely onto what I wanted to recommend today, and that’s pontoon boat storage blocks and stands.
Why do you need them?
Well, if you are going to be pulling your pride and joy out of the water for the winter, or any other time of year perhaps for some repairs, you want to protect your investment if it’s not going to be kept on a trailer. Those aluminum tubes can be very easily damaged.
You’ve probably heard of Attwood, as they sell high quality marine accessories so are a name most of us will be familiar with. And they sell very good blocks too, which you can see on this link for the latest prices and reviews.
They come in packs of 4, and I would recommend that you buy around 3 packs (giving you 12 blocks in total) so that you can spread the weight of your boat evenly.
Pontoon tubes have welding lines in them, and if lots of weight it distributed un-evenly when your boat is resting on blocks out of the water it can lead to stress.
On any kind of blocking it needs to have the blocks under an area that has the internal structural baffle. The very back and where the nose cone joins the tube are good spots.
It’s a lot of weight if blocked anywhere else and can stress the hollow tube and welds if not blocked correctly.If in any doubt, buy more stands and blocks than you think you need so that you can have as many as possible distributed evenly spaced under the toons.
Another item you might need if taking your pontoon out of the water and moving it onto dry storage blocks will be a dolly. I’ve also put together a guide to dollies, showing you how best to use them and which dollies are best for pontoons of all sizes. You can read that here.
If you don’t have a boat cover, go get one now, and preferably a specialist mooring cover. It will keep your boat in great condition and safe from the weather elements as well as pests (protect your pontoon from pests) and seagulls (how to prevent seagull damage).
I’ve put together an extensive guide to pontoon mooring covers. Go read that now so you can see what the best one for your boat will be over the winter or when in dry storage.
From time to time I get onto the boating forums and chat with other pontoon owners. Below you can read some feedback I’ve read online about using pontoon boat storage blocks, including of what I believe are the best answers to the questions.
I would recommend storage blocks over any DIY solution such as cinder blocks, tires, lengths of wood, or barrels. The ones you see above are designed and manufactured to do the job, and have been tested extensively.
There are a couple of methods that people commonly use.
I’ve seen some pontooners use pontoon boat storage blocks or similar in the center to help raise their boat up, using a jack on one side, then the other and rest it on those briefly whilst still in the trailer.
They then pull the trailer out slowly, so the boat is resting on the blocks.
Another method is to use a 4-wheel truck. You can back the trailer up on level ground up some ramps. Then position your pontoon storage blocks and guide your trailer back down the ramps onto the blocks and the trailer then slides out.
I’ve seen this method work very well with a scissor trailer, but you do need to take a lot of care.
And finally, a method I read on a forum about getting a pontoon off a trailer was some guy who used two engine hoists.
He picked up the back of the boat and then placed it onto the blocks. Then a hoist was used on both sides of the boat’s front. He pulled the trailer out from underneath and lowered the boat onto 2×4 running lengthwise, keeping the hoists on the front so the pressure was on them.
He said this works every time for him with two pontoons he has owned when he has needed to do trailer repairs.
I don’t recommend cinder blocks unless you have a lot of them, placing between 8 and 10 on both sides of your boat.
You ideally want to have as much support as you can under the entire length of each pontoon tube, kind of like a bunk trailer or if it was sitting naturally in the water. This is because you should get the weight distributed evenly over the entire length of your boat.
Think about the stresses that you could be placing on your pontoons if you are resting the whole of the boat on just a few cinder blocks – and that’s another reason why I recommend you buy 8 to 12 pontoon boat storage blocks on Amazon – so you can spread the weight and risk.
With a cinder block being around 16 inches long, and an average pontoon boat weighing 2,200 pounds (check average weights here), you are placing all that boat weight on an area that is just 6 areas of 16 inches by 1 inch.
That is a lot of stress on your aluminum tubes because of the ones I have seen the tubes oval out a bit under the weight which can ultimately lead to cracks in welds and eventually leaks.
An alternative method is to use the storage blocks I recommend as they won’t crush under the weight.
I’ve have even seen boat owners using a few 55 gallon barrels where they pull the bungs and lay flat. The weight will collapse the barrels and hold it off the ground.
Dry storage is the process where you take your boat out of the water, keeping it dry from the elements, typically in winter months.
By doing so you can keep the finish and upholstery of your pontoon boat in way better shape, and reduce the money you might need to spend on repairs and cleaning (see how to clean your seats here).
Some marinas will offer dry storage services where they lift your boat out of the water using a crane and track system. This lets them move your pontoon into a dry storage slip, but you will be charged a hefty fee in most cases for the privilege.
Standing your pontoon boat on stands or blocks can be hard and if not done correctly could damage your tubes.
Use stands and blocks that are built for purpose, spread them evenly, and take your time.