As summer approaches, many boat owners look forward to spending time on the water with their family and friends. With its spacious design, a pontoon boat can be perfect for these outings. However, if you don’t protect your pontoon boat from the damage caused by the docking process, you may end up with an unsightly and costly repair bill. Here are some tips to help you protect your pontoon on a dock.
1. Use Fenders
Fenders are the most basic equipment you can use to protect your boat from the dock. They are placed on the sides of the boat and act as a cushion between the boat and the dock. It’s important to choose fenders that are the right size for your boat and dock. If the fender is too small, it won’t be able to absorb the impact of contact with the dock. On the other hand, if the fender is too big, it may not be able to attach properly to your boat.
2. Install Dock Bumpers
Dock bumpers are a great addition to your dock as they are made to prevent boat damage during docking. These bumpers are usually made of foam or rubber and are installed on the dock itself. They absorb any impact and protect the sides of your boat from scratches and dents.
3. Use Plastic Docking Guides
Plastic docking guides are great for novice boaters who find it challenging to dock their pontoons in the right position. These guides can be installed on the dock, and they help you position your boat accurately. With the right positioning, you can eliminate the chance of rubbing against the dock or hitting other boats.
4. Dock in Calm Water
It’s common sense to avoid docking during windy conditions or while the water is choppy. Just the right waves hitting your pontoon’s sides repeatedly can loosen your fenders and crush your bumpers. Wait until the wind slows down, or the waves are calm before docking your boat.
5. Lift the Boat Out of the Water
Lifting your pontoon boat out of the water is the surest way to protect it from damage. Consider installing a boat lift or a dry dock storage system. This option is practical for those who leave their boats in one spot all season long. Lifting it out of the water eliminates any damage that could potentially come from water and UV rays exposure, animal infestation, and so on.
6. Regular Maintenance
One of the best ways to protect your pontoon boat on the dock is through regular maintenance. Clean your boat often, remove dirt, debris and vegetation that can damage the surface of the boat or clog the drainage of the dock. Also, check for rust and scratches that could deteriorate the aluminum struts, and fix them before they become an expensive problem.
Docking your pontoon boat can be a scary proposition, especially if you’re worried about causing damage. However, by using these tips on how to protect your boat on a dock, you can dock your pontoon safely and avoid costly repairs.