How to Minimize the Effects of Saltwater on a Pontoon Boat

How to Minimize the Effects of Saltwater on a Pontoon Boat

So you’ve used your pontoon boat on lakes and rivers, but now you want to try your hand at some saltwater fishing and exploring. The best thing to do, like anything else in life, is to be prepared. There are lots of great tools and equipment that you can use to provide care and maintenance for your pontoon boat when it is out of the water. Brownell Boat Stands features a quality steel pontoon boat dolly, as well as other alternate marine dollies, which are great for maneuvering around in your garage or shop. Made from American tubular steel construction, you can see all of these options and more when you visit the Brownell website and use their boat stand selector.

Ready for Saltwater?
Check with your pontoon dealer to make sure that your boat has been built for use in saltwater. Not all pontoons are ready for use in saltwater conditions. Some of the key elements that will tell you if your pontoon can even be used in the saltwater include a powerful engine between 60-90 HP and a deck that is bolted down, not screwed. Other telltale signs include pontoons that are a minimum of 25-inches and tubes that are fully welded to the deck. Some dealers will automatically add products and materials that are resistant to saltwater damage to make them designed more for use in saltwater conditions. Ask your dealer if your pontoon is considered to be a “saltwater series” vessel.

Saltwater Exposure
Using your vessel in saltwater is much different than using it in freshwaters, such as a pond, lake, or river. It is important to do everything that you can to reduce the negative impact from the saltwater on your pontoon. Start by applying aluminum anti-fouling paint. You will need to have your pontoon out of the water. You need to get an anti-fouling paint that is approved for use on aluminum, as not all of them are. You can have your pontoon painted, either by a professional service or by the dealer. You could also do it yourself if you have experience working with marine paint.

BONUS TIP: It is also recommended that after applying the antifouling paint, make sure that the paint has been applied underneath the pontoons and anywhere else that they will touch your trailer or the steel pontoon boat dolly. If this special paint is not used, corrosion can and will occur at the point where your trailer bunk or alternate marine dollies meet the pontoon.

Prevent Electrolysis
Another issue that pontoon boat owners need to consider when moving to a saltwater situation is that you will need to prevent electrolysis. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, electrolysis is when the metal on your boat becomes deteriorated by the electrical current interacting with the saltwater. This can be prevented by the use of something known as zinc anodes. It is best to speak with your dealer about this, to ensure that the right product is used to protect your pontoon. Just as you would want to use the right size steel pontoon dolly and boat stands made from American tubular steel construction, it is important to use the right products to protect your pontoon from damage.

After Care
Every time you use your pontoon, whether in fresh or saltwater, it is important to rinse down the entire boat. This will remove the salt deposits that naturally form all over the boat. Let your pontoon dry completely before you cover it. This will prevent additional salt and weather-related precipitation from getting onto your boat. If you were to cover your pontoon before it fully dried, mildew could and likely would develop. For trailering, dry land maintenance, and storage make sure to flush all of the saltwater from the area between the pontoons and the bunks. Repair any scratches or chips in the paint as soon as you notice that there is any bare metal showing through to prevent corrosion and rust.

Use the Brownell Boat Stand Selector
If you are looking for high-quality products and equipment for your pontoon boat, visit the Brownell website and use our boat stand selector. We also have a full listing of our steel pontoon boat dolly and other alternate marine dollies, in addition to boat stands and accessories. Our dollies and stands are made in New England using American tubular steel construction. To find an authorized dealer near you, please give us a call at 508-758-3671.

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