Best Winter Pontoon Boat Covers

Best Winter Pontoon Boat Covers | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

March 14, 2023

Key Takeaways

  • The three best winter pontoon covers are the Budge P-300-3 Pontoon Cover, EliteShield Pontoon Boat Cover, and iCOVER Winter Pontoon Boat Cover.
  • Denier Polyester and nylon are the best pontoon cover materials.
  • We recommend storing a boat indoors for winter whenever possible. This protects the cover and the boat better long term.

Storing a pontoon boat during the winter is a tall task and requires preparation. Keeping the boat well-protected is easier with the best pontoon boat covers.

The best winter pontoon boat covers are

  1. Budge P-300-3 Cover
  2. EliteShield Cover
  3. iCOVER Winter Cover
  4. Transhield Pontoon Storage Cover
  5. North East Harbor Waterproof Cover
  6. Vortex Pontoon / Deck Cover
  7. Seal Skin Heavy Duty Trailerable Pontoon Boat Cover
  8. Roadstar Heavy Duty Cover

Check out this guide on the best pontoon boat covers. Read on and learn what makes each model stand out - including features, durability, and convenience. We'll be taking an in-depth look at the most popular and effective options available, helping buyers make informed decisions when choosing a cover.


Table of contents

8 Best Winter Pontoon Boat Covers

As an avid boater, I understand how important it is to take good care of your boat. Even in the winter, when it’s not being used as often, having a great cover to protect it against harsher conditions is essential.

That’s why I’ve been looking for the top rated winter pontoon boat covers. My research has led me to discover some high-quality options available today that do their job and don’t cost an arm and a leg.

The best winter covers should also provide ample space between them and the surface of the decking. This will make sure moisture doesn't settle underneath or inside the boat. This helps prevent rusting and mildew due to dampness beneath the canopy material.

Below are the eight pontoon covers I recommend most for pontoon boat owners.

1. Budge P-300-3 Pontoon Cover

Budge P-300-3 Pontoon Cover
Budge P-300-3 Pontoon Cover

The first cover I recommend is the Budge P-300-3 Pontoon Cover. Not only does this cover seal up snugly against strong winds and rain, but it also comes equipped with all mounting hardware for easy installation.

It's also a best-in-class option because of the 300-denier polyester marine-grade construction. It's also versatile, with multiple adjusting straps, durable hems, reinforced seams, and hook loop closures.

This premium boat cover will also provide better waterproofing, UV resistance, and scratch or dent resistance. The fabric is coated with a water-resistant material, but it remains breathable to fight off condensation.

What Sets This Boat Cover Apart

The thing I like most about this boat cover is the fit. It feels like it was custom-made for my pontoon because of the heavy-duty shock cord hem. We can adjust the cover based on the boat’s size.

Plenty of other covers offer a similar feature, but I’ve yet to find one that can seal as well as this cover does too. Expect excellent winter protection while using this cover, especially if you leave the boat outside in the rain or snow.


  • Waterproof and highly resistant to excessive UV ray exposure
  • Tight fitting with a custom-made seal
  • Heavy-duty shock hem cord
  • Marine grade 300-denier polyester construction


  • Some customers have reported the longevity is not great as other cover options

2. EliteShield Pontoon Boat Cover

EliteShield Pontoon Boat Cover
EliteShield Pontoon Boat Cover

Anybody looking for a heavy-duty boat cover that offers maximum protection against the elements can't go wrong with an EliteShield Pontoon Boat Cover.

This is one of the most reliable covers due to its superior durability and design. With this cover, our boat is well protected from sun damage, wind damage, rain damage, and other weather conditions.

This cover is available in three sizing options ranging from 17 feet to 25 feet in length. It’s also made from durable marine grade 600 denier polyester material which is 100% breathable with excellent protective ratings from UV rays, dirt, water, etc.

What Sets This Boat Cover Apart

This boat cover’s unique design is what makes it so special. It features three layers: a polyester layer, a waterproof polyethylene coating, and a strong polypropylene underlayment.

This combination helps keep the pontoon on protected and dry rainy days. The durable exterior coating also helps extend its life span for many boating seasons. I would rank this as one of the most robust covers I’ve found.


  • Designed to provide superior protection against water, sun, etc.
  • Customizable fit for specific boat models
  • Easy installation with straps and buckles
  • Strong fabric can withstand harsh weather conditions
  • Includes carrying bag for storage when not in use


  • It may be challenging to install on certain boat models
  • Can become loose in high winds or storms due to a lack of additional tie downs

3. iCOVER Winter Pontoon Boat Cover

iCOVER Winter Pontoon Boat Cover
iCOVER Winter Pontoon Boat Cover

The iCOVER Winter Pontoon Boat Cover offers superior protection for pontoon boat owners during the cold winter. It includes six tie-down straps with hooks, so it’s easy to secure around any size boat.

The heavy-duty ripstop fabric is waterproof and breathable to keep the boat dry in rainy or snowy conditions. This cover is also available in multiple sizes, so it’s versatile for pontoon boats between 17-28 feet long.

What Sets This Boat Cover Apart

This cover offers excellent protection against cold weather conditions by creating a waterproof barrier that prevents moisture from getting in the boat. This also protects the seat cushions and other items from freezing temperatures.

The durable marine-grade nylon fabric shell also provides superior UV protection to defend against fading caused by excessive sunlight exposure during warmer months.

It also features adjustable straps and buckles with an elastic hem cord running through the entire bottom for a snug fit around the boat’s frame. It’s sold in four different color schemes too.


  • Sturdy construction with Marine grade 600D Polyester fabric
  • Comes with adjustable straps and buckles to ensure a snug fit
  • Features quick-release buckles to secure the cover
  • Designed to protect against snow, ice, rain, dirt, and debris
  • UV-resistant finish helps protect against sun damage


  • It can be bulky and difficult to store when not in use

4. Transhield Pontoon Storage Boat Cover

Transhield Pontoon Storage Boat Cover
Transhield Pontoon Storage Boat Cover

I recently tried out the Transhield Pontoon Storage Boat Cover and was impressed at its great job protecting my boat during storage. Transhield is one of the elite pontoon boat cover brands. They provide superior protection against environmental damage such as sun, rain, snow, etc.

The breathable material helps promote evaporation which keeps moisture from accumulating inside and damaging your boat while in storage. This cover is made with strong material that withstands harsh weather conditions without tearing or wearing.

Condensation should not be a problem. The non-abrasive soft interior has a venting feature. This is ideal for boats kept in dryer areas with fluctuating temperatures.

What Sets This Boat Cover Apart

With its advanced waterproof technology, the mooring cover helps protect the boat from water damage like mold & mildew, even when stored outside. It also comes with straps for quick installation and removal, so we can enjoy our boat more than assemble it for each use.

It’s available in numerous sizes for boats between 18 ft - 26 ft long. Between the available sizes and the advanced features, it’s hard to go wrong with this pontoon cover.


  • Protects pontoon boat from harsh elements such as sun, wind, and rain
  • Ultra-durable construction using a heavy-duty 300D polyester fabric
  • UV-coated to protect against fading and mildewing
  • Adjustable tie-down system for easy installation and removal


  • The price tag might be too expensive for some people
  • We may need additional storage space to store the cover when not in use

5. North East Harbor Waterproof Pontoon Cover

North East Harbor Waterproof Pontoon Cover
North East Harbor Waterproof Pontoon Cover

The North East Harbor Waterproof Pontoon Cover is designed to provide superior protection from the sun, wind, and rain while allowing your boat to breathe during storage.

It features heavy-duty 600 denier polyester fabric with waterproof coating and high-strength bungee cords that are corrosion-resistant. The dual air vents provide even airflow while reducing moisture buildup inside the cover and helping prevent mildew growth.

What Sets This Boat Cover Apart

The trailerable design of this pontoon cover fits most boats 18'-20' long with a 102" beam width. It's perfect for long-term storage in winter months and trips down the highway when trailering your vessel between destinations.

It includes all necessary straps and buckles for secure attachment to the pontoon boat to make installation easier. We don't have to worry about the cover blowing away or being damaged by harsh weather conditions during transport or storage.


  • Marine grade 600D PU-coated polyester fabric is waterproof and UV protected
  • Reinforced corners for added durability
  • Soft inner liner protects your pontoon from scratches and abrasions


  • Only comes with a single year of warranty coverage

6. Vortex Pontoon / Deck Boat Cover

Vortex Pontoon / Deck Boat Cover
Vortex Pontoon / Deck Boat Cover

The Vortex Pontoon Cover is constructed from heavy-duty waterproof fabric with reinforced stitching. It’s designed to fit all popular sizes of pontoons and deck boats up to 24 ft in length and 95 inches in beam width.

The cover also features adjustable elastic straps on the sides. They can be tightened with turnbuckles to provide an even better fit against the boat's hull.

What Sets This Boat Cover Apart

This top-rated cover offers superior protection and weatherproofing to keep the vessel well-covered from wind, rain, snow, and ice. It's also one of the most durable options I've found thus far.

The heavy-duty material never fails. It’s scratch and tear-resistant. The elastic band hem makes it easy to seal the boat's exterior.


  • Made of rugged, waterproof and breathable fabric
  • Straps and buckles provide a snug fit
  • Includes an elastic hem cord which allows the cover to be adjusted for a custom fit


  • Not ideal for boats with tall towers or masts due to limited size range availability

7. Seal Skin Heavy Duty Trailerable Pontoon Boat Cover

Seal Skin Heavy Duty Trailerable Pontoon Boat Cover
Seal Skin Heavy Duty Trailerable Pontoon Boat Cover

The Seal Skin Heavy Duty Trailerable Pontoon Boat Cover is exactly what most pontoon owners need. This cover offers complete protection against harsh weather conditions and exposure to the sun, rain, snow, and high winds. It also provides easy access to the boat itself.

With many features and benefits, this cover is the perfect solution for keeping the boat secure and well-protected each season. It has also been designed with durability in mind.

Constructed from heavy-duty 600 Denier fabric with double-stitched seams for extra reinforcement, it provides excellent all-weather protection. The adjustable drawstring hem also ensures a snug fit around the boat's exterior.

What Sets This Boat Cover Apart

One primary feature I love most about this cover is the breathability and trailerable design. It comes with straps, buckles, and a heavy-duty storage bag.

Anybody using this cover can expect excellent longevity. The threads are rot and rip-proof. I also love the strap system to keep the boat protected and sealed. This makes it easier to store and trailer the boat at once.


  • Waterproof and UV-resistant material
  • Adjustable straps and buckles allow for a custom fit
  • Heavy-duty ripstop fabric
  • Two-year warranty Reinforced elastic hem


  • Not suitable for larger boats

8. Roadstar Heavy Duty Boat Cover

Roadstar Heavy Duty Boat Cover
Roadstar Heavy Duty Boat Cover

The Roadstar Heavy Duty Boat Cover is one of the top-rated custom pontoon boat covers. This heavy-duty fabric also helps protect against extreme wind gusts, rain showers, hail storms, and other nasty weather conditions that can wreak havoc on your vessel’s exterior and inner components.

This durable fabric defends against UV rays from direct sunlight that can damage boats stored outside unprotected over longer periods. I can’t say enough about how well-made this cover is.

What Sets This Boat Cover Apart

This cover features air vents built into each side to prevent moisture from building up inside. We don't need to worry about mold growth or mildew forming beneath.

This is a large cover. It’s made for bigger pontoons between 25-28 feet. The PVC coating will add another layer of protection to ensure maximum boat and cover durability.


  • Constructed out of durable marine-grade materials
  • Thick 600D polyester fabric stands up to wear and tear
  • UV resistant for added protection from sun damage
  • Features adjustable straps that make installation easy
  • The anti-scratch inner lining prevents scratches on the vessel’s finish


  • Requires additional anchor points for a maximum secure fit

How To Find The Best Winter Pontoon Boat Covers

Here are a few factors to consider for the best pontoon cover. Winter storage is different, so the cover should tick a few boxes so we can feel more confident in the safety of our boat during these cold months.

Cover Seal

One of the essential features to consider is a good seal around the entire perimeter of the pontoon deck and railing. This helps protect against water damage from heavy rains, melting snow, and debris like twigs and leaves.

High-quality winter covers will use a combination of waterproof materials and clips or straps to create an airtight seal. The seal is essential to keep out bugs, rats, and other critters while the boat is stored away during winter.

Line & Cord

To ensure a tight fit around the pontoon boat, look for a cover that uses cinching straps made with industrial-grade webbing and cords. I also prefer drawstrings with rustproof hardware buckles.

Ensure whichever cords are used have enough elasticity to not become brittle over time due to cold temperatures. The best covers should have an adjustable cord because there is no one size fits all or custom-fit design.

Protective Coating

Many winter covers now come with UV-resistant coatings on their fabric surfaces that help fight off sun damage. This also adds superior protection to fight mold growth caused by high humidity levels rising.

From lightweight fabrics to heavy-duty materials, there is a design for everybody. The good thing about these covers is that they come with multiple layers of protection depending on the season and situation. Make sure the cover has an effective protective coating so that it can last as long as possible.

Cover Size

Since boats come in different sizes and shapes, getting a cover with enough room inside is vital so nothing gets damaged while being stored away during winter.

Always check that the cover size will sufficiently fit around the entire vessel. We want all angles covered and sealed so nothing sticks out underneath or gets torn apart by strong winds or storms.


The next factor we should consider is the construction material used, such as vinyl or canvas. Vinyl tends to be more lightweight and durable but less breathable than canvas, making it better suited for long-term storage in humid climates.

Canvas provides excellent breathability for improved ventilation during cold months but may not last as long against heavy winds or hail storms. This is why a retractable pontoon boat cover is so reliable.

Look for a cover made from durable fabric such as polyester or canvas that is waterproof and UV resistant, so it can withstand snow and sleet without becoming damaged. I’ve seen better results with these materials.

They last longer and provide better overall boat protection. If the boat is kept inside during the winter, the material is a little less important because there is no snow or rain exposure risk.

What's The Best Pontoon Boat Cover Material For Winter?

For those who own a pontoon boat, it is crucial to equip your vessel with the best possible protection for when winter hits. Finding the right pontoon boat cover material can be an overwhelming task due to all the different products on the market today.

Many options are available, but depending on your needs and budget, certain materials may work better than others to protect your boat in long-term cold weather. So, what’s the best pontoon boat cover material for winter?

Denier Polyester

When selecting a cover material for a pontoon boat during colder weather conditions, denier polyester is one of your best bets. This fabric offers superior water resistance and outstanding durability in various temperatures.

It can also remain stable in high winds and snowfall thanks to its ability to repel moisture from entering and damaging the vessel’s interior. It also provides UV protection. It won’t fade too quickly.


Nylon covers are another option for budget-minded pontoon owners. You can expect a lower price tag, but this material can still provide adequate performance when dealing with harsh winter elements like snow or rain.

The other problem with nylon is its poor UV resistance. The cover will quickly fade after excessive sunlight exposure, so we only recommend this budget option for indoor storage if you want the cover to last.


Acrylic offers excellent water resistance, good UV protection, and breathability properties. It's strong enough that it won't tear easily or be damaged by sun exposure during the summer months.

Acrylic is durable enough to handle wind gusts and minor debris but is still vulnerable to unexpected punctures. However, while acrylic does provide some insulation properties, it isn't airtight. Condensation may occur in frigid temperatures.

Shrink Wrap

The next option worth exploring is a shrink wrap. This provides an effective barrier against moisture penetration through its tight fit. However, due to its thinness, it may not offer great insulation properties.

This is also not a reusable cover method. We would need to hire someone to shrink-wrap the boat every winter. This can get expensive and the cover is not the most effective or durable option in cold climates.


Finally, polyurethane fabric should also be considered. This particular type of synthetic polymer offers superior strength and durability over simple plastic or cloth versions.

However, where this product falls short lies its lack of water resistance capabilities. This can cause condensation issues inside the boat during storage. It’s also not the most breathable material choice.

How To Determine The Right Winter Pontoon Boat Cover Size

Ideally, I like my pontoon cover to have enough length to overlap on each side of the boat. As a rule of thumb, I prefer a cover roughly three feet longer than my boat, so I have some extra length to seal the cover correctly.

To determine the cover size needed, follow these steps to get an accurate measurement. The last thing we want to do is buy the wrong-sized cover.

Measure The Boat’s Centerline

First, we need to measure the boat’s centerline. This measurement will tell us how long the boat is. We need to know this primary measurement when purchasing a winter cover.

Start by measuring from the bow’s tip down to the stern. Keep the measurement in the center of the boat for the most accuracy. Avoid railings, seats, etc., while taking the centerline measurement.

Measure The Boat’s Width

Next, we need to measure the pontoon’s width. This should include taking measurements of both railings and counting any extra accessories like ladders or lights on your particular pontoon model.

Make sure not to guess at these measurements. Instead, use a tape measure for accuracy when measuring the width of your pontoon.

Check The Hull Style

The hull style of your particular type of pontoon will also affect what size cover we need. Pontoon boats come in different styles, including flat-bottomed, arch-hulled, catamaran hulled, etc.

This can impact the exact cover size needed. Note the hull size of your boat and look for covers that fit this pontoon style.

Find The Right Cover

After accurately measuring both the width and considering the details about its hull style offered by your specific model's manufacturer, start shopping around for different types/brands of covers.

We’ve done the hard work and listed the best options above. Choose from one of those and match the sizing with the boat size and you’ve got a winner.

Other Tips For Winterizing A Pontoon Boat

Winterizing a pontoon boat is essential for keeping it secure and ready for use in the coming season. Getting a reliable cover is one of the basic steps. However, some important additional steps will help ensure a longer boating life.

Completely Clean The Interior & Exterior Of The Boat

A complete cleaning is needed before winter storage. This includes washing the pontoon's exterior and ensuring all surfaces inside the vessel are free of dirt, algae, and other contaminants.

Be sure to remove any fuel stains on the floor or seats before storing them for winter. Consider applying anti-fouling paint on board if we leave the boat in the water during off-season months.

Prepare The Boat’s Engine Properly

Change the engine oil and filter before winterizing a pontoon boat’s outboard motor. Follow any manufacturer guidelines for proper maintenance schedules or procedures when it comes to changing engine oil and filters.

For example, fogging the engine cylinders and spark plugs with lubricant helps protect the boat longer. This will keep the engine intact to avoid rusting during prolonged idling in cold temperatures.

Remove The Boat’s Battery

Take out the battery from onboard and store it somewhere dry (such as a garage), away from sources of extreme heat or cold during storage. This will keep it fully charged until spring comes around again.

Allowing a battery to sit in the cold can ruin the battery's life. It will likely die and need replacing before using the boat again.

Prepare A Trailer Or Blocks For Outdoor Storage

If we have access to a trailer or solid blocks, these make a great foundation to lay down our pontoon while not using it over the wintertime. It helps keep its hull strong & healthy.

Opt for indoor storage when possible instead. Most boats benefit more from being kept sheltered indoors than outside, where they may take hits with temperature fluctuations each day or night.

Winterize The Fuel System & Gas Tank

Before tucking away our pontoon boat for the winter, we must drain all fuel tanks, fill them with fresh gas, add fuel stabilizer, and run the engine for a few minutes until these fluids circulate throughout the system properly.

Remember not to fill the tank with gas completely. Keeping it at half or three-quarters full will reduce evaporation and condensation risks.

Where Can You Store A Pontoon Boat In The Winter?

The joy of having our pontoon boat in the warm months to soak up the sun and enjoy some time away from life’s hustle and bustle is unmatched.

But for many boaters, their beloved pontoons must be stored in wintertime until spring. So for those wondering where to keep their pontoon boat in the winter, here's what we think.

Find A Secure Indoor Facility

First, we should ensure that wherever we choose to store is safe. Find an area with 24-hour security or video surveillance so the boat will remain undisturbed throughout its stay.

An indoor facility at the marina is the ideal choice. But it can be costly and is only sometimes the best option for the budget-minded pontoon owner. Expect to pay $50-$200 per foot of storage space indoors.

Rent A Covered Marina Slip

Marina slips can also be used as winter storage for pontoon boat owners. A covered space to protect from snowfall is ideal for winter storage. But it will come with a heftier price tag too.

A marina slip is also a more cost-effective storage solution than renting space at an indoor facility. You’ll have less security, and the boat is more exposed outdoors, but it’s a storage option we highly recommend.

Store The Boat In A Garage

Storing a pontoon boat for winter in the garage is the cheapest option.  Ideally, we can put the boat on a trailer with a trailerable boat cover.

First, use a hose to rinse any dirt or debris that has built up on the outside of the boat, and clean out any debris inside too.

Once everything has been cleared, dry the boat with towels and prepare to cover it. We can also move the pontoon boat into its designated storage spot. There must be at least two feet of clearance all around it so air can flow freely through it.

I like to check all hoses and other connections for leaks every few weeks during winter to ensure nothing is leaking out and causing damage over time. Be sure to take measurements beforehand so we know the boat can fit.

Keep It Outdoors

Lastly, we can keep our boat outdoors during the winter. This is the riskiest storage location because it gets exposed to cold weather, rain, snow, and outdoor animals.

When keeping a boat outdoors for winter, it must be sealed well with a durable cover. It should also be winterized thoroughly. This will prepare all components for the upcoming months in the cold.

Best Winter Pontoon Boat Covers
Jacob Collier

Jacob Collier

Born into a family of sailing enthusiasts, words like “ballast” and “jibing” were often a part of dinner conversations. These days Jacob sails a Hallberg-Rassy 44, having covered almost 6000 NM. While he’s made several voyages, his favorite one is the trip from California to Hawaii as it was his first fully independent voyage.

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