How To Wrap A Pontoon Boat For Winter

How To Wrap A Pontoon Boat For Winter | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Jacob Collier

December 8, 2022

Key Takeaways

  • It’s easy to wrap a pontoon boat for winter, just prepare and clean the boat, create a support structure for the wrap, install a strapping system, add super caps, put the cover on the boat, and create vents for the wrap.
  • A pontoon boat can stay wrapped for six to twelve months, depending on the durability of the shrink wrap and weather conditions.
  • Hiring someone to wrap a pontoon boat professionally costs roughly $300 to $750. To do it on our own, it will cost about $250 for the shrink-wrap kit.

One of the best ways to store a pontoon boat in the winter is to use shrink wrap as a cheap, effective, and fast way to protect the boat.

To wrap a pontoon boat for winter, follow these steps for the best results.

  • Prepare & Clean The Pontoon Boat
  • Create A Support Structure For The Wrap
  • Install Strapping System
  • Add Super Caps
  • Cover The Boat
  • Create A Vent

As the weather gets colder, boat owners need to start thinking about winterizing their craft. This is especially true for those living in areas where the water is freezing. While it may seem like a lot of work, wrapping a pontoon boat for winter is a fairly simple process.


Table of contents

How To Wrap A Pontoon Boat For Winter

As the temperatures drop and the winter season approaches, it's time to start thinking about storing our pontoon boat for the winter.

Wrapping a pontoon boat for winter storage is necessary to keep it in good condition until next season. Following these simple instructions can help ensure the boat stays clean and dry all winter.

If we don't take the proper steps to prepare our boat for storage, we could seriously damage it. Luckily, to wrap the boat, we only have to spend a few bucks and properly prep the vessel, so the boat is ready for winter.

Before we start, let's review the supplies needed to wrap a pontoon boat properly for winter.

Step One: Prepare & Clean The Pontoon Boat

First, we must clean our pontoon boat thoroughly, inside and out. This step is crucial because it will help prevent mold and mildew from forming while the boat is in storage.

Start by wiping down all surfaces with a mild soap and water solution. Once everything is clean, give the pontoon boat a once-over with a towel or microfiber cloth to dry everything off.

Be sure to pay special attention to areas where dirt and debris can accumulate, such as under the seats and in the crevices of the railing. This includes removing all furniture, like portable tables or chairs, from the boat.

We will need the interior to be as empty as possible so we can wrap the boat tightly. This will keep it more secure and safe from the harsh winter conditions approaching.

Step Two: Create A Support Structure For The Wrap

Next, we must build a stable support structure for the wrap because the boat is completely flat with nothing inside. Without any support, the wrap would be unable to securely and tightly fit around the boat.

We must first measure the highest points on the pontoon boat to determine the necessary support post height. We should use a post height roughly 12 to 18 inches above the boat height.

There should be two support posts in the middle of the boat about eight feet apart. This allows for optimal wrap balance and coverage without any sinking.

Step Three: Install Strapping System

Next, we need to learn more about and install our strapping system after getting the support posts properly aligned inside the pontoon boat. This will keep the posts steady as well as support the wrap.

The strapping should be tied to both the port and starboard sides of the boat to secure each support post into place. Tie the strapping together and staple it to the top of the support post to ensure it stays in place.

We can also use a strap tensioning tool for a tighter fit. We can also connect the strapping to the front and rear of the boat before moving to the next step. Repeat this step for every support post used in the boat.

Step Four: Add Super Caps

This is a quick but necessary step. Super caps must be added to the top of each support post over the strapping so it can be tied off with the existing structure.

Step Five: Cover The Boat

Finally, we can lay our wrapping cover on the boat before tying it down to finish wrapping it. Be sure to drape the cover completely over the boat enough so we can decide if any shrink wrap needs to be cut.

If the wrap is too long, cut these areas to align properly with the bottom of the boat deck. We only need enough wrap to cover the boat and tie it down for a tight seal.

As mentioned, pull the cover tightly enough to tuck it away under the deck and strapping system. Next, we can tighten the cover using a strap tensioning tool again, with the straps covering the outside of the cover.

This will pull the cover tighter over the boat, so it has a tight-fitting wrap. When the wrap is tight, it will eliminate the risk of leaks, damage, or infestations in the boat during the cold winter months.

Step Six: Shrink The Shrink Wrap

The shrink wrap will not tighten automatically. We must shrink it ourselves to create the seal we need to protect the boat properly.

We can do this by using a weld at the perimeter band of the boat. Fold the wrap over this area and weld the wrap around the perimeter of the pontoon boat.

Lastly, we can use belly bands under the boat's deck to secure the wrap. Once this is done, do the same thing to the rest of the cover and shrink the rest of the shrink wrap.

Step Seven: Create A Vent

The final step is to create a few vents on the exterior of the shrink wrap. All pontoon boat wrapping kits should include two or four of these.

Place one outside the wrap in each corner of the boat. They snap right onto the cover and create air pockets for the boat during storage.

How Much Does It Cost To Wrap A Pontoon Boat For Winter?

Winterizing a pontoon boat is important to prolonging the boat's life and protecting it from the elements. As we have discussed, one way to do this is to wrap it in shrink wrap.

Not only is this a fast way to wrap a boat for the winter, but it's cost-effective. This can help to prevent water and moisture from seeping in and causing damage. It can also protect against sun damage and scratches.

The cost of shrink-wrapping a pontoon boat will vary depending on the size of the boat and whether we hire a professional or not, but it typically ranges from $300 to $750. If we do it on our own, we only need to purchase the wrap for roughly $250.

How Long Can A Pontoon Boat Stay Wrapped?

Winterizing our boats is a necessary evil for those who live in colder climates. One of the most important steps in winterizing a boat is wrapping it in shrink wrap. This helps to protect the boat from the elements and prevent damage.

But how long can our pontoon boat stay wrapped? We have tested this in the past and learned that six months to one year is approaching the limit.

After that, the wrap will start to wear down, and the seal will no longer remain intact on the shrink wrap. Pontoon boats are typically wrapped to protect them from weather damage or to give them a new paint job.

Of course, this will vary depending on the type of wrap used and the conditions it is exposed to. But if we want to be sure our pontoon boat is well protected, wrapping it once a year is a good idea.

How To Wrap A Pontoon Boat For Winter
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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