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Covering a Pontoon Boat [Protecting Your Investment ]

If you own a Pontoon Boat, chances are it’s one of your most prized possessions. It’s only natural that you would want to protect your investment and extend the longevity of your Pontoon Boat.

Taking care of a Pontoon boat can be tricky at times. And I’m sure every owner at least once wondered, “Should I cover my Pontoon boat?”

Well, yes you should be covering your Pontoon boat. There are many reasons to do so as it protects your boat from sun damage, scratches, dents, fading, bugs, and even thieves. Using a boat cover is one of the very first steps to taking care of your Pontoon properly. If you are procrastinating on buying a boat cover, here’s your sign to do it right now.

Whether it be rain or snow, hail or sun a boat cover can be very helpful. Of course, you might be one of those people who have no plans of reselling their boat, and you don’t care if it fades after a while.

Even then, I would suggest getting a cover for your boat. It’s not only about the fade but also about how long your Pontoon will last you. Let’s see exactly why you need to.

Do Pontoon Boats Need to Be Covered?

Yes, Pontoon boats need to be covered when not in use. If left without a cover the fiberglass may become damaged from the sun, there might be accidental scratches, it will get extremely dirty and of course, it will fade away over time. It’s important to get the right kinds of good quality covers to protect your boat.

If you still aren’t convinced, here are 4 reasons why you should cover your Pontoon Boat.

Protection from the sun

We all know how harmful UV rays from the sun can be for our skin, and Pontoon boats are no different.

With direct exposure to sunlight for long periods, your Pontoon boat’s outer color, design, and shine will fade away. And with the external layer gone, the internal fiberglass is more to damage as well.

Having a cover means the surface is protected from the sun’s harmful rays. It will stay shiny and look as new as when you bought it for a long time.

The cover also protects the internal structure of the boat, thus increasing the longevity of your Pontoon. It makes it less prone to breaking and damage. An uncovered boat will lose value very quickly.

Protection from scratches and dents

Having a good cover can also protect your boat from accidental scratches and dents. If you leave it open even twigs falling from trees might scratch the surface or maybe even someone passing by might leave a small dent.

A cover prevents that from happening and makes sure the interior is smooth and safe. Twigs and animals are now much less likely to scratch the surface of your boat. 

Keeps away bugs, birds, and other critters

You’re not going to be using your Pontoon boat all the time. Most of the time it will be sitting there collecting dust.

So, it becomes the perfect home for bugs and other critters who might climb in and make your Pontoon their cozy home.

It can be very annoying coming to take your boat out and finding a bug infestation happening.

Keeping your boat covered prevents this from happening. It stops any bugs or critters from getting in and also keeps the boat relatively clean.

Your boat will also be protected from bird poop, and it’s much easier to clean the cover than it is to clean the boat.

Deter casual theft

You might not have thought of this, but leaving a boat covered can also deter away casual thieves who are just looking for something easy. You will be far less likely to be the victim of a Pontoon theft if all your gear is covered and hidden away.

It just means more work for the thieves and takes a lot of time, removing the covers and taking the boat away.

So, you will have more time to catch the thieves red-handed.  It prevents random passersby from looking in and making any unwanted plans.

Should You Cover Your Boat When It Rains?

Yes, you should most definitely cover your Pontoon boat when it rains. I know covering and uncovering a boat all the time seems like a hassle and you might become lazy to do it. But even if you don’t cover it at any other time (which I strongly suggest against), you should put a cover on it when it is raining.

If by some chance of fate, the sun doesn’t damage your boat, rain surely will. You might have the misconception that Pontoon boats are waterproof since they are made to stay in the water.

While your Pontoons might be waterproof, your interiors are not.

The interior of your Pontoon will usually be water-resistant at most. And this is meant to handle low moisture levels from wet swimmers or accidental splashes here and there.

They are usually water-resistant and meant to handle low moisture from wet swimmers or accidental splashes here and there.

On the other hand, exposing your boat interior to rain falling hard from the sky will damage not only the surface but the interior as well.

The boat does not get time to dry itself out with prolonged rain, so the water seeps into the structure.

You will find mold developing, the wood rotting, and even mildew. The boat vinyl, seat foam, carpet, wood floor, and stringers are all of it at risk.

You might not notice it at first, but your interior gets destroyed from within. Furthermore, letting water pool up and collect inside the interior can also sink your boat. This is unlikely, but if enough water from the rain collects it might become way too heavy.

So, you should never leave your Pontoon uncovered in the rain. Even if it suddenly starts to rain while you are using it, try to get out of it as fast as possible and cover it as best as you can. Rain can be very damaging to a Pontoon Boat.

How Do You Waterproof Your Pontoon Boat Cover?

You can waterproof your boat cover with waterproofing products found on the market. There are plenty of brands out there that sell sprays that can help you waterproof your boat cover to better protect your boat.

After cleaning your cover, you spray on a coat of waterproofing spray. Then scrub it and spread it evenly. Wait for it to dry and apply a second coat. That’s it.

While most Pontoon boat covers need to protect the boat from rain, they will not always be completely waterproof. This is because the fabric needs to be breathable to let air flow in.

Otherwise, a damp environment can cause mildew and mold to grow on your boat’s surface.

So, you should be aware of whether your boat cover is waterproof or not. You could buy two separate covers, one for regular use and for when it rains; i.e. one that is waterproof and one that is breathable.

Or you can use waterproofing spray meant for boat covers. These sprays will make your cover waterproof and will usually last about 6 months or so.


Now that you know all the reasons why you should get a cover ASAP, there’s no reason to be wondering “Should I cover my pontoon boat?” anymore.

If your friends or colleagues have Pontoon boats, I’m sure you’ll be nagging them to get a cover too now.

Compared to the price of the Pontoon boat itself, getting a cover is a cheap and effective way to protect its life.