Pontoon boats are great for fishing and for just getting the family and friends out to enjoy a day on the water. As far as boating goes, they are very low maintenance and require very little care and upkeep. But some care is needed to prevent damage and rot.
However, that does not mean that you should neglect regular cleaning of carpets, fabrics and canvas of your boat. If not kept clean, you are inviting mold and mildew into your boat. This is very costly in the long run and skipping a quick half hour of work once in a while will cost you a great deal of money in a very short time if you are neglectful.
While all marine fabrics, foam and carpet are mold and mildew resistant, that does not mean they will never get moldy. What it means is they do not contain organic ingredients that feed mold and mildew. Mold and mildew will feed on any organic dirt or materials left on the fabrics. This includes insect, bug and bird droppings, leaves and dirt, food and drink spills, bacteria and minute plant matter found in lake and pond water, etc.
Once mildew is present, it will begin feeding and excreting byproducts. It will feed on wood, meaning your seat interiors and floors causing them to rot. The mildew byproduct will stain your white vinyl pink or black and create stains on your carpet.
There are steps you can take to prevent the damage and destruction caused by mold and mildew.
- Keep all surfaces and canvas clean and free of any kind of organic debris. A quick scrub with a deck brush and vacuum with a wet-dry vac once per week is a good habit to get into. Use cleaning products meant for use on boats. This is important for both fabric and environmental reasons.
- Maintain good airflow. Air circulation is essential to preventing mildew. Making sure your pontoon boat cover and pontoon enclosure is made of breathable marine fabric such as Sunbrella or have vents installed to prevent condensation from building up under your canvas.
- Allow your boat to dry thoroughly before placing your covers or enclosures on the boat.
- Make sure the interior of your pontoon boat is fully protected from the elements with a full enclosure or pontoon playpen cover.
Protecting your pontoon boat will mean you will get many years of enjoyment out on the water with very little maintenance costs. Neglecting these small tasks will mean replacing your floor, upholstery and carpeting every couple of years. Remember, boats are meant to get wet, but not stay wet.