As we all know pontoon boats are awesome. They are the ultimate party boats for good reason. Tons of people can pile aboard to enjoy time on the water together for a daylong excursion. They have room for food, pets, supplies, and swimming gear. Even better, you can beach a pontoon boat on the shore to continue the good times on land.
Want to pull ashore and let the kids make a few sandcastles? Does Roscoe need a quick walk? Does your family enjoy playing a few rounds of volleyball or sunbathing? Maybe your friends have brought a delicious picnic and you would like to hop out to eat lunch.
Pontoon boats allow you the flexibility to do any of these things. No gel coat scratching to worry about with a pontoon boat! These aluminum crafts can handle the sandy shore with ease. Just follow these easy steps.
But do you know how to beach a pontoon boat?
Steps To Beaching A Pontoon Boat
Most of the people are afraid to beach a boat thinking they will damage it beyond repair. However, as I noted above, pontoon boats are very flexible and if you forget the fear and do what you have to do, there is no reason to be afraid.
The following steps will hopefully give you the confidence and knowledge to beach a pontoon boat.
Scope The Area Carefully
First, it is essential to properly check the area where you want to beach your boat.
Often, fallen logs, old tires, trash, or other debris are lurking under the water. These hazards can cause considerable damage to the underside of the boat or to your prop.
In clear areas, it may be possible to see through the water, allowing you to avoid any submerged items. If the water is even slightly murky, ask a passenger to take a swim around the area. Better safe than sorry! The swimmer can scout the area and show you the best path to take.
Once they are safely onboard, you can follow the chosen route.
Look for a flat and open area. Some beach areas may be crowded with other crafts. You can handle that!
It will be more difficult to beach your pontoon boat on an incline so look for the flattest area possible.
While the boat will be able to handle sand and pebbles, avoid any obvious rocks or sticks.
Reduce Your Speed
Second, let’s think about speed.
Beaching a boat is similar to docking it in terms of the needed speed. Boaters know that docking a boat requires finesse and patience. You do not want to go tearing forward here to land your pontoon on the shore. Drive it forward even more slowly than you think is necessary.
While pontoon boats are hardy, going too quickly can cause scrapes or even holes in the bottom of the boat. You can also overshoot your target! Going slowly will allow you to be extra sure that there are no children or pets in the surrounding vicinity.
Protect Your Prop
Next, you will need to consider your prop and the depth of the water. Prop damage is common, especially for new boaters, and we want to avoid those expensive repairs.
How deep is the water? Will your prop scrape the bottom of the water?
Having a great depth finder is helpful for all aspects of boating and is especially useful when you are pulling up to land. You need to know how low is too low for your particular setup. Trim your motor up slightly but remember to keep it underwater.
Turn Off The Engine
Now is the time to turn off the engine.
Use the weight and momentum to carry the boat forward. Let it drift gracefully into place.
You have done the driving and the hosting. Now ask a passenger or two to give you a hand! They can hop out and impress the bystanders by physically pulling the boat the rest of the way onto shore.
Don’t Forget The Anchor
Don’t jump out and start a barbeque just yet. Your final step is to carefully and securely tie your boat to a tree, post, or large rock. This can be done with a variety of tools including the sand anchor which is specifically designed for these situations. You can also use rope or straps, it depends on the surroundings.
Most importantly, make sure you connect your anchor tightly, don’t let the boat slide around on the beach, it could get damaged.
If you are not sure which anchor is in these situations make sure you read pontoon boat anchor review.
How To Unbeach A Pontoon Boat
Unbeaching a pontoon boat is nowhere near as complicated as beaching it, in fact, It’s actually really simple. The hardest part of it is cleaning up and putting everything back on the boat in my opinion.
After you are done cleaning up the beach because you love the Earth and the environment, untie your anchors.
Invite everyone back on the boat and move them toward the end of the boat. This is important because it transfers all the weight to the back of the boat. This way it will be much easier to get back in the water.
Ask a couple of friends once more to help you out by pushing the boat away from the beach. At the same time, you can turn the engine on and hit that reverse gear. Make sure you don’t hit anything with your prop though, don’t ruin a nice day.
Beaching a pontoon can seem intimidating at first. However, don’t be afraid to take advantage of this great aspect to pontooning! While other boats need to avoid such areas, pontoon boats can pull ashore and let you move to land activities in a jiffy.
I hope this was informative enough to give you the confidence you need. Summer months are almost here, get ready to beach your boat.