Tips for Using a Pontoon Boat in Saltwater

Any boat exposed to saltwater can be affected by the salt. However, to minimize the effects of saltwater on our Pontoon, the following preparation and maintenance should be followed:


  • Aluminum Anti-Fouling Paint

If you plan to use your boat in saltwater all portions of the boat that will be submerged should be painted with an approved aluminum anti-fouling paint. This service is provided by your dealer or by someone recommended by your dealer. There is an extra charge for this service.

If you trailer your boat and use it in Saltwater anti-fouling paint on the bottom of the pontoons should be applied to be sure that the pontoons have a barrier between them and the bunks. If anti-fouling paint is not used corrosion can occur at the point the trailer bunk meets the pontoon. The application of antifouling paint is a service provided by your dealer or by someone recommended by your dealer. There is an extra charge for this service.

  • Zinc Anodes

In some cases you may need to have zinc anodes added to your boat to prevent electrolysis. Electrolysis is a deterioration of the metal caused by stray electrical current interacting with the saltwater. Ask your dealer whether he recommends zinc anodes. There is an extra charge for this service.


  • After each use the entire boat must be washed down with freshwater to remove salt deposits. Allow the boat to dry before covering it with the mooring or seat covers.
  • Cover your boat WHEN DRY with seat covers or a mooring cover to keep salt and weather off of your boat. Since most salt water areas are very humid and hot it is imperative that the boat be dry before it is covered. If you cover it wet you WILL see mildew develop.
  • If you trailer your boat you MUST flush the saltwater from in between the bunks and the pontoons. This does not prevent corrosion if no anti fouling paint is applied.
  • You should repair paint chips and scratches when you start to notice bare metal showing.
  • A yearly inspection for corrosion or deterioration of the electrical connections is recommended. Avalon & Tahoe does NOT warrant saltwater corrosion.


Ask your dealer about certain aspects of the construction of a boat built for saltwater conditions:

  • The deck should be bolted down, not screwed
  • Toons should be at least 25”
  • Tubes are fully welded to deck, opposed to welds every foot
  • More powerful engine, around 60-90hp

“Saltwater Series” Notice

Some dealers add additional saltwater resistant materials to our boats to make them even better suited for saltwater use. These specially equipped models may have a sticker called “Saltwater Series”. However this does not make them Saltwater proof nor keep salt water from affecting them to some degree. Even these models must have all of the above-described preparation and maintenance to minimize the effects of salt water.

Saltwater use should be confined primarily to bays and inlets. A pontoon is not made to be an ocean going craft and as such can only be used in the ocean if conditions are similar to an inland lake and only close to shore.

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