how to lift your pontoon boat off the trailer bunks

How to Lift Your Pontoon Boat Off the Trailer Bunks (4 Steps)

There will be times in your pontoon boat ownership experience that you’ll find the need to do things that you didn’t initially think necessary. For instance, lifting your boat off of trailer bunks might not seem like something you’d ever have to do. Yet, here you are.

Whether you’re trying to get under there for repairs, or if you’re hoping to clean a spot that’s just a little out of reach, we’re teaching you how to lift your pontoon boat off the trailer bunks with convenience and care.

What You’ll Need

Lifting a pontoon boat off of the trailer might seem like a pretty simple task. But with the sheer weight of your boat pressing down on the trailer, lifting it off might prove to be a harder job than you initially assumed.

So to make it a little easier, see to it that you have the following materials and tools at the ready:

Bottle Jack

The weight of a pontoon boat is much too heavy to be lifted by just bare hands. When choosing a hydraulic jack, see to it that the device can lift the weight of your pontoon, or more.

Cinder Blocks

You’re going to need enough blocks to support the weight of the pontoon while it’s lifted off of the ground. That means you should have between 9 and 12 blocks at least 8 by 16 by 16 inches. In place of cinder blocks, you can always use wooden ones.

Wooden Planks

These should be long enough to cover the span of your pontoon tubes. The purpose of the planks is to keep your tubes from resting on the blocks and thus preventing potential damage.

How to Lift Your Pontoon Off of the Trailer Bunks

Once everything is ready, you can get started on the process. If you’re not too convinced that you can handle the job with your own your strength, or if you just want to be doubly careful, it might help to have a friend to assist you.

Position your Boat

It’s important that you make sure your boat is on level ground. Find an open space where you can get to work without obstructions or hazards. See to it that all of your trailers wheels are level and that there aren’t any bumps, dips, or elevations on the ground that could make your trailer tilt a certain way.

Pull Down the Tongue

Push down on the tongue so that the transom of the boat raises up off of the ground. But because placing it in this position could be dangerous, you might want to ask a friend to support the weight displacement while you work on the rear of the boat.

Place the Blocks

Support the tubes by placing the blocks at the rear. There should be two columns of blocks with a plank of wood on top so that the tubes don’t make direct contact with the blocks. See to it that the blocks are perfectly aligned and that they’re right under the tubes.

Once you have the pillars in place with the plank on top, ask the person at the tongue to gently release the weight so that the rear of the boat rests on the blocks.

Lift the Front

Take your hydraulic bottle jack and place it at the bow of the boat. Keep raising it until the bow is slightly higher than the stern. Place the blocks under the center cross member and don’t forget to put a plank on top as well. Then you can gently lower the hydraulic bottle press. Make sure that the boat is sufficiently supported by the three block pillars.

Why Would You Need to Lift a Pontoon Off of Trailer Bunks?

Why exactly would it be necessary to do such a thing to your boat? Well, there are a few reasons. Some people find it essential for cleaning under the tubes especially since it can be tough to reach those areas any other way. Lifting the pontoon off of the tubes also lets you perform any necessary inspections and repairs that would be otherwise impossible.

Safety Tips

  • Do not remove the trailer from under the boat
  • Make sure that the boat is stable on the blocks before you start any sort of work
  • Have a friend help you move and shift the boat's weight if you feel you're not strong enough to do it alone
  • See to it that the blocks are perfectly aligned and stacked
  • Stack the cinder blocks on their side
  • Do not use blocks that are broken or cracked
  • Measure your blocks before starting to make sure the boat is lifted above the trailer bunks when stacked

Need a Lift?

For whatever reason you might have to do it, it’s important that you know how to lift your pontoon boat off the trailer bunks without risking any damage. Make sure to follow these steps in case you need to get under those tubes so you can keep your boat safe and steady throughout the process.

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