how to lift pontoon boat off trailer

Lifting a pontoon boat off its trailer is a task that requires proper equipment and safety precautions. This process is typically done to perform maintenance on the boat, such as cleaning, repairs, or winterization. Here’s how to lift a pontoon boat off its trailer:

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need:

  • Hydraulic boat lift or pontoon boat hoist
  • Tow vehicle (if using a boat hoist)
  • Ropes, straps, or boat lifting slings
  • Boat stands or blocks
  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Assistant (recommended)


  1. Safety Precautions:
    • Ensure that the trailer is parked on a stable, level surface, and engage the trailer’s parking brake to prevent any movement.
  2. Prepare the Boat Lift:
    • If you have access to a hydraulic boat lift or pontoon boat hoist, position it near the trailer and make sure it’s on a stable and level surface. Ensure that the lift is rated to handle the weight and size of your pontoon boat.
  3. Attach Lifting Straps or Slings:
    • Securely attach ropes, straps, or boat lifting slings to the appropriate lifting points on the pontoon boat. These lifting points are typically located on the boat’s deck and are designed to handle the weight of the boat. Ensure that the straps or slings are in good condition and properly rated for the boat’s weight.
  4. Secure the Boat:
    • Double-check that the pontoon boat is securely attached to the lifting equipment. Ensure that the straps or slings are tight and properly positioned to evenly distribute the weight.
  5. Lift the Boat:
    • Carefully operate the boat lift or hoist to gradually lift the pontoon boat off the trailer. If you’re using a boat hoist, you may need a tow vehicle to help pull the boat off the trailer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation.
  6. Clear the Trailer:
    • As you lift the pontoon boat, have an assistant or yourself carefully guide the boat to ensure it clears the trailer without any damage. Make sure the boat is level during this process.
  7. Lower onto Boat Stands or Blocks:
    • Once the pontoon boat is clear of the trailer, lower it onto boat stands or blocks placed on a stable and level surface. These supports will keep the boat elevated when it’s not in the water.
  8. Perform Maintenance or Repairs:
    • With the pontoon boat safely elevated, you can perform any necessary maintenance, repairs, cleaning, or winterization tasks.
  9. Inspect the Boat:
    • After completing the work, carefully inspect the boat to ensure it’s in good condition and ready for use.
  10. Lower the Boat Back onto the Trailer (if necessary):
    • If you need to return the boat to the trailer, carefully raise the boat using the boat lift or hoist, align it with the trailer, and slowly lower it back onto the trailer’s bunks or guides.
  11. Remove Lifting Equipment:
    • Carefully remove the lifting straps or slings from the pontoon boat.
  12. Secure the Boat (if returning to the trailer):
    • Ensure the boat is properly secured to the trailer, and check that it’s aligned correctly.

By following these steps and prioritizing safety, you can lift your pontoon boat off its trailer for maintenance or other purposes. If you’re not comfortable performing these tasks yourself, or if your pontoon boat is exceptionally large or heavy, consider seeking assistance from a professional boat technician or marina with the necessary equipment and expertise.

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