Most people know that keeping your raft, pontoon boat or single man inflatable fishing-craft blown up (slightly) is the best way to store it. The problem with this is that it takes up space…. Lots of it.
I keep my 13-foot Outcast Super Puma slightly inflated and on its trailer all summer and winter. It’s wrapped up under a heavy duty UV tarp and most of the time this protects it from almost everything—except freezing water. I learned this lesson the hard way after some melted snow seeped into a valve and steel frame components, cracking them when the water refroze overnight. Always, always make sure you brush any snow or freezing precipitation off your fishing boat as soon as you can. It’s not the snow that’s the problem, but rather the freezing, thawing and refreezing over the next few days that has the potential to send problems past your tarp and into the nooks and crannies of your boat.
It’s very easy to forget that your boat is even out there in the dead of winter, but do yourself a favor and after you’ve shoveled your walk take five minutes and bush all the snow off of it. You’ll be happy you did come spring.