One of the best things about pontoon boats is the large open deck, which makes it the king of entertaining on the water. However, this open deck space does cause a few issues when it comes to storage, as you aren’t always left with many options.
You might have seats that flip up, or boat tables with storage, but other than, your pontoon probably didn’t come with any storage accessories or compartments to suit your needs.
Below you can see a list of all the pontoon boat storage accessories and ideas that I use or know of other people using currently with great results.
Pontoon boat storage accessories
Storage idea #1: Making space in the cockpit
As the captain, it makes sense to have all the essential items close at hand in the console or cockpit. For smaller items such as sunglasses, snacks, and keys you can use a storage pocket that hangs down from the rails (view on Amazon).
Having one of these will stop things from sliding around and getting broken, giving you a pontoon boat storage idea that will be practical, but perhaps lacking in style factor somewhat.
Handy Hint: To keep your phone and keys really safe from dropping in the water or from becoming lost, look at the waterproof lanyards and key floats in my pontoon accessory guide.
Storage idea #2: Cargo nets are ideal for storage
Here’s a cheap cargo net organizer you can buy on the Amazon website. It uses bungee cords and rubber webbing and can be purchased in two large sizes; 3 x 4 foot or 4 by 6 foot. That’s plenty enough room to keep a wide range of items stored safely.
Storage idea #3: Marine grade cooler
If you don’t already own a cooler, then buy one now. It will be one of the best investments you ever make as you can keep your food cold, drinks cool, stored away, and free from contamination from the water and sun.
There are hundreds of coolers on the market, but there’s one brand which consistently gets great reviews and customer feedback: Yeti.
My weapon of choice here is the Yeti Tundra (see Amazon prices). You can buy cheaper alternatives, but this really is the daddy of them all. Go read the reviews to see for yourself.
Storage idea #4: Pontoon boat fishing rod storage ideas
Rather than list all of the best pontoon boat fishing rod storage ideas here, instead I’ve put together a guide to rod storage which will show you all of the best products and accessories you will need.
Storage idea #5: Waterproof marine storage boxes
Take a look at the Attwood durable plastic marine storage box on Amazon. It has a flip top, is waterproof, and lets you maximize space efficiently with a smaller tray and larger storage area underneath.
Storage idea #6: Tackle boxes for all smaller items
The opportunities for storage are endless here when it comes to smaller things. Think first aid supplies, cleaning equipment, and various accessories.
The one I have used and loved for years is the Wakeman organizer.
Storage idea #7: Keeping long items securely in place
For items like paddles, boat hooks, deck brushes, and rods, you want to keep them off the deck and out of the way from being a potential hazard.
I’ve seen plenty of DIY storage ideas in this manner, the most popular one being the use of PVC junction fittings into the side of the boat. You can then keep long items horizontal or vertical depending on your preference.
Storage idea #8: Organize your boat manuals in a waterproof file
Did you ever read your pontoon boat manual? Do you even have one? If you haven’t got one, then I do offer downloads for popular pontoon boat manuals which is updated every year.
It’s a good idea to keep manuals for all your electronics and the boat in one place, and what better way than with a traditional office file organizer – but a waterproof one of course! Here’s one on Amazon I recommend – it’s fire-proof too!
Storage idea #9: Storing tools and repair kit equipment
Every responsible pontoon boat owner should have a boat tool kit (see which tools I personally use). You never know when you might need to make a quick repair.
If you don’t own a kit box, then keep your tools and wrenches safe and stored simply with a canvas roll up.
Storage idea #10: Keeping food stored fresh and free from contamination
Food can quickly spoil on a hot day, plus can also become contaminated by river or lake water, and when fishing.
I’ve written and guide to keeping food free from contamination on a boat, which includes plenty of food storage ideas and hacks you can start using with almost no need to spend money.
Storage idea #11: How to keep your drinks from spilling
I love these cup holders that you can secure into your pontoon rails, meaning you know your drink is always at hand and safe from dripping all over the deck.
If you don’t like the look of those clamp-on holders, I have reviewed some armrest models, portable ones, and replacement drop-in cup holders. Take a look at the pontoon cup holder guide to see all options.
Storage idea #12: Keep the cocktails on ice
And if you really want to take things to the next level, how about your own cocktail bar that sits on the rails for the ultimate party experience? Take a look at this boat cocktail bar caddy.
It’s expensive, but could be just what you need to make an impression on your next pontoon boat party.
Storage idea #13: Keeping shoes neat and tidy and out of the way
We take our shoes off when we come on board the pontoon boat, as nobody likes to wear clunky footwear when living the boating dream. I don’t ask people to take their shoes off, but on a sunny day when everyone is diving into the water and chilling out, it just isn’t practical.
However, I hate shoes being left scattered around my deck with a passion so invested in a cheap shoe organizer that can hang on the rails. It’s a canvas one that has a loop over the top and keeps shoes snug even when I get up on the plane.
Storage idea #14: Hooks for wet clothes and towels
Like random shoes, nothing annoys me more than wet clothes and towels strewn all over my boat. I get around this by using some cheap 3M hooks that I can position in strategic places around my pontoon boat.
That doesn’t mean I still have to remind my kids to use them, because just like they do at home, they still throw everything on the floor…
Storage idea #15: Heavy duty waterproof kit bag
If you still need more storage, but also need to remain portable, then you can’t go wrong with an Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag.
I’ve owned one of these for years and use it for a spare pair of clothes when fishing, and a waterproof way to keep my food clean and portable electronics safe from damage.
Storage idea #16: Storing trash, garbage and perishables
Always take your junk home with you! And what better way to do that than with a super suction trash stasher – view Amazon prices.
It’s a really simple trash storage idea, as it just sticks onto a surface using suction cups, and then you place a small trash bag into it, with a hinged lid to gain easy access.
Storage idea #17: Pontoon boat under deck storage ideas
In terms of keeping things like rods stored underneath your pontoon boat deck, there aren’t any commercial solutions or ideas that I am aware of, but it is a common DIY hack I’ve seen frequently online.
Alternatively, pontoon owners will adapt their seating to make more room for longer rods. Here’s an example of how that could work.
Storage idea #18: Pontoon boat tables with storage
Instead, it’s a common trend to buy things like cooler boxes with padded seating on top, which works very well as a pontoon boat table with storage idea.
I’ve written an extensive guide to pontoon boat tables with storage; read that to see some great examples of what people are already doing to maximise space on their pontoon boat.
Social media pontoon boat storage ideas
I am a member of various pontoon boat forums and Facebook groups, and took a look to see what other ideas people came up with. Here’s a short selection of great comments that I found which might give you some further inspiration.
Adding under deck storage to a pontoon boat
“I have a question regarding under deck storage. What I want to do is fix something underneath the deck which then has a storage hatch on top. It will be used to store my anchor and line in. I am wanting to mount it on the front between the frames. Not finding much online about this. Have any of you added extra storage under your deck?”
Here are a few of the responses:
“It’s best not even to try to modify it as there isn’t storage under the decks for a reason.”
“It would have to be as far forward as possible, not very big and sealed better than an aquarium. Run your boat near top speed and lay on your belly up front and look under there, Niagara Falls at best!”
“That’s why adding an under-skin is good for a couple miles per hour, as it’s just the water hitting the cross members slows them down that much.”
Waterproof in seat storage ideas
“Does anyone have any decent ideas for waterproof storage in the pontoon boat seat storage? Our pontoon gets very damp in there, so we’ve been putting plastic bottoms in but it’s really not working. I know we can use plastic bins and plastic bags but just a pain for when we need stuff. Please share what you do. Thanks.”
Here are a few of the responses:
“We use very big zip up storage bags for keeping stuff dry. It works a treat!”
“Our seat bottoms stay dry because the boat stays inside a boathouse. I pulled the boat this week for service, and today’s rain may be the first time It has been wet, other than cleaning.”
“Walmart sells dry bags relatively cheap. You can usually find them near the kayaks.”
“Build duck boards to fit the seat bottoms. Plastic ¾ inch x 1.5 inch strips arranged and screwed to make a platform. 1×2 furring strips would work on the cheap.”
How to add more storage to a pontoon boat
“With storage space being at a premium on a pontoon boat, what is everyone doing to add more storage. For example, do you have any cool rail accessories out there that were bought or made as we’re looking for ideas!”
Here is a very good response and idea:
“If you are looking for small item storage then we find that letter or file holders work great and with good double stick tape you may not need any screws or rivets. We have used these in 3 different boats, and they are great. You can mount them anywhere you need or want some easy access small item storage locations.”
Ideas for a deck mount box anchor storage device
“I am looking for ideas for a deck mount box anchor storage device. When it’s folded flat I ill be using an anchor rope bag for the anchor line, but would like something to lay the folded box anchor in or on so it does not bang around on the bow deck.”
Here is one of the best responses:
“What we do is use a front corner under seat compartment with an old seat cushion under the anchors, so they don’t bang around. What do you have for room for this deck storage box? Thinking something used for an ATV or diamond plate box but don’t know what size your thinking of or look?”
What to store under deck in the middle tube of a tritoon
“For those of you that have a tritoon, what do you store in the middle toon under floor storage? Mine has a large area but it is so long and deep, it’s hard to get any practical use out of it.”
Here is a list of items and ideas that various people responded with:
- Air chair
- American flag (see which flag I recommend)
- Boat docking hook
- Extra bumpers (see which dock bumpers I recommend)
- Long-handled net for fishing
- Mooring cover (see which covers I recommend)
- Mooring cover poles
- Porta potty (see which toilets I recommend)
Pontoon boat storage blocks
And lastly, what about the other type of pontoon boat storage, when you need to take your pride and joy out of the water for winter (click for winterization tips) or repairs?
One of the best ways you can set your pontoon boat up so that it doesn’t get damaged, is to lay it out on storage blocks (read my guide). They offer a stable and secure way of letting you rest the tubes safely so you can get under the boat easily.
The last word…
I hope that you have that found this guide to pontoon boat storage ideas useful. If you are like me and like everything sorted neatly in its own proper place, then it should give you some great inspiration.