Low Water Stake Out
Beaching the boat and ‘staking out’ by securing it to stakes driven into the shore is a popular option among pontoon owners who want to keep their craft in the water and ready to go at a moment’s notice. The boats’ broad, self-leveling stance, self-draining deck and absence of a rain-collecting cockpit or bilge combine to make pontoon boats prime candidates for beaching for short- or long-term storage. Add the easy bow-boarding access and it’s no mystery why pontoon boats are the most popular craft found at stake along waterways from coast to coast.
Many municipalities, clubs and lake associations that manage local waterways offer stakes for rent at a reasonable rate to boaters who beach their boats at designated locations and secure them to assigned stakes for the boating season. It’s a great way to keep your boat accessible and available right on the water while avoiding the trouble of trailering and launching or the expense of a dock.
There is more to securing your boat at a stake than merely beaching the craft, tethering it to a post and walking away until the next weekend. Before you decide to leave everything at stake at your local lake, talk to a veteran of the game. Ask your local watercraft officer how he or she recommends the boat be secured; there may even be requirements and written instructions illustrating how to properly secure your craft with the combination of stakes and lines.
Perhaps the best way to net valuable stake-out tips is by visiting a marina, boat club or facility where pontoon boats are at stake and see how others are securing their watercraft.