Summer is officially over which means it’s time to get your boat ready for storage. Winter-izing your boat is crucial if you are a boater, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. The time and effort you spend now will improve the performance of your boat while saving you time, energy, and money when next season rolls around. Your first step in getting your boat ready for winter is to make a checklist of all items that need to be accomplished. Check the owner’s manual of your boat and motor for the manufacturer’s recommendations on winterization. In addition, here are seven critical steps to winterize your boat:
1. Change The Oil
An oil change is necessary before your boat goes into storage for the winter. You’ll want to change the filters, flush the system, and then top up the oil levels.
2. Flush the Coolant
The coolant system of your boat should be ready for cold temperatures. Start by draining the coolant and flushing the system with cold water. Boat manufacturers include flushing instructions that are specific to your boat, so make sure to have these handy.
3. Check Hoses, Wires, and Connections
Make sure the belts, hoses, stern drives and inboards, anodes, running gear and batteries are in working order. Remove all electronics from the boat to prevent moisture damage. Disconnect the batteries so they are ready for next season.
4. Clean The Boat
Clean the boat’s hull and deck to remove dirt, debris, and grime from the surface. Washing off salt water from the interior and exterior of a vessel reduces the risks of corrosion. You should also wax your boat
at least once per year.
5. Spray Anti-Corrosion Solution
Spray the engine and outdrive package with anti-corrosion spray. This helps the paint last longer and prepares the components for next season.
6. Check Other Important Parts of the Boat
Inspect life jackets, first aid kits, water toys, and fishing gear. Once inspected, pack them away securely. If you need to purchase any of these items new, this is an excellent time of year to do so, as they are often cheaper at the end of the season.
7. Cover Your Boat
A winter cover will protect your boat. A quality cover should keep water, snow, and ice out, yet not lead to condensation, which will cause mildew.
When summer rolls around again, you will appreciate having taken these steps. A boat requires regular maintenance to keep its value and extend its life for as long as possible. If you have never winterized a boat before, don’t worry; you can hire a professional who can do this job for you. Good luck!