11 Feb Still Not Winterized? Get It Done With These Helpful Boat Winterizing Tips
The cold is upon us, and if you have not yet winterized your boat, now is a good time to start. If you are not actively using your boat in the winter now is the inevitable point where you must get your boat ready to survive the remainder of the winter months. Ask any mechanic, and they will tell you, the worst thing for any motor is inactivity. Lines dry out and crack, the smallest bit of moisture is going to bring rust. The list goes on and on.
So how do you keep a boat from going belly-up? Here are a few boat winterizing tips to keep your boat ready to make a splash this coming season.
STEP 1: Give the Boat a Thorough "Once-Over."
Like with any task big or small, it is always a smart idea to start by looking at what you are dealing with. Check everything over from bow to stern. Clean as you go to kill two birds with one stone. Remember the cleaner your boat, the less likely you are to see corrosion and rust come next season! This doesn't just mean the outer hull, clean every square inch, railing, decking, seats, everything.
STEP 2: Store all Materials and Tools
Another basic idea, but one that can often be overlooked to the detriment of any boater. While normally the big budget electronics are the first to be secured. Any and all cushions, fabrics like awnings and beddings should also be removed so as to not invite mildew and mold along for your next excursion.
STEP 3: The Engine
A: Battery: The best option for any deep cycle battery that isn't going to be used for a while is to remove it from the boat entirely. Keep it in a cool, dry spot and check the charge every once in a while.
B: Fluids: Check your boat's oil, if necessary try to do a complete replacement before bringing your boat in for the season. It is highly recommended to let your boat warm up a bit before doing this. By doing this, you will loosen up dirt and such, making it easier to flush out. Look over any hoses and connectors to spot leaks or cracks. Replace anything that seems faulty.
C: Coolant: If your coolant lines allow water to run through them, as with some boats. You are going to need to completely flush this out to remove dirt, salt, and other impurities. Not to mention any water left in the engine could potentially freeze, causing much bigger issues down the road.
D: Fuel: Some people would think you should completely drain your boat's fuel tank at the end of the season. Do not do this! On the contrary top off your fuel tank toward the end of the season and apply a mix of fuel stabilizer. Instructions for mixing it with the fuel will usually come on the bottle but try to let your motor run for at least a few minutes after treatment. This will ensure that everything has cycled through the engine.
Once all the hard work is over all that is left to do is find a simple, waterproof cover. Keep everything sealed and dry. This way come the summer, as you remove that cover, it’s going to feel like you just unveiled a work of art.