Ready or not, winter is here. And as a boat owner, it’s time to prepare your boat for the cold. Depending on your location, you may or may not have already winterized your boat. But if you haven’t, or are looking for some direction, here are some tips from Global Marine Insurance on how to properly winterize your boat.
Winterizing the Engine
Make sure you flush the inboard engine with fresh water, and wash the outboard engine with soap and water. To make sure that all the fuel is drained, disconnect the fuel hose from your outboard engine and run the engine until it stops. Your main goal in doing this is to eliminate moisture, because any water that freezes can lead to cracks.
Winterizing the Fuel
The same idea applies to your fuel as it does your engine—eliminate moisture. At the end of the summer boating season, most boat owners will have fuel left over in the tank, and it doesn’t make sense to waste it. In this case, simply make sure that you fill your tank up completely so there’s no room for moisture, and add fuel stabilizer. This should keep your fuel fresh over the winter months.
Make sure to wash and dry the outside hull of your boat and allow all water to drain. Storing your boat in a temperature controlled environment is ideal, but this can be expensive. Shrink wrapping is another cost effective option. This method will allow you to safely store your boat outdoors.
Checking the Manual
When you purchased your boat, you should have received an owner’s manual including the manufacturer’s recommendations on winterization. Make sure to consult this documentation for a more detailed winterization checklist specific to your boat and its components. If you cannot find this documentation, a quick search online should provide you with helpful information.
Taking these small steps to winterize your boat can extend the life of your vessel, and provide worry free enjoyment for years to come.
What are some tips or tricks you’ve learned when winterizing your boat? Let us know in the comments below!