Global Marine Insurance: Winterizing Your Ski Boat

When winter approaches it is time to put the boat away and begin the wait for the next warm season. Storage requires special preparation to prevent damage to a ski boat. Without proper winterization, storing your boat for long periods of time may cause the internal parts of the engine and transmission to rust due to a lack of lubrication. Also, if stored with water inside the bilge, engine cooling system, or heater in below-freezing temperatures major damage could result that will not be covered by your boat insurance policy.

You can defend your ski boat against the elements and ensure it will run well again when the warm weather returns by taking the following steps.

• First, you should cycle fogging solution through the engine while the boat is running. This will help safeguard its internal parts.

• Next, spray an anti-corrosion film on the external parts to prevent rust.

• It is critical to completely empty the manifolds and engine block and then fill the engine with anti-freeze.

• For stern drives empty the lower unit gear oil and replace with new oil.

• Next grease the external fillings on the stern drives.

• Don’t forget to disconnect the battery so that it won’t go dead over the winter.

• Cover your ski boat to protect it from the elements if being stored outdoors, keep dust off of it and deter animals from moving in.

After winterization, you can store your boat indoors to protect it from the elements or you can store your ski boat outside during the winter months, if it is properly covered. You can use a customized boat cover, plastic wrap or large tarp to keep it dry. Make sure to remove any gathered precipitation to keep it from leaking or ripping from the extra weight. If your tarp or boat cover begins to tear or shred, you should replace it immediately before any precipitation starts to build up inside your ski boat, which could lead to rot and mold.

These steps will help ensure that your boat is in good working order this spring, but unfortunately you could still experience damages. If you are unfamiliar with the details of your boat insurance policy check to make sure your policy will cover damages that could occur while in storage. You wouldn’t be the first boat owner to be unpleasantly surprised that a raccoon has created a home with shredded seat cushions or that an unexpected leak in the building left a pool of water in your boat all winter long. If you feel your boat insurance coverage may be insufficient call 1-800-748-0224 to speak with a Global Marine representative that will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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