Wondering how to winterize a boat to get it ready for the off-season? This complete guide will help you get started.
For many people, the end of summer can be hard to take—no more cookouts, no more outdoor fun, and worst of all, no more days spent on the water. Even if you live in an area that has mild weather during the winter months, you might be considering putting your watercraft into storage.
If that’s you, then you need to know how to winterize a boat to keep it safe while it’s dormant. Here’s what you need to know.
Inspect your boat for damage and make necessary repairs.
Prepare your engine for storage.
Clean every inch of your boat.
Store, cover, and lock your boat.
Invest in upgrades to your boat.
First step—check your boat for any visible damage and make those necessary repairs. In some cases, even minor damage can lead to serious problems, so it is critical to give your vessel the attention it deserves.
Preparing your engine for storage takes some effort but protecting the most important (and expensive) part of your boat is worth it. First, fill your fuel tank, leaving a little room for expansion. Next, treat the fuel with a stabilizer and run your engine for 10 minutes to ensure that it is circulating.
You should also seal the fuel valves, change the oil and oil filter, and lubricate the engine’s grease fittings. If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter, drain the remaining coolant and run antifreeze through the cooling system. Charge and remove your battery, storing it in a safe location.
It should go without saying, but make sure you remove all the trash from your boat before storing it. Leftover food and drink can attract pests. Be sure to clean the entire boat thoroughly, removing any organic material from the hull.
When storing your boat, consider removing any cushions and keeping them in a climate-controlled room to protect them from mildew. Cover and store your boat, leaving a key with the marina manager, if applicable.
If you want to get ready for next season, now is a great time to start thinking of upgrades you want to make to your boat. Any work you do on your boat during this time won’t cut into your time on the water, so why not get a jump on it?
Learning how to winterize a boat can be hard work, but improving your machine’s performance, handling, and fuel economy doesn’t have to be. Are you ready for a better boating experience next summer? Why not add a Hydro-Shield while you are making repairs for the winter? The benefits speak for themselves.