Enjoying More Storage Space

Tips For Winterizing Your Boat

by Madison Holland

The fall season is starting to bring cooler air across the country, which means that it's time to start thinking about packing up your warm-weather recreational toys. One of the things that many new boat owners struggle with is that first year of packing up the boat for the winter. Understanding how to keep your boat safe through the cold season will ensure that it is still running at its best in the spring because freezing temperatures can crack and damage a boat. Here are a few things you should do to get that boat ready before the first snowfall.

Protect The Hull

Take time to inspect the hull before you put the boat up. Look for any signs of blisters, stress cracks or anything of the like. If you find any, treat them before you cover the boat for the winter. Pressure-wash the hull so you don't leave any barnacles or other residue, and then treat the hull with a protective wax so that it is sealed.

Prepare The Engines

Boat engines are vulnerable to a lot of damage in the off-season, including things like freezing, fuel degradation, and even some corrosion problems. To prevent these things from happening, you need to prepare the engine carefully. Start by running the engine to warm it, and then turn it off. Drain the oil from the engine into a disposable container. Remove and replace the oil filter, then flush the engine itself with fresh, clean water, running the engine and adding more water until it runs out clean. Run the engine vertically until the water drains out completely. Turn off the engine, pull the spark plugs and treat each cylinder with fogging oil. Replace the plugs before putting the boat up for storage.

Preserve The Fuel

Treat your boat's fuel tank with a stabilizer product. The stabilizer will keep the fuel from varnishing the inside of the tank or the rest of the boat's engine. Once you add the stabilizer in the amount called for on the package, run the engine for 10 minutes to distribute it through the system.

Cover The Boat

Protect the boat from the elements with a polvinyl cover. Look for a cover that's designed specifically for your boat model to ensure the best possible fit. Also, opt for something breathable enough to keep condensation and mildew from forming under the cover.

These tips will help you keep your boat in the best possible condition through the winter so you can get back out on the water this spring.