Winter is a great time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, but your boat will need some special attention before it can be put away for the season. Follow these tips below to ensure your boat stays in good shape while you hibernate until spring arrives!
Winterization is the process of preparing your boat for storage during the winter months. There are several things you can do to winterize your boat and keep it in good shape.
The best way to make sure your fuel doesn’t turn into a thick, gooey mess is with a fuel stabilizer. Adding one of these products into your tank will help prevent water from seeping in and turning the gas into an unusable substance.
Once you’ve added the stabilizer, run your engine until it stops. If you know how long this takes on average (say 10 minutes), you can run it for that amount of time and then let it sit for a few days before trying again. This will ensure that all the fuel has been treated properly and won’t cause any problems when you start up again later on down the road. The next step is running it again after letting it sit overnight or more than 48 hours—just enough time, so there’s no chance of freezing temperatures freezing up inside your boat’s fuel lines during storage!
You’ll want to have the engine fully warmed up, so this is a good time to do that.
Place a garden hose into the boat’s water intake and open the valve, then turn on the engine. Let it run for about five minutes while you spray down every inch of metal with water.
Turn off the engine and let it cool down before shutting it off completely. Then use a high-pressure washer on all surfaces to clean away any residue from antifreeze/corrosion inhibitor or other chemicals you may have used in your cleaning process.
If you have a boat with metal parts, such as the propeller, rudder and engine, coat them with lubricant. This will keep them from rusting over winter. It’s also a good idea to use silicone-based lubricant instead of petroleum-based products, which can stain painted surfaces.
You’ll want to change the engine oil and filter, transmission fluid and filter (if equipped), and coolant. The reasoning behind these changes is simple: they help reduce the risk of corrosion inside an idle engine by removing contaminants that could cause damage while it sits idle all winter long. Additionally, remove your battery and store it in a dry location away from extreme heat or cold. It’s a good idea to disconnect any electronic accessories that are not needed for winter storage, as well as protect your boat from rodents and other pests.
Protect leather, vinyl and metal surfaces with a UV protectant or vinyl sealant before storing. Leather, no matter how well maintained, can become brittle and crack when exposed to prolonged exposure to sunlight. The same is true of vinyl cushions. Metal components such as chrome trim are particularly susceptible to oxidation during winter storage.
UV protectants prevent fading caused by ultraviolet rays, while also repelling water stains caused by rain or other moisture that penetrates the surface during storage. Vinyl sealants help combat scratches on plastic surfaces caused by insects like ants who may find their way into your boat during the off-season months because they’re looking for food sources that were left behind when you stored your boat away from home in anticipation of colder weather coming soon after Labor Day weekend signals summer’s end!
If you’re going to store your boat for the winter, you’ll want to make sure that all the electronics and wiring are protected from water damage. Don’t forget about the little things like hooks, lures, rods and reels that can be damaged by UV rays or rodents when you store your boat for the winter months.
It’s important to remember that the winterizing process doesn’t just apply to boats. If you have access to a garage or covered carport, then you can do all of these steps for your car as well. Get secure boat storage today!