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Wintering Your Boat: How To Prepare It For Winter

As the boating season comes to a halt, your top concern would be preparing your boat for winter storage. You have to make sure it is safe and snug all through winter and can survive the cold weather. Hiring a professional to winterize your boat is a good option, although you can do the job on your own. Along with the manufacturer’s recommendations, the following guidelines can help you through winterizing your boat.

Clean the boat’s interior.
This means taking the mess off the carpet, getting rid of the food items from the refrigerator, dusting the lockers and cabinets, airing out the cushions, etc. Clear the interior as thoroughly as possible. Take note of the damages and do arrangements to have the necessary replacements. Also, provide proper boat ventilation to avoid trapping moisture inside, which invites the growth of mold and mildew. Consider using mildew spray and dehumidifiers as well.

Fill the fuel tank and add fuel stabilizer.
Doing so will prevent condensation and oxidation that may work against the engine. After adding stabilizer, run the motor up until the stabilizer has penetrated the engine.

Change the oil.
Drain the old oil properly and replace it with fresh oil. Start the engine to allow the oil to circulate and penetrate the system. Changing oil is necessary to prevent corrosion that results in engine defects. Do not forget to change the oil filter as well.

Hose the engine with fresh water.
Then, allow the engine to drain. Make sure the engine is completely drained of water because a small amount of residual water will tend to freeze and result in serious damages. To prevent the build-up of rust and corrosion, spray fogging oil onto the engine. Start by running the engine and shutting down the fuel supply. As soon as the engine stops on its own, take out the spark plugs and spray fogging oil onto the cylinders.

Take a good look at the hull.
If you find gelcoat blisters, treat them with special epoxy. Also, check the bottom of the boat and scrape off barnacles. You can pressure-wash the bottom to remove tough dirt and slime. Do the necessary painting and waxing to restore the boat’s exterior appeal.

Charge the batteries.
Disconnect the batteries, add distilled water, and charge them at home. Some boat experts advise charging the batteries after every 30 to 60 days.

Choose the best storage method for your boat.
You have three options: backyard storage, indoor storage, or boatyard shrink-wrapping. Backyard storage is a convenient and practical approach. Keeping the boat in your yard only requires a boat cover, which should be sturdy and made of breathable materials to discourage moisture and growth of mold and mildew. Indoor storage, on the other hand, means keeping your boat in a paid facility. This can be a bit costly, but it guarantees that your boat is safe and protected from winter elements.

The final option is shrink-wrapping your boat. After winterizing your boat, you can either have a boatyard personnel shrink-wrap your boat or buy a kit and do it on your own, after which the boat is placed in a boatyard to spend the winter.


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