As the cold winter settles in, it’s important to protect the investment you’ve made in your boat by making sure that you winterize it properly. Whether you’re planning on going cold weather boating or storing your boat away for the season, failing to properly prepare your boat for the winter season can lead to problems once springtime comes around.
One of the first things you want to do when winterizing your boat is focus on the engine. For inboard engines, allow the engine to warm up and then change the oil and the oil filter. You should also flush the engine with antifreeze, using an intake hose connected to the water pump and running the engine briefly so that it circulates through. For outboard engines, you should add fuel stabilizer to keep your gas usable through the freezing season. You should also run the engine for a few minutes with the cowl off and spray a fogging solution into the air intakes.
If your vessel has any gas tanks, be sure to treat remaining fuel balances with stabilizer. Some ethanol fuels can spoil easily in cold weather, while partially full tanks can leave more opportunity for condensation to form, adding water to the fuel. Whether you opt to store with a full tank or not, stabilizer can help preserve your tank for the spring boating season.
Before you leave your boat in storage, you also should go through and remove any valuables and electronics. Electrical items tend to suffer in cold weather, even when disabled, so taking them home to a climate-controlled space can prevent problems the next season. You should also pack up your flares, fire extinguishers, and flotation devices. When you get the boating itch over the snowy months, you can look these over, making sure that they are still in good condition and clean or replace as necessary.
Winterizing your boat requires time and money, but if you are going to be a boat owner, you should do it properly to avoid problems in the future. For more boating tips, contact V-Dock today at 888-888-DOCK.