Boat Winterizing - Key Steps Needed to Prepare Your New or Used Boat for Winter

Well for many of us summer has now past and itís time to prepare your boat for a short winterís rest, hopefully itís short. Hereís the main actions needed to ensure your boat rests well through the winter months and is in good shape for next summer.

For Boats with I/Os:

  1. Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and start engine, allow to run until warm. This will ensure that gas with stabilizer has circulated through the carburetor.
  2. Drain engine-cooling system and fill with antifreeze.
  3. Start engine and run until antifreeze starts to spurt out of the exhaust.
  4. Stop engine and allow to cool.
  5. Fog each cylinder with fogging oil or WD40 through each sparkplug hole.
  6. Spray entire engine and electrical wiring and connections with rust preventative (WD40 or equivalent).
  7. Drain out drive gear oil, leave plug in boat glove box or storage box, place rag or cardboard under out drive to allow it to drain as needed. This will allow any accumulated condensation to escape.

For Boats with Outboard Motors:

  1. Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and start engine, allow to run until warm. This will ensure that gas with stabilizer has circulated through the carburetor.
  2. Stop engine and allow to cool.
  3. Fog each cylinder with fogging oil or WD40 through each sparkplug hole.
  4. Remove engine cover and spray entire engine and electrical wiring and connections with rust preventative (WD40 or equivalent).
  5. Drain out drive gear oil, leave plug in the boat glove box or storage box, place rag or cardboard under drive to allow it to drain as needed. This will allow any accumulated condensation to escape and not freeze.

Additional items:

  1. Drain bilge pumps.
  2. Remove battery and store in garage. Battery fluid level (electrolyte fluid) should be checked and filled if required. Battery should be charged monthly to keep it properly maintained.
  3. Remove boat drain plugs and keep in glove box or storage compartment.
  4. Boat should be covered and stored in garage or covered storage building. If outside storage is needed, the boat should be shrink-wrapped.

Note: This is only a general item list for winterizing and may not cover all necessary items for your boat. You should refer to your ownerís manual for additional maintenance items.