5 Ways To Properly Winterize Your Boat
The Northern United States is known for long and harsh winters. By taking a few extra steps you can properly winterize your boat. Properly winterizing your boat will make it easier to return to the water once the next season starts. Consider the following tips when it comes to properly winterizing your boat for harsh long winters. First you want to wash and wax your boat right after you take it out of the water. This makes it easier to clean up next season. Make sure the interior carpets and floors are cleaned completely. You should remove any cushions, PFDs or anything else that can mildew while in storage. Second if you are mechanically inclined you should service and prepare your engine for storage. If you aren’t mechanically inclined then be sure to have the engine serviced and prepared by a qualified boat mechanic. Otherwise you will have a lot of costly repairs come next season. Third all bilge spaces should be clean and free of oil. For the harsh winters it can be a good idea to place an oil absorbent sock in the bilge for the winter storage period. Fresh water lines and fixtures should be drained or winterized with propylene glycol antifreeze. You can get this at most recreational vehicle supply stores. Don’t use the green antifreeze or ethylene glycol since it is toxic and difficult to remove from fresh water systems. You should never use ethylene glycol in any way to winterize your boat. Fifth, you should store your boat with a full fuel tank and use a fuel-stabilizing additive. However, if you have ethanol fuel in your boat then it is better to drain the fuel tank and clean it before using the following season. All lead-acid storage batteries should be removed. Be sure to store them when they are fully charged in a well-ventilated and warm location. The best choice is a heated garage especially due to the harsh winters. Make sure they are on a nonconductive surface above the floor. You may also want to charge the batteries at period intervals during the winter storage period but you should consider the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations before doing this. Talk with your boatyard’s management staff regarding any electrical safety requirements. This is because it can be a good idea to use installed or portable heaters and air dryers on your boat while it is in storage. Finally you might want to consider the use of a “shrink wrap” covering system or tarps if you are going to be storing your boat outside during the winter. This can help keep rain and snow out of your boat. Just make sure there is adequate ventilation under the covering so you don’t increase your risk of corrosion or fungal damage. Following these tips can help you to properly store your boat in dry storage for the long and harsh winter. This way you can have a boat that is quickly accessible to enjoy during the following season. You can also talk with the boatyard or marina management since they can offer you any additional hints regarding the storage of your boat during the winter. By: Roberto Bell Robert Thomas is a recreational boater and is always happy to share his secrets with his readers. You can find information on boating items like Boat Lights or Life Vests and great Towable Tubes at Premium Power Sports helping and supporting the boating community.
 
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