You have had many summer jets and sea days. But when this boating season ends, it is important to get your boat ready for the coming winter months. Taking care of your boat through the icy winter temperatures is just as important as taking care of it during the summer months. So to help, we've put together a "winter list for a boat checklist." Then review these steps to overwinter a boat.
1. Adjust fuel and fluid levels. An easy way to start getting your boat ready for winter is by:
- Filling the fuel tank – but leaving enough room for expansion.
- Then treat the fuel with a stabilizer. (Run the engine for about 10 minutes to confirm that it is circulating throughout the engine.)
- Then close the fuel valves.
- Complete this part of the process by changing the oil and any filters.
2. Prepare the engine for storage. Taking care of the engine now will keep it in better shape for the next boating season. Overwintering the engine:
- Rinse the engine with fresh water. Then let everything drain.
- Wash the engine with soap and water. Rinse thoroughly.
- Remove the battery and store it in a safe, dry place. (Note: The battery should be fully charged before storing.)
- Mist the engine cylinders with an aerosol dimming solution.
- Lubricate engine grease fittings.
- Flush the cooling system by draining any remaining coolant.
- 19659010] Then run a less toxic antifreeze for propylene glycol through the cooling system.
3. Clean, wax and repair. With your boat out of the water, you can easily inspect it from top to bottom. Start with:
- Remove all valuables from inside the boat.
- Clean the inside of the boat, remove food or drink.
- Bring pillows home and store them in a climate-controlled environment. (Consider buying a dehumidifier for the storage space to draw excess moisture from the air, which can help prevent mold.)
- Wash the boat, remove any plant or bird life, and then wax the outside of the boat.
- Check the boat for any damage that should be repaired.
4. Store it, lock it and check it. After preparing your boat for storage, you are finally ready to store it. Some useful tips include:
- Covers your boat at the storage location.
- Locks your boat and leaves a key with the harbor master (if applicable).
- Checks your boat regularly or has the port staff check and report to you.
Our comprehensive watercraft coverage can give you peace of mind all year round. Talk to an agent about a policy and then use our spring boat checklist when you are ready to enjoy the open water again.