The latest research shows that 11.9% of U.S. households own a recreational boat and use it at least once a year. Perhaps it’s your turn to hop aboard and leave the dock this winter.
Many people think that it’s not necessary to winterize a boat unless you plan on storing it for a long time. But even if you’re using it just once during the winter months, there are some upkeep items that you should complete to make sure your trips on and off the boat are safe and successful.
Keep reading for our guide on how to winterize a boat.
Protect Internal Engine Components
This requires an engine flush to remove salt, dirt, and other corrosive elements, as well as a coat of cold weather wax to form a barrier on the engine. Make sure also to check the internal engine components for leaks and wear and tear.
It is important to fill fuel tanks with fresh gasoline to prevent condensation and add a fuel stabilizer. Inspect belts, hoses, and wires for signs of deterioration and repair or replace any damaged parts. Finally, fogging oil should be used on a regular basis to protect the inside of the engine from condensation and corrosion.
Flush and Drain Cooling Water
Before beginning, the boat should be pulled out of the water and the bilge emptied of any water. It’s important to drain all cooling lines and the block by opening the blocked drain and flushing the system with salt-free water.
After that, all fuel tanks should be drained and the fuel filter cleaned before refilling the tanks with fresh fuel. Additionally, all water valves should be checked to make sure they’re closed.
Grease and Lubricate
Lubrication helps protect the moving parts of a boat, such as a propeller shaft, stern drive, and outdrive, from corrosion and wear. Grease keeps the propeller shaft, drive shaft, and outdrive bearings operating smoothly, which is especially important in cold weather.
Before lubricating and greasing, it’s important to ensure all areas are clean and free of debris. This will allow the lubrication to distribute evenly and reach all the necessary parts for effective winterization.
Clean, Wax, and Cover
This prevents damage from salt and other elements during the winter months. To do this, it is important to clean the boat’s hull and deck with a soapy solution and a soft brush. Then, a coat of wax should be applied to all surfaces, including sails, to help protect them.
It is also important to cover the boat in order to protect it from UV rays and other environmental factors, as well as to keep snow and ice off of the boat during the winter months. Lastly, make sure any gear you aren’t using is properly stored in a warm and dry place. You can also get a boat transport company service to secure your boat and put it in a dry place.
Steps on How to Winterize a Boat
Winterizing a boat can be tedious but is essential to keeping it maintained and well-preserved through the winter months. Take the time to review how to winterize a boat before you winterize, and ask a skilled professional for advice if you need assistance.
By following the necessary steps to winterize a boat, you will make sure it lasts for another season. So get to work and winterize your boat now!
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