Pro Tips: Winterizing Your Boat
The inevitable changing of seasons marked by shorter days and colder temperatures has snuck up on us once again, and soon long days on the lake will be but distant memories. Ski movie premiers are happening, new skis and snowboards are landing in shops and there is an undeniable winter stoke in the air. As momentum builds on what the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting to be an amazing winter it may be easy for boat maintenance to fall by the way side. The same winter weather that we love so much is the same weather that can wreak absolute havoc on your boat if you don’t winterize it!
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Chris Olsen, the Director of Service at Seattle Boat whose specialty is inboard and stern drive boats. Winterizing should start with a thorough inspection and cleaning of the entire boat. Inspect the hull for cracks, damage or anything that appears out of the ordinary. Then you will want to go through the interior and make sure everything is dry, clean and finish off the interior by applying a anti- rust compound on anything metallic.
“A comprehensive winterization is imperative for protecting your investment,” says Chris. Cold winter temperatures can cause fluids to freeze so changing your fluids and draining all raw water is imperative. After draining, fill the gear case with lubricant as well as add fuel stabilizer to your gas. Make sure to run the engine on the hose for 10-15 minutes so the stabilizer makes it to all of your fuel lines. Any water systems on the boat need to have had freshwater antifreeze added. Make sure to run the engine on the hose for 10-15 minutes to allow the fuel with the stabilizer in it to make it to all of your fuel lines. Lastly remove all spark plugs and spray fogging oil into the holes. This will prevent corrosion in cylinders.
According to Chris, shrink wrapping your boat might not be such a great idea depending on where you live. In temperate climates like Western Washington temperatures tend to fluctuate and the shrink wrap can act as an incubator for mold and bacteria to grow. Instead he recommends storing your boat in a climate controlled garage. If indoor storage is not an option, then invest in a good mooring cover and make sure it is installed properly.