Now that winter is finally here, the time for riding your boat is over.
Another more critical step is upon you: protecting your boat for the cold winters by winterizing it. How do you go about doing that?
Listed below are seven steps on how you can winterize your boat so that it’s protected for the winter and ready for summer:
1- Remove Everything & Unpack
Remove as many items from the boat as possible. Take out all your gear, from pots and pans inside to lifejackets (you’ll put them back on later, don’t worry). The emptier your boat, the easier it will be for you to clean it out.
2- Clean, Clean, Clean
Now it’s time for the most gruelling part of the process: cleaning the entire boat. This is how you should do it for the interior and exterior:
- Wipe down the benches, lockers and drawers
- Scrub the carpets and the drapes
- Wipe down the control centre (but be careful not to make it wet)
- Wash the linens and blankets
- Pull out your fire extinguishers so they can be inspected over the winter
- Pull out your anchor and rinse the mud off the chain
- Clean the gunk out the scuppers
- Wash your sails with warm soapy water (if you have them)
Once the boat has been cleaned from top to bottom, remember to leave it all open so that air can circulate. It’s the best way to get rid of the smell while letting your boat breathe.
3- Shutting Down Your Engine
Start by topping off your tanks and stabilizing your fuel, but don’t overdo it. You’ll need some room as it will expand over the winter. Change the engine oil, replace the filters and check the coolant in closed cooling systems. You want to make sure that everything is in prime position so that’s ready for summer when your jump back on it.
4- Drain Out Your Tanks
Completely drain your water tanks and water heaters (once you have turned them off). The last thing you want is water to be sitting there, freezing later on. Make sure they are completely drained out.
5- Disconnect & Clean the Batteries
Batteries are one of those little things that can make a significant impact on your boat. So it’s best to disconnect it, clean it and store it away from the cold. Many boat owners remove the batteries so they can charge them at home over the winter, so you can follow suit as it’s a smart idea.
6- Running the Antifreeze
Ensure that you run non-toxic antifreeze through your engine, water cooling system air conditioning pumps, sump pumps, and bilge pumps. This is pivotal as it will keep your systems from freezing when the temperature starts dropping fast. Only do this once you are ready to put your boat away.
7- Tips on Storing Your Boat for Winter
When you have completed your winterization, you have to consider where you plan to store your boat or plan to protect it in the cold. Here are some suggestions that might help you with protecting your boat in winter:
- If you have a garage, use it. It’s the best option you have.
- Finding a reliable boat storage location within your city. You’ll have to pay for the service and the storage, but it is a viable solution if you don’t have the room. If the place doesn’t offer coverage, you can use a wall tent to cover your boat.
- Cover your boat so that snow does not infiltrate it. You can use plastic tarps, PVC tarps, or other canvas tarps that will add a layer of protection to your boat.
Following these steps can prove beneficial to you when it comes to winterizing and protecting your boat during the cold winter months.