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Brace Your Boat for Winter: A Step-by-Step Guide To Winterizing

Posted by Boat Lover's Towel on

covered boat for winterizing

Your boat was built for water—but it wasn’t built to handle the bitter cold of winter. Below-freezing temperatures can do a number on your vessel, so it’s essential to winterize your boat before winter rears its ugly head.

Why Do You Winterize a Boat?

The last thing you want is to find multiple system failures when you fire up your boat in the Spring. When it comes to winter damage, water is the main culprit. Water expands as it freezes and can damage anything in its path. Mold and mildew can grow with salt buildup, corrosion, and dirty fuel.

How to Winterize Your Boat in 9 Steps

Now that you know why boaters winterize their boats, it’s time to learn the steps.

1. Change the Engine Oil

Never let your engine’s old oil sit for several months at a time. If you don’t change your engine’s oil before winter, acids can start eating away at your engine’s parts. Ensure that you put fresh oil in your boat before storing it.

2. Remove Water From the Engine

Get rid of any water in your engine ASAP. As mentioned, water expands as it freezes. If water freezes in your engine, then it can damage or destroy your engine’s components.

3. Add Fuel Stabilizer

Fuel stabilizer helps prevent fuel from deteriorating. When it’s time to winterize your boat, fill your tank up with fresh fuel and add a fuel stabilizer to it.

4. Fog the Engine

Fogging your engine is a simple yet crucial step in winterizing your boat. Just spray a protective coating of oil over your engine components.

5. Replace Gear Oil

Remember to replace your gear oil to protect your transmission from corrosion and moisture. Simply drain out the old gear oil and replace it with a fresh batch.

6. Lubricate Grease Fittings

Use a high-quality marine lubricant to coat your grease fittings. Otherwise, rust and corrosion can pose a threat. Refer to your owner's manual to find your grease fittings.

7. Clean Your Boat

Now that you’ve covered your boat’s internal components, it’s time to focus on its exterior. Give your boat a good clean from its floors to its trim. Use a boat brush to scrub those hard-to-reach areas and dry with an absorbent towel.

8. Power Wash Barnacles & Wax

Power washing off barnacles doesn’t sound appealing, but it’s an important part of winterizing your boat. Boats collect barnacles or other bits of marine life attached to the hull. Take time to remove these pesky creatures and follow up with a coat of wax for added protection.

9. Cover & Store the Boat

Don’t just store your boat anywhere. Strategically store your vessel underneath a durable cover and make sure it’s fully protected from any moisture. This is the last but the most important step of how to winterize your boat properly.

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