Winter requires boat owners to store their boats till spring when the weather is pleasant for sailing. Deciding where to store your boat is the first step towards preparing it for a winter break. You can store it in an open-air storage facility or leave it in the water. Before putting it in storage, winterize it to prevent corrosion of different boat parts, vandalism, and cracked blocks. Here are a few tips on how to winterize your boat:
Replace Engine Oil
You should replace your engine oil since acids and moisture in old oils can damage engine parts. Start by warming up your engine to drain out the dirty oil. Replace it with high-quality oil as recommended by your boat’s engine manufacturer.
Drain Cooling Water
Drain any cooling water in your engine as it expands when it freezes, which can damage your engine. Flush the engine using water muffs until the engine reaches its normal operating temperature. Once all the water is drained, remove the engine plugs in the manifold and engine block. This helps you to avoid the accumulation of condensation during storage.
Add a high-quality fuel stabilizer to your engine to prevent fuel deterioration. Fuel deteriorates quickly, causing varnish and gum build-up in your engine.
Fuel stabilizers increase your fuel life as your boat remains dormant during the winter. Make sure to add fresh fuel to your engine to prevent corrosion. Run your engine for a few minutes to distribute the fuel throughout the system.
Protect Internal Engine Parts
Use fogging oil sprays to protect the inner components of your engine during the winter. As the engine oil drains, the internal parts are exposed to harsh elements that can cause metal-to-metal contact and corrosion.
Fogging sprays penetrate deep into your engine and add an anti-corrosive compound layer. This layer lasts throughout winter, making sure your engine is fully protected.
Take out all the valuables, including electronics and personal items that you may have in your boat. There is little traffic in boatyards during the winter, increasing the risks of break-ins. Removing valuables protects them from burglars that use winter as a good time to steal items from boats.
Cover Your Boat
You need to cover your boat with durable material to prevent exposure to ice and harsh winter conditions. Polyester or acrylic materials are strong and can withstand extreme weather conditions. Check the ounce rating of a cover as it shows its weight and durability. Buy covers that are strong and can last for many winter seasons.
Cover your boat even when planning to store it in dry storage where it is not exposed to snow or other harsh conditions. Use a light cover to prevent rodents from accessing your boat.
Regularly Check on Your Boat
Check on your boat regularly, especially after heavy rain, snow, or wind. Boat covers can be pierced or work themselves free, leaving your boat vulnerable to harsh weather conditions. Regular inspection helps you notice if your boat is exposed and put in place the necessary safety measures. If you need to reinforce protection, you can do so in a timely manner, preserving your boat for the spring season.
Insure Your Boat
Pay insurance for your boat even during the winter when you are not sailing. Insure against harsh weather conditions and vandalism during this time.
Protect Your Boat Parts During Winter
As winter approaches, it will become necessary for you to prepare your boat for the off-season. Drain the old engine oil, and replace it with quality oil to protect your engine from corrosion. Make sure to use an oil fogging spray for the internal boat parts as it penetrates deep inside your engine. Remember to cover your boat before storage to protect it from harsh weather conditions.