4 Tips to Prepare Your Boat for the Winter

A boat, whether small or large, is an investment for anyone and keeping it in good condition during winter can help increase its durability. Properly maintaining your boat in winter is more than just keeping it in storage, it takes a bit of effort to ensure that the extended period of inactivity and the increase in moisture level don’t damage your vessel. Whether you prefer indoor or outdoor storage, here are four easy tips on how to winterize your boat and save on repair costs.

1. Washing down

A good thorough cleaning will help your boat weather the time off and prepare it for the cold conditions. Give it a good scrub with the right cleaner and don’t forget to clean the top side, deck, bottom and remove any portable items such as fishing gear. After cleaning use wax to seal out the moisture from the exterior parts and keep your boat shiny.

2. Prep the cooling system

Outboards and inboards will either have an open or closed cooling system, and they require adequate freeze protection in winter. Ensure you drain all the water and flush the cooling system with fresh water to remove dirt, corrosion, and salt.
If your area gets extremely cold, then consider filling the system with antifreeze to prevent rust and corrosion. Replace the old antifreeze liquid, flush the system and add a new batch to prevent clogging.

3.Protect batteries and drive belt

Consider removing your battery and drive belts for winter storage. Cold weather can cause the battery to self-discharge at a rapid pace which affects their functioning ability. Removing and storing the battery safe from winter conditions will extend their life.
Protect your battery by storing it on a dry surface and charging it twice a month. Before returning it to the boat remember to clean the terminals. Drive belts can crack when kept under tension for an extended period. Therefore, remove and store them during winter.

4.Top up fuel tank

Storing your boat for a long winter duration can cause condensation and fuel deterioration. Water build up cause’s condensation which can do severe damage to your tank. Filling your boat’s tank will ensure there’s no tank surface for condensation.
Adding fuel stabilizer before putting your boat into long-term storage can help prevent oxidation which is the primary cause of fuel breakdown. A fuel stabilizer works to avoid corrosion and the formation of gum as well as varnish. That way your fuel remains fresh and ready for next season.

The last thing you need is your boat breaking down next season. Winterizing your boat will ensure it continues to be a source of fun and entertainment.

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