The chill of autumn weather is beginning to be felt across our region, and while summer is not yet a distant memory, it is now time to begin preparing to winterize boats for the cold months that lie ahead.
The Boat Owners Association of the United States provides a thorough and detailed guide, including a handy checklist, for winterizing and storing your boat. In today’s blog we will provide you with a brief overview of these recommendations, and then provide you with the links to find more detailed information should you require it.
First, you must decide whether it is more appropriate for your boat to be stored ashore or in the water. In most “deep freeze” states, storing your boat ashore is prudent.
Determine what type of cover (canvas, synthetic, shrink wrapping, etc.) you will use for your boat over the winter months. A cover will help to keep your boat dry and prolong its life. Keep in mind that depending on the type of cover you choose, venting may be in order in order to provide some air circulation and prevent rot and mildew.
All electronics and flammables (paint, solvents, cooking fuels, charcoal, etc.) should be stored ashore and away from the boat. All are fire hazards. Remove any food items from the boat, including canned and bottled items. Prop up cushions or store indoors. Open various hatches, ice boxes, locker doors, etc., in order to promote air circulation.
Winterizing your engine is an absolute must-do, as engines do not do well being idle, even for a few months. Generally, engine blocks that crack and freeze may not be covered by a boat’s insurance policy. Unless properly winterized, moisture, acids and corrosion will wreak havoc on your engine, thereby causing it to wear prematurely. Consult your owner’s manual for specifics regarding the winterizing of your particular boat’s engine, and visit the BOATU.S. website for more detailed information about all of the topics mentioned above: www.boatus.com