How To Winterize Your Boat
How do you winterize your boat? What kinds of things should you do when winterizing your boat?
By cleaning and maintaining your boat each winter, you can not only extend its life but you can also make it easier to launch it again in the spring. You need to not only winterize the inside and outside of the boat, but remember to be sure to winterize the motor, the hull, and the axles.
· Remove the boat from the water and hitch it to a sturdy trailer hitched to a car or a sports-utility vehicle. If you’re going to use the trailer as a storage spot for your boat, be sure to get some cement blocks to support the front end of the trailer in order to take some of the pressure off the back tires.
· Winterize the hull. Use a power washer or a strong brush to scrub the stains and sea creatures off the outside of your boat. Wash the wood and metal parts of your boat, and be sure to protect your boat with sealers, paints and varnishes, so your boat will not only last the winter but will be protected during the next season.
· Winterize inside the boat. Check the ropes, seats, life vests, and handles. Make sure they’re in good condition. If they need to be replaced or repaired, now is the best time to do so.
· Repair the hull. If you have any dents, dings, or damage on your hull, be sure to fix those now. If it needs to be repainted, do so. Paint the bottom with a tin-base anti-fouling finish. This will keep sea plants and animals from being interested in your boat. If your hull is fiberglass or metal, use automobile paste wax.
· Winterize the outboard of your boat. Clean the motor thoroughly with soap and fresh water. Lubricate all parts and store it upright separate from your boat. Be sure to clean off all the corrosion and rinse out your gas tank. If your tank is half full and you want to keep the gasoline in there, you can do that, but be sure to add a fuel stabilizer (only if it’s possible to store it near non-flammable substances).
· Tie a plastic cover over the boat. Make sure it’s possible for air to circulate inside the boat. Make sure it remains well ventilated.