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Winterize A Boat

By Edited Feb 9, 2014 0 0

We got a new boat this year. It is cold outside which made the price just right, so we went for it. We want it to last for many years to come. Do you know how to winterize a boat, because for some of us it is past the time to do it. If you do not properly care for it now, you will pay for it come next spring. Now that you have pulled your boat out of the water here are some things that you will need to do to perform boat winterization before it is to late.

Basically, what you want to shoot for minimally are 3 basic concepts when winterizing a boat. First, anything that moves needs to continue moving in the spring. Secondly, anything that can freeze will need to be addressed. Thirdly, the fuel system needs to be treated properly. You can do this yourself or you can pay a marina technician, or a boat mechanic to do it for you. With a few simple steps you can learn how to winterize a boat yourself.

The first thing that you must do to protect the boat is to lubricate anything that can rust. Use fogging oil that is formulated to stick to the cylinders to fog the engine with in order to prevent rust from occurring. Spray some of the oil through the spark plug holes once the engine has cooled. While you are doing this you can go ahead and change out any spark plugs that need to be replaced. Change the oil and replace any oil filters as well.

The second thing that you should do to winterize a boat is to flush the cooling system. You can purchase flush kits from a boat dealer. Remove block plugs and drain the water from your inboard and inboard outdrive engines to prevent sediment and rust from accumulating. Pump in some anti-freeze to prevent ice from forming. Do not use car anti-freeze because this will end up in the lake water that you put your boat in. There is anti-freeze that is made boat specific to protect the aquatic life in the lakes and rivers.

The third thing that you need to do to winterize a boat is to focus on the power train or engine. You will want to add a fuel stabilizer and top off your fuel tank. This will get rid of any air in your tank that could condense and end up as water. If this fills your water separator, then you will have starting problems in the spring. Coupled with this, gas deteriorates into varnish and gum. This can get caught in the lines making starting difficult in the spring. If you didn't do this and it is to late for you, then add fuel water absorber in the spring when you get ready to use your boat. Check the lower unit gear case and lubricate if necessary.

Now that you have taken all of these important steps you can rest in the fact that your boat will run in the spring. You need to do a few more things to protect your investment even further such as storing outboards in an upright position, check water pump impeller for deterioration, check props for damage, and tighten any loose fittings in they may have occurred over the summer. You will also want to spray a moisture displacing lubricant on any electrical terminals, fuse panel, electrical contacts, and grease wheel bearings on your trailer tires. Furthermore, you should spray some carburetor cleaner on the backfire flame arrester.

Now drain bilges and leave the transom plug out and get ready to store your boat. Clean any trash out, clean any barnacles off of the exterior of the boat, and cover it up. Before you do this, remove the life jackets for the winter and allow them to air dry to prevent any mildew from ruining them. Taking preventative measures to winterize a boat is just a necessary part of being a boat owner. This will help you prevent costly repairs. There is no need to learn hard lessens as you go.



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