How do I care for my boat during the winter months? Are there things I should be doing during the fall and winter months in preparation of boating season?
I know it's a disappointing time in our lives because boating season is coming to an end. Don't worry! There are many things you can do over the next few months that center around your boat. Many of these steps seem super simple, but if overlooked may cause big problems down the road. The off-season care process is crucial to ensuring your boat is ready for the water when it comes time.
Here are 7 Steps you should know when preparing your boat for the off-season:
Clean Your Boat Inside and Out
It is very important to take the time to clean your boat prior to putting it away for the winter. Best practice is to start from the inside and work your way out - cabinets, interior drawers, cabin, head, salon, hull, propellers, and shafts. You may even want to pressure wash the hull to remove dirt and other residue that have accumulated over the previous months. Make sure to remove all electronics, flares, and fire extinguishers before cleaning.
Choose your boat cleaning products wisely. We recommend BABE's Boat Care Products because they are dedicated to developing the cleanest environmentally safe boat products. You can always follow the wash up with a good polish to ensure you are storing your vessel in top-notch condition.
Inspect the Engine & Change the Oil
Why is it crucial to check the engine when storing your boat for the winter? It's the most important part of your boat! I know you knew that. ;) Check your boat's oil levels first. Flush the engine with non-toxic antifreeze using an intake hose connected to the water pump. Change the transmission fluid, remove the spark plugs, and clean the engine with a fogging spray.
Drain all fuel from your engine. Fuel can break down into a sticky substance and varnish can build up in your engine within a few months-time. Ensuring no issues, you will want to apply a corrosion protection to your engine – add a high-quality marine fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel deterioration. Then refuel your vessel and run your engine to disperse fresh fuel throughout the system.
Check the propeller for dings, scratches, dents, or missing pieces. Winter is an excellent time to have your propeller repaired or even replaced. If your prop just needs a good cleaning, apply several clear coats of antifouling. By applying this protective paint layer to the bottom of your boat, you will prevent barnacles and other marine growth.
Don't Forget the Boat Battery
Remove your battery and make sure to store it somewhere warm and dry. Once it is stored, the battery needs to be brought to full charge once a month. It's not too difficult, just don't forget to set yourself a reminder!
Check Your Boat Lines & Dock Ties
Inspect your boat lines and dock ties and replace as needed. Boat lines and dock ties weather and weaken over time.
Cover Your Boat
Re-cover your vessel with a durable cover, preferably 100% water proof and breathable. Simple tarps can work, but it would be beneficial to add a barrier layer between the tarp and the boat. Other boat covers are made from cotton, vinyl, acrylic, and polyester or you can always have a custom boat cover made for your vessel. A secondary option would be to shrink wrap your boat.
*You may also want to refer to Tis' the Season to Winterize Your Boat for more information.
Boat Lines & Dock Ties is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon Associate we earn affiliate commissions from qualifying purchases.
All third-party marks listed above are the sole property of their respective owner. No affiliation or endorsement is intended or implied. Boat Lines And Dock Ties and some products featured on the site are owned by the same company.)
(Remember to inspect your boat lines and dock ties and replace as needed. Boat lines and dock ties weather and weaken over time.)