As boaters, we know how important it is to safeguard your vessel from cold weather. Boat winterization protects the engine, electronics and all the other components of the craft if handled properly. Block some days on your calendar this spring to take your boats out of storage and get them ready for the waters! Read on to discover how to properly de-winterize a boat.
Follow a simple checklist like the one offered by Boat Safe and refer to your owner’s manual – these are essential to getting your boat ready for action. Here is the checklist in a nutshell:
- Remove the boat cover and inspect for critters: sometimes bugs, rodents, snakes or birds may make nests on or in your boat when stored.
- Inspect and clean canvas and vinyl surfaces, the floor and boat exterior: a soft cloth, shop vac and power wash will take care of the cleaning. Check and repair any damages.
- Check the engine and hull: change the engine oil and oil filter, replace the distributor cap if required, and make sure the belts are in good condition. Inspect the hull and outdrive for damage.
- Refill the cooling system, and check cables: replace the antifreeze in the cooling system. All hoses and cables should be free from cracks and breaks.
- Attach electronics: perform a battery check, test the GPS system or any other devices.
- More inspection: Examine the bilge pump, water systems, tires, and the trailer.
- Ensure safety gear is in order: this includes reading expiration dates for fire extinguishers, checking signaling equipment and floating devices.
Don’t forget, it is also important to know the right time to de-winterize. The key is knowing when your area will see its last spring freeze. As long as the lows don’t get below freezing temperatures, you are good to go.
We all want to get our boats back where it belongs – in the water! The above guide will help you get there as soon and safely as possible.