• March 15, 2024

Springing into action: Your guide to de-winterizing your boat

As winter fades away and spring beckons, it's time to get your boat back on the water. But before you can set sail, you'll need to undo all the winterizing you did to protect your vessel during the colder months. De-winterizing your boat is a crucial step to ensuring it’s properly functioning. 

Boat Safe provides a comprehensive guide that you can follow to prepare your boat for the upcoming boating season. Here is a brief overview of the steps they provide:

  1. Remove Covers and Inspect for Pests: Remove any covers or shrink wrap that protected your boat during the winter months. Inspect your vessel for any signs of insects, rodents, or birds. Utilizing an ultrasonic pest repeller can help deter critters from taking up residence on your boat without resorting to chemicals.
  2. Check Hull and Deck: Give your boat's hull and deck a thorough inspection for any damage, mold, or mildew that may have developed over the winter. Look out for scratches, scrapes, or blisters on the hull and ensure that the deck is clean and free from debris.
  3. Inspect Cables and Hoses: Check all cables and hoses on your boat for signs of wear and tear, especially those made of rubber or plastic that may be susceptible to cold weather damage. 
  4. Engine and Fuel System Maintenance: Change the engine oil and filter, inspect fuel filters and lines for cracks or leaks, and check and replace engine belts and spark plugs as needed.
  5. Cooling System and Electronics: Inspect and flush the cooling system, test the battery, clean terminals, and ensure that all electronics and lighting fixtures are in proper working order.
  6. Water Systems and Safety Gear: Flush the water tank, check the bilge pump, inspect safety gear, and ensure that all necessary equipment such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits are on board and in good condition.
  7. Sail and Rigging Inspection: If you have sails, carefully inspect them for tears or chafing, check rigging components for signs of wear, and lubricate moving parts as necessary.
  8. Trailer: If you transport your boat on a trailer, inspect the trailer itself, ensuring that it's in good working condition with properly inflated tires, functioning lights, and secure safety chains. Remember to have them check the brakes and wheel bearings as well. The brakes can be tested with a tow vehicle to ensure the brake controller is working properly.

De-winterizing your boat is a process that requires attention to detail and patience. Set aside ample time to complete each step carefully, and don't hesitate to enlist the help of friends or family members if needed. By following these steps and giving your boat the care and attention it deserves, you'll be ready to embark on another season of exciting boating adventures with confidence and peace of mind.

Happy sailing!



This article is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute and is not intended to take the place of legal or risk management advice. Readers should consult their own counsel or other representatives for any such advice. Any and all third-party websites or sources referred to herein are for informational purposes only and are not affiliated with or endorsed by Intact Insurance Group USA LLC (“Intact”). Intact hereby disclaims any and all liability arising out of the information contained herein. 

Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions, Intact Ocean Marine, and National Marine Underwriters are marketing brands for the insurance company subsidiaries of Intact Insurance Group USA LLC. Our solutions are backed by the financial strength of Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Intact Financial Corporation (TSX:IFC), rated A.M. BEST A+ | FITCH AA | MOODY'S A2. 

Coverages may be underwritten by one of the following insurance companies: Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company, a New York insurer; Homeland Insurance Company of New York, a New York insurer; Homeland Insurance Company of Delaware, a Delaware insurer; OBI America Insurance Company, a Pennsylvania insurer; or OBI National Insurance Company, a Pennsylvania insurer. Each of these insurers maintains its principal place of business at 605 Highway 169 N, Plymouth, MN 55441.