As boating season draws to a close, it’s time to prepare for the winterization process. While this might not be the most exhilarating task on your to-do list, it’s still highly important. As you wait for the warm weather to return, you’ll want to be confident that your boat is safely and correctly stored in the interim. Remember that long periods of inactivity during the winter months can actually accelerate the wear and tear of your boat, so this process is key for proper upkeep.
Here at J&J Marine, we’ve got plenty of boat winterization tips to share with you. If you have questions or you’re in need of parts, service, docks, or lifts, be sure to stop by our dealership in Annandale, Minnesota today! We also proudly serve South Haven and Kimball.
Before you store your boat for the winter, you need to give it a thorough cleaning. You can start by washing the exterior and the interior. Your end goal should be to remove as much salt, grime, and algae as possible. After all, it’s only natural for these things to accumulate throughout the boating season. Don’t forget to pay attention to those small spots, like in crevices and in between seats. Once you’re done cleaning, allow it to dry before you wax it. You might think waxing is optional, but if you’re storing your boat outside, it’s best not to skip this step.
There are some essential maintenance tips for winterizing your boat. First, change the oil. Any acid or oil left behind can cause corrosion. You should change the oil filter, flush it out, then add fresh oil. Keep in mind that you need to use antifreeze for your cooling system. This is especially critical if you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing. Flush the system with a fresh water rinse. Next, circulate antifreeze into the cooling system until it exits out of the exhaust.
In order to prevent corrosion and rust on the moving parts, you’ll need to use fogging oil. Spray it into the fuel compartments, carburetors, and cylinders. The residue will protect the moving parts during the offseason. Lastly, use fuel stabilizer to protect your tank from freezing condensation. Plus, this will ensure your fuel is ready to use when boating season returns.
Now that you’re prepared to put your boat in storage, there are just a few more steps to follow. Remove your battery, store it in a cool, dry place, and be sure to hook it up to a trickle charger. If you don’t have one, you can charge it regularly once a month. Wherever you’re planning on storing your boat, you’ll want to invest in a breathable boat cover to protect from grime and dust. When storing outdoors, be sure the cover is applied very tightly to prevent snow, rain, and other elements from damaging it.