I might have posted this before, but you can never be too careful when putting your boat away for the winter. Even if you live in the warmer climate's where taking the boat out because of ice isn't a problem...its still good to do a number of the items regularly.
|Cleaning buildup from the pontoons.|
Taking a boat out of service requires the owner to take
preventative steps to prevent corrosion and damage to the boats and its
systems. In the Northern states it is
often called winterization, but in reality any time the boat is in a “lay-up”
situation for a number of months, the owners should take steps to protect their
investment. Most of the following items
can be done on the trailer, in the slip on the lift or in a shop. If you have a
larger boat that stays in the water you will also want to makes sure that your
boat is protected from the lake freezing by using bubblers to prevent ice build
up against the hull.
Each boat is different and the options and systems on yours
might need additional items serviced. If
you are planning on doing all the work, make sure you have a copy of the boat,
engine and systems service manuals.
By following a simple checklist and with a little elbow
grease, you can protect your boat during lay-up. If you are uncomfortable doing
any of these items, call a professional.
- Add a
fuel stabilizer to preserve both the fuel and the fuel tank for the
upcoming winter and spring months.
the engine, checking the timing and basic operations. This also
distributes the fuel stabilizer through out the fuels system.
the boat from the water and inspect the exterior for damage. Make and repairs or notes to remind you
in the spring and give the boat a coat of wax.
will need to protect the internal passage ways of the engine from
freezing. Depending on the type of engine and cooling system you may need
to add antifreeze to the cooling system (partial or fully closed cooling
systems). And/or you might need to
drain the water from the engine block and manifolds and refill with marine
grade non toxic antifreeze. This
can be done using an inexpensive flushing adapter, garden hoses and
the time you are flushing and refilling the cooling system, spray sticky
“fogging” oil in the carburetor or intake while the engine is running.
Fogging oil will stick to the engine internal passage ways giving the
inside of the engine a protective coating against corrosion.
you have filled the cooling passages with anti freeze and fogged the
engine, shut the engine off and inspect the lower unit. Remove the bottom
plug in the lower unit and remove any water that might be mixed with the
oil (hopefully there will not be any water or you might need more repairs
in the spring).
the throttle, steering and shift cables for binding and wear
anti corrosion grease to all fittings, linkages and steering cables
all the belts, hoses and the general condition of the engine, drive unit
and lower unit.
any items from the cabin that might freeze.
and food that would attract rodents and bugs.
some type of anti moisture containers (like Damp Rid) through out the
cabin to help reduce any moisture build up that could cause mold and
mildew over the winter. Often times
it’s a good idea to place the cushions and mattresses on an edge or lifted
up with small blocks so there can be airflow over more surface areas.
- If you
have a water system, galley and head, you will need to drain the water and
refill the system with non toxic marine grade anti freeze also.
cover the boat to keep out the elements, animals and bugs. Tarps or shrink
wrap doesn’t matter. If it’s too
airtight the boat will get large amounts of condensation leading to mold
and mildew. Make sure however you cover the boat it is tight but still has
Labels: Boat Insurance, boat maintenance, boat repair, Boat winterization checklist, boating safety, Encore bentley pontoons, evinrude outboards, Mercury outboards, pontoon and deck boat magazine, pontoon boats