Winterizing your vessel

During winter you cannot afford to take your vessel on the water. When the winter season is approaching this means that the boating season is coming to an end and this means you have to start taking into account ways to protect your asset. The effort you put in during this period will have an outcome come spring. The process of winterizing your boat will affect how your boat will perform in the next boating season. With this in mind you cannot risk losing your boat just because of negligence, and guess what? The insurance company too can’t help you in you’re your vessel is ruined out of neglect and lack of maintenance!

For your vessel to continuously serve you for a long time the best place it should be during winter is away from water and covered in a boat storage area which is climate controlled. This can be somewhat expensive so you can consider other options like shrink wrapping or provide a super protective cover for your boat. If these options are unachievable, you can also try covering your boat with a sturdy or tarp cover. Either way, it should be protected.

When winterizing your vessel, the first step you need to take is making a checklist of the operations you need to accomplish. You can also refer to your vessel manual for recommendations on the winterization process or get a professional to help you in the undertaking, especially if you are an amateur on the job.

When making your winterization checklist make sure to feature in the inboard and outboard engines, stern drives, fueling system, bilges, head, in and out of water storage, interior and the freshwater system.

The purpose of the inboard engine maintenance procedure involves; drain all the water in it, fill in a winterizing antifreeze or leave it dry. In case the inboard engine is a closed system, fill it with a mixture of water and the antifreeze agent. The outboard engine maintenance procedure often comes with the vessels manual. For the bilge and live well pumps, use compressed air or a non-toxic antifreeze agent to run through the discharge line. The process of winterizing the interior parts of your vessel include removing valuables, fire extinguishers, electronics, fenders, flares, etc., clean the vessel lockers and drawers, clean and leave open the freezer or refrigerator, check bumper pads, trailer lights, frames, and tires for corrosion. Before storage, it is advisable to dry your vessel and put in a dehumidifier or a moisture absorber merchandise such as ‘Dump Away’ ‘Sportsman’s Mate’ or ‘No Damp.’ After the maintenance process is due, you should now store your vessel in an enclosed or climate-controlled area.

With proper maintenance, your vessel will endure the winter period and when springs arrive your vessel will be free from any problems and will work as required.