While boat ownership is a labor of love and using it year around would be ideal, it’s not exactly feasible in icy waters and below freezing temperatures. With that being said, it’s time to start thinking about storing your boat for the winter season. With a few simple steps, your boat will be protected all season and ready to go when the weather warms up again. In addition to following these tips, ensure your watercraft is secured with a comprehensive NJ Boat Insurance policy.
Take it for one last ride.
Take note of anything that needs to be repaired or replaced before storing it for the winter. Getting it done ahead of time means more time on the water when spring and summer come again. Further, be mindful of any hull damage as cracks can get much worse in storage!
Clean it up.
According to Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, get it spic and span. Once it’s hauled out, remove the bilge drain plug immediately. Then give your boat’s hull and decks a thorough scrubbing to remove gunk, grime, slime and barnacles. Sea Ray recommends cleaning all your thru-hulls and strainers and opening the seacocks so any water can drain out. Leave plenty of time for everything to dry before it goes into storage. Be sure to clean out the interior, replace any mildew control bags and clean out the refrigerator and any lockers.
Prevent engine trouble.
Top off the gas tank and add a stabilizer to reduce condensation. Run the engine for at least 15 minutes to ensure the solution runs through the gas already in the fuel lines and engine. Further, experts at Markel Marine advise changing your engine oil and replacing all filters. Also remember to check hoses, belts and clamps, clean your strainers and leave your thru-hulls open. While you’re at it, flush the coolant system with water, if necessary, and add antifreeze, says the article.
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