It’s nice to take your boat out in the summers, with a view of the sun setting on the horizon and breezy winds flowing through your hair. But, eventually, winter arrives. And when it does, you should prepare your bad boy for hibernation. To do so, you need to know how to winterize a boat.

Don’t know how to do that? We’ve got you! Carry on reading to preserve your boat in winter, so you can take it out for a swim when summer returns.

Steps to Winterize a Boat

When you get something, you should care for it too. Hence, here is how to winterize your boat before the freezing temperature sets in:

Replacing Engine Oil

Firstly, drain the engine. This is because, over time, old oil can damage bearings and other parts of the engine. Start by warming the engine while the boat is still in the water, making the process easier. The dirty oil will drain out, taking the impurities much more efficiently.

Following the manufacturer’s instructions, use high-quality oil and filters. Moreover, change the oil and filter prior to storing the boat for winter if you have 4-stroke outboard motors.

Flushing & Draining Water

It’s a common fact: water freezes and expands when it reaches its freezing point — and winters are the perfect time for that. You don’t want any damage to your boat because of that. Hence, drain the water from your boat’s engine. For flushing inboard and sterndrive engines, use clean water to flush the engine with clean water. Also, connect a garden hose to the cooling system and keep flushing until the engine reaches the usual operating temperature. You’ll find the drain plugs in the engine block and manifold; remove them.

If draining the outboard engine, open all drain holes before starting. Next, start the engine and flush fresh water into the cooling system to clean it. Continue rinsing for a few minutes to winterize your boat properly.

Stabilizing Fuel

Fuel deterioration can occur as soon as 60 days, with a germ and varnish buildup in your engine. Add a high-quality marine fuel stabilizer to prevent this from happening. After that, use fresh fuel to fill the tank and run the engine for a few minutes. Do this step when the boat’s in water or using a fitting designed for running engines with a garden hose.

Although it is not guaranteed that draining gasoline works to prevent varnish, you should still take the necessary steps.

Protecting Internal Engine Components

While your boat is in storage, engine oil drains away. Thus, use fogging oil spray to coat the engine and its parts with a layer of anti-corrosive compound. Otherwise, your engine’s internal parts might corrode as they’re exposed to harsh winter elements.

Replacing Gear Oil

Another essential tip on winterizing your boat is replacing the lower unit with a fresh supply of gear oil and draining the old one. Also, you’ll need new seals if water comes out first or the oil looks milky/lumpy.

Greasing & Lubricating

Usually, you can find the engine’s grease fittings in the steering mechanism area. You’ll need good-quality marine lubrication to keep them from corroding, rusting, or oxidizing. Make sure to grease all areas; check the owner’s manual for guidance.

Removing Valuable Items

The expensive electronics and other valuable items on the boat aren’t if you’re storing them away for winter. Since you won’t be there to keep an eye on it, it gives way to break-ins. Even better would be to insure your boat, whether it is on the water or not.

Cleaning & Waxing

Before you leave, remember to clean and wax your boat. You don’t want your precious vessel to sit idle and unclean. Cleaning and waxing it will help keep it in shape. Plus, it is helpful to winterize your boat!

Covering the Boat

Not everyone can afford or get dry storage for their boats, given that it is expensive. So you can do the next best thing: cover your boat with a durable cover. Or you can shrink-wrap it.

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve learned how to winterize your boat, you can take the necessary steps. Doing so will help keep your boat in shape. And if you’re looking for a yachting center, Watergate Marina Marina is available at (281) 334-1511. Call us now for more information!

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