Boats in Winter
Your boat is an important investment that will give you years of enjoyment, especially when you give it regular maintenance. Winter is a great opportunity to perform any needed repairs and cleaning before you put it in storage for the season. These five tips will help you winterize your boat and keep it in good shape year-round.
1. Clean Your Boat
During the spring, summer, and fall, you can get a lot of use out of your boat, and when there isn’t ice on the water, some people even will take theirs out in the winter. In any case, regular cleaning is necessary to prevent any degradation to the hull, deck, and engine. Over time, buildup of dirt not only gets more difficult to remove, but it can contribute to corrosion and deterioration in the boat’s materials.
Covering the boat with a tarp or hard cover during storage will help keep it clear of dust, dirt, and moisture. Cleaning before putting it away lets you get down to business without worry when the weather warms up.
2. Clear Off Corrosion
Cleaning dirt and grime buildup off might expose corrosion or rust on the boat’s structure. Blasting can remove the beginnings of rust and corrosion and prevent them from spreading. Deterioration on your boat looks bad, but more importantly, it can be dangerous. Corrosion and rust can eat away at the material and create weaknesses that may turn into chipping edges, holes, or leaks. Catching it in time can prevent you from having to replace your boat.
3. Clean The Engine and Replace Fluids
Cleaning the engine before putting it in storage will keep it running longer and more efficiently. Over time, oil and fuel in engines can leave buildup that, unless cleaned up, can end up blocking valves or pumps. When solid buildup blocks air or fluid movement, it can result in non-starting, stalling, or burning.
When you clean your boat’s engine, you can also replace the motor oil and the antifreeze to be sure the system is ready for use in spring. If you leave that task until after the winter has passed, any water that may have gotten in the system can freeze and cause damage to the engine. This pre-storage engine inspection is also a good opportunity to check out the seals and look for cracks in the components. Keeping the engine clean will help prevent corrosion and structural weakening that can lead to engine failure.
4. Take Out Engine Battery
Removing your boat’s battery before storage will keep it working longer. Leaving batteries in boats during storage might expose them to too low of temperatures. You should store them where the temperature won’t reach below 32 degrees. Be sure not to leave them on the floor either, since cold concrete or stone surfaces can damage batteries as well.
5. Repaint or Repair
When you have your boat cleaned, it’s a good time to have any material damages mended, or the boat repainted. When you’re planning to put the boat in storage for a few months, you’ll have time to give for the painting process. This way, you’re not interrupted during the use season, and it will look great when the time does come to take it back out on the water.
Boat owners in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut can schedule a consultation with us today to assess your boat and get it ready to make a reappearance in spring!