It’s that time of year again. We say goodbye to the warm summer evenings, and hunker down for winter weather (and Pat’s games, of course). There is a lot written about winter preparation for your home, but one important asset typically overlooked is your boat. Now is the time to start winterizing your boat! This means it needs to be stored and your equipment protected from the harsh winter elements. Not sure exactly what goes into winter boat preparation? Read on and follow these tips.
Winterizing Your Boat
- First, take it out for one more cruise in order to note any repairs that may need to be done. If you see items that need fixing or replacing, make sure to do so before you store your boat. Doing the repairs now means your boat will be ready to go come springtime, and you won’t face downtime before your first outing. Plus, if you do see damage such as cracks, it could just get worse over the winter.
- Next, clean it up. Remove the bilge drain plug right away. Then give the entire boat a scrub. Clean your thru-hulls and strainers and open the seacocks so water can drain out. Make sure to allow everything to dry thoroughly before you store the boat. Clean the interior as well. Check to make sure you’ve emptied the fridge, and leave all the interior lockers open for air circulation.
- Top off your gas tank and add a gas stabilizer. This will reduce the possibility of any condensation. After you add those, you’ll want to run your engine in order to make sure the additives reach the gas already in your fuel lines and engine. Many experts also suggest changing the oil and replacing your filters.
- Flush the coolant system with water. Drain your fresh water tanks and water heater. You may want to add a non-toxic antifreeze and run it through the plumbing.
- Remove all of your electronics, including the battery. Store them in a warm, dry place. Clean the battery while you have it out.
- Wrap it up! You may want to shrink wrap your boat before storing, so that the elements don’t harm to the exterior or interior. If you prefer not to shrink wrap, you may want to opt for a cover, which is cheaper and just as effective.
- Make sure it is properly insured! Now is a great time to speak with your agent regarding your marine insurance.
While your boat is in storage, check on it often. Make sure that it is handling storage well, and holding up under the elements. Many boat storage units will offer to check on your boat (for a fee, of course) but it wouldn’t hurt for you to check in every once and a while.
It may seem like a lot of work, but all of this will keep your boat in optimal condition, and you’ll be out on the water in no time come spring.
Boat Owners Nationwide Turn to Us for Marine Insurance
Deland, Gibson has over 116 years of experience in the insurance industry, with significant specialized risk coverage in the marine insurance field. Boat owners from around the country have turned to Deland, Gibson for their marine insurance needs.
Whether it is fishing the waters of the North Atlantic canyons or the North Drop in St. Thomas to cruising the Bahamas in paradise, you will discover Deland, Gibson will put your risks at ease and allow you to enjoy your time on the water.
As mariners ourselves with 116 years of insurance expertise; you can be sure we’ll keep you covered.