Winterizing your boat is an easy but very important job. Prepping your boat for winter can be a somber experience, as it marks the end of the boating season. But it’s also a time to reflect on all the fun you had afloat on your Crestliner boat during the warmer months of the year. When you pull that cover off come spring, you’ll surely be itching with anticipation to get back out on the water.
What’s the very best way to make sure your spring commissioning goes smoothly? Even if you already know the basics of how to winterize a boat, use these winterization tips to make sure your pride and joy enjoys a safe winter slumber.
Make sure it’s dry
Make sure there’s not a drop of water anywhere aboard. Water is the main enemy of a boat in the winter, because as the temperature plummets, it can freeze and cause damage. Ensure it’s bone dry from stem to stern. Be sure the bow of the boat is slightly elevated, and remove the transom drain plug, so if any water does get in, it drains right back out.
Use the right materials
If you have any systems that require running antifreeze through them, like washdowns and livewell pumps, be sure to use nontoxic anti-freeze (propylene glycol). You don’t want to accidentally kill your first batch of live bait next season.
Fill the fuel tank to minimize the chances of condensation forming and contaminating the fuel with water. Then add a dose of fuel stabilizer.
Keep it dry
Make sure water won’t get aboard through the winter. That means covering the boat up tightly. Tarps may work, but nothing’s better than a professional shrink-wrap job.
Remember that good ventilation is a key to winter storage. If areas can’t vent, condensation can form, and mold or mildew can grow. Make sure your shrink wrap and covers have vents installed, and leave stowage compartments and lockers open when you seal the boat up.
Winterize your outboards
Leave outboards tilted down all the way. They’re designed to drain completely in the tilted down position. If you won’t be using the boat and motor at all for several months in a row, also winterize the engines as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Check on the boat periodically. There’s always a chance a mouse will chew a hole through the cover or the weight of snow will cause a tear, and if something like this does occur, you want to know about it as soon as possible.
Naturally, depending on the exact model of boat you own, where you live, and how the boat is stored, there may be other winterizing techniques you’ll want to employ. And don’t forget, you can always contact your local dealer and have the pros prep your boat for winter.
In fact, if you leave the chore to a trained tech, you’ll not only save yourself a lot of work, but can also have the engine’s seasonal maintenance taken care of at the very same time. And that’s one of the best ways to ensure your boat will be in great condition when the weather warms back up.