Six Tips on How to Store Your Boat for the Winter

During the winter months those in the Northern Hemisphere need to consider winterizing their boats. Proper winterization helps protect your boat during the harsh weather of the winter so you can avoid costly mistakes and repairs once summer comes back around. Proper winterization also makes it easier to get back on the water once summer begins. There are six common mistakes individuals make when it comes to winterizing their boats so follow the six tips below to avoid making the same mistakes.

The first major mistake many make is failing to properly winterize the engine. During the winter temperatures can drop below freezing throughout the United States and Canada. Many Northerners are used to the issues that come with freezing temperatures, but those who live in warmer climates are often less likely to know the proper way to prepare their boat engines for the freezing temperatures.

Second is not remembering to drain water from the sea strainer. When it comes to properly winterizing your boat engine you also want to take the time to properly winterize your sea water strainer. If water is left in the strainer then it can freeze and cause damage to the seals. You won’t notice the damage until the spring boating season when you notice water flooding the bilges. This is not the time to find this out since it can cost you a lot in damages.

Third is failing to close the seacocks. If you are going to store your boat in the water then you need to make sure the seacocks are closed. If a lot of snow falls then the thru-hull fittings can be forced below the water surface. For maintenance of thru-hull fittings you need to make sure you connecting hoses are in good condition and make sure the seacock valves are well exercised. If you don’t have seacock valves connected to the thru-hull fittings then you shouldn’t store you boat in the water during the winter months. The only other exception to this winterization rule is if you have cockpit drains.

Fourth is having clogged petcocks. Rust can either clog or block the petcocks for the engine cooling system. You can use the wire from a hanger to clear petcock drains or you can give them a through cleaning. If you have petcocks that are severely corroded then you will need to replace them before storing your boat for the winter.

Fifth you don’t want to leave open boats in the water during the winter months. You should store any boat with large exposed areas or low freeboards upland. Scuppers, thru-hull fittings or even the gunnels below the water can be forced open due to heavy snow fall that increases the load of the boat.

Sixth you should never use bimini covers when storing your boats for the winter. Bimini covers are meant to give complete protection against sun damage but they can’t protect the boat from any winter weather. This cover will fail early in winter weather and don’t offer a lot of protection for your boat. It is best to use a shrink wrap system for covering your boat or tarps that will keep rain and snow out of your boat. Make sure that whatever cover you choose has good ventilation underneath in order to avoid corrosion or fungal damage.
Article Source: ABC Article Directory
About The Author:
Robert Thomas is an avid recreational boater and is excited to share his knowledge with his fellow boaters. You can find more informationsinformation on boating items like
Boat Lights and Life Vests and Towable Tubes at Premium Power Sports, helping and supporting the boating community.