How to Winterize Your Boat

It’s hard to see anything positive when storing your boat away for the winter. But while it’s certainly disappointing that the end of the boating season has arrived, believe it or not, there is something positive to be gained from it. By taking the time and care to properly winterize your boat now, you’ll be ready to launch that much quicker once warm weather returns. That will make you feel really positive next spring. Here’s a few tips on how to go about winterizing your boat.

  • Start by protecting your hoses and plumbing. Water in your hoses and lines can freeze and expand over the winter, damaging your boat’s plumbing. Pump out your head and then add antifreeze through your intake lines, discharge hose, macerator and y-valve.
  • Drain your fresh water tanks and hot water heat and put non-toxic antifreeze in your tanks and plumbing.
  • Inspect your boat’s propeller for any wear or damage, and repair it or replace it if necessary.
  • Check that your engine’s belts and hoses are in good condition.
  • Fill your boat’s fuel tank just shy of capacity to leave room for your fuel to expand. Add some gasoline stabilizer.
  • Change your engine’s oil, put antifreeze in your engine block and remove your battery for safe storage.
  • Remove items such as cushions, cookware and linens and wash them thoroughly.
  • Check that your fire extinguishers are still working and remove them from the boat for storage.
  • Clean your boat’s interior, wiping down cabinets and surfaces and cleaning your carpets.
  • Cover your boat, even if you’re storing it in an indoor facility. This will keep dirt and small animals from getting in your boat.