Prepare Your Boat for the Winter

Winter is coming and you may need to give your boat a little extra care and attention this time of year.  Boats are like instruments and they need proper care in order to function at their best.  Harsh winter weather can destroy the interior or exterior of your watercraft if it is not fully prepared.  To be sure your boat stays in shape for when the weather gets warm again, here are some tips for winterizing your boat.

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The best place for your boat to be during winter is out of the water and covered with a sturdy tarp or some other kind of cover.  Make a list concerning all of the steps you need to prepare the boat.  You should seek a professional if you have never winterized a boat or seek a friend who has experience.  Always seek professional help if you have no experience before you try winterizing your boat.  Here is a general guideline for areas of your boat that should be prepped for winter.  Other resources online will have more detailed information.

Agua Dulce Storage boat

For the inboard engine, warm it up and drain the oil while it is still warm.  Change the oil filters, then flush the engine with fresh water.  Use a pickup hose from the water pump and circulate antifreeze through the manifold.  Start the engine and allow the antifreeze to circulate.  The water should exit the exhaust.  This whole process depends on whether you have a ‘raw water’ or an ‘enclosed fresh water’ cooling system.  Change the fluid in your transmission.  Spray fogging oil into each cylinder after removing the spark plugs.  Use either WD-40 or some fogging oil to wipe down the engine.

Another concern is the Stern Drive.  Remove any plants or barnacle that may have wound up in the lower unit.  Drain the gear case.  Check the oil for moisture.  If there is excessive moisture it could indicate that there are leaking seals that need to be repaired.  After removing plant life, clean the lower unit with soap and water.  Check the stern drive for cracks or pinholes if it has a rubber boot.  Check levels of fluids in hydraulic steering or lift pumps and grease all fittings.

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Now for the outboard engine.  Use flush muffs or the flushing port to flush the engine with fresh water.  Remove the cowl and start the engine, spraying fogging solution into the air intakes on the front of the engine.  Leave the engine running and remove the fuel line.  Continue spraying the solution until the engine dies.  Make sure to run the engine with the fuel line removed to burn all fuel from the carburetors.  Apply water resistant grease to propeller shaft and threads, then in the lower unit, change the gear oil.  Lubricate the exterior of the engine with polish and wash it down with soap and water, making sure to rinse completely.

You’ll also want to work on taking care of fuel, bilges, the fresh water system, the head, and the interior, depending on what your manufacturer says.  Also, whether you are storing your boat in the water or out of water matters.  You can check out to find more information on how to winterize depending on how you are storing your boat.  Remember to always consult your manual and a professional’s help before doing any work on your boat.

Agua Dulce Storage | 11715 Davenport Road Agua Dulce, California 91390 United States

These helpful tips will prepare your boat for the upcoming winter.  If you’re planning on storing your boat at a storage facility, it’s important to think about whether or not the storage facility can provide the necessary protection for your boat. Here at Agua Dulce Storage, we specialize in boat storages and we also understand the necessary measures needed for secure boat storage. Agua Dulce Storage is one of the best boat storages in Agua Dulce, California. To learn more about our storage facility, please check out our website at today!