As hard as it may be to accept, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler, which means that dreaded time of the year is approaching. We are, of course, talking about the boating offseason. While not everyone chooses to winterize and store their boat over winter, it’s highly recommended — especially if you know that you likely won’t be using it until spring. Proper boat winterization and storage will help protect your boat’s performance and value.
In today’s blog post, Maui Worx would like to share with you some tips and reminders to ensure that you protect your boat this offseason and complete all the necessary steps to make sure that it’s in ideal condition come springtime.
Any water or acid that has made its way into your oil can wreak havoc on your engine. To prevent this damage from happening, drain the oil, change the filter, flush it out, and then top it off with new oil. Additionally, spray fogging oil into the air intakes while the engine is running. This will help protect the engine against rust and corrosion.
Flush Coolant System
Before putting your boat away, drain the current coolant and then flush it with warm freshwater. This will help remove any salt or other potentially corrosive residues. After you have flushed the system, fill it up with antifreeze — take note of whether your boat manufacturer recommends diluting the coolant. Doing this will help prevent parts from freezing and corroding.
Remove Drive Belts
To properly operate, your belts must be tight. Over time, and especially at rest, this tension can cause drive belts to crack under the stress. To prevent this from occurring, loosen your belts or remove them entirely before you send your boat into hibernation.
Applying some waterproof grease to your steering and control mechanisms is another simple, yet meaningful, winterization step. This will make sure that all the joints and components will operate smoothly come spring time.
A long winter of inactivity can be the death of a battery. Don’t let this happen to your battery this year. Disconnect your boat battery and clean off any corrosion or buildup. Since temperatures are not consistently below freezing here in New Mexico, you can probably get away with not taking your battery indoors. However, to ensure that your battery stays healthy over the winter, test the charge every once in awhile. If you notice that your charge has dropped below 75 percent, top it off with a full night’s charge.
Fill Tank With Gas & Stabilizer
Condensation in an empty gas tank can be corrosive. To prevent this from happening, fill up your gas tank with fuel and some gasoline stabilizer. After you have added the stabilizer, let your engine run for a few minutes to ensure that it circulates throughout the system.
Close-off Exhaust Ports
If you have an inboard powered boat with port openings, these should be sealed before long periods of inactivity. Failing to do this could welcome in birds, insects, and other pests that are looking for a safe and warm place to post up for the winter.
Believe it or not, winters can be hard on boat interiors. Organic materials like leather, canvas, and fabric can be damaged by moisture, mold, and mildew. To prevent this from happening, remove and store them in a safer, more climate-controlled environment. This also applies to any electronics on board. Also, while you are cleaning your interior, now may also be the perfect time to get your boat interior repaired. If you are in New Mexico or closeby and need interior boat repairs or marine electrical repairs, contact us!
Wash & Wax
Once your boat has been taken out of the water, this gives you the perfect opportunity to get a full view of it and to also give it a thorough washing, especially the lower parts that have likely been inaccessible for the last few months. After you have blasted off all the barnacles and other growth, clean it with soap and water and then finish with a protective coat of wax.
Lastly, to keep your boat protected from dirt, dust, moisture, and grime, add an appropriately sized cover to your boat. While you want a cover that fits snuggly, remember to allow some airflow to avoid moisture build-up that can cause mold and mildew. Adding a snug and durable cover will ensure that your boat is protected from the elements and wildlife all winter long.
Farmington’s Top Boat Shop
Need help winterizing your boat? Need a safe place to store your boat this winter? Want to take advantage of the downtime and knock out all of those boat improvements you wanted to do in the spring and summer but never got around to? Maui Worx is poised to handle this and more! View our services and contact us today with questions!