Ever wondered why squirrels store up for the winters? All the hard work of playing explorers in search of nuts, under the scorching heat of the summers, is just so that they can have enough to consume in the killer winter season; after which they can come out alive in the springs again and have a gala of a time. Do you know why? Because winters kill! Don’t worry; this ain’t a tale of morale or learn-a-lesson, but a prophetic forewarning — winters are at hand, save thy boat! You heard it! We don’t even have second thoughts about the thought that you can very well take care of yourself in the winters. But can you take care of your boat? As weird or far from the orbit as this may sound, freezing winters can handicap your boat and its internal organs completely. No need to cry, for we know how much you love your boat and will do everything to make you understand about the concept of winterizing your boat and avoid losing it to frost bite. How would it help, you ask? Winterizing will extend the life of your beloved boat by protecting its components from getting corroded in the harsh winter. Read further about winterizing your boat.
How To Winterize A Boat
Things You’ll Need
The first step is to inspect your boat thoroughly and make a list of things that need to be repaired or looked after. If there’s anything that needs immediate attention; get it fixed. Leave the other things as they are, if they can wait till the next season. Now get hold of the things you’ll need for the winterization process: antifreeze, fuel stabilizer, fogging spray oil, moisture absorber, and boat flushing kit.
Don’t Forget To Clean
A cleaning spree should be next on the agenda. Your boat is going on hibernation through the winters so it’s recommended you clean it first, inside out (deck, cockpit, and toilet facilities), and save yourself the trouble of working twice as hard in removing the stains and filth off your boat when you raise it back from the dead in the next season. Thoroughly go through the exteriors of the boat, leaving no inch unclean.
Once that is done, as a protective shield to all the scum that can attach itself to the boat, apply a good quality polish (easily available at your boat dealer). Now move over to interiors and clean thoroughly, including all the timber and the carpets. To keep the insides of your boat free from any fungus formation, install a moisture absorber or a dehumidifier. Also, don’t forget to drain and clean the bilges.
Fuel Tank Care
Next, make sure that the fuel tank is full. If it’s not, fill it to full and leave as little room as possible. Now add a little fuel stabilizer and allow the engine to run for a good 10-15 minutes to make sure that the gas treatments have reached the fuel lines and the engine area. This will prevent the remaining fuel from spoiling itself inside the tank and the tank itself.
The heart of your boat, i.e. the engine, is next on the list. From all that running through the summers, the oil inside the engine tends to get all gooey with many impurities. It’s recommended to drain all that oil and replace it with fresh oil. Next, drain as much water from the engine as possible and replace it with marine grade antifreeze. Now spray the engine, including the carburetor with fogging oil to prevent any corrosion and wear out during the winters. This fogging oil is specifically designed not to slip off the surface of the engine and acts as a shield to the moisture.
Now to the outboard engine; first, flush the engine with fresh water and scrub gently with soap to get all the scum off the engine. Allow the water to drain and dry itself off the engine before you proceed any further. Now disconnect the fuel hose and let the engine run for as long as it can with whatever fuel that’s left inside. It’s important to drain every drop of fuel out of the engine. Spray fogging oil and wax/polish the exteriors of the engine to prevent them from getting corroded in the winters.
Caring For Other Important Things
If the boat is small in size, disconnect the batteries and bring them home. Fill them with distilled water and charge the water occasionally. However, if it’s a titanic that you own, disconnect the batteries and charge them occasionally by using the shore power.
Whatever electronic items your boat boasts about; don’t leave them inside through the winters or the next season you’ll either return to the damaged crap or return only to find that there’s been a robbery. Better take them home!
If there’s any fresh water tank or a hot water heater on your boat, drain the water out of them and fill them with non-toxic antifreeze. Turn on all the water outlets until they start to dispense antifreeze and then turn them off that very instant.
Don’t leave your boat naked under the weather. Cover it with a boat cover made for the model of your boat (available from your boat dealer) and avoid any crap from sticking to your boat.
Winterizing a boat this way will help it coming out in the next season, happy and chirpy like the squirrels. Don’t forget to read the owner’s manual during the whole process!