December 9, 2022
winterizing boat
winterizing boat

Whether you are a novice or a boat aficionado, it is an annual ritual to prep and clean your boat to help prevent any problems during the summer boating season. Let us share details of how to get your boat in shape for the upcoming summer season.

For Physical Appearance

Unfold your boat, and if it is a good quality tarp, then fold it away for next season. However, if you used shrink-wrap, then do not just throw it away in a dump. Be an environmentally responsible boat owner and send it to a recycling plant.

Always use a good quality marine paste wax. Not only will it make your boat shine, but it will also protect its looks for a longer period. However, do not use non-skid deck areas; simply wash them, and you are good to go.

You can use an acid-based stain and rust remover; be careful while rinsing them away. Do not use them over an aluminum trailer.

Replace your hull zincs, and DO NOT forget to stick in the drain plug to prevent your boat from being the next Titanic.

For Mechanicals

Inspect outboard cowlings to look for problems associated with condensation and rots. When you winterize your boat, the electrical connections suffer due to cold temperatures and humidity. Check your terminals, change them if there is a need, and use corrosion inhibitors for spray. It is always wise to get an expert boat electrician to do this bit for you.

Clean your carburetors thoroughly. A clean working carburetor ensures a healthy fuel economy and emissions for years.

Maintaining your marine quadrajet carburetor in tiptop shape will ensure it works effortlessly and avoid problems like hard-hot starting, rough idle, stumble under load, or flooding.

If opening the carb is beyond your expertise, consider getting help to rebuild it or refurbish it.

Your seacocks must move freely, and you can use lubricant generously to ensure this. Make sure you open those that need opening for launch and close the ones that need closing. Do not forget to check whether your strainers are clean. Run an inspection on heat exchangers for obstructions and deposits.

If you have a stern-drive boat, you must carry a thorough inspection on outdrive bellows. Make sure there are no signs of deterioration and cracks from the cold temperature.

For Trailers

Spray all the connections with contact cleaner. Make sure that you check all signals and brake lights. Test your brakes (if your trailer has them). Grease your wheel bearings, overhaul winch cable, check it for weakness, and do not forget to lubricate hitch mechanism.

You must check the tires, including your spare, treads, and sidewalls. Make sure they have proper pressure.

When it’s time to move your boat from point A to point B, it’s recommended that you check your truck towing capacity, hiring the services of a local flatbed towing company will help you protect your boat and avoid accidents.

General Safety

As a responsible boat owner, you must always ensure that all safety equipment, such as flares and fire extinguishers, are in working condition. Check PFDs and restore them in a place that is easy to access at all times.

You must also test the bilge pumps and bilge blowers. Do not forget to overhaul your anchoring gear and install the anchor for swift deployment when needed.

Some Miscellaneous Details to Remember

Apart from all the significant technical rituals to get your boat ready for summer, it is essential to remember some basics as well. Before you put your boat in motion, make sure to renew your registration and display all the needed stickers onboard. Always keep your boating license handy in your cabin or wallet. Last but not least, do not forget your sunscreen, toiletries, and bug repellents for a pleasant sunny sail. Happy Sailing!

About the Author

Alejandro Uria is one of the co-founders of Marine Carburetors. He spent years working in the media industry when he decided to turn his greatest hobby sailing into a business. Since 2009, he has used his experience in the online marketing industry to support his love for the water and help others in the boating industry.