Winterizing your boat… seems like a crazy thing to do to me.
But I’m kind of lucky in two respects. First, I get to keep my boat in the garage all year round. Secondly, on mild winter days, I’ll take my boat out and go fishing. I’ve fished the day after Thanksgiving and within a couple days of Christmas. At most, my boat may sit for a couple months during the outdoor season in mid-winter. The bottom line here is that my boat is used often during all 4 seasons.
I keep my gas tank as full as possible over the winter so that there is the least possibility of condensation in the tank. In addition I’ll put Marine Formula StaBil in the gas at the full storage mixture ratio. I use the MF StaBil year round but double up on the dose when the weather starts to get cold. I make sure that I add the StaBil late in the summer so I know that during early winter use, the mixture will be in the gas lines throughout the boat and motor.
For more information on Marine Formula StaBil, visit www.StaBil.com
I also make sure that the starting and trolling motor batteries are fully charged. At least once a month I’ll put the trickle charger on them after checking the water levels. Always make sure they’re up to the proper level on each battery.
So when do you winterize your boat? Here’s what Boat US has to say about that…..
Damage Prevention Tip of the Month:
No One Likes to Be Left Out in the Cold — Including Your Boat When is the Best Time to Winterize?
Of all 50 states, which would you guess had the most freeze-related claims? New York? Maine? Michigan? Guess again. An examination of the BoatU.S. Marine Insurance claim files found that balmy California had more winterizing claims than any other state, including any of the “deep freeze” states. While winters may be much colder in the deep-freeze states, the bitter temperatures are a fact of life and preparations for winter are taken very seriously. But in the more temperate states, like California, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia, winter tends to be relatively comfortable in most areas with only an occasional cold spell. And if the forecasts aren’t taken seriously, they can do a lot of damage.
Boats that are stored out of the water — on trailers or in a boatyard — are even more susceptible to hard freezes since they’re exposed all over to freezing air temperatures and don’t have the water’s moderating influence. A sudden freeze is more likely to crack an engine block or ruin a fresh water system. It’s best to winterize your boat well before the earliest possible freeze. You can check for the average dates of the first freeze in your area at gardening websites, but remember, these are averages and an early freeze can destroy an expensive engine.
For more information and boating tips, visit Boat US’ website at www.BoatUS.com