How to Prepare Your Boat for Winter
Taking the time to prepare your boat for winter is crucial, especially in areas with extreme weather and temperatures. Performing a few simple maintenance duties beforehand can save you a lot of money in repair work later on. Find a suitable boat storage facility that you feel comfortable leaving your boat for the winter months.
1. Drain Water Tanks
Drain all the water out of your boat and run antifreeze through the pipes to prevent freezing and cracking.
2. Change the Oil
Flush out the old engine oil and replace it with fresh oil and a new filter.
3. Flush the Coolant System
Drain your engine’s coolant system and flush it out with fresh water.
4. Change the Antifreeze
After your engine has been properly flushed, fill it with new antifreeze.
5. Fog the Engine
Spray fogging oil through the air intake to coat the engine. Use a rag to apply fogging oil to exposed parts of the engine as well.
6. Fill the Gas Tank
An empty gas tank is likely to get damaged during the winter. Fill your tank with fuel before storing your boat, and add a fuel stabilizer. Run the engine for a little while to pump the stabilizer through the entire system.
7. Remove Drain Plugs
If your boat has a sterndrive or inboard engine, it probably has a few drain plugs. Be sure to remove all these plugs and allow the fluid to drain before winter storage.
8. Loosen Drive Belts
Leaving your boat’s drive belts in tension during the cold months could result in cracks and other damage. Significantly loosen the belts before storage or remove them completely and store them in a climate controlled environment.