As summer sadly comes to an end, it’s time to prepare your boat for the off-season to ensure that it weathers the winter well and is sea-worthy the next time you decide to go off on an adventure. Here are a few tips to properly care for your boat during the off season.
Inspect and Clean Your Boat
Before you pack your boat away for the season, you’ll want to clean and inspect it thoroughly. Remove all the items from your boat before cleaning – empty out drawers and cabinets, and remove electronics, flares, and cushions (consider storing these somewhere dry where they won’t get moldy). Clean out everything, pressure wash the hull to remove dirt and grime, and scrape off any barnacles.
Perform Engine Maintenance
Now’s the perfect time to take care of your engine – change the oil (run the engine while you do this to help drain the old oil), check for leaks, and flush the engine with a non-toxic anti-freeze using an intake hose connected to the water pump. You also should change your transmission fluid, remove the spark plugs, and take out the battery prior to storage, so moisture doesn’t get in. Final step – fog the engine with fogging oil.
Check Your Propeller
Inspecting your propeller is much easier if you are dry-docking your boat over the winter. Check for things like bad bearings, corrosion, or leaky seals, and inspect the blades for dents or breaks. If you find issues, you may want to replace your propeller before next season.
Winterize and Store Your Boat
Be sure to get a high quality, well-fitting boat cover that will protect your boat from the elements. Most people will take their boats out of the water over the winter, so try to store them in a covered area, and consider running a dehumidifier if moisture is a concern.
Check on it Regularly
Wherever you end up storing your boat, check on it regularly, so you don’t face any unpleasant surprises when you go to use it six months from now.
Check out J-Tech
If you love boats, motors, and the salt life, it’s time to start training for an exciting career in the rapidly growing marine industry. J-Tech Institute offers a Marine and RV Technician Repair Training Program that will provide you with the hands-on training you need to start a rewarding career. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation with our admissions department.