As winter approaches, it’s important to take the time to protect and winterize your boat so that it stays in good condition and is sea-worthy the next time you want to take it out. Here are some helpful boat care tips to keep your boat safe and sound through the winter.
Clean your boat inside and out
Before you put your boat away over the winter, be sure to clean it thoroughly inside and out. Clean all surfaces, onboard equipment, and remove any perishable items. Inspect everything for damage or wear while you are cleaning. Make sure everything is dry before packing it away to avoid mold. You should also remove any accessories you don’t want exposed to the winter elements, such as life jackets, electronic devices, ropes, sails, etc. and store them in a safe, dry place.
Do routine maintenance
This is also a great time to do any regular maintenance on your boat, such as checking the gauges and hoses; testing the battery; inspecting the propeller, anchor, and hull; replacing the oil and fuel/air filters; checking the bilge pump; and lubricating any moving metal parts to protect against corrosion.
Check the fuel system
Check your fuel system for leaks or corrosion, replace the fuel filter, and inspect vent fittings, hoses, and clamps. If you discover any leaks or deterioration, you may want to have a mechanic evaluate and repair it before storing the boat over the winter.
Flush the cooling system
Use fresh, clean water to flush the boat’s cooling system. This helps remove any corrosion or salt residue from the intake of lake water or seawater into the cooling system during regular use. If your boat runs with an outboard motor, drain all water from the engine before storing your boat for the winter.
Protect and store
Make sure to get a high quality, well-fitted boat cover that will protect your boat from the elements – especially if you are leaving your boat in the water. Many people put their boats into storage or dry dock over the winter. If so, be sure to choose a place that is well-protected, covered, and dry. You may also want to run a dehumidifier if moisture is a concern.
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 an innovative 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.