Winterizing your favorite fish-catching machine is probably one of the least favorite chores of fall, but knowing how to winterize a boat is an absolute necessity in order to maintain the longevity of your boating lifestyle. The individual steps may vary slightly based on the average low temperatures for your area and the type of motors or accessories your vessel may have. However, the major goals of draining the water from the engine and lubricating as many of the internal engine surfaces as possible in order to prevent corrosion or internal damage will be the same.
By taking the time to thoroughly complete your boat winterizing duties, you’ll prevent more expensive problems later down the line. At the same time you’ll be addressing any issues that are best handled by an expert mechanic during the off-season when they are less busy. This will mean more time on the water and less time that the boat is in the shop or with the mechanic come spring. As with any type of boat maintenance, be sure to check your owner’s manual for specific manufacturer instructions on winterization since boats and engines can differ.
Before you get started with the winterizing process, it will help to make a checklist of the items you’ll need. This list will include:
earmuffs or flushing kit
fresh water source
boat cover or tarp
- Remove the boat from the water using either a trailer or forklift. Check to be sure that the area where you plan to store the boat is flat and solid. Then, block up the boat using cement blocks or boat stands with plywood bases to spread the weight evenly. Improper blocking can cause stress cracks and other problems, so it's important to take the extra time to be sure your boat is blocked correctly.
All photos by Debbie Hanson
Once your done prepping your boat for winter, check out these great holiday fishing gifts for the anglers on your list!