How To Winterize Your Boat

You've spent the spring and summer enjoying your boat, taking out friends and family, fishing, water-skiing, etc., and now it's time to put it away for the winter. This is one of the least enjoyable parts of owning a boat, but one that is completely necessary. If you are looking for information on how to go about winterizing your boat, below is some information you might find useful.

Ignition System

You should make sure that the ignition system is completely switched off before taking the keys out for the last time during the season. If you leave the ignition system on with the keys in, you will drain the battery and leave yourself open to theft.

Battery

You should always disconnect your boat battery when you shut it down for the winter. Take the battery out and, optimally, keep it sitting on a charger all winter that will make sure it is fully ready for use when you reinstall it the following spring.

Boat Drain Plug

Remove the drain plug, and ensure it doesn't go missing by fixing it to the steering wheel with a rubber band or some string. It is essential that the drain plug is removed over the winter (especially if you have the boat in the water) to ensure that any water that makes its way into the boat over the winter has a way to drain out.

Electronic Devices

Take out all of your boat's electronic devices and store them separately. If you are not storing your boat in a self storage unit with climate control, this is even more important, as electronics are particularly susceptible to damage from weather (i.e. humidity and cold).

Interior

Clean the interior of your boat before putting it away for the winter. Having to clean out the summer's debris at the start of the boating season before getting your boat back on the water is a pain, and is just one more thing stopping you from enjoying your boat.

Hull

Many people neglect this chore, but it is a good idea to thoroughly scrub scum and algae off the bottom of your boat before putting it away for the winter. Leaving it on to harden and stain all winter will only give you more of a chore the following boating season.

Winterizing your boat is not enjoyable for most people, but it is necessary. Keep the above winterizing tips in mind, and know that you will be able to get your boat back on the water, in top shape, the following season.