Preparing Your Boat for Cold Weather

Avid boaters know that fall is one of the best seasons to be on the water. Waterways are less crowded and there’s less distraction from the true beauty of where you’re cruising. While you might be looking forward to utilizing your vessel until the very last minute, winter is approaching quickly, which means preparations are required. In this article, we’ll explore the basics for winterizing your boat and keeping it in great working condition, even during the months you aren’t using it. Next, protect your vessel with a Boat Insurance policy.

Protect the hull.

Ice can accumulate in window tracks and hatches, which is why outside boat storage requires a high-quality cover.

Check the hull and look for stress cracks (common around the bow eye) and gelcoat blisters. Stress cracks can indicate structural damage, and anything serious should be looked at by a professional. The key with blisters is to puncture, drain, dry and patch with an epoxy-based filler made for this purpose. If your hull is aluminum, bang the drum slowly with a rubber mallet to knock out dents, says Popular Mechanics.

Next, rid the hull of any barnacles by pressure washing it before storage. If you don’t have a protective coat already, now is the time to seal your hull with wax to ensure unwanted creatures and sediment stay on the surface only.

Protect the interior.

Spray vinyl with a protective layer to prevent cracking during the dry season. Next, to prevent moisture buildup and mildew, allow ventilation from your boat’s cover. You can also use mildew prevention sprays and chemical dehumidifiers to prevent mildew from developing.

Tend to your motor.

Winter’s biggest dangers to engines are freezing, corrosion and fuel degradation. Pull the engine cover and check for such problems as frayed or loose wires, connections and clamps. Check the condition of all hoses and replace those that are mushy or that show cracks. Check the condition of the belts and adjust the tension if necessary. Touch up any paint nicks to prevent corrosion.

Next, flush your engine with fresh water prior to storing it. Change the oil and replace the filter, as well. Your boat will be in much better shape come spring season.

Lastly, be sure to add fuel stabilizer in your gas tank. Allow the engine to heat up and run idly for at least 20 minutes so that the stabilizer gets distributed and corrosion is prevented.


About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts, and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.

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