As the colder months arrive, boat owners should begin preparations to winterize their vessels before they're put away until the next season. According to Popular Mechanics, the winter storage period is the most dangerous time for a boat if an owner doesn't take the proper steps or precautions to prepare the interior, hull and engine.
This is due to the formation of ice, which can cause extensive damage to boats' most integral components that were not designed to withstand the cold weather and any accompanying inclement conditions. To keep you and your vessel free from any issues come its post-hibernation and launch time, meticulous winterization efforts are a worthwhile way to invest your time after boating season.
Most experienced boat owners have their own list of steps to follow when it comes to prepping the motor for cold weather storage. As perhaps the most involved aspect of the boat winterization process, there is a large checklist of chores for owners to follow and efforts should primarily focus on preventing the biggest threats to an engine: freezing, corrosion and fuel breakdown.
At a basic level, some steps to follow include pulling and checking the engine for nicks and damage, running it before oil and filter changes, flushing it through with fresh water, adding fuel stabilizers, spraying fogging oil in the carburetor and spark plug cylinders, closing off the fuel line and burning any remaining, and rotating the engine. The steps in this process may vary depending on whether your boat has a two- or four-stroke engine. According to Boating Magazine, engines should be completely drained - an important task that comes at no cost to an owner. After the engine, owners also might want to check the propeller blades and water pump impeller.
To ensure the highest level of protection for a boat's interior during winter storage, owners need to choose the appropriate covering that seals everything up after initial prep work and cleaning. Popular Mechanics recommends specifically that the chosen covering protects the boat's waterline; polyvinyl covers are often the most water repellent and mildew-resistant options. Preparations should include soaking up or draining all water, the use of mildew sprays or dehumidifiers and removing or waterproofing all electronic wiring and equipment.
One of the biggest issues owners will want to avoid when storing their boat is the formation of stress cracks in its hull or window tracks as the result of ice having accumulated. To properly treat a boat's fiberglass hull before winter storage, all barnacles and other contaminants should be removed with a thorough pressure washing cycle. It is recommended that the use of certain waxes will prevent hull buildup in future boating seasons. Any blisters that have formed in porous areas under the surface can be drained, dried and patched using epoxy fillers and coatings.
With the need to purchase materials, tools and potential professional services, the cost of boat winterization efforts can add up over the seasons. To see if we can help cover the cost of these operations, contact Aqua Finance by visiting our website today!