The leaves are turning and the frost is forming. Winter is coming and the stark reality of snow and ice come with it. In order to have your watercraft ready come the summer months, it's important to winterize it for storage durring the colder half of the year. In order to get you and your boat ready, here are a few recommended steps.
- One of the first and easiest steps you can do to help winterize your watercraft is to fill up the fuel tank to just under capacity. You need to leave some room because as the temperature drops the fuel will expand, and this extra room gives the liquid a place to go without cracking or putting stress on the fuel tank. Adding a gasoline stabilizer to will also help prevent the fuel from degrading over the winter.
- You also should close the fuel valves. This helps avoid potentially destructive condensation on the interior. Any exhaust port and thru-port should ideally be sealed with tape. You should also strongly consider replacing the fuel filter and water separator.
- Coat your spark plugs. Now, in order to remove excess materials from the interior of the engine, we need to take out the engine flame arrestor, and "shoot" two-cycle oil or fogging oil into the carburetor while the engine is running. After that make sure the fuel supply is turned off in order to burn off excess fuel. With the engine off inject oil inside the cylinders. This process keeps your watercrafts pistons from being subjected to caustic materials while not in use.
- Next, use antifreeze to fill the engine block. Bleed remaining engine coolant from the engine block, and use antifreeze containing propylene glycol (It's environmentally friendly)
- Change the gear oil. take the lower unit gear case lubricant and flush and replace it (if you have an inboard/outdrive engine). This helps prevent water damage of the internal parts.
- Remove the battery, store it in a safe and dry place for the winter. It should be fully charged when put away. Just remember to retain the charge and water levels while it's in storage.
- Now would be a good time to inspect the prop and hub. Check for bends, dents, and bowed blades. Change and repair what's necessary
- Spray a moisture displacing lubricant on contact points on all plugs and bulb sockets. you might also consider wraping plugs with electrical tape to help keep them dry.
- Clean your boat. Remove dirt, dust, mold and debris from the entire boat. Any foreign particulate should be removed
- Finally cover your boat, even if it's staying in a heated garage. This helps prevent things like insects, mice, and birds getting into places you would rather them not visit