How To Winterize A Boat: A Complete Guide

Whenever winter comes, people often spend time preparing everything they need to make ready for winter.

a boat

For people who live in an area where it gets below freezing in the winter and uses a boat as a vehicle to commute or to catch fish, winterizing a boat is a necessary job. However, many new boat owners do not know how to winterize a boat because this work includes several things you have to do.

That's why we chose the topic of dealing with winterizing boats to provide helpful information for you.

Why And When To Winterize a Boat?

Winterizing a boat basically means completing some maintenance checks each year. There are two main reasons why we should do this work.

First, it guarantees that your boat is ready for the next boating season. The second reason is that you can ensure your boat is not damaged in any way when the temperature drops below freezing.

fishing in a boat

There is no exact time to winterize your boat because the weather changes every year. When the winter is about to come or it begins to snow, you should spend time wintering your boat.

How To Winterize A Boat?

Follow these steps to prepare your boat for winter:

Step 1. Winterize The Engine

First, you need to flush the engine with fresh water so as to flush salt, dirt, and other contaminants out of the boat’s engine. Hence, the engine can be prevented from blockages and corrosion.

a boat engine

For older outboard motors, get a pair of water muffs or similar devices and attach them to the water intakes on the engine. Attach a water hose to the opening on the muffs, turn on the water, and let the engine run until the water runs out of dirty contaminants.

For newer outboard motors that have built-in water hose attachments and a flushing system,  you can attach a hose directly to the motor and let the water run for about 10 minutes because this flushing system can be used without running the engine.

Next, you need to stabilize the fuel. The benefit of stabilizing the fuel is to prevent gum and varnish, which results in hard starting, poor performance and reduced engine life.

Stabilizing the fuel by adding a high-quality marine fuel stabilizer is the easiest way. You can choose stabilizers like Pennzoil Fuel Stabilizer, PRI-G, or Stabil.

After adding the stabilizer, you should run the engine for 10 to 20 minutes in order to distribute the stabilized fuel throughout the system.

winterizing the boat engine

Remember that draining gasoline does not prevent varnish formation in engines since some fuel can be leftover.

One thing you should take notice of is that engine oil drains away while in storage.

As a result, this can make internal engine components to harsh elements in winter and can lead to corrosion and metal-to-metal contact which is called cylinder scuffing. Using a fogging oil spray to prevent this issue.

For some types of engines, you simply spray fogging oil into the engine air intake while it is running. Spray a large amount of fogging oil into the intake, then disconnect the fuel line.

Continue spraying fogging oil into the air intake and allow the engine to continue running until it stops. Therefore, the engine will put out a lot of white smoke.

boat fan

After finishing all the above steps, you can move to change the oil. If your boat has an inboard motor, the oil in the engine and transmission should be changed.

This is best done soon after you've run the boat and the oil is still hot. Hot oil flows more readily, and pollutants and impurities are suspended in the oil, making them easier to remove. It's also a good idea to update your oil filter at this time. You can drain the old oil by removing the sump plug and allowing the oil to run out into a drainage pan or a cardboard box lined with a bag.

Step 2. Drain And Replace The Gear Case Lubricant

the gear case lubricant

Warm up the engine to be hot before draining the gear case lubricant, so this will help the lubricant flow more easily and stir up any contaminants.

If you see the lubricant cloudy or if you see metal shavings floated in it, it’s time to get your gear case serviced.

Step 3. Store The Battery

battery of boat

Remove the battery and store it in a safe, dry place during the winter. Note that the battery should be fully charged when put away. Keep charging and maintaining the water level while the battery is in storage.

Step 4. Clean The Boat

In this step, you should check the boat’s hull for stress cracks and blisters. If there is any crack on the hull, you need to evaluate and repair it since it can cause serious problems in the next boating season.

clean the boat

If there is not any crack, you can clean the bottom as well as the interior of your boat. You can prevent future scum buildup under the boat by using boat wax. For the interior of your boat, you can use a gentle all-purpose cleaner to wipe down interior surfaces and get rid of grime.

You also can vacuum and wash any carpets if you see it necessary. If you see any mould and mildew, you can remove them with a mildew cleanser, such as Star Brite Mildew Stain Remover

Check the propeller and hub on your boat. Look for blades that have been dented or bowed, as well as general wear. When winterizing your yacht, replace any broken parts and make any necessary repairs.

Step 5. Cover The Boat

Dry storage is the best option for storing your boat, but it may be costly, especially in places with extended winters.

cover the boat

If you want another solution, covering your boat is a suitable one. You can choose your coverings among popular types of boat coverings like shrinkwrap, custom fabric covers or polyethene tarps.

Watch this video to know the way to winterize the boat:

We really hope that you will enjoy reading this article, and people who didn't know how to winterize a boat will find it helpful and can winterize their boat by themselves.