Almost Time to Winterize - Here are Some IdeasOctober 18, 2018
If you are winterizing your own boat, here are some things you should add to your list to protect your boat from moisture, freezing or corrosion damage:
Drain your fresh water tanks, including the hot water heater and winterize with non-toxic antifreeze (AKA Pink Stuff). Winterize all other plumbing including fresh and salt water pumps and drains, air conditioning, refrigeration, ice makers, including all water-using appliances, wash down pumps, toilets, filters and holding tanks.
Change your engine oil and filter(s), lube and gear oil. Run and fog your gas engine per the manufacturers instructions.
Drain all water from your engine. Winterize the cooling systems with Pink Stuff. Check all belts and hoses, steering and trim gear.
Lubricate shift and throttle cables and linkage.
If your boat is stored on land, remove the batteries, check the water levels, bring to full charge with a small portable trickle charger and store in dry place. If you are in a boatyard and can plug in the boat for a day during the winter, batteries can be left on board with the charger ready to go. Just remember to charge them once a month or so and unplug the boat before you go home.
Top off fuel tanks to minimize fuel contamination with water from condensation. Add stabilizer if you don't use ValvTect fuel to prevent ethanol separation and potential gum up in gasoline engines and to prevent algae in diesel engines. More is better than less!
Remove, inventory, and store electronics that are not cabinet installed in a warm, dry place. Spray all exposed electrical terminals and junction blocks with a protective coating.
Inspect and store sails, canvas, bimini tops, dodgers, vinyl curtains and cushions.
Often the installation of moisture absorbing units and air treatments will help prevent the formation of mold and mildew while the boat is closed up for the winter. Try Kanberra, a blend of tea tree oil and natural ingredients which will neutralize and eliminate mold problems and associated odors.
Rick is a Coast Guard captain, National Safe Boating Council close-quarters boat-handling and open water boat handling instructor, Connecticut and New York certified safe boating instructor and a US Sailing-certified instructor. He also conducts on-the-water courses and classroom seminars on coastal cruising and boating skills. The owner of a 43-foot pilothouse cutter and an Aquasport powerboat, he has extensive cruising and one-design, coastal and offshore racing experience.