Written by: Elizabeth Jones
Warm weather is still with us, but it won’t be long before old man winter comes knocking and when he does, you’ll want to be sure your boat is protected from the cold to avoid damage caused by winter freezes. When water freezes it expands in volume and can push outwards with tremendous force. This expansion can destroy a water system, damage fiberglass, split hoses, and at worst crack an engine block. These types of winter damage can be avoided by properly winterizing your boat.
Winterization prepares a boat for winter/cold weather by protecting all water systems and components from being affected by temperature extremes. This process, in addition to protecting the engine, cooling components, heater, on board fresh water systems (head, sink, ballast, shower, etc.) from freezing, also protects against damage from condensation, corrosion, deteriorating fuel, and more. The smartest thing you can do to protect your investment is to have a professional winterize your boat. Repairs for damage caused by freezing temperatures are costly, time consuming, and often involve a complete engine replacement. And trust me, if you think it’s expensive to have your boat winterized and stored by professionals, you’ll likely faint at the price of an engine replacement!
At a minimum, in addition to winterizing prior to long term storage, we recommend that you have all maintenance items brought up-to-date when you bring your boat in, to ensure you will be ready for next boating season. This may include oil and filter change, servicing transmission or lower unit, servicing water pump, updating software, rebuilding propeller, etc. Now is also the opportune time to plan for any upgrades, upholstery work, fiberglass repairs, or even trading up.
Also note that this is a great time to clean/detail your boat – we recommend using Babe’s Boat Products – or have us take care of that for you as well.
Please feel free to talk to our service professionals regarding your specific needs, and for the do-it-yourselfers out there ALWAYS refer to your owner’s manual for information on winterizing your boat properly.