As winter sets in, storing your boat safely will ensure that it is seaworthy (or lake-worthy) next summer. The winter cold, especially in areas where temperatures hit subzero, can damage your boat. Here are some effective tips to protect your prized boat from winter damage.
Draining the Fluids
Remove absolutely all the fluids in your boat. Take her out of the water and drain out all the water from the water tanks, bilge, pipes and seacocks. If necessary, raise the bow in order to accelerate the drainage process. Protect your electronic water heater by removing its “in” and “out” lines and connecting those together. To prevent damage, spray the bilge with a good moisture-displacing lubricant which helps keep dampness away. If winter temperatures will go below freezing, use antifreeze in the water tanks and bilge to prevent freezing.
Giving your boat a good clean is a great way to get rid of weeds, mussels or barnacles that have might have attached to the hull. Repair any signs of blistering on the fiberglass. Inside, open all the lockers, drawers, refrigerators and freezers and clean them out so they don’t get musty. A good coat of wax will help to keep out mold and mildew while protecting the paint.
Lubricating the steering system and control mechanism before storage will help to keep things moving and will prevent rust. Apply a layer of moisture-displacing lubricant on every moving metal part, such as hinges, latches, linkages etc.
Keep your Motor Running
Flush the engine with fresh water to remove the dirt, salt and corrosion and then refill the coolant system with antifreeze. Apply fogging oil on the carburetor and spark plug holes and remove the drive belts to avoid breaking due to tension.
Follow green boating tips while sailing, keep the inside and outside clean the machinery well maintained and repair any damages immediately so that your boat is always ready to go.