A lot of work goes into taking care of your boat. If you decide to take your boat out of the water for the winter season, make sure you know where to buy boat stands and which trailer wedge stands and pads you will need for transportation. However, before you can even get to the point of placing your boat on galvanized boat stands for the winter, you need to prepare it for storage. Whether you place your boat up on top quality American boat stands at a local boatyard or keep it in storage inside your own garage, winterizing your boat is an important step that cannot be overlooked.
Step One – Fuel Tank
The first thing you want to do is to fill the fuel tank of your boat just about to capacity. Make sure that you leave a little bit of room for the fuel to expand. Stabilizers should be added to prevent the fuel from degrading over the winter. There is a dual purpose to using stabilizer, as many formulas will also work to prevent oxidation and corrosion inside the tank.
Step Two – Prevent Condensation
Water is the enemy when it comes to your fuel tank. Make sure to close the fuel valves completely to prevent any interior condensation. Use duct tape to seal up any exhaust ports. Take this time to replace the water separator and fuel filter so it will be ready for use again the next year. This will save time when you begin making preparations to get your boat back out on the water in the spring.
Step Three – Spark Plugs
The next step is to do something known as “coating” the spark plugs. Add two-cycle oil to the carburetor while the engine is running. Shut off the fuel supply so you can burn off any excess fuel. Add oil inside the cylinders while the engine is off. Now spin the engine a few times to “coat” the spark plugs with oil. Make sure you put the plugs back in after preparation, but don’t connect the wires. This will prevent contact with air, moisture and caustic materials while it is not in use during the winter.
Step Four – Fluids
Make sure that the engine block is filled with anti-freeze. Change the gear oil in the engine. Flush out and replace the lower unit gear case lubricant if you have an outdrive or inboard engine to help keep the inside parts free from water and damage. Go over the manufacturer’s recommendations for winterizing your vessel to ensure that there aren’t any specialty items that require attention at this phase of the preparations.
Step Five – Battery
Your battery should be stored in a safe, dry place throughout the winter. Make sure to disengage the battery from the vessel and ensure that it is fully charged before you put it away into storage. While the battery is being stored, check and maintain the water level and charge so it is ready when you need it.
Step Six – Propeller
Take this time to inspect the propeller and hub on your vessel. Check to make sure none of the blades are dented or bowed. Also look for normal wear and tear. Change out any parts that are damaged and perform any required repairs while you continue doing the job of winterizing your vehicle.
Step Seven – Plugs and Sockets
Use a moisture displacing lubricant to spray down all of the contact points on bulb sockets and plugs. You can even wrap the plugs with electrical tape to help keep them dry during storage. This is an important step and it should not be overlooked.
Step Eight – Cleaning
The final step is to make sure that your boat has been properly cleaned before it gets placed into winter storage. Use a soft sponge or washcloth to remove any surface dirt. Only use cleaners and protectant products that are safe to use. Check with the boatyard or marina before using any soap on the exterior of your boat.
Take care in transporting your vessel, using the proper trailer wedge stands and pads. Choose top quality American boat stands, such as Brownell galvanized boat stands and other appropriate stands, jacks and equipment to properly store your vessel over the winter. If you need to know where to buy boat stands, contact Brownell by calling 508-758-3671 or use our online boat stand selector for more information on our products.