Ok, it’s coming up to the end of the boating season. Winterizing your boat can be expensive, so be sure to plan in advance and hunt for some online marine store coupons for extra savings.
Winterizing a boat can be a pain and burn a hole in your wallet, but here are some easy storage tips for your boat and prepare for boat storage with the proper winterizing supplies.
You can save a lot of money by doing it yourself and finding supplies online in advance. The two most important things to consider for winter boat storage are the engine and drives.
Winterizing your boat engine and drive is work. But remember, improperly winterizing will cost you more in the spring! Pick a nice sunny day and proceed.
There are differing opinions on its necessity over a seasonal layup, but I always add fuel stabilizer to my tanks before my last short trip of the season. This will allow it to mix well with the fuel in the tank before it hits the boat storage yard. Save money on this item by buying in bulk. Most suppliers let you buy by the case.
Fog your boat engine by revving the engine to about 1500 rpm and spray fogging oil into the carburetor. When the RPMs begin to drop, shut off the engine. This will coat the cylinder walls with oil and prevent corrosion building up over the winter months. Fogging oil is not only frequently a sale item in the off-season, you can usually find internet coupons for additional savings.
Change your engine oil after you’ve run your engines. Warm oil flows much easier. Drain as much dirty oil as possible. It’s easiest done with an oil extractor. There are several on the market, but any in a marine supply catalog should suffice. When changing the oil filter, be sure the gasket comes off with the old filter. You’ll have some cleanup after you start the engine if you don’t.
Drain the gear lube from your drive (check your manual for your specific style of drive – Mercruiser, OMC and Volvo tend to differ). Re-fill gear lube reservoir. One tip given to me by a 40-year marine mechanic is to always replace the gaskets and o-rings when ready to re-fit the oil and vent plugs. Your particular drive may require a gear lube pump. These items are not expensive, but will save you money in the long run.
Remove your propellers and examine them for nicks, or bends in the prop blades. Check the prop shaft. Grease the shaft with some quality, waterproof grease. Since security is sometimes an issue, take them home with you. I spend a cold winter day polishing them up in preparation for my spring boat launch.
Remove every drain plug on your engine, manifolds, coolers, heat exchangers, water pumps, and anything else that could have water in it (except the anti-freeze side of a closed cooling system). Run RV type antifreeze through all hoses until it comes out the other side of the block.
Disconnect your batteries. Best scenario would be to remove them and store them in a cool, dry place. If a battery replacement is needed, you can hunt around in the off-season for a good deal online.
Be sure to winterize other parts of your boat. Head, shower, fresh water, and air conditioner should all be properly winterized.
You’ve just completed your boat winterization and we saved you money by doing it yourself and giving you tips on saving money with coupons for your boat storage and winterizing supplies. These are steps to easy boat storage for the season and now you can relax while the snow flies and dream of your next trip on the water.