How To Prepare Your Boat for Winter Storage

How To Prepare Your Boat for Winter Storage

Summer is coming to an end, and so is the boating season. As we transition to cooler and shorter days, it’s time to bid farewell to your boat—temporarily. Most boat owners cancel their boat insurance after every season because it sounds like a clever way to save money. Yet there are still threats that can cause damage to your boat and watercraft. Winterizing and proper coverage are the most effective ways to protect it from the elements, vandalism, and theft. Here are tips on how to provide prepare your boat for winter storage.

Winterizing Your Boat

Winterizing is much more than draining the engine and adding in some fuel stabilizer. It’s an intricate process and if done correctly, your boat will be in top shape for spring. Start by checking the winterizing/storage sections of your owner’s manual. Or, follow these steps to help prepare your boat for the colder months:

Fuel Treatment: Make sure to add stabilizer to your boat’s fuel. After adding it, run the engine for 10 minutes to make sure the fuel circulates throughout the engine. If the stabilizer is not added, the carburetors and fuel injectors can be clogged with varnish deposits that ruin fuel systems.

Drain the Engine: Remove the water-pump hose from the bottom of the water pump to let it drain completely. If it doesn’t drain, the water in the cooling chambers can freeze, expand, and then crack the engine block and manifolds.

Fog Engine Cylinders: Aerosol fogging solutions coat the inside of the engine to protect it until the boat is taken out of storage. If the engine cylinders aren’t fogged, corrosion can form inside all over parts of the engine.

Oil Change: By changing the oil, this will help to eliminate moisture and prevent corrosion. Moisture can cause excessive wear that can lead to engine failure.

Remove Battery: Remove the battery and keep it in a dry, warm place until the boat is ready to take out of storage. If the battery is not removed, it can corrode over the winter months.

Out of Water Risks

Mother nature doesn’t have an off-season. Even if your boat is in winter storage, it is still susceptible to natural disasters like fire, flooding, and hurricanes. Also, theft and vandalism can occur and that, like mother nature, doesn’t have an off-season. These unforeseen events are most likely to occur in the winter months when boatyards are typically unattended.

Winter Boat Coverage

In addition to following the proper steps to winterize your boat, make sure you have the proper boat insurance policy in case the unexpected happens. Don’t rely on your homeowners or auto insurance either. These policies only provide limited protection and will not offer coverage to the basics such as cracked engines or theft.

In the end, the decision is up to you. However, we at TJ Woods recommend year around coverage. We understand that every boat is unique, let us help you customize a boat insurance policy that’s right for you. Talk to one of our insurance experts today to ensure you have all the coverage you need for winter