How To De-Winterize Boats: Spring Checklist

How To De-Winterize Boats Spring ChecklistIt’s almost that time to get your boat out of winter storage and put it where it really belongs—on the water! Like anything that has been sitting idle for so long, it has accumulated dust and dirt throughout the winter. Therefore, it is important to go over this checklist and make sure everything on your boat is running properly before you head out for long summer days on the water.

How to De-winterize Your Boat

The Boat

  1. Check the exterior to make sure there is no outside damage to the boat and hull such as gouges, cracks, or missing pieces.
  2. Check the battery to make sure it is at full strength. Also, check terminals for corrosion and clean and lubricate them with grease.
  3. Items removed for winter storage should now be returned to the boat. These items include boat seats, life vests, first aid-kits, anchor, fire extinguishers, flares (check expiration dates on flares and fire extinguisher).
  4. Make sure the horn and all electronics are working properly.

Boat Engine

  1. Install fresh spark plugs in the engine. Keep spare plugs on board just in case.
  2. Check the propeller for any signs of damage such as cracks, breaks, or dents.
  3. Change engine oil, check power steering fluids, and coolant levels.
  4. Inspect fuel lines for damage.

Boat Trailer

  1. Look for wear and tear or faults on the frame, springs, and suspensions.
  2. Inspect all the lights and turn signals are working properly.
  3. Check the condition of your tires, which includes cracking, trad depth, and air pressure.
  4. Check that the trailer couple, latch assembly, and trailer hitch are all working properly and there are no signs of looseness.

Are You Covered?

For smaller boats, such as canoes or boats with less than 25 per hour horse power, most companies provide limited coverage for property damage at around $1,000 or 10% of property damage as part of homeowner’s insurance. For bigger boats, you will need to purchase separate insurance, called a personal watercraft policy. To figure out how much the insurance will cost will depend on the size, type, value of the watercraft and the water in which you use it.

The personal watercraft policy covers the following listed below: Liability limits start at $15,000 and can be increased up to $300,000.

  • Property Damage
  • Medical Payments
  • Theft
  • Guest Passenger Liability
  • Bodily Injury

Also, you are able to purchase additional coverage for trailers and other accessories:

  • Trailer Coverage
  • Boat Coverage
  • Boat Covers
  • Docking Fenders
  • Communications Devices
  • Liability

Waking your boat from a long hibernation is one of the first tell-tale signs that warmer weather is approaching. It takes a lot of work to winterize and then de-winterize boats, but it is essential to your machine’s longevity. Remember, every boat is unique and requires its own special care. Not only maintenance, but also an insurance policy suited to your needs. At TJ Woods, make sure to check in with our expert agents that would be happy to help you find the right coverage to protect everyone important to you.