As fall draws to a close and winter rapidly approaches, the end of boating season has arrived and it’s time to start preparing your watercraft for storage. Whether you’ve got a PWC or a pontoon, there are quite a few steps every boat owner should take to ensure their boat weathers Canada’s cold winter and is fully operational next spring.
In fact, there’s so much to do before you store your boat, you’d be wise to make yourself a checklist. Check out Innovative Outdoors’ checklist of steps you should take to winterize your boat.
The Pre-Winter Boating Checklist
- Prepare Your Engine – Your boat’s not going anywhere come spring if the engine’s already in trouble at the start of winter. That’s why the first and most important step on our boating checklist is to make sure that your engine is in good working order. Apply antifreeze to keep the liquids in your engine from freezing and use fogging spray to prevent the carburetor and cylinders from corroding in the cold. You should also change out your oil to get rid of acids that may damage your engine during the winter. If any adjustments need to be made to your engine belts, do that now, too.
- Fill Your Tank – Another important step to winterize your boat or PWC is to ensure that your fuel tank is full. Condensation can form in an empty tank and freeze, preventing your watercraft from starting. To keep your fuel fresh for next spring, you should add in a storage conditioner. Filters for your fuel and your oil should also be replaced before you store your boat.
- Remove Your Battery – An important and oft-forgotten step to winterizing your boat is to remove your battery so that it doesn’t die. Recharge the marine battery and then hook it up to a trickle charger to keep it juiced. Be sure to store your battery somewhere warm enough that it won’t freeze in the dead of winter.
- Drain All Water – Any water left in the pipes on your boat will likely freeze during the winter and cause catastrophic damage! At the end of boating season, be sure to drain all water from your fresh water system, water heater and anywhere else. You should also disconnect your hot water heater for the winter.
- Clean Your Hull – Since you won’t be using your boat for a few months, now’s the time to get it nice and clean. Thoroughly wash sand and grime from the hull of the boat. If you discover any sizable chips in your hull’s paint, now would be a great time to fix them. Then wax the hull to prevent discoloration during the winter.
- Clean Your Interior – Another important step on your boating checklist is to clean everything inside of your boat. Hinges on doors should be oiled. Light bulb sockets should be cleaned out and an anti-corrosion spray should be applied. Cushions should be vacuumed. Bolts and fasteners should be re-torqued. If you have a freezer or a refrigerator, that should be cleaned out, too.
- Store Your Boat – Once all of the preparation is complete, it’s finally time to place your watercraft into storage! The ease of storage will vary depending on the size of your boat; you can probably find space for a PWC in your garage but a large fishing boat or a pontoon may require the usage of a storage facility. If you’re storing your boat outside for the winter, be sure to bundle it up in boat wrap and strap on a weatherproof cover.
Bring Your Boat Ashore With Roll-n-Go
When it comes time to pull your boat out of the water for the season, Innovative Outdoors’ Roll-n-Go On-Shore Docking System will be your best friend. There are several types of Roll-n-Go available to accommodate all different sizes of boats. Call Roll-n-Go today if you’re interested in purchasing one of our high-quality boat and PWC docking systems for use anywhere in Canada!