How To Prepare Your Boat For Winter

October 13, 2020

If you own a cottage by a lake or a boat, there is a good chance that you hate the winter. The water freezes over, you lose the ability to do a lot of summer activities, and you have to close up the boat.

When looking after your boat, it is not okay to just take it, put a cover on it and leave it. There are a few things that you have to do to ensure that your boat will survive till the next summer. Here are some ways on how you can prepare your boat for winter.

Take It Out of the Water

If you do not have a bubbler installed in the lake to keep the area around your boat from freezing, you will have to take it out of the water. If the water around your boat were to freeze, it would cause significant damage to the hull integrity and the engine. How can you remove a boat from the water, though?

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If it has to come out of the water, you are going to have to look into getting a boat lift. It will help get the boat out of the water and allow you to store it either at a marina or in a garage. When deciding on a lift, make sure that you speak with boat lift manufacturers to ensure that the lift you are getting will work with the boat that you have. The last thing you want is to find out your boat is either too big or too small for what you purchased. Take your boat out of the water and keep it away from the ice.

Remove and Cover all Electronics

Nowadays, boats are crammed with technology and other devices that will help with navigation. However, the one problem with these devices is that the cold can damage them, especially if they freeze over. You have two options to combat this. The first would be to remove the electronics altogether. Some boat manufacturers are aware of the cold and will allow you to remove the electronics from the boat easily.

If the panel does not remove, you need to find a way to cover it. While boats do have covers for their electronic panels, you might want to go a step further and get an insulating cover for them. This will trap heat inside and keep the cold out, ensuring that your electronics will not freeze when the cold weather hits.

Drain All Water in the Boat

As boats are on the water every day, there will be some water that finds its way onto the boat. While it might dry up when the season ends, there could still be some small puddles here and there inside the boat. As water freezes, it expands, and these puddles that conformed to the shape of your boat can now begin to protrude into it. Take the time to drain all the water and soak up any small remnants of water. It might be a little tedious to do, but it will ensure that your boat stays safe over the winter.

Wax and Paint

By the end of the season, your boat will have gone through a lot. The wax layer will be starting to deteriorate and the paint will begin to fade due to the water and the sunlight. When you pull the boat out of the water, this is the best time to get everything redone on it. Getting the wax layer reapplied ensures that it will work properly come the following summer, and you won’t have to worry about anything at all.

Clean the Engine

While it is highly recommended that you clean your engine throughout the summer, you won’t be able to give it a full clean as long as it is in the water. Once it comes out, you will finally be able to get right into there, cleaning away all of the gunk and getting rid of any rust and corrosion that might begin to form. By doing this, you can greatly increase the shelf life of your engine and keep your boat running properly for a longer period of time.

These are all methods that you should take when preparing your boat for the winter. While all of this might get a little annoying, the more care you give, the longer it will last. Boats are not cheaper, and any repairs will run you a ton of money. When summer comes, get your boat off the lift and take it for a spin around the lake. It will run perfectly fine and look great as well with a new coat of paint and wax.

Photo credit: 1) The Coronet on the Harlem River. 2) Harlem boat.

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