Now that boating season is coming to an end, it’s time to prepare for the winterization process. It might not be the most fun activity there is, but it’s an important one nonetheless. While you wait for the warm weather to return, you’ll want to be sure your boat is stored safely and properly for the time being. Here at Hughes Marine Service, we know a thing or two about boat winterization. We’ve gathered some key tips to get you familiar with the process. If you have questions or you’re interested in parts, service, or sales, visit one of our dealership locations today! You can find us in Danville, Virginia, and Kernersville, North Carolina.
Before you put your boat in storage, give it a good cleaning. You’ll need to wash the exterior and the interior. Do your best to remove algae, salt, and grime that has accumulated during the boating season. Don’t forget those small spots, like in between the seats and the crevices. Remove everything from inside the boat before you store it. After the boat is cleaned, you should wax it. This might seem optional but if you plan to store it outdoors, it’s a crucial step.
There are also a few things you’ll need to do in regards to maintenance. Start by changing the oil. You’ll first change the oil filter, flush it to remove any water, then add fresh oil. Remember that you’ll need to use antifreeze for the cooling system. This is even more important if you live in an area where the weather hits freezing temperatures. Flush your system with a fresh water rinse. Next, circulate antifreeze through the cooling system until it exits out the exhaust.
Speaking of circulation, lubricants and oils don’t circulate when your boat sits for a long period of time. As a result, you’ll need to spray fogging oil into the fuel compartments, carburetors, and cylinders. The residue that’s created will protect your engine’s moving parts during the winter months. Fuel stabilizer is also a good idea as it’ll protect the tank from freezing condensation. Plus, this ensures your fuel will be ready to use when you take your boat out of storage.
The last step in the boat winterization process is storage. Prior to storing your vessel, remove the battery and leave it in a cool dry place where it can be connected to a trickle charger. If you don’t own one, you can charge it regularly once a month. Wherever you’re planning to store your boat, you’ll want to invest in a breathable boat cover. Apply it tightly so that dust, grime, rain, and snow cannot damage it.
Hughes Marine Service is happy to assist you with all your boat winterization needs. Give us a call or stop by today! We’re located in Danville, Virginia, and Kernersville, North Carolina. We also proudly offer sales and service to Smith Mountain Lake, Leesville Lake, Claytor Lake, Hyco Lake, Buggs Island Lake (also known as Kerr Reservoir), Belews Creek, and Mayo Lake.