October 17, 2011

How to Winterize a Boat

Unless you live in an area where you are lucky to enjoy boating all year long, there comes
a time when most Canadian boaters need to start thinking about winterizing
their boats. Properly winterizing your boat is important in preserving and
extending the life of your boat and reducing the maintenance that may be
required in the spring.

During the off-season your boat should be:

  • Out of the water
  • Covered
  • In a climate-controlled boat
    storage area – since this option is expensive and may not be possible shrink-wrapping
    your boat would be the next best option for covering your boat during the

Boaters should check the owner’s manual for your boat and motor and make a checklist of
all the manufacturer’s recommendations for winterizing your boat and motor.
Depending on the type of boat engine different steps will need to be taken to
winterize your boat. If you are a new boat owner you may want to consult a
professional boat mechanic to assist you

following is an overview of what goes into winterizing a boat and storage procedures:

Use an environmentally friendly marine detergent or algae remover to clean the hull
of your boat. Empty the bilge of any excess water and clean it using soap and
water, or a marine-grade bilge cleaner. Cleaning the hill and bilge will remove
any dirt, oil, fuel or marine life that may damage the hull over prolonged

  • Drain
    and flush the engine’s cooling system.
  • Drain
    the engine’s fuel system.
  • Clean
    or replace the fuel filter.
  • Remove
    the spark plugs and fog the engine cylinders with a rust inhibitor.
  • Lubricate
    all moving parts.
  • Clean
    off any excess grease, lubrication, dirt or marine life.


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