As the leaves turn brown and crispy while colder winds start to whip whitecaps towards your lakeside paradise, the changes in the weather should remind you it’s time to move your boat to its winter storage spot. You want to protect your investment as much as possible, which means winterizing your boat every year. This means getting the boat out of the water, cleaning off all of the muck, grime and algae, and then taking it to its winter home where it sits for the next few months.
Take your boat out of the water as soon as it becomes too cold for you to go boating. Most definitely get your boat away from the water before temperatures dip below freezing with regularity. Depending on where you live, this could be from early October into late November.
Once you get your boat out of the water, there are several things you have to do so, it remains in good shape for the next several months. Briefly inspect your boat for water damage, barnacles, algae, scrapes and anything that looks awry.
Start winterizing your boat by draining the old oil and replacing it with fresh oil. Replace the oil filter as well. Stabilize the fuel left in your engine and change the fuel filter. Flush the engine with non-toxic antifreeze for a few minutes to help remove any water that got into the system.
If your boat has a fresh water tank or a hot water heater, completely remove the water from both systems. Put non-toxic antifreeze through these systems by turning on the water until you see the antifreeze coming out of the faucet. Antifreeze in the engine and water systems helps protect your boat’s vital systems from water damage, such as rust, salt buildup and corrosion that can shorten the life of the conveniences on your yacht.
Lubricate as many moving parts as possible. Consider replacing the transmission fluid and lubricating the spark plug cylinders. Wipe down the entire engine with a light coat of fogging oil to remove any water and protect your boat’s engine from possible rust, corrosion and water damage.
One important step during winterization is to remove any algae, barnacles and other gunk on the outside of the hull. Power wash the fiberglass after you get the boat out of the water. Dry thoroughly, and then apply a coat of special boat wax to protect the hull while the boat is in storage. Wax also deprives any remaining algae of oxygen so, these tiny life forms die before growing into a nuisance.
A climate-controlled space represents the best place to store your boat during its idle months. This means at a special boat storage space or inside your garage on your own property. Climate controls keep the fluids the proper temperature and will prevent any damage caused by the weather.
A good boat cover comes in handy so the interior remains free of dust. Covering your boat also protects it during your transit time from the pier to the storage unit. Take a few more precautions to keep your boat safe in its winter home.
- Use a special storage rack or a boat trailer.
- Maintain proper air pressure in the trailer tires.
- Stabilize the trailer on level ground
- Block the trailer tires to prevent rolling.
There is one other vital precaution that protects your major investment year-round, whether your boat is in storage or not.
Boat and Yacht Insurance
Boat and yacht insurance keeps you covered from the unexpected things that you may encounter as a boat owner. You fully expect to winterize your boat every winter. What you may not count on is the damage caused by fires or weather. Insurance policies may also cover accidents caused by drivers as you transport your boat to and from storage, and it might cover damage caused by other boaters who lack insurance.
Boat and yacht insurance differ based on the size of your watercraft. One aspect of this type insurance is that companies require you to maintain your boat properly, and that includes winterizing your baby. Insurance companies have an investment in their customers, too, so they want to know you have a solid grasp on what it takes to own a boat.
Coverage You Can Count On
The experts at Marine Agency Insurance know what kind of coverage suits your needs the best, whether you own a 50-foot yacht, a three-hulled catamaran, a speedboat, a two-person fishing boat or a personal watercraft. If you need to use your coverage at any point, we’ll have you back on the water in no time, so you don’t miss any more days on the water than is necessary to take care of business. Contact us today and we’ll give you an insurance quote, talk safety tips and determine the best way to cover your boat for when the unexpected happens.