3 Vital Steps for Winterizing Your New Boat

Did you purchase a boat this past summer? Are you wondering what to do now that fishing or boating season is over for the year? Proper maintenance of your boat will help to keep it in good condition for next year. While these steps aren't especially difficult, there are some things that are more important than others. These things include:

Putting it in storage. Because a boat is meant to go in the water, you might be tempted to think that it can stay there indefinitely. However, this is actually a great way for a boat to become damaged. Whether the boat is in icy water or just cold water, temperature changes will eventually result in your boat springing a leak. Since you're not using the boat in question, you may not notice this leak until it is too late. Whenever possible, use a boat storage facility like Delray Storage Co that allows your boat to remain out of the water all winter. If you have a boat that is too large to store on land, it's still a good idea to take your boat to an actual boat storage facility rather than leaving it at your personal dock. The storage facility will be able to keep an eye on it and let you know if anything seems to be amiss.

Changing engine fluids. Check with your boat storage facility for their policies first, but it's a good idea to at least change the oil and add a fuel stabilizer to the gasoline in the tank before leaving the boat for the winter. Fresh oil will remove moisture from the oil reservoir and help to prevent corrosion. Gasoline can go bad or "stale" over time, so adding a stabilizer will ensure that the engine will be able to start up again when the weather is right for you to use your boat once more.

Draining the water. If you don't have an outboard motor, your engine probably needs to be drained of water. While in use, this water helps keep the engine cool and functioning. During the winter months, having this water still in the engine can cause expensive damage if it freezes even briefly. The expansion of the frozen water could cause damage so severe that you could have to replace the entire engine. Before dropping your boat off at the boat storage facility, either check the owner's manual to find out how to drain the water from the engine or consult a professional to do it for you. It's possible that the boat storage facility you choose will be able to recommend a professional if you don't know who to ask.