Everyone watches the different seasons go by. There is no escaping it. However, it is the boat owners who are most keen on the changes of the seasons. Their boats will come out in spring and have plenty of use in the summer.
After that, the boats are going to be stored and remain in hibernation all winter. This is the part where things get a bit tough for boat owners. There is a lot of work that needs to be put into winterizing and then later de-winterizing boats including checking whether the VHF marine radios are working well.
Following proper methods and procedures will ensure that the boat serves you for a long time to come through the seasons and that everyone using the boat remains safe.
The processes of winterizing and then de-winterizing the boat are connected and both need to work together. If you are going to de-winterize the boat, you need to make sure that you had taken the right measures to winterize it.
1. Inspect the battery
This is the first thing that you are going to need to do. Keep note that the marine battery should last for at least 4 or 5 years. Start by adding distilled water and checking the charge. If there is still a strong charge then the battery is in good shape.
Next, take out the wires from the posts and clean them of any dirt and rust. You can use a small wire brush in this case. To make sure that the posts are safe from corrosion, coat them in grease.
2. Test out the electronics
Now find all the electronic switches and knobs and flip them on. Are they working correctly? Keep in mind that the battery needs to be on as this is the only way you can tell whether the switches are working. If they are, move over to the bilge pump switch and make sure it is working as it should.
3. Change the oil
You simply cannot use the oil that you used last season. If you didn’t remove the oil when winterizing the boat, then you will need to change it now as you de-winterize the boat. Start by checking whether the oil is at the right levels and then take this out as well.
Also, you will need to change the oil from the outdrive as well. Another thing that you will need to check and probably change is the power steering fluid. Search for any leaks, levels of coolant, and any cracks on the fuel line lines as well as any wears.
4. Inspect the cooling system
If you took the time to empty the cooling system as you winterized your boat, you will want to fill it up again. You will use the same parts for antifreeze and water. If on the other hand, you didn’t empty the antifreeze and water when winterizing the boat, then you will want to empty now and then fill it up again.
Also, inspect the hoses for any cracks and whether there are any leakages. If you notice any of these then get replacement hoes.
5. Check your safety gear
This is one of the most important factors and one which many people often miss. Your safety gear can be a matter of life and death. So, make sure it is in good condition for use and that there are no tears, cracks, holes, and that it is not expired.
The floatation devices should be enough to cover everyone who is going to use the boat. Also, check the lights on the deck and the cabin and ensure that they are all working. Inspect the fire extinguishers and check the date. It should not be near its expiration. Lastly test out all the signaling equipment including flares, whistles, and horns, and make sure that they are also working.
While you are doing this make sure that you inspect the boat anchor.
6. Inspect the belts
The engine needs to work in top form. Start by inspecting the belts as these can quickly wear out. Use your hands and visually inspect for any signs of weakness. The last thing that you want is for the belt to tear when you are using your boat in the water.
If you notice any cracks or tears then it’s time to change the belts. Also, pull on the belts with your hands and see whether it is loose. If so, then change it with a new one.
7. Gas tank inspection
The gas tank can rust easily when the boat is stored away. It is thus important to make sure that when you winterize a boat, you fill-up the tank. This prevents moisture from getting in and causing rust.
Secondly, the fuel lines are also at a high risk of rusting. What’s more, is that they can crack under extremely cold temperatures so you want to make sure you inspect for any of these signs.
You may not need to worry about this with the inflatable boats.
If you notice any kind of damage to the fuel lines, it’s a good idea to change them.
8. Cleaning the distributor
The distributor will often corrode during the winter and this is why it’s important to make sure that it is clean before you begin using the boat again. To do this, simply remove the cap and then make sure you remove all traces of rust.
9. Inspect for overall damage
Dings and cracks need to be searched for throughout the boat as these create a point of weakness which could then cause a leak. If you notice any, it would be a good idea to have them fixed.
Also, check out the boat trailer tongue jacks.
10. Polish and wax the boat
While this may not sound like one of the most important things to do, it will however ensure that the boat maintains its integrity of structures such as windshields moldings. You will need the best boat polish for this task.
Globo Surf Overview
There is a lot of work involved in maintaining your boat during the winter. Doing the proper inspections and replacements is a full-time gig in itself. However, these steps will ensure that your boat remains in the best condition for use in the coming summer.
More Boat Reviews:
- Boat Wax
- Boat Covers
- Marine Stereo
- Boat Anchor
- VHF Marine Radio
- Gelcoat Restoration
- Boat Safety Equipment
- Trailer Tongue Extension
- Boat Canvas Repair
- How To Anchor A Boat
- Polishing and waxing the boat, betterboat.com