Fall is definitely here, and it’s time for many boaters to prepare their boats for winter. Some have the marina staff haul, winterize and cover or store their boats (inside or outside) for the winter months; while others prefer to do some or all of the winter preparation themselves.
But, every year, there are some boats that suffer damage because things were missed, or done incorrectly. I remember, during the many years at our family marina, our service department being overloaded in the spring when owners, who had winterized themselves, brought in their boats for repair. We had to repair motors with cracked blocks and split water hoses, when the owner hadn’t drained them properly. We also had to replace cracked toilet bowls and on and on. All of these things could have been prevented.
Bringing in boats for repair in the spring puts a huge strain on the service department that is already busy enough summarizing and launching customers’ boats and new boats that had been sold over the winter months. This means there could be a long wait time for boats brought in at the last minute.
For those boaters who want to do their own winterizing, I would recommend that…..
you do your homework first.
Find out what needs to be done to winterize your boat, then learn how to do it properly. Talk to the experts, not a fellow boater who may not have the correct advice. If you get advice from the internet, you may find incomplete or incorrect advice on boater forums. Learn to sift through the information to find information that will be helpful, not lead you on a path of problems later.
But, there are also a number of things you should do, beyond winterizing motors and water systems, that can certainly make a big difference in the amount of spring work you could end up doing if you don’t.
Don’t forget to pass these tips on to your boating buddies….
For boaters still boating, there is still a great opportunity to improve your docking skills with far fewer boats in the harbour to hit or eyes to watch you screw up while practicing.
Shorten your learning curve with lessons specific to your drive system