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Jumping Back in the Water: How to De-Winterize Your Boat

The weather is bright and clear on the first day of summer. The calm, blue water beckons you to jump in your boat and head out on the lake. Visions of last summer’s water skiing, tubing, and fishing adventures fill your mind as you step onto the boat and start the engine.

Not so fast! First, there are important steps to take in order to get your boat ready for summer. Not doing so could damage your boat and bring your summer boating fun to a sudden end.

Follow these steps to de-winterize your boat, and a ride down the calm, blue water will be closer than you think:

1. Keep a service log. To keep track of the tasks you will complete on your boat, as well as how each part of the boat is faring, keep a service log. Your boat’s service manual should give you an idea of where to start, and you may add more items depending on your specific de-winterization routine.

2. Check the engine. Hopefully, you changed the oil before you put your boat away, but if not, do so now; this prevents corrosion and engine failure. Change the oil filter and the transmission oil, and flush the cooling system, replacing the antifreeze with a 50/50 ratio of water to coolant. Replace the batteries and run the engine to gauge its efficiency.

3. Check for damage. Among places you should check are the hull (look for chips and cracks), the belts (they should fit tightly), and propellers (you don’t want dings or distortions).

4. Clean like crazy. On your first day out on the water, you don’t want to present a dirty, rusty boat. Clean and wax the hull, lubricate the windshield wipers, and polish the metal and teak.

5. Install the drain plug. Replace the drain plug to ensure that water doesn’t leak into the boat.

6. Test electronics. You don’t want to be in the middle of the lake when you discover your GPS, depth finder, or compass isn’t working. After a long season of no use, make sure you check all electronics.

7. Make sure everything is up to date. Check that your registration is valid, and ensure that you have required items like life jackets and signaling devices.

For additional de-winterizing steps for your specific boat, refer to your owner’s manual. To keep your boat safe next season, feel free to store it at Migson Public Storage. We protect your boat during the winter so there is minimal hassle for you when summer comes around!

Posted on October 22, 2014 | Uncategorized

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