Florida watercraft and boat owners are still enjoying some spectacular weather in The Sunshine State. However, you should start thinking about getting your boat winterized very soon.
Here are 5 tips on how to winterize your boat or watercraft:
Check your owner’s manual: Before you even get started, check each and every owner’s manual related your boat or watercraft’s engine or onboard equipment.
Bilge out: ALWAYS clean out your bilge using hot water, a good abrasive brush, and soap. Following a good cleaning, apply a bit of antifreeze and spray down with a moisture displacing lubricant.
Fill up: Condensation can build up in your fuel tank so it’s important to fill your fuel tank and make sure you add a fuel stabilizer (follow directions to a “t” on the fuel stabilizer that you are using) and replace your water separator and fuel filter.
Outboard Engine attention: Your outboard engine is also an important part of winterizing your boat. You will want to flush your engine using only fresh water and a flush muff. A flush muff is attached to a raw water pickup and allows all the water to drain out of the engine. Here’s a handy video from boats.com that walks you through how to do it.
Be Stern: Barnacles are a problem for all boats and boat owners. Start at the stern drive and look for any seaweed or barnacles and remove them. In the lower unit, you should check and drain the gear case and make sure that moisture has not built up. The lower unit should also be cleaned with water and soap. In your hydraulic steering and lift pumps, grease the fittings and check all fluid levels.