If you live in one of those nice, warm places where you can take your boat out for a spin year-round… well, congratulations. You can stop reading. May your worst worries be UV and mildew. For the rest of us, the onset of winter and sub-freezing temperatures means that we have to take precautions to protect our floating investments.
Everybody knows that water expands when it freezes, but not everyone has seen the damage it can do if it freezes inside an engine, or in a galley hose, or between a toerail and a cabinside, or in a bilge. It can be bad. And expensive. Meanwhile dirty oil left in an engine over the winter will degrade the metal it’s meant to lubricate. Uncovered cockpits will collect leaves and debris that will cause clog drains and cause stains.
Winterizing your boat properly isn’t a bad chore – it’s a satisfying one. You’ll rest easily over the winter knowing it’s protected, and in the spring there’s little to do but take off the cover, renew the wax – and relax.
Without further ado, here are links to articles and videos from Boat Trader and from boats.com that together cover pretty much every winterization angle, whether you own an inboard with a stern-drive, a four- or two-stroke outboard, or even a diesel, and whether you carry your drinking water in a jug or pipe it from a tank to your head and galley.
OUTBOARDS and OUTDRIVES
DIESEL COOLING SYSTEM
DIESEL LUBE OIL CHANGE
A previous version of this article appeared on Boat Trader in October 2014.