winterizing your boat

5 Important Tips for Winterizing Your Boat

For boat owners who live in colder climates, winterizing is an important part of boat ownership. Winterizing your boat is a simple but critical process. Not only will you prevent expensive repairs, but you’ll save money, time and effort when spring rolls around.

Check out this guide to discover five tips for winterizing your boat.


Before winterizing your boat, the first step is to clean it. Try and get the vessel as close to showroom condition as you can by removing stain, dirt, grease, or any other spots. Apply a thick coat of wax.

Ensure the bilges are clean. Use a stiff brush, soap and some hot water to clean up any oil spills. Once the bilges are clean, apply a moisture-displacing lubricant to keep them dry.

On the interior, remove valuables, electronics, life vests and fishing equipment. Turn the cushions on edge to increase the air flow to the surfaces if you plan on keeping them in the boat. Clean out both the refrigerator and freezer.

To reduce mildew and build-up, you may want to consider a dehumidifier or other moisture and odor-reducing product.

Inspect and Repair

Take the time to inspect your vessel before winterizing your boat. Check your electrical wiring and connections and your propellers, and ensure your fasteners are tight. Take a look a the hull and look for cracks, weak joints or missing rivets.

Making those repairs now allows you tackle problems before the boating season begins again when you’ll be anxious to get out on the water. Find a good technician and get things taken care of before putting the boat up for winter.


The first step is to follow the maintenance recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Most manufacturer instructions will include the following steps:


For inboard engines, change the oil. It’s easier to change the oil if it’s warm, so run the engine first to heat it up. Once you’ve refilled the oil, flush the engine with antifreeze.

For outboard motors, flush it with fresh water and apply water-resistant grease to the propellers and threads.

Gas Tank

Fill your gas tank (to reduce space for condensation to form) and add some fuel stabilizer. Ensure you change fuel filters and water separators.

Fresh Water System

Drain both the water heater and the water tank. Pump in a non-toxic antifreeze until it comes out of all faucets. Add non-toxic antifreeze to the heater as well. Isolate the hot water system by connecting the in and out lines together.


Go to an approved facility to pump out the holding tank. While you pump, add fresh water to the bowl and flush a few times. Put some non-toxic antifreeze through the hoses, y-valve, macerator and holding tank.


Using a high-quality cover is an important step in safeguarding your boat against the elements during the wintertime.

Our guide to the best boat covers by fabric can help you to choose a cover that’s best for your boat.

Prep Your Boat Lift

Make sure your boat lift is also ready for the winter season. Check your lift cables and beams. Ensure your bunks don’t have torn or worn out areas. Inspect your gears, motors, and pulleys.

Following these simple tips will help you extend the life of your boat.

If you’re ready for winter, but your boat lift is looking worse for the wear, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help.


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