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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Best Ways to Winterize Your Boat

Protecting your boat from the harsh winter months is integral to keeping it safe and functional in the summer months. Here’s a look at some helpful hints to consider when it comes time to winterize your pontoon or fishing boat in NC.

Take Cover

It may seem obvious to cover your boat, but what every owner should know is that not all boat covers are created equal. Winter months could create mold and mildew if covers are not secured properly. It is also important to spray your interior with some type of vinyl protectant. Wintry air can have its share of dryness and humidity, which can crack the vinyl interior.

Outboard Motor Upkeep

Using fresh water, flush out your engine. Also, be sure to remove the fuel from the carburetors to prevent any kind of buildup. Apply some light lubrication to the engine’s exterior. Some polish or wax will also work well on the engine. Remember to use quality boat parts when replacements are needed.

Clean the Bilge

Make an effort to clean the bilges and be conscious of removing any oil spillage. After the bilges are thoroughly cleaned, apply some type of spray lubricant. You can also drop in some antifreeze to ensure that no water freezes.

Fuel Down, Then Up

When left idle, fuel deteriorates and that could happen in as little as eight weeks. The result of this is a buildup of residue in the engine, leading to reduced engine life and weaker performance. Adding a fuel stabilizer will eliminate this issue and then it is important to fill up with new fuel. Start up the motor and let that treated fuel run through the system for a brief stint.

Drain and Lubricate

Proper winterization is critical to prevent freeze damage and to keep stale fuel from clogging your engine’s fuel system.  Failure to winterize can lead to costly repairs.  Stern-drive engine blocks and manifolds must be drained and should be filled with a bio-degradable antifreeze.  Changing the oil, oil filter and gear case lubricant is recommended during the winterization.  The old oil filter should be tossed and new oil should be added. During the winter months, that oil will gradually drain, so it is important to provide the engine components with some type of protection. The application of a fogging oil will provide that kind of protection and also prevent corrosion. A danger to any engine lies in water that remains through the winter months. Water in the gear shaft will bring about rust. This is where fogging oils come in handy since they act as a lubricant that protects your components.

If you are uncertain about how to properly winterize your boat, entrust it to the experts at New Hope Marine. With a full-service center, New Hope Marine has everything you need to get your boat ready for winter.  From OEM marine parts to expert service technicians, we can help your boat be ready to for spring.