Now that summer’s over and the weather is cooling down, if you own a boat
you have likely pulled your vessel out of the water and parked her at home or
some other dry dock.
While it’s sad to think that you won’t be back on your boat until next year,
you also need to ensure that you keep her primed and protected by properly
preparing for fall and winter.
We are offering up the following tips, but remember to also read your
owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations for keeping your boat
protected during the colder months:
- The engine
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when winterizing the engine, but be
sure to flush it with fresh water and drain fuel from the carburetor to
prevent build-up of deposits. Use fogging oil in the cylinders to
lubricate cylinder walls and pistons.
- The stern drive
Do a thorough inspection and remove plant life or barnacles from the lower
unit. Drain the gear case and clean the lower unit with soap and water.
- The fuel tanks
Fill the fuel tanks to avoid a build-up of condensation, and add a fuel
stabilizer. Follow the product instructions.
- The freshwater system
Drain the freshwater tank and water heater and pump a nontoxic
antifreeze into the system. Turn on all faucets until you see the
antifreeze coming out.
- The interior
Remove all valuables from your boat. Clean drawers thoroughly and turn
cushions on their edges to allow air to circulate. Clean the refrigerator
- Cover her up
A cover will keep your boat clean, and also protect her from water and UV
rays, which can break down hoses and fade upholstery.
Check your insurance coverage
Even out of the water and not in use, a boat can be damaged no matter where
it is. Often, damage from fire or theft isn’t covered unless you have a watercraft policy.
Also, if the weather suddenly turns beautiful in November and you can’t
resist the urge to hit the water, you will want that coverage in place.
There are plenty of reasons to keep year-round coverage, but seasonal
policies are available if you feel it’s right for you. If you want to know
more, give us a call.
If you have a small boat with limited power, you may have some coverage
under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Larger and faster boats,
along with personal watercraft, require their own policies.
Of course, you may also be wondering if you should keep your vessel insured
during the months you won’t be using it.
There are a few things to consider here:
- If your boat is older, you may want look into cash-value coverage instead of agreed value.
- If you have a lot of expensive fishing equipment, make sure you have enough optional coverage
so your gear isn’t at risk.
If you want to save money on your coverage, you should also consider:
- Taking a boating safety course, as some policies offer discounts for taking these classes.
- Increasing your deductible.
- Bundling your policies with one insurance company.