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Winterization Mistakes Could Cost You Your Boat

Source: U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs

Often, boat owners who visit their boats in early spring find their boats nearly underwater. They might or might not get a call from the marina to get down there right away to take care of their boat. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t make these mistakes which might cost you big bucks or your boat.

  • Using your Biminis or dodger as a boat cover for winter. Biminis and dodgers are for sun and spray not for winterization. Winter is very hard on Biminis and dodgers causing premature replacement and possibly letting water or snow into your boat or cockpit.
  • Storing a boat in the water without a cover might result in it being underwater. Cockpits have drains that might clog up with debris causing the cockpit to fill with water, thereby sinking the boat. Heavy snow could push a boat with low freeboard underwater.
  • Not closing sea cocks stored in the water. Too many things can happen to that seacock or the attached hose causing the boat to take on water.
  • Storing a boat and not winterizing, even in warmer clime. Storing ashore can freeze an engine block with an unexpected cold spell. Storing in the water may keep the engine block a little warmer.
  • Petcocks in the engine block may be clogged when you tried to drain the engine for winter. You might not realize that no water came out of the clogged petcocks. Be sure to visually check if water drains from each petcock. If you do have a clogged petcock a coat hanger works great clearing it.
  • Having the marina attendant look after your boat might be a good idea. No matter whom you pay to watch your boat, it is always best to check on your boat periodically during the off season. Nobody cares more for your boat than you.