Preparing Your Boat for Winter

A renowned poet of the nineteenth century, P B Shelley, once remarked – When winter comes, can spring be far behind?

The message underlying these beautiful words is quite implicit. The harsh winter weather is momentary. It is not going to last long. In addition, bright sunny days are surely in the offing.

There is similar hope for the boat owners all over. Winter normally snatches away their joy of water voyages. Their businesses too are affected. However, the same winter also provides them an opportunity to maintain and prepare their boats for profitable sailing in summer. Professional boat detailing experts therefore advise the owners to keep their most prized possession in pristine condition during winter for the long voyages ahead.

After sailing all summer, water, acids and other bio-products get accumulated all over the boat which can harm its functionality in the long run. Therefore, to safeguard its long-term utility and enhance its business capability, the owner needs to store his boat for its winter hibernation and keep it ready in pristine condition for the long voyages ahead.
The best place for your boat to be during winter, therefore, is out of water and under cover in a dry and climate-controlled storage area. Docking the boat in water runs the risk of damage from ice during the harsh winter. Therefore, it is better to store it on land in dry place all through the difficult winter months.
There are several ways one could store the boat on land either indoor or outdoor. It is, therefore, necessary to determine beforehand which storage method is best suited for the boat. One can even store it in his own backyard with proper covering. Shrink-wrapping will keep the boat dry and well ventilated with less chance of mildew even in winter. It is definitely inexpensive but has more concerns of hauling the boat on shore and detailing thoroughly. It also demands constant attention and consumes more time which otherwise could be spent leisurely in fun and frolic with your family.
However, a heated garage indoors with a temperature around 50 degrees is a better hiring option to store the boat. That is expensive since the facility requires electricity to keep the heating system running. There are many such professional indoor storage centers around with all the detailing facilities on hire in the market. They actually provide more protection to the boats from hazardous elements and help you in its proper maintenance all through the winter.
In addition, one can find ‘step by step’ instructions and ‘how to’ suggestions everywhere if you prefer to store and maintain the boat in your own backyard. In just seven easy steps, you can prepare your boat for winterization. However, before you begin, make a checklist of all the items necessary to perform the task and follow the steps given below as meticulously as possible.
(1)    Haul the boat to your backyard, wash, and wax it thoroughly right after you take it out of the water. This will make it easier to clean the boat when you are ready to sail after winter.
(2)    Now tilt the boat slightly back to allow all remaining water in the bilge to drain. Leave the plug out. Close valves in the hull and open the seacocks.
(3)    Give a good blast with a pressure washer to the hull, outboard engine, linkages, aux engine props, rudders, decking etc and flush the engine.
(4)    To avoid rust and internal damage, prepare the engine for winter storage. To do it, start and run it for a short while after adding fuel stabilizer to the fuel tanks. This is used to prevent fuel degradation over a long period of docking the boat during winter.
(5)    Next, grease up linkages with marine grease and give its electrics a spray of water dispersing lubricant.
(6)    Then, check the bilge pumps, float switches of the boat and see that they are not jammed. Charge and test its battery, clean terminals and check the fluid level. Inspect all the rubber components of the boat for any wear and tear and change them if necessary.
(7)    Finally, keep the boat completely sheltered with a good quality shrink-wrap cover to protect it from the unwanted water elements and wildlife. Do not however forget to allow some air inside the covering through a small opening to avoid internal moisture build up. It can otherwise lead to mould and mildew during winter if vacuumed completely.
Now the boat is ready to stay still until the harsh winter gives way to a beautiful summer. No wonder you feel the spring not far behind to enjoy the sun, sandPsychology Articles, surf and more fun in life.

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