Summer is on its way out. This means that the 2018 sailing season is nearing its end too. Is your boat winter-ready for hibernation? More importantly, have you tuned up your boat before winterizing it? Before you pack it away, you need some motor-maintenance so it doesn’t let you down next spring. This includes tune-up, maintenance, repairs, replacement, anti-corrosion protection and audio upgrades. Not sure how to go about it? Below is a checklist to steer you in the right direction.
10 Tips to Tune-Up Your Boat Before Winter Hibernation
- Read the Owner’s Manual: Are you familiar with your boat inside out? You need a thorough understanding before you start a DIY checklist to winterize it. The manufacturer’s manual contains all the specifications of your model. Go through it carefully or consult an experienced professional who can guide you through the process.
- Scrub the Boat Before Storing: Give your craft a good scrub before you pack it away. You will need a bucket of warm water, a stiff scrubbing brush, wiping rags and an environmentally friendly marine detergent cleaner to remove debris and algae. Wipe off grease from the hull. Scrub the bilge and spray with a moisture displacing lubricant. Use antifreeze to keep water from freezing in the boat over the winter months.
- Fill up the Fuel Tank: This may sound odd but it is necessary to fill up the fuel tank, change the fuel filter and add a fuel stabilizer before you winterize it. Filling up the fuel tank keeps condensation from building up over the winter months. Follow the instructions of your manual to understand the process.
- Drain the Fresh Water System: Drain out the fresh water system and hot water heater. Pump out the holding tank at a recognized facility.
- Clean Boat Interiors: Check and clean out your boat interiors. Remove every object to clean well. Install a dehumidifier to dry out the boat completely and keep it mildew free.
- Complete Repair Work: Look for loose ends, issues with the motor or fixtures that need mending. Get it all repaired, replaced and upgraded to spare yourself the hassle next spring.
- Store in a Dry Area: You can store your boat inside or outside. Storing inside works well to keep it dry and vermin-free but it may be costly to find a climate-controlled storage space for your boat. A cheaper alternative is to shrink wrap the boat and store it outdoors. This really doesn’t cost a lot if you get it done by a local marine dealer. Do remember that the hull of your boat will face the elements and get oxidized or lose colour when exposed to the sun for the long duration.
- Outboard Motor Maintenance: The outboard motor is a self-contained propulsion system whose maintenance is key to keeping your boat in good condition. Clean the outboard motor after use every time. Test it if you set out after two months or more.
- Engine Maintenance: Check the spark-plug for corrosion. Check the fuel lines for signs of leaks or cracks and look for water leaks around the hoses. Sometimes even fuel or sediments in the fuel can cause corrosion, not just water in the engine. Spray moving external parts with a rust resistant hydrophobic solution to prevent corrosion. For engine maintenance, use top shelf fuel additives to keep the gas and boat fuel well mixed. This helps the fuel to burn better and produce more power, efficiently.
- Tune-Up Your Boat’s Audio System: Check out the sound system. If the audio is not crystal clear, consider upgrading your marine electronics and speakers to make sure they can handle the rugged marine environment when you set sail next time. Update old marine stereos with high performance, easy to install new receivers and speakers. There are a lot of choices out there. If you are undecided on what’s best for your boat, give SoundsGood Auto a call.
SoundsGood Auto: World-Class Vehicle Enhancement and Marine Audio Specialists
At SoundsGood Auto, we are not just a car audio shop. We are both automotive and marine audio system specialists. We have extensive knowledge of marine electronics installation to offer you high-quality audio systems that provide hours of enjoyment when you are out on the water.
Shower your boat with all the love and upgrades it deserves to enjoy years of fun in the sun. Call us to learn more.