In other areas of the US, boat owners take extensive precautions and steps to ensure that their vessels are protected throughout the winter. Even though winter has officially arrived throughout the US, boating in Florida is an all-year activity. The pleasant weather coupled with tropical delights makes it a favorite destination for leisure boating and fishing. However, there are a few things you can do to protect your vessel during winter. Thus, the goal for the winter months is to ensure that your boat is protected. Here are some helpful tips for keeping your boat in A1 shape.
· Check your fuel – when your boat is sitting for several months, you can have fuel issues if the ethanol separates from it. If you’re not planning on using your boat during the winter, we recommend you add a fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank.
· Clean your boat thoroughly – before putting your boat in storage for the winter, it should be cleaned thoroughly inside and out. This means everything from the hull, propellers, and propeller shafts to cabinets, interior drawers, and upholstery needs to be cleaned and inspected. Be sure that you remove all electronics, fire extinguishers, and flares as well before cleaning.
· Engine maintenance – any time your boat will be sitting for 6 weeks or longer, be sure you take steps to prevent corrosion. Check the oil level first. You should change your oil every 50 to 100 running hours. Be sure you check for leaks as well. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to flush the engine with antifreeze (preferably a non-toxic variety). Be sure to clean the engine using a fogging spray.
· Keep your boat covered when not in use – when it comes to protecting your boat, you can’t afford to cut any corners, including covering it. While you may think it’s unnecessary to pay top dollar for a cover made from premium materials, but this is an important component of preventative winter boat maintenance. If needed, boat covers can be custom-made. Otherwise, you can purchase a pre-made one.
· Propeller maintenance – this is a lot easier if you keep your boat in dry storage during the off-season. When the boat is out of the water, it makes it much easier to check for any maintenance issues such as bad bearings, leaking seals, or zinc anodes that are corroding. Although you can make these repairs if the boat is water-borne, it’s much easier when it’s in a dry dock.
To learn more about preventative winter maintenance for your boat, call Powerhouse Marina today at (305) 892-2628.