It’s getting to be that time of year again: It’s time to think about how you’re going to keep your boat safe, sound, unharmed and ready for action after the winter season.
Whether you’re an owner of a sterndrive boat or one of our outboard models, there are critical steps you need to take to ensure that your Crownline fires up without incident next spring. Here’s a quick checklist to get you headed in the right direction.
Note: this is not intended to be a definitive guide. Consult your boat manual, and when necessary, work directly with your dealer. Be smart – this is your boat we’re talking about.
- Drain oil, top off as necessary. Failing to change your oil can cause corrosion in the off-season, either from old, “used” oil or from lack of oil. Avoid both scenarios.
- Water be gone. Water left behind in the engine will turn to ice in winter – you don’t want that. Flush your engine free of water as completely as possible. “Motor flushers” are available to help you do this while your boat is on land. Anti-freeze may be an option at this point, but check your manual first.
- Check your head. Sounds obvious, but it’s important. Empty your holding tank, and flush it with fresh water several times. Add anti-freeze as advised.
- Fuel up. This might sound odd for those who are new to boating, but you’re going to want to top off your tank – with fuel stabilizer – to prevent corrosion.
- Grease is good. When it comes to winterization, grease is your preventative measure against the harmful effects of corrosion. You’ll want to closely consult your manual on every last spot that needs a little grease before you close up shop.
- Everything out! It’s best practice to remove everything in your boat that’s not bolted down. This includes personal flotation devices, fire extinguishers as well as non-internal electronics.
- Wax on. Sounds strange, but it’s universally recommended to thoroughly clean and wax your boat prior to winter storage. You definitely don’t want lake or ocean detritus (a.k.a. barnacles) frozen to your boat all winter. Nip it in the bud and enjoy a clean boat next season.
- Cover and store. The final step is to actually wrap and store the boat until spring. This will mean different things depending on your budget and location, but generally speaking, the goal is to get your boat as far away from the elements (and as far into a controlled environment) as possible. Check with your local dealer to see what they recommend.
There you have it. By no means a definitive list, this quick guide should get you started down a path toward effective winterization.