Winter Boat Maintenance is important to extend the life of your boat. Winter is a tough season for boaters. The days drag on as you long for that first launch. But, try thinking of winter as an investment period for your boat; the pre-season, if you will. If you put in the work now, it will definitely pay off in the spring. Winter is the perfect time to inspect your boat and perform any necessary repairs and maintenance.
The best time to perform a maintenance check is right after you pull the boat for the season. This lets you know what you need to accomplish over the next few months. There are lots of online resources that will tell you how to properly check your boat. Here’s a fantastic list of things to check for. But if you’re not confident in your ability to perform a thorough winter maintenance check, take your boat to a professional. Call your local marine mechanic or Crownline Dealer and reserve a time. Mechanics are busy in the fall and winter, so it’s best to schedule an appointment to get the work done. You’ll want to winterize your boat shortly after getting any necessary repairs. After that, it’s time to get it into storage.
Avoid Corrosion on your boat
The main thing to look for at the end of the season is corrosion. Check your zinc anodes, they need to be replaced relatively often. The cutlass bearing also tends to corrode quickly. Owner’s manuals say that the bearing should be replaced after 500 hours of boating, but as long as there’s no corrosion and the prop shaft is sitting tightly in the bearing and cannot move laterally, you’re good to go. Also, check the windlass, the fuel system, and any bulbs and electric connectors. And it’s also a good idea to put down an anti-corrosion agent to prevent any damage from the winter.
Sweat the Small Things
Depending on the age of your boat, be prepared to pay for a few repairs. Many mechanics offer good deals on tune-ups this time of year, so listen to the professionals and replace any item that needs replacing. Don’t let a small inconvenience develop into a major issue over time. To prepare for maintenance, take out all of your personal belongings and give your boat a thorough cleaning—inside and out. The name of the game is keeping your boat and your mechanic happy, so you’re ready on the first warm, sunny day of a brand-new season.