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Sadly, it's time to think about winterizing your boat.

Winterizing your boat is an important step to protect it from freezing temperatures, corrosion, and moisture. Plan on the following tasks to reduce unwanted surprises in the spring; cleaning, draining, lubricating, covering, and storing your boat properly.

Fuel System

  • Fill the fuel tank, but leave enough room for expansion.

  • Treat the fuel with a stabilizer to prevent degradation and gumming.

  • Run the engine for 10 minutes to circulate the stabilized fuel throughout the system.

  • Seal the fuel valves and replace any fuel filters.


  • Flush the engine with fresh water to remove salt, dirt, and debris.

  • Wash the engine with soap and water and dry it thoroughly.

  • Change the oil and any oil filters.

  • Fog the engine cylinders with an aerosol fogging solution to coat and protect them from rust.

  • Drain the engine (for inboards and stern-drives).

Gear Case

  • Drain the gear-case lubricant and recycle it properly.

  • Check the lubricant for any signs of water or metal shavings, which indicate a leak or damage in the gear case.

  • Replace any damaged seals or gears before refilling with fresh lubricant.

  • Grease the propeller shaft and inspect the propeller for any cracks or dents.

Water System and Sanitation

  • Drain the water tanks, hoses, pumps, and faucets completely.

  • Add non-toxic antifreeze to the water system and run it through all outlets until it comes out pink.

  • Pump out the black water holding tank and flush it with fresh water and antifreeze.

  • Clean the toilet bowl and seat with a mild cleaner and leave them open to prevent mold growth.

Cabin Interior, cockpit and Bilge

  • Remove any food, drinks, or personal items from the boat that could attract pests or spoil over time.

  • Clean the cabin, galley, and head with mild soap and water and wipe them dry.

  • Open all drawers, lockers, and doors to allow air circulation and prevent mildew formation.

  • Place moisture absorbers or dehumidifiers in strategic locations to reduce humidity levels inside the boat.

  • If power is available run a small fan in the cabin to circulate air on a timer.

  • Ensure your bilge is dry, if power is available use your EVACUATOR+ and schedule times to circulate air.

Cover and Storage

  • Wash and wax the boat hull and painted surfaces to remove any dirt and stains and protect them from UV rays.

  • Inspect the boat for any cracks, blisters, or damage that need to be repaired before storage.

  • Choose a suitable storage option for your boat, such as indoor, outdoor, on land, or in water, depending on your budget, location, and preference.

  • Cover your boat with a breathable cover that fits snugly and securely around the boat. Avoid using plastic tarps that can trap moisture and cause mold growth.


  • Winterizing your boat is a vital process that can extend its lifespan and performance.

  • By following these steps, you can ensure that your boat is ready for storage and avoid any costly damage or repairs in the spring.

  • For more information or assistance on winterizing your boat, consult your owner’s manual or contact a professional marine service provider.

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