Even though Australia isn’t necessarily known for its incredibly cold winters, many recreational boat owners will soon be placing their boats into storage now that winter has arrived. This is always a good idea, as inclement weather and improper considerations can significantly affect the lifespan of your boat over time. As you do get ready to say “goodbye” to your adventures on the water until spring rolls around once more, there are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind as far as preparing your boat for winter storage is concerned.
Winter Storage Tips and Tricks
- Check those fluids. Much as if you would with a high performance car that you’re packing away for an extended period of time, you always want to check your coolant levels before you place your boat into storage. Be sure to change your oil, as any water or acids that have gotten into the oil can corrode the engine over time.
- You’ll also want to drain out your current coolant, flush the system with water, and fill your boat with fresh antifreeze as well.
- Never underestimate the power of fogging oil. Get your engine to turn over (without starting it) and spray fogging oil into the carburettor and, for the best results, through the spark plug holes. This will make sure all of the intricate moving parts of your engine – the ones that can be quite costly to repair, by the way – stay safe all winter long.
- Remove those belts. Many people don’t realise that your drive belts may actually crack under stress if your boat is kept in storage for a long period due to the tension they experience. Loosen them or, better yet, remove them entirely before you begin the storage process.
- Prepare your fuel system in the right way. Top off that fuel to avoid building up an unhealthy level of condensation over the months your boat will be in storage. Also, be sure to change your fuel filter, add a marine fuel stabiliser to the fuel tank, and make an effort to keep the entire fuel system as clean as possible during storage.
- Give your boat one last check from bow to stern. The best time to catch small problems before they become bigger (and again, more expensive) ones is to get up close and personal with your boat. Go over the entire boat with a proverbial fine-toothed comb and look for signs of worn cables, broken insulation, visible corrosion and more.
Don’t Allow Yourself to Get Rusty!
Those cold winter months can seem like they last forever – one thing that you’ll absolutely want to do before you pull your baby out again for another summer on the water is make sure that you haven’t gotten rusty as far as boating best practices are concerned. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a new hobbyist in search of your very first boat licence, taking a maritime training course from Maritime and Safety Training is always a good idea.
To find out more information, contact Maritime and Safety Training today.