The cold weather and long stretch of time that your boat’s engine is sitting stagnant means you need to be extra vigilant each fall to properly prepare your boat. Winterizing your boat starts with reading the owner’s manual and determining if you’re up to the task. The boat winterization procedure should be detailed in the manual, but If you are the least bit unsure of the appropriate winterization procedure for your type of boat or of your skill, you should visit your local marine dealer for advice and service. It’s not worth it to take a guess – you could spill environmentally dangerous substances by accident, or you could cause engine damage that will put a cramp in your boat launch next summer.
Step 1) Empty the bilge of any excess water and clean the hull using environmentally friendly soap and water. Cleaning the hull and bilge will remove any dirt, oil, fuel or marine life that could damage the hull while it sits in storage.
Step 2) Drain and flush the engine cooling system.
Step 3) Fill the full tank.
Step 4) Clean (or replace) the fuel filter.
Step 5) Remove the spark plugs and fog the engine cylinders with a rust inhibitor.
Step 6) Lubricate all moving parts.
Note: If you’re unfamiliar with these kinds of maintenance procedures, take your boat to a marine dealer for service.