OK, that headline makes no sense. Except that as the football season begins, it’s a reminder that the time is soon coming when you have to think about winterizing your boat.
Sure, here in southern New England, boating season lasts through the glorious fall weather of September and October. But pretty soon, it will be November, the mercury will start to fall and it will be time to pull your boat out of the water and prepare it for its long winter’s nap.
So when the whistle blows and toe meets leather, take a moment and plan for the inevitable.
If nothing else, put a reminder in your phone to call McShane’s service department. Our expert technicians are always busy during the late fall doing winterization service on our customer’s boats. Call now and schedule an appointment before we get booked up.
Here’s a list of things that need doing, before you put the boat away for the year.
- Protect hoses and plumbing. Freezing water in your hoses and lines will expand and can cause cracking and rupture. Pump out the head and flush with water. Then, add antifreeze through the intake lines, discharge hose, macerator and y-valve. Drain the fresh water tanks and water heater and pump non-toxic antifreeze into tanks and plumbing.
- Stabilize the engine. Check all belts and hoses for cracks and frays. Replace the ones that need it. Fill the fuel tank just short of capacity (you want a bit of room for the fuel to expand). Add gasoline stabilizer, change the oil, fill the engine block with antifreeze and remove the battery, storing it in a dry, inside place. Many manufacturers recommend fogging the outboard with sealant to prevent corrosion on the block, valves, rings and cylinder sleeves.
- Check the propellors. With the boat out of the water, check the props for wear or dents. It’s a good time to replace any blades that need it.
- Empty the boat. When you close down the boat for the winter, remove (and wash) all cushions, pots and pans, linens and towels, and all other gear. Remove the fire extinguishers (checking to make sure they’re still in working order). Give the boat a good scrubbing, inside and out, wiping down cabinets, galley surfaces, carpets and more. You’ll appreciate opening up a nice clean boat, come spring.
- Cover the boat. Here in New England, you need to protect the boat against the harsh winter elements. Even if you store your boat inside, you should cover it well, whether you use a tarp or decide to shrinkwrap it. Your goal is to keep dirt, dust, grime and inquisitive little critters from getting in the boat.
Again, you can do all those things yourself. Or, you can call McShane’s Service department at (781) 837-0115 and spend your autumn afternoons with your feet up, watching football, like the rest of us!