Wintering tips

October 10, 2004

Boat wintering tips from Boating, the world's largest powerboat magazine, and BoatUS:

Remove electronic gear. Take valuables home.

Take all flammables and food ashore for storage. Take bimini home for cleaning.

If boat will remain in the water all winter, protect thru-hulls by closing seacocks and gate valves.

Open hatches, drawers and ice chests to allow air circulation and slow mildew buildup.

Gas and diesel users should top off tanks and add gas stabilizers. Remember that old gas loses its octane rating over time.

Change oil and filter. Change water separator/gas filter.

If power is available, bring batteries to full charge and maintain trickle charge. Otherwise, remove batteries from boat and store in cool, dry place.

Drain water systems. Install a bypass winterizing kit on water heaters and open drain valve.

Select correct temperature-rated antifreeze and run engine until it fills the system.

Plug exhaust tube with oily rag to keep out moist air.

Rub metal cushion zippers with a light lubricating oil to protect.

Leave at least one fully charged fire extinguisher aboard.

Allow air circulation between winter storage cover and hull.

For more information, go to www.boatus.com/seaworthy/winter.

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