Congratulations! You made it through your first season with a boat but now the weather is changing and the high temperatures are in the 60s on a regular basis. You've extended the season as long as you can but it's just getting too chilly to be out cruising around, and definitely too chilly for a swim. It's time to put your boat into hibernation for the winter. So, where do you start?
We live aboard Cygnet all year so winterizing is very different for us. But we had Two Wrights for years and took her out of the water every fall and put her back every spring. Our winterizing routine wasn't much different than most. What you'll read below is a general winterizing program. You may have a different requirement based on your boat and that should be found in the manufacturer's manual or online. Don't take our word for it, find out from your boat builder what you should be doing. It's a good idea to make a check list and use it every year. This can include fluid capacities, filter numbers, oil types, etc. It's good to have this information handy when you're at the store, keep it on your phone, not just as a paper copy in the engine room.
|A frame is made to keep the bow open enough to fill our water in winter, plus it makes an angled surface that allows rain, snow, and ice to shed off the cover.|
|Icy winter takes a lot out of a boat if not protected.|
|Boat engines can be hard to work on, but it needs to be done to protect them from freezing.|
|Water will get in if you don't take care of winterization. This boat started sinking because a battery cable was detached, it's funny how the boat next to it had the same problem on the same day and sank. Sabotage?|
|You can take it with you.|
|We thought furniture blankets would help insulate, which maybe they did, but the UV rays ate them over the four months and they were a mess to clean up.|
All this can be done by you but if you don't want to or don't have the time there are plenty of boat storage places that'll do the work for you, for a very healthy fee.