Well unfortunately the season has come to an end and my main concern at this point is always making sure the boat gets put to rest properly. Every year I go through my list to make sure I have done everything that needs to be done to make sure I’m not spending wasted money in the spring that could have been prevented! This is crucial to making your boat last a long time and keeping the equity in it as not letting the winter elements get to it. Here are the main points that I do to make sure everything gets done properly and come spring just put my battery’s in and turn the Key!
1. This is the most important tip, MAKE SURE YOU STORE INDOORS! No it doesn’t have to be heated but needs to be inside. The reason for this is simple, it protects your tires better and you won’t have it subject to windchill temps of downward of 40 below! Plus snowloads.
2. Clean, clean, clean! Make sure you pressure wash your boat before you put it away and also allow it to dry out so open all your compartments and let the air cycle this will prevent mold. The main thing make sure no sand or salt are left on the trailer this can pit the trailer if left sitting all winter.
3. Electronic’s, Remove all graphs and keep inside as the screens could get condensation issues, the hardware of the unit would probably be OK but the screen is the concern. In saying that, that is the reason the trolling motor is OK left on but I would take the prop off and check for fishing line around the shaft.
4. Battery’s, All of these batteries should be stored CHARGED & in an above freezing environment, this will add years to your batteries. Lead acid should have the cells filled with distilled water if Low before charging. Gel cells are easy, no maintenance required.
5. Livewell’s should be emptied (pull all drain plugs) and a mild antifreeze run through the pumps to prevent freezing and damage to all pumps, there can be 8 in a boat. Make sure you also take your main boat drain plug out and tilt back as much as possible to get out any access water.
6. Motors are pretty standard right across the board, first would be to add a fuel stabilizer to protect the fuel that’s in there. Make sure you add as much fresh gas in the spring as possible less risk of bad gas. Next would be the lower unit, it’s a MUST to change the gear case oil before you store because if there’s water in your oil it will crack your gear case. Next is the motor itself and this more times than none should be handled by a certified marine mechanic. The new motors are so complex that it’s worth the $100-200 to have it done right! My Mercury is done with a electronic pendant that purges oil into the appropriate spots through the motor and also gives me any diagnostic errors. This is my feel good time of the year as the guys at Extreme Marine tell me how she was all year so I can sleep better over the winter, LOL. If you have a older model then you just need to buy a can fogging spray to spray into each cylinder.
I hope I have given you some helpfull tips and opened your eye's to maybe something new that you were not doing before. Well with any luck summer will be here before we no it and we can pull them out again! Be sure to follow me if you have not already for more great articles!