Best Practices for Extended Non Use/Winterization of your Boat
Do you think your boat thinks about you as much as you think about it during the off season? I hate this time of year. Putting the boat away for the off season is awful. To help ease the pain, here are a few best practice tips for getting your boat winterized or ready for long term storage. Keep in mind - the better you put it away now, the easier it will be to have an enjoyable summer next year.
The following practices will be applicable to boats in colder temperatures, boats that are stored for 1 month or longer, and boats that are stored in a garage.
If possible store your boat on dry ground. Take it out of the water and get it onto the trailer or a lift. Long term exposure to water, even fresh water, can cause damage to the finish of the boat. Try to have the bow slightly elevated so that any water can drain out of the rear bilge.
Thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of your boat and apply a fresh coat of wax to the exterior. This ensures there is nothing that will lead to mold or other unwanted odors and stains in the boat.
Make sure the interior and bilge area of your boat is as dry as possible. Remove seats and store them in a cool, dry place. Open up compartments and storage areas so they can be well ventilated. Remove all bilge drain plugs. This will help to prevent mold or microorganisms from growing inside the boat
Make sure all of the water is out of your engine, ballast and secondary systems such as showers and heaters. Each boat will be slightly different so it is best to consult your owners manual on the proper steps to take to ensure this process is done correctly.
Re install all engine plugs and flush the engine with antifreeze. It is best to use a marine grade antifreeze. Your local conditions will determine the best burst point to use but we recommend using an anti freeze with a burst point of at least -50 degrees. Be sure to use an anti freeze that is safe around kids, pets and the environment. Many anti freezes will also contain corrosion inhibitors which will help protect the metal components of your engine.
Remove or unplug batteries. Even with the battery switch off, there are still some components that will draw a small amount of electricity. Removing your batteries and storing them in a dry place will help your batteries last longer. It is even better if you periodically put them on a trickle charger.
Treat the fuel with a fuel stabilizer. This will prevent the fuel from gumming and prevent water separation.
If the engine, transmission, or v drive is getting close to needing service, go ahead and get that done before the boat sits. Having fresh oils in the boat will help prevent erosion or build up inside the systems. We recommend changing your impeller when you pull the boat out of storage so you start the season off with a fresh impeller.
If circumstances allow, shrink wrap your boat. This will provide the best protection for your boat from the elements and any critters looking for a home for the winter. If you don’t shrink wrap the boat and just use the normal cover, make sure the cover is installed correctly, tightly and with the anti pooling system in place. Inspect your cover to make sure it is in good shape with no rips or weak points that may let water in. If you need a new cover you can order it directly on our website. Malibu/Axis Covers
Remember that summer will come before you know it! In no time at all, we will be back on the water enjoying endless surf sets, great company and long days on the water!
Stay warm this winter! Check out some of our awesome Malibu and Axis winter apparel that will help you do just that! Winter Apparel
For more information on how to winterize your boat, you can refer to your owners manual. They can be found at the following links:
We can’t wait to see you on the water!