Even the toastiest Texas fall shouldn’t keep you from preparing your boat for winter. In fact, taking a few simple steps now could drastically extend your boat’s life. From winterizing your boat for continued use to properly storing it for a long winter’s nap, we’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide from Lifetime Insurance!
1. Deep Clean Your Boat
Whether you store your boat for the season or take her out year-round, a deep cleaning is likely in order. To start, clean and varnish metal and wood surfaces that are prone to rusting or drying out. This is especially important if you plan to store your boat all winter. It’s also important to open up and drain any seacocks. While your boat is out of the water, remove any plant life or barnacles that have hitched a ride to dry land. If you do plan to store your boat indoors this winter, you should give the hull a wax job.
2. Do a Systems Check
Once you’ve scoured your skiff, it’s time to make sure that all electrical and plumbing systems are functioning properly. Even if your boat will not alight the water for the next few months, you should tackle any electrical, plumbing, or engine repairs now, rather than leaving these issues for the start of next spring. Before you store your boat for the next few months with a tank full of gas, be sure to add fuel stabilizer. This will keep the ethanol in the gas from damaging your tank!
3. Cover it with a Tarp
Even Texas winters present boat owners with weather-related challenges. Especially if you plan to either store your boat on the water or continue to use it during the winter months, a strong tarp is your best friend. Just be sure to use a polyvinyl tarp that is made to fit the size of your boat. A loosely fitting cover can allow moisture to invade, leading to the build-up of rust and mold.
4. Pest-Proof Your Boat
The abundance of local wildlife here in Texas is either a delightful surprise or disturbing imposition, depending on the Texan. Regardless of your capacity for critters, you should make sure that your boat doesn’t become a popular pest party spot. With that goal in mind, make sure all points of entry are sealed and blocked, and store your boat far away enough from the ground so vermin cannot reach it.
5. Store it Level to the Ground
Another important – yet often overlooked – step in preparing your boat for winter is making sure it’s stored level to the ground. Even if the winter season is short, storing your boat uneven to the ground may leave you with a warped hull when spring rolls back around! To avoid this costly error, you can place your boat on blocks or pieces of wood, especially if it is on a trailer.
6. Keep it Secure
The final step in preparing your boat for winter is making sure it is safe and secure from theives. Many boat owners fail to realize that winter’s “off-season” is usually the time their boat is most vulnerable to theft. If your boat will be stored in a trailer, remove the tires and lock it up tight. Since propellers or outboards are high-value targets for robbers, you may even consider removing those, as well.
Preparing Your Boat for Winter with Lifetime
Preparing your boat for winter involves more than labor-intensive maintenance – it also means taking care of your boat insurance policy. Even if you complete all the necessary steps to the letter, there’s no predicting the ever-changing plans of Mother Nature, or state-wide requirements! That’s why it’s wise to reassess your coverage needs annually, and shop your coverage with true Texans like the Lifetime advisors! Our insurance experts can help you keep your boat safe year-round at the best prices – give us a call at (972) 771-2622 or visit our website!