The frost is on the pumpkin, so guess what? Time to winterize! If you’re a new boat owner on Lake Wylie and have never had to winterize your boat, don’t panic. It isn’t that difficult. But don’t put it off too long, either! The time and effort you spend now will save you boatloads in the spring.
The best place for your boat during the winter is out of the water, under cover. Whether on a lift or on a trailer on your driveway, make sure your boat is covered with a tarp or fitted boat cover. If you must leave your boat in the water over the winter, be sure to close all seacocks and gate valves in order to protect the thru-hulls.
You should check your owner’s manual of your boat for information on winterizing, but here is some basic information:
Fuel: Fill your fuel tank to avoid a build up of condensation over the winter months. (Condensation can lead to corrosion and clogging.) Add a fuel stabilizer. Change the fuel filter and water separators.
Inboard Engine: First, change the oil (best done when the engine is warm, so that impurities in the oil are drained away.) Change the oil filters. Then flush the engine with fresh water. Circulate antifreeze through the manifold by using a pickup hose from the waterpump to a bucket of antifreeze. Check the fluid in the tranmission.
When an engine is not being used, oil tends to settle at the bottom, exposing pistons and valves to air and humidity, which can cause corrosion. To avoid this, remove the spark plugs and spray “fogging oil” inside the carburetor. Then, clean and replace the spark plugs.
Replace the engine’s old gear oil with fresh oil. You can dispose of any used oil at an authorized recycling center.
Interior: Open all drawers and bins and clean thoroughly. Leave refrigerators, hatches, etc. open so that air can circulate. Of course, make sure to remove any food, valuables, and flammables. If possible, bring cushions and life jackets inside. At the very least, turn cushions up on ends to prevent growth of mildew. You can also use moister absorber products such as “Damp Away” to absorb excess moisture while your boat is under wraps for the winter.
If this all sounds intimidating to you, you can take your boat to a marine service center and and they’ll do it all for you. Visit my website for a list of local Lake Wylie Boat Service and Repair.
Whatever option you choose, do not neglect this maintenance chore. When that first beautiful spring day arrives, you want to be enjoying your boat on Lake Wylie. You don’t want to spend that gorgeous day joining the long waiting list who need boat repairs because they didn’t get around to properly winterizing their boats!
Disclaimer: The author is not responsible for damage or injuries that may occur as a result of this information.
For more waterfront resources for boaters and homeowners on Lake Wylie, visit TheLakeWylieMan.com. And when you’re in the market for Lake Wylie waterfront real estate, contact the lakefront specialist – – The Lake Wylie Man!