Winter is over and it’s time to take your boat out on the water! Don’t forget to make sure your boat is ready for the season before you take it out though. It’s also time to learn about de-winterizing your boat to make sure you have a safe and worry free time on the water.
Is it Important to De-Winterize Your Boat?
Absolutely! De-winterizing your boat is the first step you should take before boating after winter. If you don’t de-winterize you could end up damaging your boat or embarrassing yourself by not even being able to start it!
To avoid those situations we’ve compiled this guide to help you on your way to safe, fun, and smooth sailing.
Instructions on De-Winterizing
- Read your boats owner’s manual, and if there are de-winterizing instructions follow those instead of any general guides.
- If you didn’t change your boats oil before storing it then now is the time to do it. Don’t forget to change the oil filter too. Do this for the engine and transmission.
- You may need to replace hoses after storing your boat for so long. Make sure that the fuel line is attached and free of cracks or breaks, and is not brittle.
- Next you need to flush the cooling system and replace the old antifreeze with equal parts of water and coolant. Check the hoses for cracks, breaks, or brittleness and replace as needed.
- Locate and remove your distributor cap, then clean out any corrosion that has occurred. Make sure that you restore all of the connections when you put the distributor cap back on.
- Replace your spark plugs with new ones and then lubricate the engine with an appropriate product. Refer to your owner’s manual on how to space the spark plugs at the correct gap distance if you are not sure.
- Check your starter cable for frays or wear. Make sure there are no knots. If the cord has any problems it is essential to replace it.
- When you get your boat in the water, align the engine and shaft. Start the engine and inspect the exhaust to ensure there is a cooling water flow. Check the temperature of that water.
- The final step is to do a trial run. Check that the engine is running smoothly and the transmission is running evenly. Then check that the forward, reverse, and neutral shifts are performed easily.
Tips & Warnings
If your engine smokes during its first run, don’t panic! It is likely that the fluids just need to run through it for a few minutes after sitting all winter.
Make sure to winterize your boat at the end of the season to keep your boat running properly for longer!