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September 2021


As summer begins to wind down, it is important for boat owners to start preparing their watercraft for harsh winter weather. It’s best to plan to winterize boats before cold weather arrives to protect the investment. Share these tips with your policyholders to help ensure their boats are ready for the cold months ahead.


  • Review the engine for any loose or frayed wires.
  • Inspect all hoses; any hose that shows signs of wear, cracking or softness should be replaced.
  • Take the time to change the engine oil and filters. When changing the oil, it’s a good time to send samples of the old oil to test for contamination.
  • Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank to prevent fuel degradation.
  • Keep gas tanks three-fourths to seven-eighths full to prevent condensation during winter and allow for expansion in the spring.
  • Drain all freshwater tanks and flush water out of pipes.
  • Whether your watercraft is stored indoors or outdoors, be sure to run non-toxic antifreeze through the freshwater lines.
  • Disconnect all batteries.
  • Adjust all belts.
  • Some engines require fogging to protect the inside from corroding; consult the dealer or mechanic to find out if your watercraft needs this.
  • Pull drain plugs out and open thru hulls. Remember to make sure they’re reinstalled and closed before launch in the spring.

Cleaning – exterior
It’s always a good idea to give the boat a thorough cleaning and waxing before storing it for the winter. Check the hull for damage or scratches that need to be touched up, filled and sealed to help prevent corrosion.

Cleaning – interior
All vinyl surfaces should be treated with a protective coating to prevent cracking during the dry months ahead. Do a thorough cleaning and remove all gear.

While the boat is in storage, make sure to allow for proper ventilation to manage moisture. If possible, consider keeping your boat stored in a temperature-controlled and dry storage unit to minimize the impact of weathering, mold and mildew. If the boat must be stored outside, make sure to shrink wrap the hull with a high-quality covering to keep the boat watertight.