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How To Winterize Your Boat

how to winterize a boat

Boat Winterization

Winter is coming at WakeMAKERS in Bend, Oregon, so unfortunately we have to embrace the off-season and take the boat through a winterization process and store it inside for winter.

Boat Winterizing Basics

Before you get started, it's important to give the boat a once over to check for any maintenance needed or issues you might not notice when your boat is in the water. Open the lockers get everything that's wet out of the boat and set out to dry so you can be ready for next season.

Ballast Bag Care

If your boat has ballast bags plugged in, you'll want to remove those from the system to get everything out of the way. Even if your pumps are in good working order in the boat, you will probably still get some water accumulating in your ballast bags. To prevent mold, simply remove these and hang them up on the back of a chair, side of the truck, side of the boat while you're winterizing your boat, just to get everything dried out.

boat ballast bag winterization

Winterizing Pumps

With an aerator system, you don't have to worry about actually running the pumps after you've disconnected everything because water will naturally drain out of area or pumps.

For reversal pumps, we do recommend disconnecting the lines and then running those pumps for about 5-10 seconds just make sure all the water is out of that housing so you won’t have a problem later on.

Draining Water from the Engine

To get started draining the water out of the engine, look for a plug on each side of the engine block, as well as check for a drain plug on the bottom of each of the exhaust manifolds. For most boats, that covers all plug locations, however, some boats may vary so be sure to check your owner's manual or ask your dealer if you have any questions on where to find those. 

Remove the plugs and let all the water drain out into the bilge, and then pull that plug from the bilge so it can drain out the bottom of the boat.

Winter Boat Maintenance

Now is also a great opportunity to change the engine oil since you're already working on the engine. Same thing with the transmission. 

If you are adding antifreeze to your engine block, you want to make sure those plugs are back in place. Next you'll want to remove your cooling lines and pour the antifreeze down in there. Then you'll want to add some fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank for storage over the winter.

Remember to put your battery on a battery tender or just remove it from the boat completely to keep your battery healthy.

Finally, add some dehumidifiers into all your storage areas to keep those areas fresh while in storage. 

Check the items you removed from your boat and if anything is dry, you can just go ahead and add it back to the boat depending on your storage.

There you go! Your boat will be properly winterized and ready for you start your next season.  Want to see our Product Advisors winterize the Project Boat? Check it out: 

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