It's about that time.
With temperatures dropping in the region, residents are already taking precautions when it comes to keeping their boats and Recreational Vehicles safe. Residents hoping to save time and money for potentially costly spring-repairs are already preparing their vehicles for the upcoming winter season.
Your first step in winterizing should be to make a checklist of all items that need to be accomplished. Check the owner's manual of both your boat and motor for manufacturer's recommendations on winterization.
The best place for your boat to be during the winter is out of the water, under cover and in a climate-controlled boat storage area. This however, can be expensive. If don't have this option, perhaps you should consider shrink-wrapping your boat. This can also be expensive, but provides a very protective cover. Short of these two items, make sure that your boat is well covered with a tarp or some other sturdy cover.
When it comes to fuel, fill your fuel tank to avoid a build up of condensation over the winter months. Add a fuel stabilizer by following the instructions on the product. Change the fuel filter as well as any water separators.
For inboard engines, you should run the engine to warm it up and change the oil while it is warm. This tends to allow impurities to be drained away with the oil. You should also change the oil filter. Flush the engine with fresh water. You should circulate antifreeze through the manifold by using a pickup hose from the waterpump to a bucket of antifreeze. Start the engine and allow the antifreeze to circulate until water starts to exit the exhaust.
For outboard engines, flush your engine with fresh water using flush muffs or similar device attached to the raw water pickup. Let all water drain from the engine. Wash engine down with soap and water and rinse thoroughly. Disconnect fuel hose and run engine until it stops. It is important to follow a step by step process to make sure that all fuel is drained from the carburetor to prevent build-up of deposits from evaporated fuel.
When it comes to keeping your interior safe, you should remove any valuables, electronics, lines, Personal Floatation Devices, fire extinguishers, flares, fenders and anything else that may hold value. Over the winter these items can be cleaned, checked and replaced as necessary. Open all drawers and lockers and clean thoroughly. Turn cushions up on edge so that air is able to circulate around them or, better yet, bring them home to a climate controlled area.
Residents are also reminded to disconnect any ramps, and to anchor their docks securely.