How to Winterize Inboard Boats

May 23, 2019

Once wakeboarding and waterskiing are wrapped up for the summer season, it’s time to prep your inboard boat for winter storage. Learn how to winterize inboard boats the best way with these steps.

1. Warm the Engine

Before you begin the winterization process, the boat needs to be able to run in the water. If that’s not an option, attach it to a continual water supply via hose.

2. Fill the Tank

Water and engines don’t mix! A full tank of gas will prevent air from getting into the tank and causing condensation.

When you fill the tank with gas, add fuel stabilizer to prevent buildup in fuel lines and injectors. Always consult your owner’s manual for suggestions and specific directions.

3. Add Antifreeze

Antifreeze prevents water from freezing, which can cause expansion and cracks. Follow your owner’s manual for instructions on how to drain your coolant, and then replace it with propylene glycol antifreeze (it’s nontoxic for water environments).

4. Spray the Engine with Fogging Oil

Fogging oil prevents corrosion in your engine, which can begin in as little as a month. You’ll want to follow the instructions from your fogging oil manufacturer, or use this guide.

5. Change the Oil

You don’t want old, contaminated oil sitting in the engine all winter. Change the engine’s oil and replace the oil filter.

6. Clean & Spot Check

Clean the exterior of your boat, touch-up painted areas and apply anti-corrosion lubricant to unpainted parts. One you’ve cleaned and painted, take these last spot-checking steps:

  • Disconnect the battery and charge it fully. Store in a cool, dry place separate from your stored boat.
  • Leave the engine box cover propped open to increase ventilation.
  • Don’t forget about the equipment on your boat! Clean and organize your fishing rods, wakeboards and/or boat tackle.

Winterizing your boat is crucial for a successful reappearance come springtime.  If learning how to winterize inboard boats isn’t your thing, consult your boat dealer or mechanic—they’ll be happy to help!

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