Time to Think About Winterizing Your Boat Part Three
- Pump out the holding tank at an approved facility.
- While pumping, add fresh water to the bowl and flush several times.
- Use Vanish crystals or whatever your owner's manual recommends that will not harm your system and let sit for a few minutes.
- Add fresh water and pump out again.
- Add antifreeze and pump through hoses, holding tank, y-valve, macerator and discharge hose.
- Again, check your owner’s manual to make sure that an alcohol-based antifreeze won't damage your system.
- Once you have taken care of the system you should remove any valuables, electronics, lines, PFD, fire extinguishers, flares, fenders, etc.
- 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.
- Open and clean the refrigerator and freezer.
- To keep your boat dry and mildew-free you might want to install a dehumidifier or use some of the commercially available odor and moisture absorber products such as "No Damp," "Damp Away" or "Sportsman's Mate."
Out of Water Storage
- Pressure wash hull, clean barnacles off props and shafts, rudders, struts and trim tabs.
- Clean all thru-hulls and strainers.
- Open seacocks to allow any water to drain.
- Check the hull for blisters and if you find any that should be attended make a note to tell your service manager.
- Now is a great time to give the hull a good wax job.
- Be sure the batteries are fully charged and switches are turned off.
In Water Storage
- Close all seacocks and check rudder shafts and stuffing boxes for leaks, tighten or repack as necessary.
- Check your battery to make sure it is fully charged, clean terminals, add water if necessary and make sure your charging system is working.
- Check bilge pumps to ensure they are working and that float switches properly activate the pumps and that they are not hindered by debris.
- Monitor your boat regularly to avoid leaks, or animal infestations.
- If your mooring area is likely to freeze be sure to suspend water agitators below it to bring warmer water to the surface so its not iced in.
By following some of the above suggestions, you should be iprepared for the winter. Do not neglect to consult your owner's manuals for manufacturer's recommendations on winterizing your boat and other systems. If you have not done a winterization job before, seek out a professional to do the job for you.