The Importance of Getting Your Boat Winterized Properly (With Alex’s Marine Plus)

Alex’s Marine Plus! Keeping Your Boat in Tip Top Shape: The Importance of Getting Your Boat Winterized Properly

Boating On The Hudson (BOTH): Hi Alex, all of us at Boating on The Hudson are delighted that you now have a new monthly column in Boating on The Hudson Magazine! We look forward to hearing some great advice from your many years of experience of how to keep our boats, jet-skis and ATV’s in tip top shape! So now Alex, it’s that sad time of year, where all of us need to pull our boats and our jet-skis out of the water and put them away for the winter. I’m curious, what do people need to do before they put their boat or jet-ski into winter storage?

Alex: They need to make sure they properly winterize their boat/jet-ski before the cold weather hits.

BOTH: Why is it important for your boat or jet-ski to be winterized?

Alex: Because living in the north-east, anything that has or had water in it that’s left outside will freeze and could do some serious damage.

BOTH: What type of damage could occur?

Alex: You could freeze and crack your engine block, manifold, oil coolers, water pumps, water lines, faucets and related
parts. This could result in some VERY costly repairs come springtime.

BOTH: What exactly does a person need to do to winterize their boat?

Alex: First, they need to make sure they treat the fuel system with a fuel stabilizer. (Leaving the proper amount of fuel in their tanks.) Then of course, you would winterize the engine and water systems with non-toxic antifreeze and then also fog the engine to prevent the rusting of internal parts. You also need to make sure you have your waste tanks emptied as well.

BOTH: Would it be ok for me to simply do it myself and save some money or maybe have a buddy of mine who tinkers with my lawnmower winterize it for me?

Alex: It’s actually a bit more involved than what we’ve discussed. You need to also make sure all the water is removed from your boat and anti-freeze has been run through the engines etc. and most reputable dealers who are trained and insured know the proper winterization procedures. Getting your boat winterized by a trained professional can actually save you money and can also give you peace of mind over the cold winter months. The old saying in the repair business, “An ounce of prevention is like a pound of cure”. I can’t underline this enough! Preventive maintenance is key to anything you value. Not just your boat or jet-ski. It includes anything. Your house, your car, your lawn, your girlfriend etc… (Boy, I hope my wife doesn’t read this!) LOL!

BOTH: I’m curious Alex, do you end up having to repair any boats or jet-skis that are damaged because the owners didn’t have them winterized or decided to do it themselves?

Alex: Between you and me Lex, we usually fix a few every year that the customer or an untrained “Boat Mechanic” tried to do themselves. This year however, that number has at least doubled because people either didn’t know the proper way to winterize or they trusted the wrong person. My advice is to have it done right. A boater can spend a couple hundred now or spend thousands in the spring to fix what could have been prevented.

BOTH: Alex, I noticed that when I came into your shop today, you were fixing a cracked engine block. Was that damage the result of improper winterization?

Alex: Absolutely! That engine was from a customer who said he has been doing his own winterization since he owned his boat. This past winter it seems he must have done something wrong. (SEE PHOTO) He told me that from now on, he will make sure that I winterize it for him.

BOTH: Before we go Alex, what advice do you have for someone who needs to find a reputable repair shop to do a proper job of
winterizing their boat?

Alex: Make sure to find a certified, insured and trained repair shop. Also, check with your fellow boaters on references for the name of a repair shop who has done good work for them and who they trust.
BOTH: Thanks so much for sharing Alex! See you next month!

You can find this article and more in the latest issue of Boating on the Hudson Magazine! Pick up a FREE copy at your local Marina or favorite waterfront location. Not sure where you can pick up a copy? Not close to the Hudson River? Want to have the magazine delivered right to your door? Feel free to email us, or visit our website and view our magazine online!