Boats face a variety of potential maintenance problems. However, there’s an even higher chance of something going wrong during the off-season. Because of this, boat owners need to properly winterize and care for their boats when it’s cold outside. If it’s your first time winterizing your boat, consult both your owner’s manual and a knowledgeable professional to assist you. 

1. Clean your boat thoroughly.
Before you store your boat, make sure it’s clean. Pressure wash the hull, remove any stray barnacles from the propellers, and inspect every inch of the boat’s interior. Depending on your winter climate, you might need to install a dehumidifier to limit moisture levels inside your boat. 

2. Change the engine oil.
It’s crucial to take care of your boat’s engine, since it’s the most important part of your boat. First, check the oil levels. Your boat’s oil should be changed every 50-100 running hours. While you’re changing the oil, check for leaks and other alarming signs. 

3. Take care of the propeller.
When your boat is in dry dock storage in the off-season, it’s a lot easier to do propeller inspection and maintenance. Check for any damage or necessary repairs, and take care of them before your boat goes back into the water.

4. Cover your boat.
It might not seem important to buy a cover, but it’s an essential part of preventative boat care. Finding the right cover is vital. Basic tarps can be used, but you’ll need to add an extra layer between the tarp and the boat. Other boat covers are made from cotton, vinyl, acrylic, and polyester. You can buy a pre-made cover, or you can have one custom made.